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 sunny and 36 degrees in Townsend.  I saw a huge flock of wild turkeys in front of our house this morning.  Ten or more of them were in the gravel road.  As I drove toward them, some went to the left and some went to the right to get out of my way.  I didn’t even try to count them.  There were too many.  We had a significant brood last spring.  Everybody is talking about the high numbers of birds they are seeing, much more than usual.

Little River is flowing at 361 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.26 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 353 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:15 am is 42.5 degrees.

Yesterday, the water temperature reached 44 degrees.  In years past, even with water that cold, we have had Quill Gordon hatches in February.  We have very warm temperatures in our forecast this week along with some rain.  Temperatures at night are going to be warm too, in the 40’s.  The rivers will definitely get warmer this week in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Fly Fishing will improve.  We may see some hatches.  Early hatches of Quill Gordons are often sporadic and short lived.  Sometimes you will see them hatch for an hour or so, and then it is over.  A couple of days later you may see a spinner fall. You may see Blue Wing Olives and Blue Quills.

As the water warms further, the hatches will last longer.  There will be more bugs. 

I think that there will be some hatches this week.  We’ll see.

Be aware, there is still snow up there. Warm temperatures and the melting snow can temporarily cool the water. So, it could be 70 degrees one day and the water temperature can drop. It's happened before. From here I can see snow on shaded slopes and none on the sunny slopes.

Fishing has been pretty good on the Little River in Townsend.  These stocked trout don’t seem to mind the cold water.  They are hungry.

This is going to be a nice weekend for fishermen.  The nights will be chilly.  The days will be fairly warm, near 60 degrees if the weather pattern does not change.  I know for sure, we are going to be busy.  Fishing licenses go on sale today too.  Anglers have been anxiously awaiting.  You are still legal if you have a current license until the end of the month.

It appears, by referring to the long term weather forecast, we may have some cooler weather next week.  It’s really too early to tell.  It was supposed to be cool later this week but the weather experts changed their minds.  Maybe, Fly Fishing Spring has almost arrived in the Smokies. 

We have had cold spells in March.  Other years, March has been a great month for fishing.  Only time will tell.

You may encounter some good fishing this week or you may not.  Early Spring fishing is not predictable.  Some anglers report great fishing on the same day others say it is slow in the early Spring.  I think it is about where anglers are and at what time of day they are there. 

I talked to two different customers yesterday, who are planning trips to New Zealand this year.  One is leaving in two weeks.  The other is going early Fall.  Trips to New Zealand require a lot of planning.  When you get there, your fishing tackle will be examined closely.  Felt wading boots are not allowed.  Your boots or waders may require additional treatment once entering the country.  New Zealand is trying to keep didymo and other parasites from entering their country.  They are serious about it over there.  I don’t blame them.

We are seeing a lot of anglers getting ready.  We are all tired of winter and ready to fish.

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

Byron Begley
February 18, 2014

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