Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast, foggy and 32 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I am off today and at home.  Snow is still clinging to the trees around our house.  We had 3” fall here yesterday.  Our house is in the woods with barely any sunlight penetrating through the trees.  The snow will melt today.

Little River’s level is falling.  Right now, flow is 778 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 406 cfs.  The water temperature is 40 degrees at 7:30 am. 

The higher mountain peaks got quite a bit of snow this week.  The last reading I saw that was taken yesterday indicated Mt. Leconte had 14 inches on the ground.  There was no reading available for Newfound Gap, which would be an important factor as to how much runoff there would be over the next day or so in the Little River watershed.  The melting snow will affect the river levels but not in a significant way.  That melting snow will affect the water temperature more noticeably. Most lower elevation weather stations in the Smokies showed very little snow accumulation.

According to Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s road conditions Twitter page, most roads in the Park are still closed this morning.  That should change soon, sometime today I believe.  You can access their road closure page by CLICKING HERE.

Today we will begin the warming trend.  The high today will be near 50 degrees.  It will be cold tonight though, around the freezing mark or below.  Tomorrow the high should be in the mid 50’s.  Tomorrow night it will be fairly cold again. 

Saturday is when we’ll see the really warm air move into the Smokies.  The high temperature in the valley will be in the 60’s for several days.  Lows at night will be in the high 30’s to the 40’s.  The long term forecast calls for  temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s every day for the next 10 days.  Lows will be in the 30’s to 40’s.

There is no doubt in my mind that fishing will be very good next week.  There is almost no rain in the 10 day forecast.  It is going to be warm.  The water will eventually warm to the 50’s.  Aquatic insects and trout will become active.  Fishing is going to be good.

But when?  When will the water temperature reach 50 degrees?  Will the water levels drop to normal this weekend?  Should you plan a fishing trip to the Smokies this weekend?  I know, you are asking yourself the same questions.  I wish I could tell you for sure. 

Without misleading anyone I will say the fishing this weekend will improve.  The fishing after the weekend will be very good.  What I don’t know is the effect of the melting snow on the water temperature and to some extent, the water flows on Saturday.  This is going to be a beautiful weekend.  We’ve had some fairly good fishing on these warm days despite the water temperature hovering below 50 degrees or even at 45 degrees.  We have had Blue Wing Olive hatches on those days.  During the past two weeks we have even seen some Quill Gordon and Blue Quill hatches though they have been sporadic and light. Trout have been feeding on dry flies at times.

I don’t want to stick my neck out and tell you the fishing is going to be really good this weekend.  Maybe it will and maybe it won’t.  I do not want any of you to be disappointed.  Fishing will certainly be better.

If you live near the Smokies, I suggest you go fishing.  If you are planning a long weekend trip, you might want to postpone it until the following weekend.  If you can be here later next week, by all means come on.

One weather website is calling for a 60% chance for rain on Monday.  Another website puts the odds at 30%.  Other than that one day, all agree it is going to be dry for several days.

There is a lot to consider before planning a vacation this weekend.  Again, if you live here, go.  Angler’s Spring is upon us finally.  Good Southern Appalachian fishing is about to happen. 

Please check back here tomorrow.  Maybe we’ll have a better idea about the upcoming conditions for Saturday and Sunday.  This has been a week of surprises.  2 to 3 inches of rain fell in the mountains, then several inches of snow in the high elevations. 

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

Byron Begley
March 7, 2013


Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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