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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 02/18/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:11 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


50.5 Fahrenheit
3.12 Feet 761 CFS

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Will Davis with Trout

Buzz Buffington

Steve Brown

Free Fly Tying Demonstration
Will Davis, Buzz Buffington & Steve Brown

Saturday February 17th
10 am until 2 pm

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Walter Babb Tying a Fly

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Taught By
Walter Babb,
Brian Courtney and Dave Carson


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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 5:15 am, the temperature outside 42.4 degrees.

Today will be warm and sunny after the fog lifts. The high temperature today will be around 60 degrees. No more rain is predicted until tonight, and that should be light.

This week is going to feel like Spring, tempting anglers to take to the streams and rivers. High temperatures will range in the 60’s to mid 70’s. Lows at night will drop only to the 50’s. It may rain Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Otherwise, this is going to be an atypical and likely record breaking warm week in the Smoky Mountains.

Little River is flowing at 761 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 3.12 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 333 cfs. Townsend got .63” of rain yesterday. The Knoxville Airport reported .56”.

The water temperature is 50.5 degrees this morning.

The rain is probably gone for three days. The streams in the Smoky Mountains will gradually recede. The stream temperatures will remain unusually warm for this week of the year. Trout will be actively feeding on actively hatching aquatic insects. You should see Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Blue Wing Olives and other insects on the water.

Will the streams reach a comfortably fishable level this week? Hopefully they will. It is hard to say. The ground is saturated. Water will be seeping into the waterways. Anglers will be anxiously waiting. We will be preparing. We will be watching the stream flows online.

You can fish now. What you can’t do is wade across many streams where you can when the water is lower. You need to be careful when wading. At the current level in Little River, there is more water now, than many of you are used to fishing. Your tactics need to change. You will likely be fishing closer to the bank.

You can be sure, with the water temperatures where they are, the trout will be feeding. Getting your fly to them is the challenge. You will be casting differently, than you do at normal flows. Roll cast. High stick. Fish close. Try nymphs, heavily weighted. Watch for surface feeding. Switch to dry flies if you see that. Try swinging wet flies.

Fish smaller streams. Try the Middle Prong of Little River or the West Prong.

I spent several hours at the shop yesterday. The parking lot was packed when I pulled in. We had three fly tyers demonstrating and a beginner fly tying class going on at the same time. The shop has been totally rearranged. It looks good. New Spring merchandise has arrived with more to come.

I talked to a lot of fly fishermen. Though it was windy, and later raining, I could detect a lot of enthusiasm from these folks, that Spring has arrived, at least through March 4th. I walked around and looked at the walls in the fly tying department upstairs. The department looked well stocked. The store is busy.

The tailwaters are flowing high. TVA is pulling new water from the lakes. Heavy generation and sluicing is their priority right now, to lower the lakes, making capacity for Spring rains.

This rainfall was a blessing over the long term. It has been very dry. Rain for the year is now at a surplus. Before last week, we were watching a rainfall deficit that was discouraging. We were heading for another drought. Some areas were listed as being in a drought. That’s over for now in many areas of the south. There has been much improvement. We are paying for it now, but we should be happy for the near future.

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

Byron Begley
February 18, 2018  

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USGS Stream Gauges


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Lake Information and Tailwater Generation Schedules


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