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.  The sky is clear, frost is on the ground and the temperature is 30 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I saw a lone wild turkey standing 100 feet or so from our gravel road as I drove by.  That bird immediately few off.  Usually there are more.  They barely get out of the road so I can drive by.  Today is different.  Turkey hunting season opened this weekend.  Those birds are wild again.

Jack called me yesterday morning early.  He told me Mike Shaver passed away.  Many of you knew Mike.  If you worked on Troutfest, you knew him well.  You may know his son, Ross.  You may know his wife Rea.  I knew Mike very well.  He built this building.  He and I worked together almost daily for a year.  We became very close friends during that time.  We are all going to miss Mike and we all pray for his family.  We lost a great man yesterday. 

Little River is flowing well and looking good at 401 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.35 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 345 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:10 am is 43.7 degrees.

Fishing was good yesterday.  The water temperature in Little River’s lower stretches reached 49 degrees yesterday afternoon.  Bugs were coming off and trout were rising to them.  Rob had three beginner fly fishing students on the water yesterday.  He said it was slow during the morning hours but really picked up in the afternoon.  They caught trout on dry flies.  Conditions should be the same today or maybe better.

Tomorrow, April 1st, fishing is going to get really good, maybe excellent.  If the long term weather forecast holds true, fishing should be excellent for the next 10 days in the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is about time.  We will have conditions we can count on.

It is going to be warm, maybe 79 degrees Wednesday.  Temperatures at night will be warm.  Now is the time to be here and I can say that with confidence.  I’m usually very conservative when I make statements like that.  I don’t want anyone driving here expecting “Excellent” and having something I said let them down.  If I am wrong, I want the fishing to be better than what I am writing here.

The lakes and lowland rivers will get warmer this week and fishing will be much better for smallmouth bass.  Some lakes are already warmer than others.  We have 8 lakes close-by, within an hour or so drive from here.  They are all different.  The streams or tailwaters that feed these lakes differ.  Some are colder than others.  Some have less nutrients than others.  Some lakes are very clear and the fish are spooky.  Others have color and are easier to fish.  We have lakes with fairly heavy boat traffic.  Some have almost no boat traffic. Sometimes it is hard to decide where to go.  There are so many options.  One thing they will share this week, fishing is going to get better.

Since we got some rain, smallmouth bass fishing in the lowland rivers like Little River, Little Pigeon River and Abrams Creek will improve.  The water temperature will rise and the smallies will become active.

If we get favorable discharges on the tailwaters, they will be fishing well too.

Heck, even the pond fishing will improve.

Trees will be showing leaves this week.  It is already happening.  Flowers are blooming and more will bloom over the next 10 days.

It is going to be comfortable for humans.  There is no more frigid weather in the forecast.

So, for the fist time in a while, I’m taking two days off in one week, starting tomorrow.  I’ve been working hard.  It’s time for a break.  Tomorrow I’m going to get the boat gear ready, get our tackle ready and on Wednesday, Paula and I are going fishing.  I’m pumped.

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

Byron Begley
March 31, 2014

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