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Townsend, Tennessee 37882
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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 03/20/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:43 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


53.6 Fahrenheit
2.11 Feet 254 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 5:43 am, the temperature outside is 54.3 degrees.

I walked outside earlier, knowing it was going to be warm. I did not expect it to be this warm. Of course, it is dark out there. All I heard were Spring peepers, peeping. Their chorus reminded me, Spring is here, sort of. I love Spring in the Great Smoky Mountains.

The wild turkeys are active. Three different gobblers live around our house, among an assortment of 36 hens and jakes. Right now, I never step outside our house, without seeing at least one wild turkey and hearing many. Some days we see them all, in the field near our barn. The gobblers are gobbling and fanning. It is Spring.

We have not spotted one black bear at our house this year. It won’t be long. They will be passing through soon, hungry and searching for food. Our bird feeders have been taken down and stored in the basement, until next Winter. Bears will destroy a bird feeder, even if it is empty.

Today will be warm, with a high temperature in the low 60’s. Rain should move into the area at 11 am. We may get ¼ to ½ inches of rain today. Rain will continue tonight, as cold air arrives. Tonight’s low temperature will be in the low 30’s. Expect rain and snow tomorrow and tomorrow night. Temps will fall into the 20’s tomorrow night. By the weekend, we will enjoy high temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s. Lows will dip to the 40’s and 50’s. Spring will return.

Snow may be fairly heavy in the mountains tonight through Wednesday evening. Expect snowfall amounts between 2 and 9 inches, depending on the elevation. Expect road closures. The mountains we see from our home, will be white.

Little River is flowing at 254 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.11 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 368 cfs. The water temperature is an incredible 53.6 degrees this morning.

Fly fishing for trout has been good in the Smoky Mountains. Though I did not go, I suspect yesterday offered the best fishing during the past 3 days. It was overcast and warm. Many different aquatic insects are hatching, including Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Blue Wing Olives, caddis and stoneflies.

Charles sent me an e-mail yesterday. He fished on the Middle Prong above the Institute, Sunday. Though there were plenty of bugs on the water, not many trout were rising to them. He caught most of his trout on a Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle, dropped off a dry fly. He said there were not many fly fishermen to be seen.

Fishing will slow for a couple of days, beginning tomorrow, as cold air lowers the water temperatures. Fishing will improve this coming weekend. Hopefully it will be good again by Saturday or at least by Sunday.

I was thrilled to get my first fly rod, reel, fly line, and fly tying kit on my 11th birthday in 1962. Growing up in Central Kentucky back then, nobody I knew fly fished. I had to learn to tie and fly fish on my own, on the family farm. I caught my first fish on a fly I tied myself that day. It was all an unforgettable experience. The fish was a largemouth bass, weighing about two pounds. I’ve been hooked on fly fishing, ever since.

And, to this day, while living in “trout country”, I enjoy bass fishing with a fly rod as much as I did in the 1960’s. We have many TVA impoundments and rivers flowing to the Tennessee River, and the Tennessee River too. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fly fishing is excellent here. Fly fishing for bluegill, shellcrackers and stripers offer other opportunities. And then there are carp, which frustrate the heck out of me. I’ve caught a few, but have been snubbed my thousands. I need to learn to fly fish for carp from an expert. There are many around here.

I know many of you fly fish for warmwater species. We sell and ship more poppers at our store than I can count. I have also met many people, spanning over the decades, who only fly fish for trout. If you are one of those, you are missing out on some fabulous fly fishing.

I found an article on the Gink+Gasoline website this morning, on the subject of farm ponds. The article’s title is “Fly Fishing Bass Ponds – 101”. This is a great article and you can read it by CLICKING HERE. I learned things I didn’t know, like using poppers during the Winter months. I did not think of even trying that. I have always used streamers and Wooly Buggers during the cold months.

I know of several farm ponds nearby and the farmers who own the ponds. I could easily get permission to fish. Though Paula and I love fly fishing on the lakes, from our boat, this year, I’m going to go back in time and seek out some farm ponds to fish.

You should try it too if you don’t participate already. Maybe many of us have been “missing out”.

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

Byron Begley
March 20, 2018

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