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A Brief Break Today….5 Day Mtn Snow Event Coming….

Wed. Feb. 27, 2013…..Beginning to sound like a broken record.  And spring is right around the corner?  Yes it is, but not until the next week is behind us….let’s hope!  Here’s an up to date weather scoop…from Ray’s Weather in Boone, NC:

Looks like things will only get a day to settle down, and that is today, and it remains chilly in the High Country even though it will be pretty nice around here in the Foothills…. A lot of waters are still high and roily following the past day and a half of moderate to heavy rain and ice /sleet/snow mix.   Here’s a report of ice accretion, that is ice on top of about an inch or two of snow/sleet mix…. click here .   Here’s the upcoming weather scoop from our friends at Ray’s Weather at Appstate in Boone, NC….

A slug of cold air will move into the mountains tonight behind two northward moving areas of low pressure, one in the lower Great Lakes, and the other along the New England coastline. This cold configuration will become our new normal for several days. It is one in which the jet stream is taking a major dive through the eastern half of the U.S. bringing a prolonged period of cold and snowy conditions.  The Northwest Flow snow machine starts cranking tonight and it marks the beginning of a 4 to 5 day period of intermittent snow showers. Each day basically playing out the same with mostly cloudy skies, on/off snow showers, and windy conditions. Despite the forecast looking the same, we have two primary upper level waves, and we’ll deal with them one at a time with our first wave lasting through Friday night, Snowfall Totals Map.  Our “Usual Suspects” being the highest elevations and westward facing slopes will likely score a foot or more of snow when it is all said and done by Sunday night. Snowfall amounts for the rest of us will be much more spotty from west to east but enough to keep the landscape white.

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The clock is being turned back to early January and the pattern remains active and cold through the middle of next week.  For reference points, I have added the well known ‘Mts” we often speak of.  These are the places that we so often see the Northwestflowsnow events like this when we are seeing seemingly nothing here.  For some info on these places, here’s some FYI for you……

Mt. Leconte, a mountain in Sevier County, Tennessee located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At 6,593 ft (2,010 m) it is the third highest peak in the national park, behind Clingmans Dome (6,643 ft, 2,024 m) and Mount Guyot (6,621 ft, 2,018 m). However, from its immediate base to its summit, Mount Le Conte is one of the highest peaks in the Appalachian Mountains rising 5,301 ft (1,616 m) from its base, near Gatlinburg, Tennessee (1,292 ft/394 m).  Mount Mitchell is the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains and the highest peak in the eastern United States. It was the highest point in any state of the United States until Texas joined the union in 1845. The nearest higher point is Lone Butte in Colorado, 1189 miles (1913 km) west. Mount Mitchell is located near Burnsville in Yancey County, North Carolina, in the Black Mountain subrange of the Appalachians, and about 32 miles (51 km) northeast of Asheville. It is protected by Mount Mitchell State Park and surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest.  The mountain was named after Elisha Mitchell, a professor at the University of North Carolina, who determined its height in 1835, and fell to his death at nearby Mitchell Falls in 1857, having returned to verify his earlier measurements.   Grandfather Mountain , at 5,946 feet (1,812 m),  is the highest peak on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, one of the major chains of the Appalachian Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway passes by the south side of the mountain and also passes over the nearby Grandmother Gap. It is located at the meeting point of AveryCaldwell (highest point), and Watauga (highest point) Counties.    Mount Rogers is the highest natural point in the state of VirginiaUSA, with a summit elevation of 5,729 feet (1,746 m) above mean sea level. It lies in Grayson County and Smyth County, Virginia, about 6.45 miles (10.38 km) WSW of Troutdale, Virginia, within the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and Jefferson National Forest.   The mountain is named for William Barton Rogers, a Virginian educated at the College of William & Mary, who taught at William & Mary and the University of Virginia, became Virginia’s first State Geologist,[3] and went on to found the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  My apologies for the lengthy geography lesson, but hey it was my major at UNCG………. just making Dr. Mike Lewis, one of my favorite professors, proud….lol.    I can only imagine him beaming and glowing as he reads this ……while looking over topo sheets and maps over breakfast…..lol.

