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Townsend, Tennessee 37882
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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 02/07/18 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


43.7 Fahrenheit
2.38 Feet 328 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 5:38 am, the temperature outside 55.1 degrees. It is breezy and raining this morning.

It will rain all day today and into the night. Estimates put the rain total at a half to three quarters of an inch. Today’s high temperature will be what it is now. It will be cold tonight and the rain may change to snow before ending. No snow accumulation in the valley is expected at this point.

Tomorrow through Friday will be warmer and dry. Rain, possibly heavy, is predicted Saturday with more rain Sunday. Saturday and Sunday will be warm.

Little River is flowing at 328 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.38 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for the date is 338 cfs. The water temperature is moving upward and is currently 43.7 degrees.

Trout could be actively feeding today. The water will likely warm further before dropping tonight. This could be a decent fishing day, if the streams do not rise too much.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be warm and fishing may improve. It could be good. The streams will be warmer. It all depends on how much rain we get. If rainfall amounts turn out to be what is predicted, these streams will be rising and possibly be blown out today, tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.

A quarter of an inch of rain has fallen already this morning. It is raining hard now. The radar indicates more heavy rain is approaching. I think we may get more rain than the weather forecasters have predicted.

If you go, use nymphs. You will need plenty of weight to get them down. I would use large nymphs, hoping to catch a nice brown. Be careful wading. The streams are high now and they may quickly rise soon. It may be windy at times. Limbs and trees could fall. I don’t think I would go today. Wait until Friday.

We are waiting for the stream temperatures to be sustained at 45 plus degrees. Trout become active. Early aquatic insects hatch and mate. Those insects are usually blue wing olives, quill gordons and blue quills. Most serious Smokies anglers are tying those flies now, if they tie their own.

Spring fly fishing in the mountains begins in the lower elevations. The water is warmer there. Bugs are on the water. Trout are feeding. Later, that same activity occurs in the higher elevations. Great fishing may be in full swing downstream, while just beginning much further upstream.

When the water temps reach the mid-50’s, the trout and insects are very active. I’ve always thought fishing is best, when the water temperature is 58 degrees. That number seems to be ideal.

In the early Spring, water temperatures fall at night, when it is colder. If that number drops below 44 degrees, fishing slows temporarily. Most anglers wait until later in the day to fish, when the water is warmer, during those times.

We do the opposite during the hot months. We go early, when the water is cooler. If water temperatures reach the upper 60’s, we fish the high elevations.

Today, we can see the water temps on some streams online, then guess at what is going on in the higher elevations.

Before moving to Townsend 25 years ago, I lived in Nashville. I drove here to fly fish for trout in the Smoky Mountains. Townsend became my favorite fly fishing destination in the early 80’s. I finally gave in and moved here.

Fishing conditions were hard to come by in those days. There was no internet. I didn’t know of any fly shops to call. There were sporting goods stores in the larger towns. They knew. I didn’t know they were there. So, I was often disappointed to find high water, low water or cold streams when I arrived with my fishing buddies.

That is why I write this fishing report every morning. I want you to know the good or the bad, so you won’t be disappointed. Important facts, like stream flows and water temperatures can now easily be found online, thanks to the USGS stations on some rivers.

The truth is, even when fishing was slow in the Smokies, I always enjoyed being here. Fly fishing, to me, is about “where you are” and “who you are with”. It is also about getting away from where you were.

This is a beautiful place. I was often with my best friends when I fished here. We were usually camping. When fishing was slow, it didn’t matter. We spent a lot of time, sitting under a canopy, in the pouring rain.

But still, it is nice to know, when the water temperatures are in the 30’s and the rivers are blown out. It is nice to know what bugs are hatching.

Giving you that information is my job and I take it seriously.

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

Byron Begley
February 7, 2018

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USGS Stream Gauges


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Lake Information and Tailwater Generation Schedules


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