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.  The sky is clear and the temperature is 32 degrees in Townsend this morning.  We know what is coming.  We’ve been waiting anxiously for a long time.  It’s time for the change.  Spring in the Smokies has begun.

Little River is flowing at 254 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.99 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 389 cfs.  The water levels are perfect for fly fishing.  The water temperature at 7:45 am is 42.3 degrees.

Yesterday the water temperature at the Townsend “Y” only reached 45 degrees.  That’s cool don’t you think?  Well just wait.  Today’s high will be 55 degrees, tomorrow 60 degrees, Saturday 67 degrees and Sunday 62 degrees.  There’s more good news.  Monday’s high should be around 67 degrees and Tuesday they are saying we should get ready for 70 degrees.

Spring in the Smokies has begun.  Quill Gordons and Blue Quills should start hatching right?

They already have.  Josh Pfeiffer, one of my guide buddies and fly fishing instuctor was fishing at Elkmont yesterday.  They witnessed a hatch of Quill Gordons.  Trout were slurping them down.  The hatch lasted for an hour.  Then, the Blue Quills came off for 2 hours.  The trout kept feeding on dry flies.  He may have already posted this on his website or will soon.  I checked, he’s done it.  You can view his site by CLICKING HERE.

Now this is what we’ve been waiting for and it is only going to get better.  I thought this day would never come. You couldn’t wipe this smile off my face with a brick.

These hatches will be sporadic so be prepared to spend the whole afternoon on the river. Sometimes, early in the Spring, these aquatic insects may not be on the water all day. That happens.  This is not a science.  Well, it is, sort of but nothing is totally predictable.  However, you should see caddis and stoneflies too, maybe at other times.  Dry flies should serve you well, especially in the afternoons.  The trout are looking up.  If not, switch to nymphs or wet flies.

Weather over the next 10 days looks awesome.  We may get some rain tonight and tomorrow.  The chance is 50%. 

I know we are going to be busy at the shop.  Fishermen are going to be talking on websites.  News travels fast these days.

And guess what?  Daylight savings time kicks in Sunday March 9th.  That is icing on the cake.  We can fish longer after work!

This happened last year at about the same time.  The water was colder the first week in March 2013, down as low as 35 degrees.  The second week of the month was great.  Water temperatures rose to the mid 40’s to 50 degrees.  Then the next week, we saw the temperature in Little River climb to 55 degrees.  “The game was on”.  The last week of the month was cold again with Little River’s temperature ranging between 40 degrees and almost 50 degrees.

The “Fishing Gauge” is indicating “Good” right now.  It may be pointing to “Excellent” very soon. 

If you don’t fly fish, you can start now.  Our beginner fly fishing schools begin week after next.  CLICK HERE to learn more. 

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

Byron Begley
March 6, 2014

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