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 5:48 am, the temperature outside is 30.7 degrees.

The cold nights that have held the water temperature down, despite warm days, are over. “Fishing Spring” will return to East Tennessee and hopefully stay.

The weather forecast, beginning today and extending through March 21st, does not predict nighttime lows below 38 degrees. In fact, the long-term forecast predicts lows in the 40’s to 50’s except for one day, March 21st.

Daytime high temperatures will be in the 60’s and 70’s throughout the 15-day period, unless the forecast changes.

What I see happening is, the water temperature will rise to 50 degrees or warmer, every day for 15 days.  I think fishing in the Smoky Mountains, especially in the low to mid elevations will be good to excellent over this period.

If you go today, wait until the afternoon when the water will be warmer.

I could be wrong. The weather could change. That is what I believe right now. High water could change it all, temporarily at times.

Little River is flowing at 368 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.22 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 406 cfs. The water temperature is 44.4 degrees this morning. The water temperature peaked at about 47 degrees yesterday, then fell during the night.

Today’s high temperature is predicted to be 69 to 70 degrees. Tomorrow’s high should be in the mid-70’s.  The water temperature will climb, trout will be active, aquatic insects will be present on the water, and fishing will be good.

You will see hatches of Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Blue Wing Olives, other mayflies, caddis and stoneflies. You will likely see terrestrial insects. I saw some yesterday at our house. Hatches will be sporadic. You may see big numbers at times. If the trout are not looking up, switch to nymphs. At the right elevations, you will certainly find active trout, like we have not seen for two months.

Spring for fishermen has arrived in the Southeast. It is all water temperature driven. I’ve been checking the water temperature daily for 10 years, and comparing that to angler success. It’s not rocket science. It is merely a simple prediction based on what I have witnessed over the years. When the water temperature reaches and is sustained at 50 degrees, good things happen for trout fishermen. Fishermen have known that since way before I started reporting on fishing in the Smokies.

We will see more nature related changes starting today. More flowers and trees will bloom. We will hear the chorus at night from spring peepers. Black bear will emerge from their dens. They will be out looking for food. We will see them at our house, like we do every year.

Wild turkey males will be fanning their tails, preparing to mate. They will be practicing first.

Terrestrial insects will be attracted to our lighting. Bats will be flying all around us, eating the insects. Fish will become active.

People will be wearing different clothing. We will be outside more. People will be digging in dirt, and trimming vegetation. Fishermen will be fishing. Little River Outfitters will be busy. Actually, we have been very busy already. People will be buying hunting and fishing licenses. They already have.

The daylight hours will continue to get longer. Then, there is the time change. We will spring forward. That will change many human habits. It won’t change ours. Paula and I didn’t fall back. We have been on daylight savings time all winter.

Boaters will be getting their boats ready. A lot of boats will be washed and waxed this week, ours included. Heck, I may even wash my truck, something that hasn’t been done in months. People will be buying new boats.

Travelers will be making reservations. Campers will go camping. People will be buying new campers.

Young people in schools will go on spring break.

The markets will continue their rebound. Do not make investment decisions based on what I just said. Do make fishing decisions based on what I have written here.

That is what I see happening in our future, beginning today. I’ve been waiting all winter for this and it is time.

So long Winter! Hello Spring!

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

Byron Begley
March 7, 2016

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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