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. It is 5:35 am and the temperature outside is 29.5 degrees.

Warm air is moving in today. The high temperature is expected to be 62 degrees, today, 58 tomorrow and 60 Sunday. Lows at night will be in the high 40’s. It is going to feel like Spring.

Last night, before midnight, the USGS Townsend Gauge stopped sending data. That data is current flow and water temperature. This happens from time to time. Sometimes it starts transmitting quickly. Other times, it takes days to repair.

The last readings, indicate the water temperature is 44 degrees and flow is at 2.5 feet.

I checked the snowfall in the mountains. Yesterday morning, Mount LeConte reported 8 inches of snow on the ground.

For fishing to get really good this weekend, the water temperature needs to rise to 50 degrees. Fishing usually improves at 48 degrees. Sometimes we see Quill Gordons and Blue Quills hatching when the water is 48 degrees.

Late yesterday morning, the water temperature dropped from 42 degrees to about 41 degrees, probably due to snow melt. Then it climbed to 44 degrees.

Will the water temperature rise to 50 degrees or above this weekend? I think it will but I don’t know for sure. I’ve been looking at these numbers daily for 10 years, and reporting them to you. My guess is, fishing will be good this weekend. It will certainly be much better than it has been. That is about the best I can do this morning. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I do know this, it will be warm and people will be fishing in the Smoky Mountains.

The chance for rain this weekend has increased. The odds for rain are about 50% tomorrow and 90% Sunday. I could not find estimates on how much rainfall we will get. It appears that there will be just periods of showers tomorrow.

Fly fishermen are preparing to fish, especially in the Southeast. I talked to Jim Shulin yesterday. He is the Sales Manager at Temple Fork. He said their business is picking up. They ship to dealers and distributors all over the world. Their business model differs from ours. We sell mostly to customers in the East United States. It’s hard to make a comparison.

I am seeing signs of early Spring, due to the way the wildlife are acting. Just yesterday I noticed the doves are pairing. The boys are chasing the girls at times. The turkeys are acting differently. All Winter, we have had a flock around our house, of about 37 turkeys, made up of mature hens and their offspring that were born last Spring.

Now, the older male gobblers are showing up, often mixed in with the hens and kids. They will all break up soon, to mate. The brood includes males with tiny beards. The big boys will make sure the young jakes don’t get anywhere near the hens. The jakes will run together, wishing they were older and larger.

If you can, show up at the shop tomorrow for our Free Fly Tying Demonstration. Tradd Little and Dan Moneymaker will be tying for you between 10 am and 2 pm. These guys are fun to watch and talk to. You don’t have to do anything but show up. You can read more about them by CLICKING HERE.

Your new fishing licenses are available now. I saw Paul sell one to a man yesterday. They were supposed to be available today. Our Tennessee licenses expire at the end of this month.

I’ll be working on the new online store all weekend, here at home. There won’t be any days off for me for a while. When this job is done, I’m going fishing.

I hope you are able to go fishing this weekend. I think you should.

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

Byron Begley
February 19, 2016

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