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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is overcast and 53 degrees.  All of these predictions, for the past two days, that it would rain, have not panned out. 

Little River is flowing at 198 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.82 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 317 cfs.  The water temperature is 49.8 degrees, slightly lower than the high recorded yesterday. 

The weather experts say we have a 100% chance for rain today.  I don’t believe it.  They’ve been wrong two days straight.  Fishing yesterday was probably very good.  I was locked in my office or meeting with friends in Sevierville who have a mail order business.  I didn’t talk to any fishermen returning from the Park.  It has to be very good.  The water temperature is right and there are beautiful dark clouds in the sky.  Who could ask for better conditions than this?

The weather radar does indicate rain is on the way.  I’ll believe it when I see it.

If you go fishing today take a rain jacket, just in case I’m wrong.  Be prepared with dry flies and nymphs.  You might see adult Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Blue Wing Olives, Caddis, Stoneflies, other mayfly adults and even terrestrials on the water. A Parachute Adams can’t be beat.  Try sizes #12 through #16. 

There is no reason trout won’t be feeding on the surface at some point today.  When, is the big question.  Maybe all day.  If they are not, use nymphs.  Try a Pheasant Tail, Tellico, Hare’s Ear or any nymph that typically works in the Smokies.

The warmer water in the lowland rivers will get those smallmouth bass in active mode.  The clouds offer excellent conditions today.  I would try a black Wooly Bugger or Game Changer.  You might get them to hit on the surface with a popper, Stealth Bomber something similar.

Bass are moving closer to their spawning beds on the lakes.  Some are being caught in 3 to 5 feet of water.  It depends on the lake.  Norris and Douglas seem to be the warmest according to TWRA.  Again, I would use a black Wooly Bugger or Game Changer. 

Next week looks awesome.  Paula and I are going fishing Wednesday.  The high temperature is supposed to be 79 degrees.  We’ll see highs in the 70’s starting Monday.  That will warm the lakes and improve the smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing.  We will be using Wooly Buggers and Game Changers.

I looked at fishing license sales trends this morning.  It is interesting.  All comparisons are using the first 28 days in March.

Sales 2014 compared to 2007 = Down 32.2%
Sales 2014 compared to 2008 = Down 21.5%
Sales 2014 compared to 2010 = Up 22.6%
Sales 2014 compared to 2012 = Down 3%
Sales 2014 compared to 2013 = Up 30.3%

Remember last year?  We had rain and high water, especially on weekends.  Remember 2007?  I can’t.  I guess everybody went fishing.  We sold $17,366 in fishing licenses during the first 28 days of March 2007. Certainly, a lot more people are fishing this year than last year. But not nearly as many as 2007. Or, maybe more people are buying them online.

Our neighbor’s two sons came back to their family home last night.  They are out in the woods right now, hoping for the best and in a state of high anticipation.  Today is opening day of turkey hunting season.  I left house at 7:40 this morning and I know they are in their blinds.  One blind is actually visible from our house.  I drove right by it this morning. 

Will told Paula there are actually two flocks of turkeys living in our area.  We saw one the other night in front of the house and counted 29 birds.  I don’t know how large the other flock is.  Evidently the two do not intermingle.  Surely, those guys will score at least one turkey today.  As many of you know, when turkey hunting season opens, the birds know it.  A turkey is not a stupid as it looks.  They know.

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

Byron Begley
March 29, 2014

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