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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 03/01/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:33 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


51.1 Fahrenheit
2.80 Feet 592 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 5:33 am, the temperature outside is 51.1 degrees.

Rain fell on and off yesterday, but nothing heavy. As far as I know, it rained constantly, all night. We are still under a flood watch. Yesterday, through 5:33 am this morning, 1.36” has been reported in Townsend at a personal weather station.

Rain will continue today. We may get another inch. The high temperature will be in the low 60’s. Tomorrow through Sunday will be sunny and colder. Highs are predicted to be in the 50’s. Lows will drop to the 30’s and possibly into the upper 20’s tomorrow night.

Little River is flowing at 592 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.80 feet on the flow gauge. The river is rising quickly. Median flow for this date is 327 cfs. The water temperature is 51.1 degrees this morning.

I noticed yesterday, when checking the radar, much of the heavier rain was to our South. That can be evidenced on the Tellico River gauge this morning. Tellico River is flowing at 2,070 cfs or 5.32 feet on the gauge. The river is still rising quickly. That is a record for this date, last set in 1962 at 1,200 cfs. Data for that gauge site dates back 72 years.

All streams in the Smoky Mountains, that have USGS gauges, are rising.

I think fishing in the Smokies will be out of the question for a few days, due to high water. Maybe the rain will miss us later today. It doesn’t look that way on the radar. Then, it is going to be cold. Water temperatures will fall this weekend.

If I were planning a long distance fishing trip here this weekend, I would change my plans. At least, wait to see what happens by tomorrow morning before leaving. I bet you will stay home or go somewhere else.

I am anxious to see the US Drought Monitor later this morning. It will be update at about 8 am, two hours from now. We should see much improvement from last week in the Southeast. You can see the web page by CLICKING HERE. Click on your region, and your state. Look at the map and the tables.

I am probably one of only a few people who look at the USGS flow and temperature page, reporting from the Little River site in Townsend, every day. Heck, I may be the only one.

The water temperature ceased reporting on February 26th. I sent an e-mail to Terry at USGS, to let him know there was a problem. He didn’t get back to me, which is highly unusual. So, I found an e-mail for a man named Bobby, and contacted him. We got back to me immediately and told me he is now the technician responsible for our gauge site. Terry retired. Bobby said the problem would be corrected soon. I checked the page, and the temperature was already reporting.

Those folks at the USGS Knoxville Field Office are always very responsive, kind, and appreciative that someone is watching one of their gauge sites daily, and reporting problems.

I noticed this morning, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has cut back on the discharge at their secondary dams. The same is true at Brookfield Renewable Energy, who own and run the dams on the Little Tennessee River. However, TVA is pouring water through the primary dams on the Tennessee River.

This is usual during a big rain event. It is my understanding, they hold back on the secondary dams, including Norris, Cherokee, Douglas and impoundments on the Little Tennessee River, to avoid flooding on the larger Tennessee River. It appears flows have been reduced some at Melton Hill too.

As the big river peaks, then begins receding, water will be released from the secondary dams. And, that may go on for a while, to build capacity in the secondary lakes, anticipating more rain in the Spring.

That is my opinion about what TVA does, just based on what I’ve seen over the past 10 plus years.

I have about 150 items to photograph, and place on our new online store. I will start on that list today. This will take a few weeks. I’ll haul this big iMac to the shop, shoot photos, check them on the monitor, then file them away. I’ll probably shoot several of each item. After finishing about 20 items, I’ll bring the Mack home and start the process of correcting the photos in Adobe Photoshop, then write the text and add them to the online store.

Then, I’ll go back in a few days, and shoot more.

It is not as much fun as it sounds, but I don’t mind. We have a nice photography studio at the shop, and I don’t have room for it in our home, where I work. I do enjoy the results.

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

Byron Begley
March 1, 2018

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USGS Stream Gauges


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