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 4:54 am, the temperature is 29.5 degrees.

Snow, changing to rain is predicted today. The high temperature should reach 43 degrees. The forecast tomorrow is about the same, snow or rain early then a high of 49 degrees. 

Then, we will see warm temperatures again. Saturday and Sunday will be clear and sunny with a high around 60.

The extended forecast, beginning Monday, calls for very warm temperatures, in the 60’s and 70’s each day through March 17th. Don’t expect much rain at this point through the period. Expect warm day and nights, and very good fly fishing for trout in the Smoky Mountains.

Little River is flowing at 561 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.58 feet on the flow gauge. That is on the high side of good for angling. Median flow for this date is 319 cfs.

The water temperature in Little River dropped like a rock over the past 24 hours. Yesterday morning the water temperature was 47.7 degrees. This morning it is 41 degrees.

Fishing will be slow today and tomorrow due the cold water. The temperature will begin to warm this weekend and fishing will improve. I don’t know how much it will improve at this point. It is colder than was expected this morning. The forecast changed some. The water temperature probably will not start rising until Saturday. Weather websites predict fairly cold temperatures at night this weekend.

Right now, I think fishing will improve some Saturday, and more Sunday. Monday’s conditions should be very good, and will improve more through the week.

It is hard to plan a fishing trip in early Spring. A few degrees in water temperature make a big difference. And, they can change rapidly. The past 24 hours make a great example. The water temperature in Little River dropped 6.7 degrees. What we are looking for is water in the 50 degree range or warmer. Fishing has been fairly good this Winter when the water reaches 48 degrees. It is remarkably better at 50+ degrees. We’ll see what happens this weekend. It could be warmer or colder than predicted but we’re getting close and forecasts are more accurate in the short term.

It snowed here yesterday morning just after daybreak. We got a dusting. Later yesterday, when the clouds moved away from the mountains, they were white. The snow stuck to the trees and it was beautiful out there, all day. I check 4 weather websites every morning. Yesterday, I didn’t see snow on any of them. But, it snowed.

Two of my close friends are going permit fishing in Belize tomorrow. They will be staying two weeks. They will probably encounter some bad fishing conditions at times, but no snow. No doubt, they will have some excellent weather too. I’m hoping they have beautiful days for two weeks.

For you Tennessee wild turkey hunters, I have some interesting news. First, the young jakes have left the large flocks. The hens are still together, without the jakes.

The gobblers are still traveling together. Paula saw one fanned out yesterday. I see them every day, but no fanning yet. The gobblers are not near the hens right now. Some jakes, that are less than a year old, are hanging around with gobblers at times. Their beards are 1” to 2” long. They will get beat up by the older males soon. Then, they will run together in small groups or alone.

None of the turkeys are eating much at our house. Those that do, are eating millet. They arrive, eat a little, then leave or loaf in the dense woods. I throw out some corn every day, but the deer are eating that.

I haven’t heard any gobbles. But I can tell, they are all thinking about mating. Everything changed this week.

Wildlife biologists in the Great Smoky Mountains are checking on the hibernating black bear sows. They are finding the females lost weight at a high rate this winter. The mast crop was a failure in much of the area last Fall. The bears didn’t have much to eat before hibernation. That usually means, we will have less cubs this Spring. You can read a story about this research on the WBIR website by CLICKING HERE.

The bears will emerge from hibernation this month. I bet they start coming out next week. We will know when they do. They will be hungry and looking for food. We will be seeing them at our house soon.

I’m taking corn out of my bird feed mix starting today. Bears won’t be attracted to the sunflower seeds or millet on the ground. But, they will eat corn spread out on the ground. I don’t do anything to attract a bear. We see enough of them, just passing through.

I’ll take down the finch feeder too. If I don’t, the bears will tear it down for me, rendering it useless from now on. Bird feeders attract bears. Even empty bird feeders attract bears. If you live here, you don’t want to have bird feeders out when the bear are active. They destroy them. 

Deer are losing their antlers. I saw one behind our house this week with only one antler.

I’ve been working here at my home office, 7 days a week, for three weeks. I haven’t been outside much. But, I can see what is happening from my office window. Watch the wildlife and you will know, Spring has arrived in East Tennessee.

I can also tell by checking the online store. I get an e-mail from our payment gateway company, every time someone orders from us, even phone orders. Fishermen are very active too. Fishermen are getting ready. It’s time.

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

Byron Begley
March 3, 2016

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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