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 Mountians.  It is a gray, gloomy Wednesday here in Townsend. We have been getting some light rain showers so far this morning. More rain is forecast for mid-day.

It is warm out this morning. Mid 50's right now. This helped keep water temperatures from dropping overnight. The gauge reading this morning gave a temp of about 51F. Water levels are actually fairly low for this time of year. We can use this rain which is coming. The Little River is running at 1.84 feet or 205 c.f.s. This is a bit lower than the normal flow of 346 c.f.s. The Little River was flowing clear this morning before the rain. I expect it to stain up as the day goes on. Middle Prong (Tremont) will muddy up fast if it hasn't already. Tremont always gets muddy after a long dry spell. The dust from the gravel road collects on the trees and then gets washed into the stream.

Rising water levels and rising water temperatures can lead to some epic fishing. It is always a gamble fishing in the rain. You have to be willing to get wet and have to be careful of flows but the payoff might be amazing. The rising water temperature this time of year will jumpstart the trout feeding. An increase in water level and most likely staining of the water gives them more confidence to be out feeding. Overcast days are also a good thing for the brown trout.

If you are going to brave the rain and fish today I would start with nymphs. Prince Nymphs, Hares Ear, Pheasant Tails etc are all excellent choices. If the water rises try some larger stoneflies and maybe even some streamer patterns. Later in the afternoon keep an eye out for hatches of mayflies. The Quill Gordons and Blue Quills have begun to hatch. Quill Gordons are going to be in the #10 - #12 size. Blue Quills are much smaller, in the #16- #20 size.

Fishing reports from the last several days have been mixed. Some people are doing great and others are having a hard time of it. Good news for the overall outlook on fishing this year....I spoke with two different people this week who have caught rainbows in the 13-14" range. For many places that is an "average" trout but in the Smokies a 14" rainbow is akin to catching a 20+ brown.

Spring Break is starting around the region. We are seeing more families with kids coming in. Also, the eager college kids are coming in for some camping and fishing.

David Knapp just stopped in. He has been camping at Elkmont for the last couple of days. He was hoping for some more rain last night but it didn't happen and it doesn't look like too much more rain is on the way. David said that while he was fishing on the sunny days he was catching most of his trout in the shady areas. We both found that odd figuring that the fish would be in the sun where the water would be warmer. River levels are lower than normal and have been very clear. Maybe the trout think that they have more cover when they are hiding in a shadow.

If you head out to the stream today keep an eye on water levels. Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Daniel Drake
March 12, 2014 

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