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. The sun is shining brightly this morning making it feel a little less cold than it really is.

Heres the rundown on river conditions this morning. The Little River Gauge is reading a chilly 41.18F. This will warm some as the day continues. It isn't going to get very warm today but the rest of the weekend looks very nice. The stream is at 2.37 feet or 406 c.f.s. This is higher than the daily normal of 299 c.f.s. Water clarity is very clear.

The area tailwaters are running some better schedules. Just quickly glancing at the TVA site it looks like there is some down time on several of them. The Hiwasee River is still dumping water.

We haven't talked to too many anglers who have been fishing over the last several days. The ones who have gone have had a hard time of it. Water temperatures are still cold and the moon has been full. Both of those factors will be getting better over the next several days.

Nymph patterns sunk deep in the water are going to be your best choices. BH Prince Nymphs, Pat's Rubberlegs, Tellicos, Copper Johns are all good options. Concentrate on slower moving sections of stream especially where the sun has been on the water. Late in the day if it has been warm you might find some midges or blue wing olives. If you are really wanting to fish a dry give it a shot. Nymphs are still going to be the most effective though.

Matt Kulp, head fisheries biologist at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spoke at the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited meeting last night. Did you know that there is an online Creel Survey for the Park? You can go to Yeah it is a really long url. One you get to the survey you can bookmark it and make it easier to get to. Once you are there you can enter in all kinds of information about how your latest fishing trip went. This information is very helpful to the biologist about fish size, distribution, anglers effectiveness etc. It even has a map where you can tag the location for your report. Don't worry about giving away your "secret" stream the guys on the fisheries crew know more about all those streams that we could hope to know. I think it will take some practice using the Creel Survey to get used to how it works. After you have filled it out a few times I'm sure it will be easy.

Townsend is going to be the happening place this weekend. The Smoky Mountain Snowdown Festival is going on this weekend, starting today. You can visit the website by going to Looking at the flyer, the variety of events and classes is incredible. Everything from Walter Babb tying flies, art and music classes, history talks, to food and wine. The weather is supposed to be perfect this weekend. If you get the chance you should check it out.

Wow, it is almost 11 already...sorry for the delay. I'll wrap up. Remember Walter Babb will be tying flies here at the Shop tomorrow starting at 10am. Stop by if you are in town.

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

Daniel Drake
January 29, 2016

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