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 5:43 am, the temperature is 43.2 degrees.

Today will be a beautiful fishing day, with a high temperature around 77 degrees and clouds at times. The forecast, especially long term, keeps changing. Today, through March 17th, we should expect high temperatures in the 70’s to possibly 81 degrees March 16th. Lows at night will be in the 50’s.

Little River is flowing at 319 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.11 feet on the gauge. Median flow for this date is 398 cfs. The water temperature is 50 degrees this morning.

Fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains is good right now. It will get better as the water warms. It will warm further, and fishing is going to get even better over the next few days.

There are aquatic insects on the water, and some anglers are catching trout on dry flies. Just a few degrees increase in the water temps will cause the bug activity to heighten. That could happen today.

It’s time for more rain. We want to see the stream levels sustained. It looks like we’ll get some rain Sunday and Monday. There is a chance on Friday too.

This is what we have all been waiting for. Spring fishing has begun in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Don’t forget the lowland rivers. They are all probably warmer than Little River at the Townsend gauge. We should see some activity in those rivers, from smallmouth bass to panfish. Dust off your kayak or canoe and float one of our many small rivers for warmwater species. I personally like floating Little River. But, there are many others in the area. I can’t think of a place that has more small rivers than we have here. If you enjoy canoeing and kayaking small rivers, this is the place for you.

Lake fishing is improving, especially where the lowland rivers enter the impoundments.

I don’t know of an area that has more large lakes than we have here. I recall we have 9 impoundments nearby. I moved here because we have so much water and diverse fly fishing opportunities.

I decided I wanted to live here when I was in my 30’s. Living in Nashville at the time, I found myself coming here on weekends to fish. I was not married. I sold my stake in two companies. I didn’t have to work. Why not?

My best friend Frank and I started looking for a cabin to buy. He lives in Kentucky. We have been friends since 1957. What we wanted was a cabin, where we could meet with friends, and fish in the Smoky Mountains.  Our search lasted about 5 years.

Lots in this subdivision came up for sale in the late 80’s. This is a subdivision, but you would never know. It is tucked away in the woods, with access provided by a gravel road. The entire property consisted of about 60 acres. It is surrounded by a vast, sparsely inhabited wilderness. We live in Dry Valley.

Dry Valley meets Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the top of the ridges.

I ended up buying two, adjoining, 5-acre lots, one with a view of the mountains, and another that features a spring creek flowing through. Frank bought the lot next to me. He and his wife have not built a home there. Another family bought two more 5-acre lots. The original developers kept everything else and live there. So, there are only 4 families living on 60 acres.

We have a sign at the entrance warning people not to enter without permission. It works. We know because the ½ mile road is gravel. We can hear cars and trucks should they enter. They don’t. If they do, and they get close to our house, I walk out and ask why they are here. I suggest they leave, unless they have business with or are visiting a neighbor. That does not happen often. Nobody has refused to leave or questioned my authority.

I built this house in 1990, I think. Maybe it was 1991. Paula and I married 22 years ago and she moved in.

It is quiet back here. We can’t see a neighbor’s house from this home. When one of them drives through, we know it, and that is seldom. We like our neighbors very much.

Everywhere you look, there are wild animals and birds. Bear, deer, wild turkey and bobcat share this land with us.

Last night we sat on one of the front porches and heard nothing but spring peepers. Everyone who visits, comments on how quiet it is here.

This is the way I was meant to live.

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

Byron Begley
March 9, 2016
  

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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