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 dark right now and 19 degrees.  Today’s high temperature is expected to be 40 degrees.  We may get some snow tonight.  It snowed night before last.  The airport reported 3 inches. I think had more than that here.  Travel was not a problem.  There was no ice and the roads were cleared early.  It will probably be about the same tonight and tomorrow morning.

Little River is flowing at 505 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.42 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 326 cfs. The water temperature at 5:59 am is 36 degrees.

Most of the roads in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are closed due to snow and ice.

Here’s the big news.  A warm front will move in Sunday.  High temperatures will be in the 50’s and 60’s for a few days.  Lows will be in the 30’s to 40’s.  It will rain next week.  March is going to start out warm.  It will feel like Spring.

The streams will warm.  Fishing will improve.  Fishing may even get good if this weather pattern continues.

Daniel will release our Spring orders.  They will be arriving soon, probably next week.  That is what he waits for.  Right now, the orders are on hold, waiting for that warm weather.  We will be very busy this weekend and next week.

What we want to see is water in the 50 degree range.  If it rises to 50 or above during the day, fishing in the Smokies will get much better.  We may see the early Spring hatches when that happens.  It may not happen next week but I’m thinking it will.  Tuesday’s high is predicted to be 63 degrees with a low of 48.

Don’t plan a big fishing trip here, driving from a long distance and expect perfect fishing conditions next week.  We are expecting rain and the rivers are running above normal right now.  If you live close and this warm weather does actually occur, keep an eye on this fishing report for up-to-date conditions.  As soon as I hear about improved fishing, I’ll let you know.  Then you can plan accordingly.     

This news is going to put me into action.  I am going to order a new trolling motor for our boat today.  With this expected warm weather, I can work on the boat.  It’s been too cold.

Come to the Shop Saturday.  Guide Mike Bone will be there between 10 am and 2 pm.  You can watch him tie flies and talk about fishing the tailwaters in our area for trout.  He is an expert.  He has been guiding on the tailwaters here, longer than anyone I know.  Believe me, he has it figured out.  This event is free.  Just show up.

This has been a cold winter.  Maybe it is over.  Maybe our time has come.

The streams in the Smokies will warm and trout fishing will pick up fairly quickly.  The lowland rivers will warm at the same time.  50 degrees is the magic number for smallmouth bass in those rivers.  They begin to move around when the water gets that warm.  As the water warms more, they get really active.

It will take a while for the lakes to turn on.  Again, 50 degrees make the smallies more active.  They will move into shallower water, preparing to spawn.  They will still be holding several feet down for a while.

On really warm days, the exposed boulders we see in our lakes, used for riprap, soak in the heat.  They cause the shallow water near them to warm.  Sometimes, that draws smallmouth bass into the shallows, though the water temperature a few feet away is still colder.

When the water temperature rises above 60 degrees, we’ll see the smallies in the shallow water. 

I’ll be watching these weather websites, waiting for each new day, added to the extended forecast. 

Of course, we can be fooled once again, especially in early March.  Winter weather can return.  We could see high water.  But heck, waiting and dreaming are what gets me through the winter.  This morning, I see a glimmer of hope.

The time changes Sunday.  After that, more people will be fishing after work.  That extra hour of daylight in the evenings is always an enthusiasm contributor.  Right now, we could use some enthusiasm.  We’re going to get it.

Our Tennessee fishing licenses expire Saturday.  That puts fishermen on the move and out of the house.  That draws them into our store.

Maybe I’m all excited over nothing that will actually happen a soon as I hope.  I can’t help it.  Fly fishing is all about anticipation.  I’m just anticipating out loud and on your monitor.

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

Byron Begley
February 25, 2015

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