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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report.  It is pitch black and 62 degrees in Dry Valley this morning.  It is also 6:45 am.  I am writing this report from our house then I am going fishing.  The boat is sitting in the front driveway and ready to go.  There is a 70% chance for thunderstorms today and the wind will be out of the West at 10 miles per hour.  I hope to be out of the water before the storms arrive.  They could be severe.

Little River is flowing strong.  Right now the flow is 548 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 353 cfs.  I think the water is clear but I don’t know.  The water temperature is 58.6 degrees just below the “Y”.  At midnight yesterday the flow was approximately 900 cfs.  The river is dropping.  An isolated thunderstorm drenched the Little River watershed night before last.  Other streams in the Smokies might not have been affected.

Fishing in the Park is good if you like higher water.  Most anglers here like it that way.  The trout are not as spooky and easier to approach.  You won’t be seen by them as easily.  Your chances for catching a big brown are improved over low water conditions. I would use nymphs or streamers today.  You might catch trout on dry flies but I would use nymphs. 

You may find other rivers in the Park running lower.  Dry flies will work well there.

Smallmouth bass fishing is improving in the lowland rivers and lakes.  I will find out today to what extent that is happening.  I fished in the lake on Monday.  Fishing was pretty good, and much better than you would normally find this early in April. 

Shellcrackers are know to spawn during the first full moon in May.  I’m not sure that is true but the local lore certainly indicates this to be true.  So, since we have a full moon now, Spring came about a month early, I’m hoping to find them on the beds today.  They were not there on Monday. 

Overall, fishing is very good in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina.

One of you (if you are reading sir, thank you very much) sent me an e-mail with a link to one of the USGS pages on their massive website.  The page I read every morning to obtain flow data from the USGS gauge below the Townsend “Y” was not showing current data.  The link and page he sent me was showing current flow.  I thought that was very helpful and wrote him back with a “Thank You”.

You know I take the water temperature every morning at the swinging bridge.  I’ve been doing that for years.  That bridge is my first stop every morning.  The whole process takes about 10 minutes out of my day, every day.  But not today.

Yesterday I got an e-mail from the same person. He found the water temperature on that page simply by clicking an option at the top of the page.  There it was, the water temperature in real time.  More importantly to all of us, you can also see the water temperature fluctuations for the past few days.  This is a groundbreaking find for me and you unless you knew about this page.  Now I can see the high temperatures and every change during the day.

I noticed immediately that the water temperature shown on the page was cooler than the reading I had taken a couple of hours earlier.  That is because the probe at the “Y” is in the Park, upstream from the confluence of several small creeks with warmer water flowing into the river.  So, what you will see here more accurately depicts what the conditions are in the low elevations of the Park.  CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS PAGE.

Go to the top of the page where you see HG Height, river stage (FT) and change the option to TW Temperature.  There you have it.  The screen shots below are what you will see. 

This will save me 60 hours per year and give us all a more accurate and broader view of the water temperature in Little River.  This information will prove to be essential to our quest to determine how good the fishing will be.  This link will appear on the Fishing Report with many new features when the main site re-design is done.  Right now I’m working on the “Online Store” overhaul.  Next will be the main site’s 25 pages and more new pages.

USGS Stream Flow Little River
USGS Water Temperature Little River

I’m going fishing.  Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
April 5, 2012

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