12/17/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3.    Midges


A Few Short Notes
What a week. We have been "snowed under" with Xmas orders, thanks everyone,
and literally "snowed in" part of the time. Yesterday was bad enough that UPS didn't
make its normal one day delivery from the Uline Company in Atlanta. When UPS
doesn't make deliveries things are pretty bad, I guess.

Day before yesterday, the city of Pigeon Forge was scraping snow off the road in
the front of our house at 4 AM. When it turned daylight there was about 2 inches of
snow on the ground and none whatsoever on the road. I have always thought that
was because we lived on a steep hill on a road that had a turn off street to some of
the city work or storage areas. I thought we got the excellent service because the
employees didn't want to lose any time working. I had to travel all over town the
same day; however, and was amazed at just how clean all the roads in town were.
By 10:00 AM they must have had all the roads cleared including the normal streets
in the residential areas. Maybe some of the money they get in sales tax is put to
good use. I think the sales tax is 9.5%.

What was almost funny about it was it appeared that I was about the only one out
driving on the newly cleaned roads. There was hardly any traffic in Pigeon Forge.
That's a rare site I have never seen.
Then, I arrived at Walley World. There
wasn't an empty parking space. That was really funny, frightening or whatever you
want to make of it. All the other businesses in town just had one or two vehicles in
the parking lots, obviously employees and Walmart was jammed. No, it wasn't the
storm either. Everyone appeared to be buying Xmas gifts.

Then yesterday morning arrived. It was wild and crazy sure enough. The road in
front of the house was a solid sheet of ice and so was our driveway. The cedar
trees were hanging down weeping, hanging with ice. There were long icicles
everywhere. It was beautiful but I was afraid to take a step past the doors of the
house because it was solid ice, even on our front porch.

About 9:00 AM, I looked out and I thought we had been hit with a bomb. There were
strange looking masses of fog or clouds one of the other, rising straight up from the
mountains around our house and they were not moving slow. Everything appeared
to be in fast forward. Ice or maybe it was trees, I'm not sure which, were falling
everywhere and making very loud sounds. It was real strange. The wind was blowing
very hard, maybe gusting to 40 Mph or better. It blew our 3 foot high concrete bear
over. Everything was creaking, and cracking and making terrible sounds. Biddle, our
child, I mean dog, was barking at all the strange sounds. She thought someone was
breaking in the house.

From our dinning room window, you can see the neighbors house down the hill and
the same road that runs in front of our house but it's probably a hundred plus feet
below the dinning room. I couldn't believe my eyes. Their house was almost void of
snow and ice and the street was black. It didn't have any ice on it. I went to the front
door and looked outside at the street and it was solid ice. Pigeon Forge didn't clear
it this time. Our yard was still covered solid with snow. I went back and looked off the
hill again from the dining room. There was no snow or ice, only a few tiny patches of
snow that was left in the woods at their house. Back to the front door i went, this
time determined to go outside and look closer. Just below our house, everything
had melted. There was a line though the woods with ice and snow on one side and
none on the other. I couldn't believe my eyes. Then a limb as big as my arm almost
hit me. It feel from the oak tree I was under and I headed back inside after sliding
down and busting my bottom pretty good. A few minutes later, I checked the outside
temperature at our Ford Escape and it was 45 degrees. It felt warm yet the yard,
drive and road was still solid ice and snow. I went back inside and didn't look out
again until maybe thirty minutes later. Again, I couldn't believe my eyes. All the snow
and ice was gone. Water was running everywhere just like it had come a big rain
and to the best of my knowledge, it hadn't rained. It was all from melting snow. About
10:30, Angie woke up and a few minutes later came into my office and said, "It looks
nice outside - I think I will go to Krogers and pick up some things we need". I just
shook my head and said, "It's beautiful but you may want to wear a long sleeve shirt
though". I went from Alaska to Panama City Florida in less than two hours. She slept
though it all and thought Spring had arrived.

Now maybe everyone else in the South observed the same thing. I don't know. I do
know the elevation at our house is around 1800 feet and its about 1200 down at
Pigeon Forge. Often we see the little mountain to the west covered with snow when
we have none and its only about 2300 feet high. Of course LeConte to the South
stays white often during the winter. It's quite amazing just how much a few feet in
elevation changes things.

The Fishing Outlook:
Little River peaked out at 800 cfs and has fallen to about 700 at 8:00 AM this
morning. Its currently 35 degrees headed up to around 40 for today. It should be
about the same tomorrow, but tomorrow there's a chance for snow turning to rain by
noon. It will go down to about 23 Saturday night and continue the same pattern for
the next few days with chances of snow turning to rain and back and forth. That's at
Gatlinburg at 1594 feet elevation. In contrast, Knoxville Airport at Maryville is 962.
You can be assured there will be much more snow in the mountains and probably all
snow at the upper levels.

All in all, that is a little too cold for December but it should be fine for those wanting
to fish. The lower elevations should be fine by 10:00 AM or a little later each day. It
should be very pretty in the mountains and you probably won't have much company.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh