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.  At 5:14 am, it is clear and 25 degrees.  Today’s high temperature is expected to be in the 50’s.  It will be warm, with Spring-like weather conditions, for the next 10 days.  It appears, Spring as anglers see it, has arrived.

Little River is flowing at 1,030 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 3.26 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 406 cfs.  The water temperature this morning is 39.7 degrees.

The water in the streams, within Great Smoky Mountains National Park, will begin their accent to much warmer temperatures over the next few days.  Fishing will improve. Fishing will be good.  Soon, fishing will be excellent.

The problem we have right now is high water and there is more rain in the forecast next week.

You could go today, and many people will.  If you do, be careful wading.  Try not to wade much at all.  Pick your spots.  The current is strong.

When I arrived at the shop yesterday, the guys told me Lynn Camp Prong is now open to fishing.  I checked the news releases on the Park website early yesterday morning and nothing was posted.  I checked my e-mail later, and had one from Matt Kulp, the head fisheries biologist.  In it he wrote, Lynn Camp Prong is open, effective March 6, 2015.  You can read an article in the Daily Times by CLICKING HERE.

This is a huge, significant event.  Lynn Camp Prong is a mid-elevation stream and a major tributary to the Middle Prong of Little River.  Access is very close to Townsend.  It has been one of my favorite streams, in the Smokies, for several decades.  The stream was closed to fishing almost 7 years ago, when the brook trout restoration program began.

Now, we have, approximately 8 ½ miles of beautiful brook trout water, in our back yard, so to speak.  Access is excellent.  It does require a hike but the trail is not steep.  The brook trout water lies upstream from the cascade.  The further you go up, the better the fishing gets.  Research has shown, the brook trout population density is greater, further upstream from the cascade.

The opening of Lynn Camp Prong will reduce fishing pressure on other streams in the area.  According to the Park Service Biologists, this will be the only mid-elevation major brook trout stream in the Park.

As of yesterday, all streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, are open to fishing, for the first time since the Park was created.

This is a big deal and the day we’ve been waiting for, over 6 years.  I just wish the water flows were closer to normal today. 

So this is the big news today.  I’ll be working at the shop and missing the celebration.  If you go, you will encounter high water.  But, maybe you should go anyway, and see what lies ahead, when the waters recede and the water temperatures rise.  I can’t wait.  It is happening now.  The days ahead will be wonderful for anglers. 

The time changes tonight.  We Spring forward.  We will have an extra hour to fish after work.

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

Byron Begley
March 7, 2014

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