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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and 38 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I can tell we are all getting anxious about fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains.  We are getting 700 to over 800 visitors to this page every day.  Our website gets 3,500 to 6,000 visitors per day. 

We still have a lot of water in the streams.  Little River is flowing at 621 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 377 cfs.  The gauge height reading is 2.92 feet.  Yesterday morning that number was 3.11 feet.  The water is falling slowly.  The ground is soaked from all the rain we have been getting this year.  Even after we have had periods of no or little rain, the streams have remained fairly high.  The aquifer is full.  The water temperature this morning in Little River just below the “Y” is 45.8 degrees.  Yesterday the water temperature topped out at near 50 degrees.

Fishing today will not be easy.  I would choose a small stream.  Nymphs will probably be your best option depending on where you are fishing.  Dry flies may work too.  Be ready for both.  You do need to be careful wading.  The streams are swift.  Tomorrow will be better. If you have a choice between fishing today or tomorrow, pick tomorrow.  The water is still going to be high tomorrow, but lower than today.

Something else to consider is water temperature.  Today, we begin the warm spell we have been waiting for.  High temperatures in the 70’s begin today.  Low temperatures in the mid 40’s to mid 50’s begin tonight.  The water is going to warm all week and fishing is going to be very good.  The water will recede every day until it rains again.  Fishing is going to get better and better as the week progresses. 

Right now, the National Weather Service is predicting rain, starting Wednesday.  Rain is more likely on Thursday.  We don’t need more rain. 

We are all talking around here about how little we have been fishing this year.  The weather keeps getting us.  We have also been pushing our Spring pre-season orders out further.  We placed these order last Fall.  We never expect a Spring like this one.  You can’t plan for that.  Last year was just the opposite.  Warm temperatures and hatches occurred in early February.  Last year we were scrambling to get tackle in the shop earlier than we planned.  This business is dependent on weather.  Our sport is controlled by weather.

Barring any high water, next week is going to be the big break we have been waiting for.

I noticed a couple of trucks, parked off the road in strange places on my way to work.  They were no doubt the vehicles owned by turkey hunters.  Every year we see more and more wild turkeys.  I’m not so sure the hunting is getting easier.  Some say it is not.

Like wild trout, the wild turkeys that survive a hunting season tend to be the wary by nature.  Those wary genes are passed on.  Succeeding generations are getting harder to successfully hunt or that’s one guess, mine.  But, since there are more turkeys, hunters are still having good hunting seasons.

Some hunters say there are too many hens.  Only males are hunted during the Spring season.  The theory is, a male wakes up in the morning and has more hens to mate with.  As a result, the toms knock off early in the day to rest.  I have only been turkey hunting for 13 years.  I know there are more birds.  But I don’t see my group of friends killing more of them.

I see wild turkeys around our house several times a week most of the year.  It is turkey hunting season.  Where do they go?  I did see a few about 3 days ago.

This is going to be a beautiful weekend.  I’m sure the fishing will be good somewhere in East Tennessee.  So, go fishing and enjoy yourself.

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

Byron Begley
April 6, 2013

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