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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 02/22/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:41 am Eastern Time Zone : CFS=Cubic Feet Per Second
Fishing Gauge Indicating Fishing is Good

Water Temperature Little River
Stream Flow
Rainfall 2018 YTD Knoxville Apt
Rainfall Normal YTD Knoxville Apt


56.8 Fahrenheit
2.46 Feet 363 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 5:41 am, the temperature outside 72.8 degrees. It is breezy right now.

Yesterday’s high temperature at the Knoxville Airport was 80 degrees, a record for the date, last set in 1922. The normal high temperature for that date is 54 degrees. The normal low is 34 degrees.

The warm days and nights will continue through the weekend. Expect highs in the 70’s through Saturday, and in the mid-60’s Sunday. Rain is predicted Saturday and Sunday.

Little River is flowing at 363 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.46 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 366 cfs. The water temperature is 56.8 degrees. Yesterday, the water temperature peaked at over 58 degrees, which is perfect.

The trout in the lower elevations of the Smoky Mountains are enjoying their preferred temperature range. Their metabolism is in high gear. They are feeding well. Fishing is good. This will last at least through Sunday.

Aquatic insects are hatching and on the water. They are probably hatching sporadically, which is normal. What you will probably see the most of are Quill Gordons and Blue Quills.

Flows are good, on the high side of good. Flow in Little River this morning is almost exactly median flow for this date, based on data from the past 54 years.

We could not ask for better fly fishing conditions in the Great Smoky Mountains in February. Flows are normal and water temperatures are way above normal.

If you go today, through the weekend, take some Quill Gordon, Blue Quill and Blue Wing Olive dry flies. It’s a good idea to have some Quill Gordon wet flies too. You may need nymphs. I would have some Pheasant Tail nymphs in various sizes. Something is going to work.

Fishing may be excellent at least until Saturday. I don’t think heavy rain is expected from what I’ve read, but, there is a high chance for rain this weekend.

If I were planning a fly fishing trip to the Smokies this weekend, I would go. You should check the weather forecast Friday, to see if there is a possibility for heavy rain. If that is the case, you might want to change your plans. That is the best advice I can give you right now.

When I write this report, I always consider the fact that readers like you might be planning to travel a long distance to fish here. I drove here many times from Nashville, before moving to Townsend 25 years ago. There was no internet. Updated fishing conditions were hard to find. Sometimes, I was disappointed. I try to keep that from happening to you. That is the reason Daniel and I have been writing this report daily, for 10 years.

The ultimate decision is yours, but I view my job as giving you the best up to date fishing conditions expected, especially on weekends.

Fly fishermen will be traveling here from the North in early March. Spring break begins in early March in some northern states. The streams may be cold to our north, but fine here. That is usually the case. Anglers there have endured a longer winter than we have. They are ready to go fishing.

I hope this weekend turns out to be an excellent fly fishing weekend for everyone living in or visiting the Southern Appalachians.

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

Byron Begley
February 22, 2018

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