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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 03/27/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:44 am Eastern Time Zone : CFS=Cubic Feet Per Second
Fishing Gauge Indicating Fishing is Between Slow and Good

Water Temperature Little River
Stream Flow
Rainfall 2018 YTD Knoxville Apt
Rainfall Normal YTD Knoxville Apt


49.6 Fahrenheit
2.71 Feet 537 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 5:44 am, the temperature outside is 50.9 degrees.

Today will be mostly cloudy and warm, with a high temperature near 60 degrees. Tonight’s low temperature will only fall to the low 50’s. Tomorrow will be warmer, with a high in the low 70’s.

Warmth will continue through the week, and into the weekend. Water temperatures will rise into the 50’s at low to mid elevations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Trout will be very active. Fishing will be fair to good this week. Tomorrow may be perfect.

More rain is predicted this week, with a high possibility Thursday. The streams are just now recovering from this past weekend’s heavy rain.

Little River is flowing at 537 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.71 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 330 cfs. The water temperature is 49.6 degrees this morning.

We consider a gauge reading at 2.5 feet to be on the high side of good. The river is almost there right now. With water temperatures rising, and water levels falling, now is a good time to go. You will find some swift water in some streams. There may be areas in streams you should not cross to the other bank. Just be aware, and be careful wading.

Hopefully, the expected rain this week will not spoil our fun.

Due to the early Spring temperatures in February, followed by bitter cold air in March, the aquatic insects may be mixed. Quill Gordons and Blue Quills were hatching in February. There were not many good fishing days in March. Not many anglers were on the water in March. The early Spring hatches should occur in the higher elevations. You may find many different insects on the water in the low elevations.

I would go fishing armed with Parachute Adams dry flies in sizes #12 through #16. The Adams color mimics many early Spring aquatic mayflies you will see on the water. It would also be a good idea to have some early Spring patterns, such as Quill Gordons, Blue Quills and Blue Wing Olives. Depending on the elevations you are fishing, early Spring patterns may still be working. They may produce in the low elevations too. Caddis and stoneflies should also be active this week.

Trout may not be looking for food on the surface. Nymphs may work best, for a while. Wet flies could produce as well. I would certainly have a size assortment of Pheasant Tail nymphs in my box.

It will be interesting to see what bugs are on the water now, several weeks after the early Spring hatches began.

As water temps rise, smallmouth bass in the rivers and lakes will become active. Smallmouth fishing is not “hot” right now, but fishing improvement is coming soon. Try Wooly Buggers or other streamers, in the rivers and lakes. The smallies may be moving from deep water to the shallows, where they will eventually spawn. Water temperature drives smallmouth bass reproductive behavior. The bass’ behavior begins to change when the water temperatures rise into the 50’s. They will spawn when the water is much warmer, than it is now.

In the early Spring, fish for smallmouth bass near the sunny banks on lakes, late in the day, where the water is warmer. Fish below riffles in the deeper water in rivers. Eventually, they will move into the riffles and shallower water.

The white bass annual run to spawn, from the lakes, into the lowland rivers, will start soon. That usually occurs in mid-April. More fly fishing anglers are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by these hard fighting fish. A small, white, Clouser Minnow is a good choice, to use during the white bass run.

When TVA slows down their generators, trout fishing on the tailwaters will be good again. Two of our most popular tailwaters, the Clinch River and the Holston, have been flowing very high for several weeks.

A buddy of mine, Zach Matthews wrote a great article, “Ten Tips to Improve your Bank-Bashing Results”. You can read it by CLICKING HERE. It’s a good one. Zach writes about using “Huge Streamers”. Big streamers catch big fish, whether you are fishing for trout, bass or musky. You will learn by reading Zach’s article. His website is named The Itinerant Angler.

Korkers, the makers of wading boots with interchangeable soles, released an article called, What Every Angler Should Know about Yellowstone’s New Felt-Ban. Korkers makes good options for those who need different soles on their boots, for varying conditions or staying in compliance with conservation laws. You can read the article by CLICKING HERE. With Korkers boots, you can still use felt in the Smokies, and switch to another rubber sole option when you travel to Yellowstone. You still have to inspect, clean and dry your wading boots, whether they have rubber or felt soles, to avoid moving invasive species from one river or lake, to another.

The International Human-Bear Workshop is being held in Gatlinburg this week. According to a story I read on the WBIR website, 260 wildlife leaders attended, from the US, Canada, India, China, Austria and Italy. You can read the story by CLICKING HERE.

Human-Bear conflicts are almost always caused by food and garbage. Bears walk by our home often. We see some passing through, but there are others we don't see. We can’t leave anything outside our house, that will attract a bear, during the animal’s active season, which starts now. We put our bird feeders away 2 weeks ago.

One method used in Alaska, and it has been tested here, is using a Taser on a habituated bear. Research has shown that a Taser can be effective, at persuading black and brown bears to avoid human contact.

Of course, if everyone kept food and garbage stored in bear proof containers, we would not have the problem we have now.

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

Byron Begley
March 27, 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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