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Back on the water again in search of those 2020 pre-spawn smallies on the Little Pigeon River. My fishing partner today was my wife. She rarely gets the opportunity to fish with me on the rivers of East Tennessee. For the second winter in a row we have had excessive amounts of rain and TVA has been running two generators or more at Douglas Dam for the past several weeks. Today was no different. The discharge at the dam was an average of 16,000 cfs which meant we were going to spend most of our time fishing the Little Pigeon. With air temperatures in the low eighties the water temperature in the Little Pigeon was already up to sixty-two degrees. Water temperatures in that range usually send the signal to the French Broad River smallies to begin their annual spring spawning run up the Little Pigeon. That is exactly what we experienced. We caught seventeen smallies with the majority of the fish in the seventeen to eighteen inch range. The pre-spawn run in my opinion has definitely begun. It should only continue to get better over the next several weeks depending on the  weather and water conditions.