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Townsend, Tennessee 37882
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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 01/20/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:38 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


32.0 Fahrenheit
1.99 Feet 187 CFS

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Jimmy Jones

Ken McClain

Free Fly Tying Demonstration
Jimmy Jones
& Ken McClain

Saturday January 20th
10 am until 2 pm

All you have to do is show up!

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Walter Babb Tying a Fly

Fly Tying Classes
Taught By
Walter Babb,
Brian Courtney and Dave Carson


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

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Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. At 5:38 am, the temperature outside is 29.1 degrees.

Today will be cloudy, with a high temperature in the low 50’s. Tomorrow, will be partly sunny with a high in the low 60’s. Monday will be warm, with a chance for rain ranging from 50% during the day to 80% Monday night.

Little River is flowing at 187 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.99 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 303 cfs. The water temperature is 32 degrees this morning.

Fishing will be slow today due to the cold water. We will see a warmup over the next few days. Air temperatures will be above normal through the weekend and into early next week. I really do not think the water will warm enough for fishing to become good. I could be wrong. I was wrong two weeks ago. At that time, we saw daily temperatures rise into the low 70’s some days. It was warmer at night too. I will say fishing will improve, but I don’t think it will be good in the near future.

Most Park roads are still closed due to snow and ice. Laurel Creek Road and the Cades Cove Loop road opened yesterday, but Laurel Creek Road is closed this morning, which provides access to Cades Cove. The only road I see open right now is the Gatlinburg Bypass. You can watch for road openings, if the occur, on the Park’s Roads Twitter page by CLICKING HERE.

The United States Government shut down at midnight last night. It is too early to tell, if the Park will close. I doubt if anyone knows right now, probably not even the Park Service. Non-essential employees will be furloughed immediately. There has been recent speculation that the Parks would not close if the shutdown occurred. We’ll see what happens.

This happened in October 2013, during the height of the tourist season. Like today, there was no public information concerning the possibility of a Park closure. Rangers closed the gate to the Townsend entrance immediately. People were stopping at the shop, to tell us they had been turned away at the entrance.

I picked up Michael Tally, at the Talley Ho, and we drove to the Park. Michael was and still is Townsend’s Mayor. We parked my truck and walked to the gate to talk to two rangers. They were there to turn away visitors, either driving or walking, from entering the Park. They were allowing campers to exit the Park. Campers were given 48 hours to leave. The rangers really didn’t know much, except what they had been told to do.

I mentioned to one of the rangers, that Michael was the town Mayor. That prompted a call by radio, to their supervisor, who drove to the entrance to talk to us. He didn’t have more information that we had not already heard. They were all nice guys, who had a job to do, with no idea what would happen next.

I think that is where we are today. More information will be forthcoming. January is a low visitation month. The roads are a mess right now. They will be improving today.

In 2013, 384 Park employees were furloughed. Those who worked, could not handle the heavy traffic we have during October. Bathrooms were closed. All buildings closed. They probably didn’t have a choice but to close the Park. The shutdown lasted for a few weeks. Businesses in the gateway towns suffered, and some did not recover. It was an awful time to be in business at the entrance to a National Park.

Maybe it will be different this time. Maybe Congress will act quickly, to open the Government.

I will keep you posted, as information becomes available.

Jimmy Jones and Ken McClain will be tying flies at the shop today. This is a free demonstration that will begin at 10 am and last until 2 pm. All you have to do is show up. I have watched Jimmy tie, and listened to his experiences, fly fishing in the Smokies for many years. He has some exceptional fly patterns, he created and uses in the Park.

I have not seen Ken tie, though he did demonstrate at Fly Tyers Weekend last November. Somehow, I missed him.

You can read more about today’s free event by CLICKING HERE.

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

Byron Begley
January 20, 2018  

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USGS Stream Gauges


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Lake Information and Tailwater Generation Schedules


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