Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is clear and 31 degrees in Townsend this morning.  This is my day off and I am at home.  Snow fell all day yesterday.  There was about 2” accumulation in the valley but the roads were fine.  We cold not see the mountains hardly at all yesterday due to snow and fog.  Yesterday evening, that changed.  The air cleared.  We are surrounded by white mountains in all directions.  The view is spectacular. 

I woke several times last night and looked out the large windows toward Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I can see those mountains from our bed.  The moon was full.  There were no clouds.  The mountains were well lit by the light reflected from the moon and white mountains.  At 2:00 am, the view was unbelievable.  We don’t see many nights like we had last night.  It was unforgettable. 

Little River is flowing at 406 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 333 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am was 39.5 degrees.

Fishing over the next few days is going to be unpredictable in the Smoky Mountains.  It is going to be warm this weekend, with highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s.  That trend will continue into next week with highs in the 50’s and lows in the 40’s.

The water temperature will gradually warm to 50 degrees and above.  Fishing will improve.  At some point the fishing should be very good.  There is one variable that is unknown at this point.  What affect will the melting snow have on the water temperature?  The snow will keep the water temperature lower until it all melts.  I can’t determine how much snow is up there in the mountains.  It looks like a lot from here. 

Websites that report snow depth in the Smokies have not posted the numbers this morning.  I did see that Mt. LeConte had 9 inches of new snow yesterday morning bringing the total to 12 inches.  But, they probably got more yesterday.  Newfound Gap has less snow but not much less.  There could be a foot of snow up there or two feet.  I don’t know right now.

The low temperatures tonight and tomorrow night are expected to be in the high 20’s in the valley.  Mount LeConte has been reporting nighttime temperatures in single digits.  That will probably be the case over the next two days there. 

I think the snow in the high elevations will begin to melt this weekend.  I believe the water temperatures will be cool.  I bet the water will not warm up until next week.  It’s a guess.  Temperature inversions could speed up the melt.  It will be sunny this afternoon and tomorrow.  I just don’t know what to expect.

We need to see the water temperatures in the lower elevations reach, exceed and be sustained at 50 degrees for the fishing to get really good again.

Aquatic insect adults are on the water.  Trout may or not be feeding on them.  The streams are flowing strong too.  We have plenty of water. 

So, we’ll have to wait and see.  By all means, go fishing in the Smokies this weekend.  Fishing could be slow or it might be fair.  Try nymphs but be ready for some dry fly action.  Spring temperatures are upon us.  We just have this snow to deal with right now.

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

Byron Begley
March 27, 2013

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