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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 50 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Spring is finally here.  I noticed several trees on the way home last night that are beginning to show their leaves.  The valley is turning green and that will happen fast now. 

High temperatures will range from 60 degrees to over 80 degrees over the next 10 days.  Lows at night will range from 40 to 60 degrees.  It’s happening.

Little River is flowing at 2.63 feet on the gauge or 465 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 356 cfs.  The water level is about 2” higher than I thought it would be this morning.  Little River is slowly dropping and will continue to do so until Thursday.  We may get some rain Thursday and Friday.  The water temperature at 7:40 am was 51 degrees at the “Y”.  Yesterday the temperature peaked at 54 degrees.

Fishing is good and will only get better.  Remember, the higher elevations and the backcountry streams are cooler than the reading I’m giving you in the valley.  That temperature is taken just inside the Park at the Townsend entrance.  With temperatures in the high 70’s to over 80 degrees over the next three days, the water in the Smokies will warm up to the perfect temperature.  Expect hatches of Blue Quills, Quill Gordons, March Browns, stones, caddis and other aquatic insects.  There will be a lot of insect activity over the next few days.  Everything living in these streams will be active, fish and bugs.

Smallmouth bass fishing in the lowland rivers is picking up.  I saw a photo of Joe holding a nice one he caught yesterday in Little River.  Fishing for smallies in the rivers will improve over the next few days too.

I have not heard any good news about the lakes yet.  That will come soon as well.  Lake fishing for smallmouth bass will improve when the water temperature reaches 55 degrees.  At 60+ degrees fishing will be great.  Some lakes warm earlier than others.  Getting remote lake temperatures is nearly impossible or that is what I have found.

It is all coming together.  I just hope we don’t get much rain later this week.

One of our customers and friends from Iowa sent me an e-mail.  He said he introduced the Knuclehead that I tie on a forum up there.  We have several customers and friends in Iowa.  He said I better start tying them because his buddies will be buying them.  I have several dozen of each color tied right now.  I cranked out a few last night while watching re-runs of Duck Dynasty. 

I read on the internet, Duck Dynasty has the largest audience and rating ever of any reality TV show.  I believe it.  Those guys remind me of a lot of people I know.  It is a funny show.

I am re-stocking the fly tying department.  That category has been hit hard lately and I haven’t had time to order.  It will be back in good shape soon.  It is hard to keep everything running perfect in this business.  Running a fly shop is more complicated than it seems.  It requires me to work long hours.  The non-monetary rewards are worth it.  I love what I do.  Mostly I like being around the customers and staff who share my same interest, fly fishing.  If it were not for that, I’d probably do something else. 

Here, we live and breathe fly fishing.  At least 12 hours of my work day and day off have something to do with fly fishing.  I go on some hunting trips with my buddies, but we talk about fly fishing then too.  I’m glad Paula likes to fly fish.  She and I plan to do a lot of that now that the water has warmed and the fish are active.

This is the perfect place to live if your life revolves around fly fishing.  We have hundreds of miles of trout streams beginning a few hundred feet from our store.  There are wild trout streams in the Park and National Forests running through hundreds of thousands of acres of public land.  I think I counted about 2 million acres of public land connected to and including Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

We have lowland rivers everywhere you look, loaded with smallmouth bass.  Trout infested trophy tailwaters are close by.  Lakes are all over the place.  We can drive 35 minutes to an hour and a half and reach many of them, maybe 6 or more. Here or nearby you can fish for 3 species of trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcrackers, carp, stripers, white bass and even musky.

All of the above is why I moved here 20 years ago.

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

Byron Begley
April 8, 2013

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