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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 03/21/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:20 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


48.2 Fahrenheit
2.35 Feet 350 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 5:20 am, the temperature outside is 33.6 degrees.

Today and tonight will be cold. Expect a high in the upper 30’s today in the valley. Tonight’s low is predicted to be in the upper 20’s. Rain and snow will fall today and tonight. Little accumulation is expected. Thursday will be sunny with a high temperature in the upper 40’s.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is under a Winter Storm Warning.

Elkmont – Cold today with snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. Tonight’s low is predicted to be 27 degrees.

Newfound Gap – Snow with a high near 32 degrees. Tonight’s low will be in the 20’s. Snow accumulation through tonight is predicted to be between 4” and 8”.

Mount LeConte – Snow today and tonight with a high temperature of 20 degrees today and a low of 16 tonight. Snowfall accumulation between 5” and 11” through tonight.

Highway 441/Newfound Gap Road is currently closed due to snow and ice.

This is Spring? Yesterday was the first day of Spring.

Little River is flowing at 350 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.35 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 398 cfs. The water temperature is 48.2 degrees this morning, but falling quickly.

There will likely be more road closings in Great Smoky Mountains National Park today and tonight, including tomorrow. You can check the Park’s Road Twitter page by CLICKING HERE for updates.

I think water temperatures will continue to plunge through tomorrow. I don’t think, I know. Fishing will slow.

Warmer air will move in tomorrow, and through the weekend. I hope, that by Saturday, the water will be warm enough to improve the fishing. We’ll see some improvement tomorrow and Friday. I think fishing will be slow tomorrow but maybe a little better by Friday.

Snow will be melting in the mountains. That affects the water temperatures. I am holding out hope for Saturday and Sunday but it’s hard to predict what the water temperatures will be. What we want to see is the upper 40’s for fishing to be fair, and temps in the 50’s for fishing to be good again.

These streams are born in the high elevations, where the air is colder than it is in the valleys.

The long term weather outlook for Saturday, through April 4th looks good from a temperature standpoint. Rain is predicted almost every day through the period.

We had a period of fair to good fishing over the past few days. Fishing was good during a period in February. It is not unusual for us to see Winter-like weather in March, or even early April. Fishermen enjoy the Winter break in the weather at times.

I remember when trout season in Tennessee opened on April 1st. In those days, fly fishermen didn’t care much about the weather in January through March. Fly fishermen did not know much about early Spring hatches, because they occurred when trout season was closed.

Trout is a year-round fishery in our State. Early Spring hatches are important to us now.  

I also remember when the fishing season was open year-round in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, except for Abrams Creek. I never understood why Abrams Creek’s season differed from other trout streams in the Park.

Trout season on Abrams Creek was lifted, after 1983, when Fisheries Biologist Steve Moore was hired. One of Steve’s first decisions was, what to do with Abrams Creek. He opened it because he saw no reason to close it from sometime in October until April 1st or April 15th. I can’t exactly remember which dates.

Remember when most of the brook trout streams were closed to fishing? It has not been that long ago. Steve opened some to fishing gradually, then opened them all a few years ago.

Lynn Camp Prong, one of the few mid-elevations brook trout streams in the Park, was closed for 7 years. The Park Service fisheries crew and volunteers, removed the rainbow trout from an 8+ mile long stream and tributaries, and replaced them with Southern Appalachian brook trout. That was a very long 7 years. I enjoyed fishing on Lynn Camp Prong when it was predominately a rainbow trout stream. It was my favorite stream in the Park. It still is.

I remember the drive from the fly shop being 30 minutes to Lynn Camp Prong. Then, I usually hiked for an hour or so to start fishing. To do it well, is a day-long excursion. And, what a day it is. Fishing is good, the scenery is spectacular, and wildflowers in the Spring display beautifully. Don’t be surprised if you see a black bear or two and deer. Lynn Camp Prong is a special place.

It is dawn. I see snow clinging to the trees outside my home office windows.

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

Byron Begley
March 21, 2018   

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USGS Stream Gauges

Abrams Creek Below Cades Cove    

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Lake Information and Tailwater Generation Schedules


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