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 raining lightly and 42 degrees in Townsend this morning.  We had almost an inch in our rain gauge when I got to work. 

Little River is rising.  Currently, flow is 235 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.20 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 315 cfs.

Yesterday, the water temperature reached almost 50 degrees.  The high air temperature yesterday was 69 degrees.  This morning the water temperature has dropped to 48.5 degrees.

Cold air is moving in.  I talked to my buddy Frank in Kentucky a few minutes ago.  He said they have 4 inches of snow on the ground and it is still snowing, heavily.  The winter storm will miss us.  We may get a little snow or freezing rain in the valley but nothing that should cause a problem.

The mountains may be different.  Right now, there are no closed roads.  The Park Service is warning us that may change.  They are saying, “closures are a possibility”.

Temperatures will drop here today and tonight.  The low temperature tonight is expected to be 23 degrees.  Then, we’ll begin to warm again.

If you go fishing in the Smokies today, I would stay in the lower elevations to avoid slick or closed roads.  Try the Middle Prong or West Prong of Little River.  Stay aware of the temperature.  Be careful driving.

The water is certainly warm enough for good fishing in the Park for now.  Nymphs or dry flies may work.  I have a cold, so I’ve been locked in my office at the store for two days.  I haven’t talked to hardly anyone.  I have no idea how the fishing was yesterday.  It should have been fairly good.  We will see the water temperature drop tonight.  Fishing will be slow tomorrow.

This March is starting out warmer than last year.  On this day a year ago, the temperature in the morning was 26 degrees and the water temperature was 37.5 degrees.

As I mentioned yesterday, the water temperature in Little River reached or exceeded 50 degrees only 6 days in March last year.  The highest water temperature recorded in Little River during the month was 55 degrees.  Fishing was still good, most of the month.  We had a very busy month last year.

Most of us who lived here then, remember the great storm of the century that occurred in March 1993.  Four feet of snow fell in the mountains.  I measured 36” at my house.  It was awful.

A group of high school students were backpacking in the Smokies.  Over time, the hikers were found and rescued by helicopter.  I found an old article in the Chicago Tribune describing their ordeal.  You can read it by CLICKING HERE.  NOTE: THIS ARTICLE HAS TWO PAGES.

I will never forget that time in my life.  I knew those kids were up there but there was nothing I could do.  All of them got out alive.  It was a miracle.

So, you never know about March.  I think we’ll see ups and downs as far as fly fishing goes all month.  If the water is at normal flow and the water temperature is in the upper 40’s, fishing will be good.  If the streams are blown out or the water temperature drops to the low 40’s or lower, fishing will be slow.  That’s March for you.  You never know what to expect.

Let’s hope fishing is good.

UPDATE 10:58 AM - NEWFOUND GAP ROAD IS NOW CLOSED DUE TO SNOW AND ICE.

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

Byron Begley
March 3, 2014 

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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