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 5:29 am, the temperature is 61 degrees.

Our phones rang at 4:15 am. It was our security company. An alarm had been tripped at our store. It was not a window or door, but a motion detector. Paula told security I would check it out, but do not call the police. When this happens it is usually a false alarm.

I entered the store, with my .357 magnum revolver ready to fire. I probably looked like Barney Fife. I checked every room, door and window, reset the alarm and drove home. This happens, but not often. We have had only one actual burglary, early one morning on Thanksgiving day, maybe 15 years ago. The burglar walked by the Winston rod rack, to the cash registers and took the quarters. Our theft loss was about $20. The big hassle was boarding up the broken window on a holiday.

Little River is flowing at 307 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.08 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 396 cfs. The water temperature is 53.8 degrees.

I can’t imagine how good the fishing is right now in the Smokies. I have not talked to any fishermen in two days. I’ve been at home working, 7 days a week, for a month, writing about tackle and re-sizing photos.

I don’t have to ask. I know fishing in the Park is awesome. Flows and water temperatures are great. The conditions we have now are what we have dreamed of all winter. Except for the chance of rain Sunday and Monday, and a low chance today, expect perfect fishing conditions through March 18th. We could use some rain though flows are good right now. The rivers are flowing below normal. Normal this time of year is high.

I would like to know the intensity of the hatches on the rivers. If you know, please contact me by e-mail using the link below. I’ll probably be working here several more weeks. Then, I’m going fishing.

The rivers will continue to warm over the next few days. The high air temperatures in Townsend are expected to be 76 today, 73 tomorrow and 80 Saturday. Fly fishing for trout and insect activity will continue to improve.

The lowland rivers may be fishing well too, for smallmouth bass and panfish, though I can’t verify that.

Interstate 75 has been closed for almost 2 weeks, in Campbell County, north of Knoxville due to a rock slide. Yesterday, TDOT re-opened the southbound lanes. The northbound lanes are still closed. Traffic is being routed through small towns. If you are traveling north, you will have to exit at Caryville. This is something I would try to avoid.

The I-75 corridor brings many tourists to our side of the Smokies. Those planning to visit from our South, won’t have any problems, except maybe Atlanta. There is a lot of road construction going on there now. With the I-75 southbound lanes open, there is a chance you won’t be held up long coming from the North. But, there is a chance you will.

Going home to the north will be the rub. You might consider a dogleg through Nashville or the Cumberland Plateau. I took the Cumberland Plateau route from Lake Cumberland a few weeks ago, due to slow traffic in Campbell County. It was a nice drive. I’ve done it before. You may be on some narrow winding roads at times, depending on which route you take. That is better than sitting in slow to totally stopped traffic on an interstate. At least you believe you are making progress. You will see some beautiful country.

Townsend is quiet. This is not tourist season. It is spring break in many states. But, it is not usually crowded here in March. You will see some fishermen on weekends. People will be camping and hiking.

I hope you can get out this week and enjoy great fishing and beautiful weather. It appears this will last for a while, though it will probably be cooler later this month. Good fishing should continue.

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

Byron Begley
March 10, 2016

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