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 5:52 am, the temperature is 55.4 degrees.

Today will be cloudy with a high temperature of 63 degrees. We have a 30% chance for rain today. Tomorrow will be about the same, with a higher chance for rain. “Showers are likely”, tomorrow.

Little River is flowing at 442 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.37 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 335 cfs. The water temperature is 46.6 degrees.

Water temperatures continue to rise. Yesterday, the water temperature rose from 42 degrees to 46 degrees in Little River and it did not drop last night. We should see that continue today and tomorrow.

There is still some snow in the high elevations. Melting snow can slow the increase in water temperatures. I don’t think that will happen today or tomorrow. If it does, I’m wrong. This is hard to predict. I’ve seen it happen many times. My guess is, there is not enough snow to make that much of a difference. At this point, it is only a guess. 

I would plan to fish today and tomorrow. Take a rain jacket. You may not need it today, but you probably will tomorrow.

I would start with nymphs. Try typical reasonable patterns. Prince Nymph, Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Tellico or any dark nymphs should work. Watch the surface. Today is perfect for a Blue Wing Olive hatch because it will be overcast.

There is a chance you could see some Quill Gordons or Blue Quills on the water. It has happened on days like today before, in February. If you do, you probably won’t see big numbers and the hatches and activity will be sporadic. You might get lucky.

Before you go, check the water temperature using the USGS link below. The site is transmitting data now. It stopped briefly night before last.

Flows are on the high side of good. We take beginner fly fishing students to the streams if the flow at the Little River gauge is at 2.5 feet or below. Right now, the gauge reading is 2.37 feet. Flow in Little River is above average for this date.

Wade fishing on the Clinch and Holston Rivers is not a good option today. TVA plans to generate at both dams all day. The same is true at Center Hill Dam.

We will have a lot going on at the shop today. Tradd Little and Dan Moneymaker will be conducting fly tying demonstrations from 10 am until 2 pm. This is a free event. Just come by the shop. You will enjoy these guys.

We are also holding a beginner fly tying class. It is full, with 8 students.

You can purchase your 2016 fishing license at the shop. They are available now. Your old license expires at the end of February.

I worked at home all day yesterday and will today. But, I could not help but look outside often. I even walked outside a couple of times. It felt and looked like Spring.

I didn’t see any wild turkey gobblers yesterday, but there were plenty of jakes and hens behind our house. The jakes were chasing each other, something they do in the Spring. They are trying to act like adult males. I also saw lizards. They emerged from their burrows, and were very active, enjoying the warmth. The mourning doves are definitely pairing to mate. I saw more pairs yesterday, than the day before.

Spring conditions are coming folks. We’ve got it right now. I see a couple of fairly cold days next week in the forecast, then, it will begin warming again next weekend. That will probably continue through March 5th.

Business at the shop is picking up and we are glad about that. Fishermen are getting ready for Spring.

So get out there and enjoy yourself.

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

Byron Begley
February 20, 2016

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