Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is a beautiful morning in Townsend, Tennessee.  The sun has yet to rise above the Smoky Mountains but there is enough light to see the peaks to the East.  Fog follows Little River through town, usually a morning reminder of our coveted natural resource that none of us take for granted.  Certainly, I don’t take the river for granted.  I visit the shore every morning to take the water temperature for this report. I always marvel at her beauty.   I will never underestimate the importance of this little river for hundreds of thousands of people, but especially for those who live in this valley.  We are lucky to live in a “river town”.

Little River is flowing at 435 cubic feet per second this morning.  Median flow for this date is 319 cubic feet per second.  The water temperature was 53 degrees at 7:45 am.

Fishing is good.  Trout are taking nymphs and dry flies in all the Smokies Streams.  And, the fishing will get better.  We are going to have high temperatures in the high 70’s for a few days.  Spring came early, there is evidence of  that everywhere you look.  What drives “good fishing” more than anything else is water temperature.  Trout are programmed to adjust their metabolism based on the temperature of the water.  The warmer it gets, the more they eat, to a point. 

Start the morning with nymphs.  Try a Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear, Tellico or Prince.  They can be fairly large, I would probably choose a #12.  The aquatic insect activity will pick up later in the day, after noon.  You need to be casting dry flies then if you want to.  Nymphs and wet flies will work then too.

Depending on what elevation you are fishing, you may see different insects hatching.  I would choose a dark mayfly, caddis or stonefly imitation.  Make it a Parachute Adams, Olive or Black Elk Hair Caddis or a Yellow Stimulator.  There should not be any yellow stoneflies hatching yet, you might see a couple but a Yellow Stimulator is a good pattern when there are insects on the water.

Here is an interesting story on the KnoxNews website.  A female bear was hit by a car last year.  She was all but given up for dead.  Biologists did give her a shot of antibiotics, placed a radio collar on her and waited to see what happened.  The story ended well but you need to read this.

David and I are going to take the boat to a lake tomorrow, maybe Tellico and see what the smallmouth bass are doing.  It is going to be very warm today and I’m hoping the lakes will be warmer by tomorrow.  According to Jack, the Little Tennessee River was cold on Sunday and the fishing was slow.  Maybe that will change by tomorrow.  We’ll see.  We have 7 major lakes around here within a short drive.  They are Cherokee, Douglas, Ft Loudoun, Tellico, Norris, Melton Hill and Watts Bar.  There are several smaller lakes in the area too. 

A few days ago the surface water temperature was near 50 degrees on all of them.  That is a little chilly but there are reports of smallmouth bass near the banks in shallow water.  That is what we are looking for. I’m not crazy about fishing with sinking fly lines.  I like it when the bass are near the surface or especially taking poppers or other topwater flies. 

The smallmouth bass in the rivers exiting the Smokies should offer fairly good smallmouth fishing right now.  The water temperature is getting warmer in all of those streams including Little River.

Daniel will be writing this report tomorrow.  I’m going fishing!

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

Byron Begley
March 14, 2012

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