Here’s a shot from Mt Jefferson this morning, which is in Ashe County, NC, or , since you’ve had your morning history lesson….about halfway between Grandfather Mtn and Mt Rogers…”as the crow flies”….as the mtn folk say.

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Here’s a scoop on area waters in a nutshell:

TN Tailwaters…..  Pretty much toast unless you are floating, and that is a bit different from normal as they are not only at full generation but also sluicing additionally…which is releasing additional water through the sluiceway ( that sinister looking dark, dungeon-like door that allows the TVA to release water as needed whether the generators are on or not.)  Weather looks like NW flow snow the next 5 days, nighttime lows in the teens to low 20s, his around freezing.

VA Tailwaters….Jackson River , Covington , VA…- Releasing 150cfs and no changes today.  Great level to wade or float the Jax.  Lake level is 1580.1 (full pool is 1582.0′) and water release temp is 40F….  midges, midges, midges, maybe an afternoon blue wing olive or two, its time for them.   Smith River, Bassett, VA….Schedule is same all week this week, generating from 6am til 10am.  Release water temp 41.5F…Midges…..plus some small Blue Winged Olives, and a stray winter black stone or two.  One of the few viable fishing options locally… Weather looks like on and off snow showers depending upon elevation….temps lows night in the teens to low 20s, highs around freezing.

Small Streams/DH Waters.…A lot of high water lately, and few locations have escaped it.  Flows are up, the ground is still saturated from previous weather events and there’s a lot of water stored up in the water table that is helping things a bit.  That is why things have been so unsettled.  Not to mention that any water coming from frozen ground is likely just above the freezing mark.  Yes, just above the freezing mark.  The higher in elevation you go the faster things clear out/up, but also the colder it will be.  Best fishing in higher elevations usually midday to late afternoon.  At 4 or 430pm….pack it in you are done for the day.  My experience is stocked fish are a bit easier to negotiate when conditions are really cold like that.  Just expect them to give you all the gusto and fight that a heavy, wool sock would…lol.  All fishing right now is nymphing and streamers….dead drifting everything, this is a great time for big bobbers, weight, and two fly rigs.  A large point fly like a wooly bugger, large nymph, with a small egg or midge pattern or small and dark mayfly nymph pattern.   Streamflows are as follows (“Normal” flow in parentheses)….

South Fork New River 1370 (440cfs)    Elk Creek 281 (90)   Jacobs Fork Catawba 199 (40)  Linville R 441 (140)

South Toe 306 (140)    Davidson R 361 (130)   Mitchell River 277 (110)   Dan River  (331) 180

VA Small Streams …..A lot of waters up too, some waters will remain so as the ‘apparent’ lack of measureable liquid precip, like the NC Mtns, is in ice form and will be melting today….then that is it for any melting of anything for a few days.  Looks like a 5 day snow on and off event , just like out mtns.  SW VA and the NC/VA border counties will feel this more than anyone else….I’d say the same fly choices as our NC waters above….  Here are some streamflows…

Escatawba Fms   58 cfs (100)    Jackson R (below Gathright) 155 (500)   South Holston Chilhowie 298 (110)

South Holston Damascus  660  (510)    North Fork Holston 391  (275)   Chesnut Cr (Farmers Creek)  159 (48)

New River Galax , VA  6460 (1900)

Locally:….. Bass , bream, and crappie are waking up and they are stirring …indeed.  After the past day , the ice/sleet, cold rain….today might warm things up enough to get them going again.  Some fish are already shallow, particularly crappie.  The coming week and a half might be a good time for them….and I intend to find out at our ponds here.  Streamers slow stripped are the ticket, hard to go wrong with a small Chartreuse and White clouser minnow, size 2 or 4.  Large bluegills will hit them too.  For these small bead head wooly buggers work well.  One of our favorite things this time of year is to fish a streamer under a thingmabobber.  If its breezy or windy this is a killer tactic….the broken surface bobs and jigs the fly for you and if crappie are around you’ll soon find out.

A few videos for Hump day this week……one is a great one on fly fishing the Blue River in CO at night….a hoot.  The second one is a great piece on fly casting in the wind….

 

We have some busy days coming up, but the next few days look sketchy.  We’ll see how the weather situation unfolds….looks like spring will wait a few days…..

Keep the faith…….spring is coming…

Jeff

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