Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 59 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The town looked to be void of people on my way to work.  I saw only three vehicles on the roads.  But, it is Sunday and I left home early. We got some more rain last night.  We had .30 inches in the gauge.  I’m looking out my window now at the Smoky Mountains.  Fog is following Little River through town again.  That is a common occurrence and one I really enjoy seeing. 

Litte River is flowing strong.  Flow is currently 855 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 379 cfs.  The water temperature at the swinging bridge was 55 degrees at 7:40 am.  The water is clear with maybe a little color.  It was hard to tell.  At the time it was really dark out there. We might get some more rain in East Tennessee today.  I think you will find swollen rivers everywhere you look.

Fishing is good in Little River if you know how to fish higher water.  And, you should be able to find some streams, mostly smaller creeks with a lot less flow.  I would start with nymphs with some weight.  Since wading will be difficult in some areas you might just stand near the bank and do some high sticking.  The water temperature is good and it is going to warm up significantly today and tomorrow.  We are expecting high temperatures in the low 80’s both days.  Success will depend on your ability to figure out what to do and that will differ depending on where you are.  Rainbow and brown trout will be feeding in these temperate conditions you’ve just got to show them a meal.  Be careful wading. 

Downstream in Little River, the smallmouth bass fishing would be fair if you can fight the current, find the right places and get your flies down.  Again, be very careful wading or boating in Little River.  The further down you get the larger the river is.  I would not paddle Little River right now.  You could lose everything. 

Flows are much more friendly on the North Carolina side of the Park.  Oconaluftee is moving along at a little above normal.  Someone told me yesterday the West Prong of the Little Pigeon was full and flowing strong.  I can’t verify that because there is not a gauge I can reference.  It looks like Cataloochee got some rain and the flows there are fluctuating and the water is on its way up right now.  But that flow is only 200 cfs according to the USGS website. 

Tellico River is falling.  Right now the flow at that gauge is 664 cfs.  That river peaked at over 2,000 cfs day before yesterday.  The Davidson River is inching up but still running below normal.  The flow there is 119 cfs.  They could use some rain in Western North Carolina. In East Tennessee, we’ve got more than we want.

Checking TVA’s site, it appears Cherokee Dam is generating for an hour right now then they will turn off the flow until 2:00 pm.  There is an opportunity for you on the Holston.  TVA also indicates the South Holston will be generating for an hour starting at 9:00 am then turn of the turbines until 8:00 pm.  There is another opportunity.  It looks like Norris Dam will be pouring water all day again.  Norris Lake is way down from full pool.  Give us a break.  Check the TVA sites before you go.  These schedules are subject to change.  And, TVA can release water without notice.

I wish I could find some reliable lake level and lake water temperature information.  Maybe I’m not looking in the right place.  Some lakes appear to be at or near full pool.  Others are way below full pool which is what you would expect this time of year.  Over a week ago Melton Hill was 1 foot over full pool.  At the same time Norris was 13 feet below full pool.  Of course, Douglas was way down. 

Getting water temperature information seems to be limited to people like me who take it every day and post that data on the web.  Surely, there is more water temperature information out there.  I would like to find it.

We are busy at the shop.  The Spring gear came in two weeks ago and people started buying it.  Now we are in replenishment mode and believe me, I am not complaining one bit.  I’m still slaving away on the website overhaul.  You probably don’t notice what I’m doing unless you visit the Online Store.  If I can average 50 hours a week on this website, I think I’ll be finished by May.  Right now I’m working on the Wading Accessories category.  After that, it will be Waders. 

I’ve been working on this almost full time for months.  And, people are noticing.  Now, the Online Store is the most visited part of our site.  Before that, the Message Board was #1.  This Fishing Report is moving up too.  We have 600 to 700 guests on here every day now.  Not long ago those numbers were 400 to 500. 

Overall visitation on this website is growing fast.  During the past few months, it just took off.  That helps me through the tedious task.  When you know your work is paying off you don’t mind sitting in front of a computer for 10 hours straight almost every day.  Results don’t come fast.  I’m pleased.

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

Byron Begley
March 18, 2012 

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