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 50 degrees outside this morning.  We are all loving this warm weather.  Though rain was predicted yesterday and last night, we did not get much.  The streams are receding for now and warming up.

Little River is flowing at 564 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.53 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 396 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:15 am is 47.5 degrees.

Fishing today will be much improved.  Most streams are fishable when Little River is around 2.5 feet on the gauge.  At 2.5 feet, we take first time students to the streams for their classes.  Above 2.5 feet, we don’t.   

The high temperature today is predicted to be 67 degrees.  We do have a 60% chance for rain this afternoon.  However, no significant accumulation is expected.  The water temperatures will rise.  The trout in the Smokies will be active in the lower elevations.

Yesterday, I got the lowdown on Lynn Camp Prong.  It is open to fishing and lots of anglers have been there, trying it out.  The stream opened officially on Friday.

Fishermen found cold water temperatures Saturday and Sunday.  Most reported temperature readings were in the low 40’s.  Bill checked the temperature near the Panther Creek Trail.  It was 41 degrees.  Additionally, the water was high.  You had to pick your spots to fish.  Fishing was slow overall.  Bill said he caught two brook trout in the 6 to 8 inch range.  Other fishermen reported catching nothing at all, Saturday.  The stream was crowded, as you would think.

Yesterday, several fishermen I talked to were going to Lynn Camp Prong to fish.  Bruce said he caught two.  His were small.  I didn’t talk to any other returning fishermen yesterday.  The conditions were better than they were this weekend.  The water is receding and warming.

Today looks very good, or at least much better. 

If the water temperature is 48 degrees at the USGS Gauge, it is going to be colder, higher up on Lynn Camp Prong.  The elevations is higher there.  Still, today’s conditions are more favorable than they were this weekend.

All fishermen I talked to, who caught brookies on Lynn Camp Prong, used nymphs.

We have rain in the forecast every day through Saturday.  There is no mention of heavy rain.  So, maybe fishing will keep improving all week.  You will most likely see aquatic insects on the water, mostly Quill Gordons and Blue Quills.  You may see Blue Wing Olives and other species on the water. Those hatches will be sporadic and unpredictable.  But, there is a chance for some dry fly action this week.

Fly fishing on the lakes is slow.  Dan fished on Tellico Lake Monday.  He caught two largemouth bass.  The water temperature where he fished hovered around 50 degrees or a little cooler. 

The generators will be turned on at Norris and Cherokee Dam today.  You may find periods of no generation below Douglas Dam.  The lakes are still below Summer Pool though some are rising due to the rain we’ve been getting in the headwaters and tributaries to the lakes.

Warmer water will be flowing into the lakes and fishing should gradually improve soon.

So, we’ve got some good fishing news, and it is about time.  I didn’t see any snow or ice in the forecast this morning, at least in our area.  Spring has sprung for now.  We are all happy about that.

I heard a funny story yesterday.  Evidently, the Park Fisheries Team planned to open Lynn Camp Prong a day or so after March 6th.  The public relations folks at the Park sent out news releases, indicating it would open on the 6th.  I got one of those.  The “No Fishing” signs were still hanging across the stream. 

Matt and Steve Moore hustled up there and took the signs down.  Steve is the retired supervisory biologist who worked on this project for many years.  Matt is the supervisory biologist now, who worked with Steve during that time.  I think it is only fitting that Matt and Steve went together to take those signs down. Steve always hoped he could get that stream open before he retired.  It didn’t quite work out that way, but he was there, to open it up for all of us.  Thanks guys.

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

Byron Begley
March 10, 2015

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