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

The Fishing Report 02/12/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 9:30 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


49.28 Fahrenheit
4.65 Feet 2040 CFS

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Will Davis with Trout

Buzz Buffington

Steve Brown

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Walter Babb Tying a Fly

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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. It is a cool, misty morning here at the Shop. The rain has stopped for today and tomorrow.

Rain fell over the weekend making up the rainfall accumulation deficit for the year. The Little River was raging yesterday. Water levels rose to just below the 8 feet official flood stage. Levels dropped quickly last night but are still at an unfishable 4.65 feet or 2,040 c.f.s. This is much higher than the daily normal of 269 c.f.s. Fishing is out for today and probably tomorrow. More rain is forecast for Wednesday so that isn't going to help anything.

Water temperatures are up to almost 50F. Looking at the 10 day weather forecast highs are going to be in the 60's and lows will only be mid 50's some nights. This means that the water temperatures will rise to 50 and maintain that for the week. We expect to be seeing the first hatches very soon.

Now is the time to pull the gear out and get it organized for Spring. By the end of the year my fly boxes are a mess. I tend to put the fly I cut off into whichever box I just got the new one out of. I also have those fly cups full of miscellaneous flies that I bought before heading to the river. These high water weeks are perfect getting your boxes re-organized and to take inventory of what you are missing.

Quill Gordons will start hatching very soon. Basic nymphs like BH Pheasant Tails work well but what you should really have in your box is some Quill Gordon Wet Flies. These early mayflies hatch into adults below that water then swim up to the surface before emerging and flying off the mate. The adults are going to be large, in the #10 to #12 range. This makes them a very tempting meal for hungry trout. It also makes it easy for us to see the dark gray pattern on the water.

At the same time that the Quill Gordons hatch we also get the tiny Blue Quill. Now these are hard to see on the water. They are small #18 to #20 and being slate gray in color they blend into the water. A good alternative to the traditional Catskill style pattern is a parachute pattern. The upright post gives you something to watch. They ride a little lower in the water also which can be a good thing also.

Leaders and tippet are other items to take inventory of. Each time we go fishing we are using these up. There isn't much worse than getting out on the stream thinking you have plenty of 5X tippet only to figure out that you have about a foot of line left on the spool. Monofilament tippet gets old. If you can't remember when you last bought some it might be a good time for a new spool.

Are your waders still in good shape? In the Fall we hear people say how their waders have some kind of leak but they are good enough to get through the Fall. Well the Fall is over and Spring is if they were leaking before they still are. Customers ask us which waders are best. My answer is usually...the one that fits you best. Across the board, all the waders we sell are good. It doesn't matter if it is $170 or $500. We VERY seldom have a bad wader. When shopping for waders you have to consider how you fish and what features you are looking for.
Orvis's new Ultralight Convertible wader is allows you to drop them down and wear them like pants. Pant length waders are nice especially if you don't ever wade deep. If you need extra toughness then considering a guide weight wader like the Simms G3 would be good. They are expensive but they are made in Montana using real Gore-Tex fabric.

Fly lines are another item that wears out over the course of a fishing year. If your line just isn't shooting through the guides like it used to or is sinking bad then maybe it is time for a new line. I read this in an article years ago. The write asked a guide what his favorite fly line was. The response was.. "a new one".

Next weekend we have a Beginner Fly Tying Class. There is still space to get in on the class. The price is just $85.00. It is an all day class. If you've been thinking about tying flies this is a great way to start. Give us a call to reserve your spot 865-448-9459.

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

Daniel Drake
February 12, 2018

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USGS Stream Gauges


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Lake Information and Tailwater Generation Schedules


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