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P.O. Box 505
Townsend, Tennessee 37882
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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 01/16/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 6:07 am Eastern Time Zone : CFS=Cubic Feet Per Second
Fishing Gauge indicating fishing is slow.

Water Temperature Little River
Stream Flow
Rainfall 2018 YTD Knoxville Apt
Rainfall Normal YTD Knoxville Apt


35.1 Fahrenheit
2.09 Feet 218 CFS

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

If you do not see today’s Fishing Report, please refresh your browser to empty your cache.

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. At 6:07 am, the temperature outside is 24.8 degrees.

It will be cold this week, through Friday. Expect high temperatures in the mid-30’s today, the low 20’s tomorrow and the mid-30’s Friday. Lows will dip to the teens tonight and tomorrow night. Friday through Sunday will be much warmer, with highs in the upper 40’s to near 60 degrees.

Snow is expected today and tonight. Expect 1 to 3 inches of snow in the valley.

Little River is flowing at 218 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.09 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 286 cfs. The water temperature is 35.1 degrees this morning.

Most roads in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are open at this time. Many will likely close today due to snow and ice. You can monitor closings by visiting the Park’s road twitter page by CLICKING HERE.

This is not a good day to be fishing in the Park. The water is cold and the trout are inactive. Additionally, you may find yourself traveling on slick roads and possibly a closed road. It is best to stay out of the Park under these expected conditions.

When warm temperatures arrive this weekend, most of us will be considering, “Is Spring Breaking”. Looking ahead at the long term forecast, through January 30th, may cause us to wonder further. It is going to be warm, if the forecast holds true.

February is usually warmer than January. Some years, Spring fishing begins in the Smoky Mountains in February.

Remember February last year? I don’t but I do have ten years of daily fishing reports saved on this computer. Last February, Spring fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains began. On February 15th, the water temperature started the day at 45 degrees in Little River. The weather forecast indicated warm temperatures were coming soon. Excitement was building in our minds. We knew, fishing would be good, any day.

The water temperature was colder on February 17th. We knew the next two days would be different. And, it was.

On February 20th, I wrote the following:

“Fishing is good in the Smokies, especially in the low to mid elevations. Anglers were treated to good dry fishing fishing yesterday, and reported seeing Quill Gordons on the water. I did not hear anything regarding Blue Quills, but they are probably active too.

Fishing will only get better in the mountains as the week progresses. This is what we have been waiting for. The reason is, the air temperature is 5 to 10 degrees warmer than normal, day and night. The water temperatures are responding to that. Mother Nature decided it is time for Spring.

Trout are actively feeding because of the water temperatures. The water is in their preferred temperature range. Their metabolism has kicked into higher gear. They need food. And now, there is more to eat. The aquatic insects are active too, because of the warmer water.

The early hatches are mostly gray colored mayflies, which is normal. Other insects are on the water, but what you notice most, in the early Spring, are the gray varieties of mayflies. Trout notice them too.”

That may happen again this year. It may happen earlier than last year. It has before. So, Spring fishing may be a mere few weeks away, maybe three, maybe four, maybe less.

When we wake up tomorrow morning, the temperature outside will likely be in single or barely double digits. Snow will cover the ground. The mountains are white now and they will be whiter tomorrow. How can Spring be 3 or 4 weeks away? Will we be standing in a river, casting dry flies to rising trout in February?

Maybe we will. It has happened before. It has been trending that way for a while.

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

Byron Begley
January 16, 2017    

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USGS Stream Gauges


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Lake Information and Tailwater Generation Schedules


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