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 still  dark outside and 50 degrees.  A short period of light rain fell a few minutes ago.  Looking at the radar, we may have more light rain this morning or early afternoon.  Today’s high is expected to be 66 degrees.

All USGS flow gauge sites are reporting receding water in the Smokies.  The water levels are falling slowly.  The ground is saturated, causing that slow runoff.

Little River is flowing at 717 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.79 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 332 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:11 am is 50.9 degrees.

Fishing has been good but difficult in some streams due to the higher than normal water.  Today should be better if we don’t get more measurable rain.  Since the streams in the Smokies are not rising, we could assume, they won’t rise further.  But, we don’t know what happened in the high elevations last night or early this morning.  It could have rained there, but not made a difference in the water levels in the lower elevations, where the stream gauges are located.  My guess is, the water will continue to recede today.  I could be wrong.  But, that is what I think at this point.  We’ll know for sure soon.

We do know the stream levels are lower than they were yesterday. 

The water temperatures, in the lower elevations are good for fishing.  Trout and aquatic insects are active.  Fishing will continue to improve over the next 5 days, as there is very little chance for rain after today, and, it is going to be very warm.  Highs will be in the mid to high 60’s to low 70’s through Tuesday.  Wednesday will be cooler, in the 50’s.

A chance for rain will be back in the forecast Thursday through Monday of next week.

I would certainly go fishing today and tomorrow and expect good fishing.  Just be advised, the water is higher than normal Spring flows.

Fishermen are out there fishing this weekend.  Many are here from the northern states.  I looked closely at our mail orders that came in Friday.  Fishermen are getting active in all the states surrounding Tennessee.  After a long, cold Winter, people are anxious to go fishing.  They know fishing will be improving soon where they live too.  So, they start ordering from us. 

That is good news for us since February was a disaster from a business perspective.  Not only could fishermen not go fishing, they could not even get out of the house in some areas.  Thank goodness those days are over or I hope they are.

Not only are fishermen preparing for trout fishing, they are getting ready to fish for bass and other warmwater species.  I can tell by looking at those mail orders.

Byron’s Knuckleheads are selling like crazy and that began in mid-February.  I’ll be tying them all day today.  Since mid-January, I’ve tied 636 of them.  Now, I’m feeling the pressure to tie more and that feeling is urgent.  By the way, I named that fly simply a Knucklehead in 2011.  Then, I found that a bass plug, used for baitcasting and spinning had the same name.  I added my name to the fly so people would not get confused on the internet.  Also, there is a motorcycle called a Knucklhead.  Other things are called Knuckleheads.  I used to call my dog a Knucklehead.  But these are the only ones that work on a fly rod.

It appears, TVA is generating often at Norris and Cherokee dams today. 

The lowland rivers are flowing fairly high. 

The lakes are cool but you may find warmer water in some of the feeder creeks. I have not heard any good lake fishing stories.

It is daylight now.  Light rain is falling and the temperature outside is 52 degrees.  I don’t see any significant rain on the radar.  The water level in Little River has not risen during the past hour.

If it were me, I would go. That is easy for me to say since I would not be driving very far.

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

Byron Begley
March 14, 2015

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