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Townsend, Tennessee 37882
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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 01/29/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:36 am Eastern Time Zone : CFS=Cubic Feet Per Second
Fishing Gauge Indicating Fishing is between Slow and Good

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


45.7 Fahrenheit
2.10 Feet 222 CFS

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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 5:36 am, the temperature outside is 42.5 degrees.

A small rain storm just passed over our house. Less than a 10th of an inch fell during a short period of time. The radar does not indicate any more rain in our area.

Today will be mostly sunny and warm, with a high temperature in the low 50’s. There is a chance for snow tonight, with accumulations of 2” to 3” in the high elevations of the Smokies. Rain may change to snow showers in the valley. The low tonight is predicted to be in the upper 20’s. Tomorrow will be cold, with a high in the 30’s dipping to about 20 degrees tomorrow night. Warmer air moves back into the Tennessee Valley Wednesday.

Little River is flowing at 222 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.10 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 302 cfs. The water temperature is 45.7 degrees this morning.

The Knoxville Airport reported .64” of rain yesterday. We got .68” in Townsend.

Fishing will be fair today thanks to warmer water in the lower elevation streams. Jack and Ron fished yesterday and did fairly well. They were targeting big browns, but didn’t catch any. They did catch smaller trout.

I would use nymphs, weighted and dredged deep. You may see some aquatic insects on the water. Blue Wing Olives will be more active than most but you may see other species. Switch to dry flies if you see trout feeding on the surface.

I caught a small gold colored stonefly in our driveway late yesterday. They were probably hatching in the spring creek behind our house. The water there never gets very cold, so aquatic insects are active in that creek, when they are not in most streams.

Water temperatures in the Smokies may rise some today, but will chill tonight and over the next couple of days. Fishing will slow tomorrow. Today may be a fair fishing day in the Smokies.

We are waiting for a sustained warm spell to crank up the fishing and insect activity in the Park. I’m looking at the extended forecast now. I don’t see that happening at least through February 12th, unless the forecast changes.

After today, for the next 10 days, expect typical slow winter fishing in the mountains. After that, hopefully soon, Spring fishing will begin.

During the early Spring, everyone who fly fishes around here, thinks “trout”. We think about fly fishing for trout in the tailwaters, the freestone Smokies streams and throughout Southern Appalachia. Anglers travel here from the north, where Winter hangs on. Bugs are popping off the water in the mountains, and trout are slurping them down. Though the trout tailwaters can offer good Winter fishing, it gets better during the Spring.

Later in the Spring, we think about smallmouth bass. As the water warms in the lowland rivers and lakes, these fish move to shallower water, preparing to spawn. May through Fall offers good smallmouth fishing somewhere here. Fishing for smallmouth bass in shallow water may be slow in the lakes at times during the Summer, but fishing for them in the tailwaters is great. Some of my best days, fishing with smallmouth guide Josh Pfeiffer, occurred in August.

Fly fishing for largemouth bass and bluegill is awesome during the Summer months. I try to go on cloudy days, or fish early and late for these fish. Fall fishing for trout and warmwater fish is usually very good, though the mountain streams are often flowing low.

We do have these cold months, where fishing overall is not that great. That is where we are now. Thankfully, that time is short and I think it will be over soon. We have a lot to look forward to this year. I hope to fish more than ever before.

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

Byron Begley
January 29, 2018

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USGS Stream Gauges


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Lake Information and Tailwater Generation Schedules


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