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What a difference a week can make here in a East Tennessee when it comes to weather and water. Last week at this time the moderate  generation at Douglas Dam coupled with the cold weather made the smallie fishing challenging to say the least. Towards the end of the week TVA reduced the generation to an average of 600 cfs and the weather began to warm up. I fished on the French Broad Friday and the water temperature was fifty-two degrees. I have to add that the section of the French Broad that I fished is mainly composed of the water that flows from the Little Pigeon River, so it runs warmer then the water coming directly from the dam. I caught three smallies in about four hours of fishing with the largest just shy of twenty inches. Today, I fished that same stretch of water, but now the water temperature had climbed to sixty degrees. That eight degree increase in water temperature along with the low flow from Douglas Dam being stable for a few days made all of the difference in the world. I caught twenty-three smallies in five hours of fishing in one spot. The majority of the fish were in the seventeen inch range. I caught a few eighteens, one nineteen, and one that measured twenty and three quarter inches. Two days before I caught no fish in that particular location. Emblematic of how quickly the fishing can change on the river.

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