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

Welcome to the Fishing Report. It is partly cloudy and 21 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic was light on my way to work.  Most people stayed in this morning and I don’t blame them.

Mike Adams, a guide and fly designer from upper East Tennessee will be here tying between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  We do have a chance for snow before 2 pm.  Little or no accumulation is expected.  The high temperature today is expected to be 41 degrees. 

Mike’s fly tying demonstration is free. All you have to do is show up.  It will be a good way to spend part of your day.  We look forward to seeing you here.


Little River is flowing at 753 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 315 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:50 am was 38.4 degrees.

Fishing in the Smokies is not good.  The water is too cold.  The trout will be lethargic.  If you go, use nymphs and get them deep.  You want to have your fly tickling the bottom of deep runs and pools or anywhere a current break exists.  You need to bump those trout in the nose with your fly.  They might eat.  Plenty of trout have been caught when the water is this cold but many more have ignored food.  They don’t need it.  They don’t want it.

The tailwaters are a better bet if you can find a decent generation schedule.  That has been almost impossible lately due to the high lake levels and TVA’s efforts to get the levels down.  Lakes are lowered during the Winter to provide storage capacity for the Spring rains.  We have had 12.68 inches of rain since January 1st.  Normal rainfall for that period is 4.47 inches. 

Paula and I will be off for a week.  Daniel will be writing this report. I took the Lake Level chart off the report so he won’t have to deal with it.  It is time consuming looking up that information.  I’ll put it back on when I return.

I will be working on this website while I’m off.  Priority one is the fly department and associated pages describing the conditions in the Park during each month and season.  Along with that will be fly selections.  That is hard to do.  Spring to an angler is not necessarily Spring to everyone else.  Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter is different for us.  Our definition is all dependent upon water temperature. 

Spring can arrive for us in February.  It did last year.  It has in previous years.  Or it can arrive in March.  When the water temperature rises above 50 degrees and that temperature is sustained for a few days things happen.  Aquatic insects associated with Spring become active.  Trout become active too.  As the water temperature cranks up, so does the trout’s appetite.  As a result of that, we fly fishermen become active too. 

When the water warms, the smallmouth bass start moving around.  They are thinking about spawning.  They are getting hungry too. 

So, writing this while making sense of it all will be a challenge. 

I hope you all have a great week and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
February 2, 2013

Respond to:

Home - Contact Us - About Us - Fishing Report - Online Catalog - Message Board - Sitemap