Townsend, Tennessee
November 16, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It was foggy early and a cool 42 degrees.  But now, the sun has burned off the fog and we are heading up to 72 degrees today.  I was down at the river taking the water temperature this morning and a fisherman was waiting for me when I walked up the steep bank.  He is planning to fish in town.  I don’t think he was a fly fisherman.  I would say he will do well.  TWRA has been stocking the river often and with some nice trout. The water has dropped quite a bit since I left town on Friday morning.  The water is clear.  But there is still a lot of current.

One weather website reports a 70% chance for rain on Tuesday.  Another says we have a 30% chance.  Wednesday looks to be wet too. 

Fishing should be good for the next day or so.  It is going to be unusually warm, day and night.  It looks like nymph or streamer fishing water to me right now except in the smaller streams.  Dry flies should work well in the right kind of water.  I still believe I would stick with weighted nymphs.  I have been gone for three days and have not heard any reports other than we were slow at the shop this weekend.  The water was really high Friday when I left.

The brown trout should start spawning again.  They had to be interrupted during that high water.  They say when Little River is flowing at 1,000 cfs the gravel is moving and the spawning redds are in peril.  Little River’s flow got up to 3,600 cfs last week.  But now it is down to 465 so I would expect the spawning to continue.  I hope so.  Nobody seems to know for sure.  Biologists say that the high flow last week certainly was hard on the beds already seeded and fertilized.  The brook trout are in the same situation but they might have a better chance for a good spawn this year due to being in the higher elevations.  That’s the thought coming from Park Headquarters.  But again, how can anyone be sure.

TVA is trying to draw down the lakes and many of the dams are sluicing or generating.  There are a couple of opportunities out there so check them all. 

Jack and I got back from the annual deer hunt in Kentucky.  Roger and Ronnie each harvested a doe, which is much better on the dinner table than a buck.  Frank is waiting for a trophy buck.  He could have shot several does this weekend. Jack and I didn’t hunt.  We just cooked, hung around camp, split some firewood and helped the other guys when a deer was down.  Actually Jack and Roger did most of the firewood splitting.  I was the finished product stacker. 

Roger watched six river otters from his tree stand playing and sunning themselves in the river.  He noticed a bobcat stalking the otters.  I guess the bobcat got wind of Roger and trotted off, luckily for the otters.

I slept on my cot on one of the front porches.  Packs of coyotes howled all night the first evening.  I wonder what it would be like to climb a deer stand at night and use some predator calls to bring the coyotes in.  I guess the problem would be, if you got tired of doing it you couldn’t climb down and walk back to the cabin.  Maybe you could, I’m not sure I would want to.  I have had coyotes get very close to me on two occasions at night and it is a little un-nerving.

We had a great time.  My plan is to practice shooting over the next few months and take up deer hunting again.  Jack is going to help me design a shooting range.  He came up with a lot of good ideas on this trip for that.  I think I have enough open space below our house for a 100 yard range with a good back stop.  The hill behind where the targets will be located has a lot of rock exposed.  Jack suggested I bring in a dump truck load of rock-free topsoil and pile it up next to the bank.  That was the best idea I have heard.  I thought about everything including railroad ties and straw bales.  The dirt makes more sense than anything and it would be cheap and easy.  I could sow some winter wheat to control erosion until native plants take over.  Sounds like a good project.

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
November 16, 2009


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