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.  It is cloudy and 42 degrees in Townsend this morning.  A few sprinkles hit my windshield on the way to work. 

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is sunny and 35 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  There is light frost on the ground.  This will be a beautiful day.  It should be partly cloudy with a high temperature of 66 degrees.

Little River is flowing at 234 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.93 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 409 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:10 am is 44 degrees.  The highest water temperature recorded yesterday was 47.5 degrees.

Fishing is good.  Aquatic insects are on the water at times.  Afternoon fishing should be best today after the water warms.

Trout activity is very good.  And, it is going to be better through Tuesday and maybe later in the week.

Hatches are sporadic and sometimes short lived.  That is the nature of early Spring fishing.  You have to be at the right place at the right time.  Anglers are seeing Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, caddis and stoneflies on the water.

At times, fishermen are catching trout rising to their dry flies.  At times they are not.  Joel caught 15 trout yesterday on a Pheasant Tail Nymph.  He said the bugs were on the water but he kept using the nymph and catching trout.  He said at times he hooked trout on consecutive casts in the same area.  He fished for 2 ½ hours.

Fishermen are reporting good fishing as high up the East Prong as Elkmont.  The Middle Prong of Little River has been fishing well.  I’m sure the West Prong of Little River is producing as well. 

Watch the water temperature.  When it reaches 50 degrees, and it should today, the bugs and trout will turn on.  The same should be said about tomorrow and early next week.  The nights are going to be warmer.  The days are going to be warmer.  So, the water will be warmer. 

If you are fishing in an area where aquatic insects are on the surface but there is no feeding activity that you can see, try a nymph.  A Pheasant Tail is a good choice.  You might drop the nymph off a dry fly.  Try a #12 Parachute Adams and drop a #14 or #16 Bead Head Pheasant Tail off of that fly about 16” from the dry fly. 

Fish the runs near the slower water.  Get a good drift or your efforts may be futile. 

I would wait a while if you don’t have all day.  The water will be warmer this afternoon and the fishing should be better.  If you have all day, go all day.  There will be periods of good fishing and times when it will be slow.

You may consider driving along the roads and pulling off to check the streams.  You may spot some trout feeding on the surface from a distance.  As is the case this time of year, bugs may be hatching in certain areas at certain times.  Later, the action may be elsewhere.  Most people are telling me the larger hatches are lasting between an hour and two hours.  Most are reporting the insects are Quill Gordons and Blue Quills. 

These trout are hungry.  Unless they have been in a feeding frenzy, they should eat, especially this afternoon. 

At times, when there are adults on the surface and no trout feeding on top, the trout could be taking emergers.  Nymphs and wet flies or a dry and dropper should be used during these times. 

I heard Little River in town was stocked Thursday.  I have found that an Olive Wooly Bugger works well for these stockers that have just been released.  They are in a new environment.  There is probably not enough food to support that many fish.  They are hungry.  Fishermen caught some nice rainbow trout in the stocked section of Little River most of the Winter except during the coldest times. 

Flows are more like late Spring right now.  The water is normally higher.  Many fly fishermen prefer flows like we have now, especially for dry fly fishing.

So, we’ve got good times going on here.  I wouldn’t call the fishing excellent right now, just good.  That could change for the better at any time.

Have fun out there and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
March 8, 2014

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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