Townsend, Tennessee
November 15, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report. Paula here bringing you the fishing report from a foggy and cool Townsend. Unlike the last few days, it seems like the fog will lift quickly this morning. I can already see the sun trying to break through the mist. It was 40 degrees on our front porch this morning, but it's supposed to be near 70 degrees for a high today and sunny. We have another amazingly beautiful November day in store for us. Well, it will be a wonderful day for everything but fishing.

The rivers are still high, with Little River’s discharge at 570 cubic feet per second. Once again, we have broken a record for the stream flow that has stood since 1967 for this date. While Little River is just below 3 feet, it's still a tough wade. We cancel our classes when the river is at 2.5 feet and the current flow is 2.85.

If this high water has kept you from the stream and you feel the pull to go, please be careful. Fish are being caught, but it's been tough and wading has been near impossible. Your best bet is going to be using weight with your fly, roll casting from the banks or shallower eddies and getting a big fat nymph down to the fish. The problem with high water is the current will sweep your nymph away before it has a chance to sink to the level the fish are holding. Casting upstream of the location you are casting to will give your fly a longer period to get down there. Weight is going to be essential for this to happen. Simply using a bead-head nymph may not be enough; you would likely do better adding a bit of split shot to the tippet a few inches above your fly. This extra weight will help put that nymph where you need it to be to gain the attention of the trout. Or consider a tungsten beaded fly for that additional weight.

The nice thing is, the trout are not going to be selective. They are much more concerned with the presentation than any specific pattern. Pretty much anything "buggy" looking, gotten to the right depth and drifted in front of their noses they are going to eat. We have a golden stone fly nymph that is really heavy and really buggy that I love to use when weight is needed. Just dig in your box for a Prince Nymph, a weighted Tellico or even a Copper John, add some weight and go. You might consider tying on a lighter emerger pattern as a tag dropper...a soft hackle fly tied behind a heavier nymph will suspend the soft-hackle above it, giving it the illusion of being an emerging fly.

As we've been saying, a stouter rod will be your friend during conditions like these. When casting the extra weight you will need to get to the fish, lighter rods will not give you as efficient a cast. I'd be fishing my 5 weight, at least, if I was headed out today. Casting with weight on can be tricky, so you really want to focus on your roll cast. Nothing fancy is needed when slinging extra poundage...and tight loops could spell disaster for your rod if a heavily weighted fly crashes into the graphite.

It looks like we are expecting rain again this week beginning on Tuesday and going through Thursday, with the days cooling off a bit from what we've been seeing. So, if you are taking today as the window of opportunity to hit the stream, please be extremely careful. Don't wade if you don't have to...and have a set of dry clothes in your car. The water is cold, in addition to being high.

Thank you for being here with us. We appreciate all of you.

Paula Begley

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