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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. It is 6:13 am and the temperature is a warm 38.3 degrees. Today will be cloudy, with no rain expected and a high temperature of 57 degrees.

Little River is flowing at 345 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.24 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 209 cfs.  The water temperature is 46.6 degrees this morning.

We are at the beginning of a period in December, when fishing conditions will be like a typical “Coming of Spring”. Right now, the water temperature is near 47 degrees. The high temperatures this week will gradually climb to 70 degrees by the weekend. Lows at night will be in the 30’s for a couple of days, then rise to the 50’s this weekend.

If this were late February or early March, we would be anticipating hatches of Quill Gordons and Blue Quills this weekend.  We would be thinking about getting our tackle ready and head to the mountains to fish.  Those bugs won’t be hatching, but the trout will be active, due to the warming water.

You should try to be here for this. Unless the forecast changes, we are going to be enjoying some very good fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains.  We don’t usually have this opportunity in December. This is highly unusual.

We do have a 50% chance for rain Wednesday, but it appears right now, it won’t be significant. It looks like we may have afternoon showers.

I have a tough time writing about fishing when fishing is slow. This is a lot more fun than writing about cold water and flooded rivers.

Maybe we will enjoy a warm winter. Not so, says the Farmer’s Almanac. They say a “super cold winter is on tap” in most of the United States. They say it will be drier than normal.

I overheard Dan talking to a young man from Kentucky yesterday.  They were sharing their musky fishing experiences. Evidently Kentucky, where I grew up, has some awesome river musky fishing, and fly fishermen are all over it. Fly fishing for musky is a growing segment in the sport of fly fishing.

It seems these anglers are younger. From what I hear, it is a young person’s sport. When I hear Dan talking about casting an 11 weight fly rod all day with a ½ chicken size fly on the end of the line, that kind of counts me out of that game.

Unlike the tarpon fishing I’ve done, these fishermen are casting heavy weight rods all day long, blind casting. My experience with tarpon is, you do a lot of standing and watching, waiting for one or two casts at one fish, a few times during the day.

This does seem like very exciting fly fishing and I will try it. Dan loves fly fishing for musky.

There is a very nice man who lives in Ashland, Kentucky, who makes and sells beautiful wood fly tying benches and accessories.  His name is Mark Hanni. He is quite a craftsman. We met at Troutfest a few years ago. I was in charge of vendors and he was one of them. He may not remember or know of me, but I remember and know him.

His website and business is called or Mountain Creek Anglers. You can visit the site by CLICKING HERE. You might do some Christmas shopping after you see his website.

He is a musky fly fishing fanatic and has YouTube videos to prove it.  Visit his website and look around. For sure, check out the “Musky on the Fly blog by CLICKING HERE. The stories and photos are incredible.

Maybe musky fishing is not just a young person’s game.

Well, we’ve got some good fishing weather ahead, just before Christmas and the other holidays. We’ve got to love that!

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

Byron Begley
December 7, 2015

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