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. At 6:10 am, the temperature is 37.2 degrees. Today’s high temperature is only expected to reach 41 degrees. It will be cool through tomorrow, then warm air will return to the Smoky Mountains. High temperatures next week will be in the 60’s and 70’s with lows in the 50’s. We will get some more rain next week but none this weekend.

Little River is flowing at 283 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.09 feet on the gauge. Median flow for this date is 259 cfs. .80” of rain fell in Townsend yesterday. The water temperature is 50.7 degrees.

The water temperature will drop into the 40’s this weekend and fishing will slow some. I think you will be catching some trout in the mountains this weekend but fishing will not be as good as it has been. Next week, we will see much warmer water and fishing will be good again.

TVA will be generating today, all day, at Norris, Cherokee and Douglas dams.

I think your best option today, will be fly fishing in the Smokies. Maybe we’ll see some wade fishable generation schedules on the tailwaters this weekend. I hope so.

I talked to Brad Redmon yesterday for a while. Brad works for EcoGro in Lexington, Kentucky.  His is company handled the construction of Hatchery Creek, a 1-mile long, man-made stream, located below Wolf Creek Dam at Lake Cumberland, Kentucky.

This new trout stream, enhances and replaces a drainage ditch, that channeled the water from the National Fish Hatchery located below Wolf Creek Dam, into the Cumberland River.

A month ago, they opened the dam that diverted the water to the drainage ditch, to fill the new stream. At first, the water was murky, but it quickly cleared. Brad said the water is crystal clear now, and trout have moved into Hatchery Creek, from the confluence at the Cumberland River to spawn. He noted seeing one huge brown trout and others. Also, rainbow trout have moved into the stream to spawn.

Right now, the stream is closed off to the public, except for the upper portion that has always been a popular bait fishing area, right below the hatchery. The new section, will open to fishing in late April. The regulations will be “catch and release”, artificial only lures or flies.

I am really excited about this project. I’ve been following the progress and communicating with Brad for 2 years. Brad showed me all the drawings this Summer, while visiting the Smokies.

Below is a new video, posted by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, and most of it shot the day the water was diverted to the new Hatchery Creek. There are some interviews and Brad is the guy in the sock cap. He is an avid fly fisherman, and he is very excited about finishing this stream construction, and the anticipated opening of Hatchery Creek to fishing.

The second video below, is a short animation of what Hatchery Creek will look like after the vegetation has re-grown and the stream banks have matured.

There are many goals associated with this construction. One is to control silt entering the Cumberland River. Another is to provide spawning habitat for trout, making the Cumberland River below the dam and Hatchery Creek, more of a wild trout fishing experience. Wetlands were created along the new stream to improve water quality. And finally, this will offer fishermen who live in or visit Kentucky, a great fishing experience. Hatchery Creek will also serve as a model for future projects and allow fishermen and non-fishermen to see brook, brown and rainbow trout spawn.

So, watch the videos below and enjoy.

Today is my day off this week, and I’m going Christmas shopping.

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

Byron Begley
December 18, 2015

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