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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 03/23/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:51 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


41.4 Fahrenheit
2.16 Feet 271 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 5:51 am, the temperature outside is 27.7 degrees.

Today’s high temperature will rise to the mid-50’s, then drop to the low 40’s tonight. Saturday will be wet with a high in the low 50’s. Rainfall may reach ¼ inch tonight, with up to ½ inch Saturday. Saturday night will be warm, in the upper 40’s. Sunday will be warmer, near 60 degrees, with a chance for rain, according to the National Weather Service. Another weather website predicts Sunday’s high to be cooler, in the mid-50’s.

Little River is flowing at 271 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.16 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 391 cfs. The water temperature is 41.4 degrees this morning.

Trying to predict fishing this weekend is tough to do. Right now the streams, at the low elevations of the Smokies are cold, like they were yesterday. It is predicted to be slightly warmer today, than it actually was yesterday. Yesterday’s high was 50.2 degrees in the afternoon.

Yesterday’s water temperature at the lowest elevation in the Park only rose to 44 degrees, and that occurred late in the day.

My best guess is, fishing will be slow to fair today, and fair Saturday, if you don’t mind fishing in the rain. It will be warmer tonight than it has been and I think tomorrow’s water temperatures will rise to the upper 40’s and maybe near 50 degrees. At 50 degrees, fishing will be good.

The warmer rain will be beneficial tomorrow. Melting snow, if there is much left, will keep the water temperatures from rising as much as if there were no snow.

Yesterday morning, snowfall amounts were 4.5” at Newfound Gap, and 9” at Mount LeConte. Snow amounts were low at Sugarland Center, Cades Cove and Oconaluftee.

If you plan to fish today, through Sunday, check the water temperature at the USGS gauge sites by clicking the links below. Some have temperature probes and others do not. The Little River Gauge in Townsend has a temperature probe.

If the water temperature reaches the upper 40’s, fishing will be fair to good. If that number rises to the 50’s, fishing will be good.

Nymphs or wet flies are probably going to work best. You may see some aquatic insect hatches this weekend. If the water is warm enough, trout may be eating them on the surface. If you see that, switch to a dry fly. Have a few Parachute Adams in several sizes, just in case.

Fishing is going to be much better next week. It will be warmer, day and night, Monday through Sunday. Unless we get heavy rain, fishing will be good next week.

If you are planning a trip to the Smokies soon, I would probably postpone until next weekend, if that works for you. The chances for good fishing are better next weekend, than they are this weekend.

So, there you have it. I could be wrong. Fishing may be better this weekend than I think it will be. I would rather err on the conservative side, so more people will not be disappointed. I don’t like being told fishing is good, go, and find out fishing is slow. I would rather go believing fishing may be slow, and find fishing is good.

My attitude about the weekend fishing may change later today or tomorrow morning. Everything depends on water temperatures and flows. Right now, the water temperatures are “borderline”.

Fishing, when fishing is not excellent, is fun too, better than not going at all. So, with that in mind, go fishing this weekend in the Smokies and you will have an enjoyable time. Take a rain jacket.

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

Byron Begley
March 23, 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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