Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast in East Tennessee this morning.  I can easily see Great Smoky Mountains National Park though.  There is absolutely no fog in this valley.  The temperature is 37 degrees, 10 degrees warmer than it was yesterday morning.  Traffic was brisk at 8:00 am.  I am usually on my way to work earlier than that.  So I’m usually on the road earlier than most people.

Little River looks fine.  The water temperature at the swinging bridge was 43 degrees.  Flow is 361 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date based on 46 years of data is 219 cfs.  The water is clear. 

Fishing should be fairly slow in the Park.  Other than the post-spawn brown trout, the trout will be lethargic due to the cold water.  They say a trout’s metabolism slows almost to a complete stop at 40 degrees.  They don’t require food.  That is nature’s way of sustaining the species when food is not abundant.  But, they will eat occasionally.  You just have to present your fly right where the trout are resting, mostly on the bottom of the stream and out of the current. 

Use nymphs today, at least early this morning.  Attach some split shot to your tippet and get those flies down.  When the rain starts we should see the water temperature increase somewhat and you might see a hatch of blue wing olives.  So be ready with some small dark mayfly patterns, preferably a Blue Wing Olive imitation.   

We are in for a very substantial warming trend.  There is no chance for a white Christmas this year, at least not here.  The high today will be in the high 50’s.  The low tonight will be around 50 degrees. And tomorrow, the high is supposed to be about 65 degrees.  We will see the water temperatures increase this week and trout fishing will improve.

Further down river I would fish for smallmouth bass.  I don’t know if you will do well.  I’ve really never fished during the Winter for smallmouth bass.  But, this is an unusual Winter. The trout fishing has been surprisingly good during these warm periods.  I don’t see why the smallmouth bass would not react the same way. I just don’t know.

The tailwater opportunities for wading anglers are varied today.  Cherokee Dam is indicating periods of non-generation.  Norris Dam will be running two generators all day or TVA says they will.  The Hiwassee will be flowing strong.  The South Holston will be off between noon and 6pm.  They will be producing plenty of electricity at Center Hill dam.  They are running full bore all day until midnight at least.  And, Watauga will be running all day.  This information is subject to change.  Check before you go.  You can find the links to the dam release information on the left side of this page.

As I build our new website I am looking forward to re-designing this page.  I will be adding more TVA dam release links.  There will be a lot more information available from this page.  It will look a little different.  The whole website will look different.  After a few pages are finished we will run them up on our remote server to test on devices and browsers before we launch the whole site and take the old one down.  I will contact people who use browsers we don’t have, like Internet Explorer 9.  I don’t think we have a computer that will run IE9.  I’m pretty sure my computers won’t run it.  I use Macs. 

David Ezell will be here in about 45 minutes.  We are going to start re-building and updating the Troutfest Website. 

So, I better get this report on the web and get ready to work with him.

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

Byron Begley
December 20, 2011

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