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 was cold and overcast on the drive in to work this morning. The clouds are beginning to break up now. I had hopes that Spring was coming...the hopes aren't coming true.

Spring definitley hasn't sprung yet. I did see some daffodils along the side of the road though...that is a good sign. The weather forecast for the next couple of days looks to be more of the same. Mid to upper 40's during the day and down to 30 at night. This weekend is going to warm up very nice. The forecast is calling for 60's and 70's. What keeps the fishing from really getting good is the overnight temperatures. They keep dropping down to the near freezing mark and that makes the streams lose any warmth they built up during the day.

Water levels are good. This morning the streamflow gauge is giving a reading of 2.33 feet or 392 c.f.s. This is above the normal for this date of 297 c.f.s. Many anglers, especially ones who fish the Smokies in the Spring like this level of water flow. The problem right now is the water temperatures. Temps are down to 42F this morning. It is going to take some more warming before the bugs really get going.

If you are going to be heading out to the Smokies streams today or in the next few days, the afternoon is the time to go. Give the water a chance to warm some. Look for sunny spots. Stay to the lower elevation streams. They will be a little warmer and this time of year you don't have to fight the crowds like you will later in the year.

Nymph patterns are what I would start with. We've got this soft hackled bead head flashback hares ear. It is a great fly. The only thing it is missing is rubber legs. Hey...I'll have to tell Paul who owns the company that we buy these from that he should do a rubber legged version for next year. Now that would be a fly. Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Prince Nymphs, in sizes #12 - #16 would all be good choices.

If you look around and see bugs on the stream they are likely to be little black stones or maybe small dark caddis. People have seen a FEW Quill Gordons and Blue Quills but not too many yet. Now is the time to start stocking up on those patterns. If you don't have them in the box already get some....when the Quill Gordons begin to hatch and the trout remember that they are food you don't want to be without them.

This week and next week will be like Christmas. We have been getting boxes from Orvis with Spring stock. The Endura and Silver Sonic waders are in good shape. Yesterday we got a big box of reels and fly lines along with some rods. The most exciting of the rods are the new Superfine fiberglass rods. We have a 7' 3wt and a 7'6" 4wt. The 4 is a really sweet casting rod. I haven't gotten to cast the 3wt yet, it just came out of the box late yesterday. Trying it out is item number 1 on the To Do List once I get this report posted. There is a large shipment coming from Farbank (which is Sage / Rio / Redington). Simms and Fishpond are on their way too. It is always fun to cut open the first Spring boxes to see things that we have only seen in the catalogs.

I better wrap this up and start checking stuff in. Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Daniel Drake
February 26, 2014 

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