Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. At 5:44 am, light snow is falling and the temperature is 24.4 degrees. We were lucky. The snow pretty much missed us last night. The Knoxville Airport recorded overnight snowfall of .30 inches at 4:30 am. We got about that in Townsend.

Of course the weather conditions are awful to our north. We may see some snow this morning in Townsend. They say we could get up to 1 inch.

Most of the roads in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are closed due to snow and ice. The high temperature today is expected to be 27 degrees.

Little River is flowing at 585 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.69 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 289 cfs. The water temperature is 39.9 degrees this morning.

I can say, without a doubt, fishing conditions and access to streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are not good at all. The roads are closed and the streams are cold.

Warmer temperatures begin tomorrow. Warmer days, with highs reaching near 60 degrees are expected next week. On Monday February 1st and Tuesday the 2nd, the high is predicted to be 64 degrees. The first week in February will be warm.

February is historically warmer than January here in the Smokies. December was very warm here. Fishing was great. January has not been bad at all. We have had a few cold days and nights. We have had very little snow.

Will spring fishing arrive in February? Maybe.

We will be watching the weather closely. Our orders for spring merchandise were placed months ago. Once we decide fishing conditions are predicted to improve, Daniel will tell the manufacturers to start shipping.

We will see boxes of flies arriving, with a heavy emphasis on the early Spring patterns, like Quill Gordons and Blue Quills. Leaders, tippet and other terminal tackle will be stocked to the max. Rods, reels and fly lines will arrive. Shipments will arrive every day. That is the way this business works. We decide when the fishing is going to get good, then, we pull the trigger.

Tennessee fishing licenses expire at the end of February. We will be selling licenses like crazy in March.

In February, our mail order business will be in “overdrive” as anglers prepare for spring. Most of those customers will either live in the south, or be traveling to the south to fish.

Spring break begins in early March. Young anglers, and even younger anglers will arrive in the Smokies, either with their friends or parents. At first, they will be traveling here from Wisconsin and Michigan. It will be cold up there. Hopefully, trout will be taking dry flies here.

We know what to expect. We have been doing this over 20 years.

We will still have winter activities going on at the shop through February. We’ll hold our usual Free Fly Tying demonstrations on Saturdays. Our fly tying classes will continue through the month.

In March, our fly fishing classes will start for the year. They are scheduled. You can see the schedule by CLICKING HERE. Aquatic Entomology classes have not been scheduled. They will be soon.

Dan called off our free fly tying demonstrations today. And, he cancelled our fly tying class. We don’t want anyone traveling on slick roads.

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect the main roads to Townsend are or will be clear.

I think Dan will be conducting a Free Fly Tying demonstration today.  Call the shop to find out. We should be open at 9 am. I will be at home all day, working on our online store.

It is dawn. I went outside to look around. I saw snow flurries. I saw some areas around our house that could have up to an inch of snow on the ground. Most areas have less because the snow clung to trees and didn’t make it to the ground.

When the shop opens in an hour and a half, I’ll know more about the conditions. It’s hard to tell from here.


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

Byron Begley
January 23, 2016

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