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 5:46 am, the temperature is 35.1 degrees. Rain is likely this afternoon with a high temperature of 68 degrees. It will be very windy late this afternoon and tonight. Then, a cold front arrives and lasts through Friday. This weekend will be beautiful. It will be sunny with highs in the high 50’s to 60 degrees.

Little River is flowing at 468 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.42 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 327 cfs. The streams are at a good “high Spring” level.

The water temperature rose to 51 degrees yesterday. I suspect it will be that warm or warmer today. This morning, the water temperature in Little River is 46.9 degrees.

Fishing conditions are good right now in the Smoky Mountains. You should not have any problems catching trout today, unless they are affected by the approaching front.

I believe fishing will slow for 3 days, after today, then pick back up this weekend.

If you go today, be prepared with nymphs and dry flies. Most reasonable nymphs will work. I would use a Prince, Tellico, Bead Head Pheasant Tail or a Quill Gordon wet fly.

You may encounter a hatch of either Quill Gordons, Blue Quills or Blue Wing Olives. Be ready with dry flies for either or all.

The long term weather and fishing outlook looks great after Friday through March 15th. Expect high daily temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s. There will be some rainy days. You can be fairly sure, the water temperature will be good through mid March.

Fishermen are getting ready and we are busy at the shop. I was there yesterday for a while. I saw fishermen one their way, going fishing, when I was there. The mail order part of our business is very good right now. Anglers in the Southeast know what is coming.

If you live in Tennessee, you have probably been sitting on pins and needles, waiting for the House of Representatives to vote yesterday. They did and the bill did not pass. You won’t be allowed to own pet skunks in Tennessee. The bill passed the Senate earlier. The Senators thought it would be fine to own skunks.

It is illegal to own any wild animals in Tennessee without a permit.

The wild animals are changing their habits. Their appearance is often different now.

I have not seen the flock of 27 turkeys behind our house in 3 days. That flock is made up of a few older hens and their offspring of young hens and jakes. The jakes have beards now, about 1” long.

There is the one lone hen, that spends much of the day back there, every day. It’s kind of sad. I think she roosts alone right here, then drops down to the ground to eat bird seed. Maybe she is old. She does move slow. She may be one of four hens that roamed together all Winter. What happened to the others? Maybe our bobcat got them. I’m happy she found a place with plenty of food to eat.

She was behind the house one day this past weekend. I walked outside to feed the birds, with buckets of millet and sunflower seeds. She didn’t move at first. Then, she slowly walked into the thicker forest and hid for a few minutes. I looked outside later, and she was back.

I’m seeing more wild turkey gobblers, and their heads are bright red. They are still traveling together, but not for long.

I saw a buck outside my office window yesterday. He has lost one antler but still has the other.

I saw the gray coyote behind our house about a week ago. It was closer to our house than I’ve seen it before. It stood about 25 feet from my office window. I shot the photos below. The coyote is pretty and we enjoy watching this animal. 

This is the same coyote that walked up on 4 wild turkey gobblers 2 or 3 weeks ago. One gobbler fled. The other three, puffed up, raised their heads high, and walked toward the coyote. The coyote counted three against one and walked away. Below the coyote is a photo of a young gobbler I took recently. I guess he would still be considered a jake.

The doves have paired. They spent the winter here in a huge group, eating millet I throw out every day. Now, they show up in pairs.

Spring is upon us. You can tell by looking at the wildlife. It is daybreak. The lone wild turkey hen is outside my window, eathing millet.

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

Byron Begley
March 1, 2016

Coyote at the Begley home.

Cooyote sniffing the ground at the Begley home.

Wild turkey behind the Begley home.


Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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