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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is overcast, dark and 62 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I can hear thunder in the direction of the Park.  We have been warned by the Weather Service, that severe thunderstorms are possible and we might even get some hail along with strong winds.  I saw a tornado warning earlier this morning for the area around Newport, TN.

Little River looks fine.  The water is up some from yesterday.  We did have 1/10th of an inch in our rain gauge this morning.  Maybe the Park got more.  Maybe snow melt is also a contributing factor to the flow increase.

Flow right now is 388 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.32 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 328 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:05 am is 45.8 degrees.

We should see the water temperature climb over the next few days.  The high temperature today is expected to be 67 degrees.  They are calling for 70 degrees tomorrow.  Lows at night will be in the mid to high 40’s through tomorrow night.

I would go fishing in the Smokies and see what’s going on.  I just re-read some fishing reports from the archive below for February last year.  On the 17th I wrote that customers mentioned seeing Quill Gordons in light numbers.  Again on the 25th, there was more chatter about Quill Gordons.  The water was actually colder last year than it is now and will be this week.  You should see some Spring hatches, though light, if  you are willing to stay out all day.  Don’t expect too much.

Everybody says, Quill Gordons and Blue Quills begin hatching when the water temperature reaches 50 degrees and that temperature is sustained for a few days.  That is correct.  Cooler water can produce less significant hatches.  It happens in February often.  You need to be in the right place at the right time to be a witness.

Blue Wing Olives, Caddis and small stoneflies will be on the water now.  Again, you may not see them where you are, but something is happening somewhere in the Smokies.

Lately, fishing in town has been good.  Some nice rainbows have been caught during the past few days.  They are stocked trout.  My theory is, these trout are placed into a balanced ecosystem.  Food is probably scarce or not enough for these trout to make a living easily.  I believe that is whey stocked trout will feed when the water is cold.  They are hungry.  They are used to being fed on a daily basis in a hatchery.

Fishing is definitely going to improve this week.  To what extent I don’t know.  And, there is a chance for rain.  How much, we don’t know.  Warmer water will increase aquatic insect and trout activity, we know that. 

On January 20th I rented a motel room at Dock’s Motel for Kent Edmonds.  He is a friend who is also a sales rep.  I paid for the room in advance with a credit card. 

I got my bill, and it was obvious due to a minus sign, instead of being charged for the room, the lady who entered the charge hit the refund button.  So, $39.99 was taken out of their checking account, crediting my Visa account.

So, yesterday I went down to Dock’s to settle up.  I owed them $79.98 and they ran the charge. 

Sharron, the owner, took care of it for me and she was appreciative that I brought it to her attention.  We are friends and I admire the way she runs her business.  She has been out of town and had not balanced her books.  She would have figured it out. 

We talked for a while, mostly about business.  Dock’s Motel is a very popular place for fly fishermen to stay for many reasons.  First, it is on the river.  From a cost perspective, it is very reasonable, great value for what you get.

Dock’s is very clean, I mean really clean.  I stopped there one day to see Sharron.  I was on the planning commission and she had some kind of problem I wanted to settle.  It was early spring.  She and her staff had removed the glass shower doors from the rooms, took them outside, and scrubbed each one with a brush and blasted them with a water hose.  Now that impressed me. “No grime in the grooves”. 

Dock’s also has a quaintness about it that is hard to describe unless you visit.  It is like going back in time.  The sign, which she had completely restored years ago is made of metal, painted and features neon lighting, something you don’t see much of these days. I visit customers and friends who stay there so I’ve been in a few rooms.  All of those I’ve seen have kitchens.

Sharron and I talked about her customers, people we both know.  She mentioned some by name. 

She realizes fly fishermen are an important part of her business model.  For instance, she talked about Bernie.  Bernie told her, some hooks to hang wet waders on, outside the room would be nice.  Sharron installed wader hangers.  I told you she was smart.

What she has created and managed well, is what many fly fishermen are looking for.  You can visit her website by CLICKING HERE.  Read the history. This is a historic location. Dock’s is one cool place.  Dock’s is located in a cool town.

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

Byron Begley
February 19, 2014 

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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