Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 45 degrees in Townsend this morning.  We had some rain this morning, about ½ inch.  Traffic was extremely light on my morning commute. 

Little River is rising slightly.  Right now, flow is 357 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 388 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:45 am was 45.5 degrees.

I would go fishing in the Smokies today.  I know, the water is on the cold side.  However, the Blue Quills and Quill Gordons have been hatching and they probably won’t stop for a while.  Lots of anglers reported seeing bugs on the water yesterday.  Most said the trout were not rising to the aquatic insect adults.  I did talk to one fellow who fished with Mike McKenzie.  He caught a 14” brown trout on a dry fly.  This was his first time to fish in the Smoky Mountains.  Other anglers caught a few trout but overall fishing was not all that great until later.

I left the store at 6:30 last night.  As I was pulling out, Josh Pfeiffer of Frontier Anglers was pulling in with a client.  They had a very good day.  I didn’t get the whole story but it seems they encountered Quill Gordons and Blue Quills on the water earlier on the Middle Prong of the Little River.  I think they moved to the East Prong.  Evidently, later in the day, the fish turned on and started eating on the surface.  Josh and his client were smiling ear to ear.  It makes sense, later in the day the water was warmer.  Maybe it took time for the trout to turn on to the bugs on the surface.  Obviously they did late in the day.  Most of the people I talked to who encountered slower fishing finished the day early.

If you go today expect some rain.  It is going to be fairly warm.  I would go fishing later and watch the gauge level by clicking on the USGS link to the left.  You may not do as well a Josh did or you may do better. 

Several of my friends who have fished in the Smokies all their life say, “When the bugs start hatching they don’t stop no matter how cold the water gets.”

The water is going to be colder starting tomorrow.  We are expecting cold temperatures and snow.  The mountains may get several inches of new snow according to an article I read on the KnoxNews website this morning.

Next weekend, it is supposed to be warm.  Fishing will be much better next week if that holds true.

The Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR), which is located very close to our house, has some new bear cubs.  They are three siblings, who lost their mother in South Carolina.  Two cubs arrived here first then the third was found and sent to ABR.  These black bears are tiny, one weighing only 4.5 pounds.  You can see one of them by CLICKING HERE on the Daily Times website.  ABR will nurse them back to good health for a few months, then release the bears back into the forest.  I had the opportunity to hold a tiny bear like this one a few years ago.  I was amazed at the size and length of the claws compared to their small bodies. 

ABR is hidden and accepts no visitors.  These bears are kept away from people except in cases like this one where they must be bottle-fed.  Otherwise, they are fed using a zip line.  Their enclosure is large.  They are monitored by video cameras.  Human contact only occurs when a bear is sick and must be treated, usually at the University of Tennessee Vet School.  The goal is to keep these bears from becoming humanized before they are released.  If they associate humans with food, they will become a problem animal and possibly killed.  That’s why we don’t feed bears.

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

Byron Begley
March 24, 2013

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