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 cloudy and 27 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I was walking along the Spring Creek that runs through our property yesterday.  Wednesday is my day off.  I did not see any trout.  The sun was out and they were hiding, I guess.  What I did see were wildflowers.  Some blooms seemed to be damaged by the cold nights we’ve been having.  Hopefully, freezing temperatures are over until late Fall.

Little River is flowing at 201 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.83 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 344 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:55 am is 39.5 degrees.

I am going to predict that fishing will be slow today.  I might be wrong and I hope so.  With only a few exceptions, when the water temperature is 39.5 degrees, fishing is slow.  If you go fishing today, wait a while.  It is going to be a nice warm day with some clouds.  The water temperature will rise a little, hopefully improving fishing in the Smokies.

I would use nymphs unless you see bugs on the water and trout rising to them which at this point seems unlikely.  If you decide to try dry flies, pick a dark mayfly in sizes #12 to #16.  I would drop a nymph off the dry and I believe you will catch more trout on the nymph.  Better yet, try weighting the nymphs and getting them deep.  Until the water warms, the trout should be hunkered down.

Good news is in our future.  First, it is going to rain tomorrow and Saturday.  We need the rain.  Rainy days can be great fishing days unless it rains too much, the rivers rise and become stained.  Second, it is going to warm up considerably this weekend.  We’ll still have cold nights Saturday and Sunday.  Fishing this weekend may be pretty good because the rain will be warm, hopefully.

Great news is in our future beginning Monday.  High temperatures will be near or above 70 degrees during the day and in the 40’s at night.  Now that is going to be awesome.  I’m going fishing next week.

We will see Little River warm and fishing will improve outside the Park.  Fly fishing for trout in the stocked water will be much better.  Little River stocking of rainbow trout has begun. Fly fishing for smallmouth bass will improve greatly.

It’s hard to say what the lakes are doing.  I am anxiously awaiting the updated fishing reports from the TWRA fishing monitoring team in our region.  As of March 19, the water temperature reported at Norris Lake was 46 to 54 degrees.  I’m pretty sure the temperature is colder now. 

The water temperatures in the lakes on the Little Tennessee River, were hovering in the mid to high 40’s on a week ago.  If you are fishing with a fly rod, in shallow water, that is cold and probably unproductive.  Anglers using conventional tackle are doing fair.  These reports will be updated soon.  Charles Hensley from TWRA gathers that information.

Douglas Lake was warmer on March 19th according to TWRA’s Gary Louchs.  He reported an average surface temperature of 51.5 degrees.

We’ll see those numbers or warmer later next week.  I’m looking for water temperatures in the 50’s on the lakes for improved fly fishing for smallmouth bass.  Maybe it will happen next week.

Our beginner fly fishing classes have begun or at least will this weekend.  If you or someone you know is interested in taking up our sport, we are a good place to begin.  We have one and two day schools with professional, seasoned instructors and guides, helping you along.  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.

I work 60 hours per week, but spend about 15 minutes per day eating lunch, by myself, in my office.  I work about 12 hours per week doing the bookkeeping and accounting.  6 hours are devoted to writing this fishing report. 

I’m going to be spending the remaining 40+ hours a week, working on our website over the next 2 months and you are going to like what you see.  I’m not going to be talking on the phone, working downstairs, doing any volunteer work or anything else except working on this website. 

I won’t be meeting with sales representatives. They are meeting with Daniel. If anyone calls me, other than a few friends, Paula or a customer needing help, I won’t be taking that call. 

You would not believe how many phone calls I get that have nothing to do with work and end with absolutely no action.  Often, they are from people trying to sell me something I don’t want to buy. Hey, I’m in the business of selling, not buying.  If I want to buy something, I know where to buy it or I’ll find out by searching online.

Non-welcome phone calls take up lots of time.  When these people call, they want to talk to the owner.  Well, for the next couple of months, the owner is not going to be available except to our customers and my friends. 

Most of what I do is write about fly fishing products and work with photographs. Highly ranked websites require unique content.  I’ll be doing that, 40 hours or more per week.  Can you imagine how boring that is?  It’s not that bad.  It goes with the territory.

I’m looking forward to the next couple of months.  I will be fishing one day per week and enjoying every minute of it.

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

Byron Begley
March 27, 2014

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