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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 03/25/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:57 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


46.8 Fahrenheit
2.92 Feet 671 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 5:57 am, the temperature outside is 43.9 degrees.

Light rain fell all day yesterday, at times. Thunderstorms moved into the area yesterday evening. Rain fell most of the night. During the past 24 hours, 1.21” of rain is reported in Townsend, while .97” was totaled at the Knoxville Airport.

Today will be cloudy and cool, with a high temperature in the mid-50’s. Tonight’s low will dip to the upper 30’s. We may get more rain this morning, and possibly this afternoon.

Warm air moves in tomorrow and will remain through next weekend. Expect high temperatures in the mid to upper 60’s. Lows at night from the upper 30’s to the upper 50’s are expected.

Little River is flowing at 671 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.92 feet on the flow gauge. The river is rising quickly. Median flow for this date is 351 cfs. The water temperature is 46.8 degrees.

All flow gauges in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park are reporting high and quickly rising water.

Fishing will be slow in most Smokies streams today. Wading in many streams will be dangerous. I suppose some streams could crest early, then recede enough to be fishable. I don’t think that is likely, but it is possible. Judging from the angle of the line on the USGS Gauge Site page for Little River, that line is going straight up.

You may want to check the USGS site later this morning and see what the conditions look like then. If Little River peaked soon, later today, you may be able to fish one or more of the prongs. You will need to be careful wading.

I checked the gauge height on Little River again, and it is at 3.2 feet now and still rising. We consider 2.5 feet to be on the high side of good. Over that number, the water will be swift in many areas.

You could also look for smaller streams that are fishable. Anthony Creek, in Cades Cove, where it runs through the picnic area is sometimes fishable when other streams are high.

You can fish from near the bank, without wading in swift water, and still go fishing. Don’t try to wade across, through swift currents. You could end up falling in and the water is cold, 46.8 degrees in Little River, in the lower elevations.

Not only are you going to encounter high water, the streams are chilly. At 46.8 degrees, fishing is normally fair, without the high water to contend with. It will be chilly today. It will be overcast. The water temperatures may rise some, but not much.

Thanks to those thunderstorms that blew through last night, fishing conditions are just not good at all. Fishing would have been marginal today anyway, without the heavy rain that fell.

Better days are ahead. The streams will warm next week. But, rain is predicted Thursday and Friday. Right now, it looks like we could get heavy rain Thursday.

This has been a crazy year so far, weather wise. February was warmer than normal. March is colder than normal. We had a dry Fall and a wet Winter. We are nearing the end of March, and there was still snow on the ground, in the mountains yesterday. Most of the snow has melted except at the highest elevations, or on slopes that don’t get much sun.

TVA has been generating and sluicing at the dams, causing high and unfishable water flows below. I looked at expected flows at both Norris and Cherokee Dams. It appears TVA is slowing down some on the water releases. They stopped sluicing at Norris Dam, for now. That is good news for trout anglers. Check the flows at Cherokee Dam, predicted for today. There may be opportunities there.

I hope you are able to go fishing today, and enjoy yourself. I hope the fishing conditions improve quickly.

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

Byron Begley
March 25, 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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