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 5:29 am, the temperature is 29 degrees. Today’s high temperature is predicted to be 59 degrees. Expect a high of 60 degrees tomorrow. We have a chance for rain this afternoon and evening.

Little River is flowing at 447 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.38 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 357 cfs. The water temperature is 42.6 degrees.

Yesterday was fairly warm, and the water temperature rose to 45.1 degrees. We are all hoping that number will climb to 48 degrees or warmer today. If that happens, fishing will be pretty good. If it reaches 50 degrees or warmer, fishing will be better.

Tomorrow looks good. It won’t be as cold tonight. It will be warm again. I think we’ll see better fishing tomorrow, but don’t give up on today. Just go later, when the water is warmer.

Next week is going to give us excellent fly fishing opportunities. High temperatures will be in near 70 degrees Monday and the following days will be in the low to mid 70’s. Lows at night will be in the 40’s to 50’s. After this afternoon and evening, there is almost no chance for rain next week, until Saturday.

Flows are good. I think fishing conditions will be perfect, the best we have had this year. If you are a last minute fishing trip planner with flexibility, come to Townsend or somewhere in the Smokies next week.

We will have hatches of Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Blue Wing Olives and no telling what else. You may see hatches this weekend.

Once again, the tailwaters near us are flowing too strong to wade fish today. We will all be happy when the flows in these rivers are friendlier to wading anglers. Maybe it won’t be long. We have had more than normal rainfall so far this year, which will eventually be a blessing.

Fishermen have enjoyed great fishing on our tailwaters over the past few years, for trout and smallmouth bass, and fishing seems to be improving. I’m thinking about the Cumberland River in Kentucky, below Wolf Creek Dam in particular. That river is recovering from years of high flows. The Clinch River, Holston River and French Broad have also been fishing extremely well, when the flows allow. We are fortunate to have these fine rivers near our home and not far from a large portion of the population in the East and Southeast United States.

Upper East Tennessee is another area, blessed with fine tailwater fly fishing. Those who live near the Interstate 81 corridor, are lucky to have these river nearby or not too far away.

We have the Caney Fork and Elk River near folks who live in Middle Tennessee. The Caney is one of my favorite rivers. I hope to fish there this year.

Hatchery Creek opens April 29th. This man-made 1-mile long stream is being managed as a catch and release, wild trout fishery. Most guides I talk to, who work on the Cumberland River in Kentucky, think this creek will have a significant impact of the river fishery, being influenced by wild trout, hatched and reared in Hatchery Creek. I think they are correct. And, when flows are too high to fish the Cumberland River, Hatchery Creek is an alternative when visiting that area in the Bluegrass State. I can’t wait to go there this Spring.

So far, the Winter has been fairly kind to mountain fishermen. Now, we see great fishing in the very near future, like, tomorrow through next week.

I am more excited about fishing this year than any I can remember. Work will keep me from going for a few weeks. Then, it will be my time to go, and go I will.

Paula and I plan to spend a month, broken up in one week or two week intervals, on coast this year. I hope to extend that to two months per year, beginning in 2017. We rent houses on both the bay and gulf. We’ll be fishing from our kayaks, most of the time.

I’m looking forward to lake and tailwater fishing for smallmouth bass this year. 

My home office is littered with fishing tackle right now. I usually store our tackle in the boat house. I brought it here, so I can look at it. Now that is a great example of anticipation. I’m still the same. I haven’t changed since I was a kid.

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

Byron Begley
March 5, 2016

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