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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is partly cloudy and 34 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Today’s high should be in the high 50’s. It is Super Bowl Sunday.  We are open of course.  With Peyton in the Super Bowl you would think businesses here would close in preparation for tonight’s game.  Not us.  But, at 5:00, I’m out of here.

Little River is only somewhat warmer than yesterday morning.  The water temperature right now is close to 34 degrees.  Flow is 211 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.86 feet on the flow gauge.  It is going to rain tomorrow and probably continue through Wednesday.  I think we’ll see some rise in the water levels.  How much, I don’t know. 

What we don’t want is a blowout.  We don’t want extremely high water.  The brook and brown trout have spawned.  Those beds need to stay intact.  Of utmost importance to many of us is Lynn Camp Prong.  That stream is closed right now so the brook trout can populate.  This mid-elevation stream is the subject of the largest brook trout restoration project in the Smokies.  Last year, high water caused extensive mortality to the newborn brook trout.  The population did not grow sufficiently in numbers. So, the Park will keep Lynn Camp closed for at least one more year before turning us loose to fish.  I can’t wait.   

People around here are fishing, mostly in the tailwaters.  Yesterday, TVA scheduled some angler friendly flows and those anglers were there with their game face on.  The generation schedules are looking good today too.  TVA says the Clinch will be off.  They go on to say, there will only be a couple of pulses at Cherokee Dam on the Holston River.  This is going to be a nice day.  Check the TVA website and your schedule.  TVA schedules can change.  If you can put the two together, go fishing.

I think fishing in the Smokies will be slow.  When the water temperature is below 40 degrees, it usually is.  It will be warm today but snow is still melting in the mountains, feeding the streams cold water.  I saw some photos taken yesterday on the Middle Prong of Little River.  There was snow on the ground there.  We’ll see the water temperatures rise and maybe to a point that you can catch some trout.  It’s going to be a pretty day.  Give it a shot.

I talked to my buddy Jim last night.  We discussed fishing, especially Spring smallmouth fishing.  We plan to fish together more this year.  Jim is a doctor, working in the emergency room (ER) at Blount Memorial Hospital.  I am so proud of our hospital.  Jim and the people there saved my life a couple of years ago. Team Health is in charge of our ER and they do a great job.  I’ve been through two procedures at our hospital in the last 20 years.  One was very serious.  I’ve never had better care. I could not have been in a better place.

By chance, a few hours after talking to Jim, I saw an article in the Daily Times about a young woman who grew up here, left to attend college and medical school, and now she is back, working for Team Health in our ER.  CLICK HERE to read the story. I feel lucky to have Blount Memorial Hospital and Team Health ready, if needed, for all of us living here.  They are yet another good reason I love living in Blount County, Tennessee.

We also have the Great Smoky Mountains, Maryville College, excellent public schools, very friendly people, rivers and lakes in every direction you look and a whole list of other benefits that make all of us proud to live here. Our governments, cities and county are very functional.  They get things done to benefit all of us.  They serve the public well. And, we have great health care.

I was drawn here by the mountains and fly fishing, pure and simple.  After living here, I soon found that fly fishing and the Smokies were just icing on the cake.  Here, I see good people doing good things for other people.  I like that.

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

Byron Begley
February 2, 2014

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