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 overcast and 60 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It is nice to walk outside to drive to work without wearing a jacket.  This weather is awesome.  It is getting greener and flowers are blooming.  Spring weather is upon us.

Little River looks perfect for fly fishing and it is.  Flow this morning is 392 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.33 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 374 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am is 52.3 degrees.

It is going to be warm this week, 80 degrees today.  Fly fishing in the mountains is excellent, or maybe a little short of that.  When the water temperature reaches 58 degrees, I consider the fishing conditions to be excellent.  That may not be far off.

There are all kinds of aquatic insects on the water.  Higher up you will find Quill Gordons and Blue Quills.  In the lower reaches of the streams, later hatches are appearing.  You will probably see March Browns, Red Quills and Hendricksons.  Black Caddis and Blue Wing Olives may appear.  There will be large mayflies and smaller ones.  Today, especially this afternoon, trout will be feeding on top.  Of course, hatches come and go all day.  But, at this time of year, with warmer water, something is going to be on the water much of the day and the trout will be active.  Be prepared for anything.

Smallmouth bass fishing conditions in the lowland rivers are perfect.  The flow in Little River is just slightly above median.  I bet Abrams Creek and the Little Pigeon are fishing well.  The water temperature is good.  Smallmouth bass like water that is 55 degrees or above. 

Yesterday was our anniversary, 20 years.  Paula and I did what most couples do on their anniversary, I guess.  We went fishing.  We launched the boat at about 8:45 am.  The water temperature was 52 degrees.  Fishing was very slow at first.  The sun was bright which didn’t help at all.  She relaxed in the boat and I did most of the fishing.  It was tough.

A little later, the water temp reached 56 degrees.  The water was so clear I could see smallies cruising along the bank.  I saw one huge fish.  They wouldn’t take my flies.  I saw three bass fighting over my black wooly bugger but in the end, neither of them took it.  I think the bright sun and lack of a breeze was the problem.  I even tried topwater flies. 

Two smallmouth bass took a swipe at my Game Changer right at the boat.  Finally, one grabbed it and I got that one in.  She weighed about two pounds.  She was laden with eggs. 

My arm is sore.  Since I was using a Game Changer, I was also using a 9 weight rod.  It wore me out.  Those flies are a lot heavier than they look.  I shortened the leader to 6 feet with 12 pound fluorocarbon tippet.  I may need to go down to 4 feet.

The lake conditions are great.  All you need is a cloudy day.  Or, go early or late.  A little chop on the water is also beneficial.  I never do well when the water is slick and the sun is shining.

This is the time of year I love.  Anglers are fishing, the store is very busy, everybody is happy and life is good. 

We’ve got rain coming our way tomorrow or maybe before.  It is going to be windy today and very windy tomorrow.  Saturday looks great.  It will be sunny and temperatures will be in the mid 60’s.  There is a chance for rain Sunday.  Right now they are saying the rain will be later in the day.  Fishing Saturday and Sunday should be excellent unless we get too much rain Friday. 

So far this year, the fishing has not been better on all fronts, streams, lakes, lowland rivers and tailwaters.  What a great time of year.  And, it is going to get better.

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

Byron Begley
April 3, 2014

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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