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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 04/13/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 4:48 am Eastern Time Zone : CFS=Cubic Feet Per Second
Fishing Gauge Indicating Fishing is Good

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


53.1 Fahrenheit
2.24 Feet 303 CFS

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and Streamers


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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 4:48 am, the temperature outside is 52.3 degrees.

Today will be sunny and warm, with a high in the low 80’s. Tonight’s low will dip only to the low 60’s. Tomorrow will be warm, in the mid to upper 70’s. There is a chance for showers tomorrow. Thunderstorms may appear in the late afternoon or evening. It will be breezy tomorrow.

Sunday will be cooler, with a high in the mid to upper 60’s. There is an 80% chance for rain. It will likely be windy. Rainfall may reach 1 inch.

Little River is flowing at 303 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.24 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 291 cfs. The water temperature is 53.1 degrees this morning.

Fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains is good. The trout are active, due to the optimum water temperatures in the low to mid elevations.

Today, fishing will be good. Your only problem will be the sun. Fishing will be best late in the afternoon, when there are more shaded areas on the streams. There are many species of aquatic insects on the water. Caddis, stoneflies, blue wing olives and mayflies are going to be active, especially this afternoon. The trout have many food choices right now. If the trout are not taking your dry flies, it may be due to the bright sun. Switch to a nymph or wet fly.

The lack of leaves on trees in the early Spring, reduces the shaded areas we normally see during the Summer months.  

Tomorrow (Saturday) should offer good fishing. It will be warm. It may be breezy. The sun will not be an issue, from what I’ve read. It should be partly cloudy to cloudy all day. Water temperatures will be excellent. Take a rain jacket with you.

Fishing may not be good Sunday. It will be raining and windy at times. Depending on how much rain we get Saturday night, the streams could be flowing high. More rain Sunday could make matters worse. Heavy rain is possible. “Localized flooding and strong wind gusts will be possible”, according to the National Weather Service.

Fly choices this weekend can be simplified by picking attractor patterns, without trying to guess what aquatic insects you will see. I would have Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis and Stimulators in my box. I would have some blue wing olive patterns. You may see lots of different bugs on the water. You could see hendricksons and March browns. You may see blue wing olives. You will see stoneflies and caddis.

Nymphs will work. Most any reasonable pattern should do. I would use a Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Prince Nymph, Tellico or Hare’s Ear.

Don’t forget wet flies. They can be handy when trout are taking emergers.

Right now, I don’t think the trout will care what fly you use. They are looking for food. Most important is, getting a good drift. Also, you don’t want to spook the trout. Experiment between dry flies, nymphs or wet flies. Try dropping a nymph or wet fly off your dry fly.

White bass are on the move. They run from the impoundments, up the rivers to spawn, usually in mid-April. This weekend is mid-April. Baitfish patterns will work best. I would use a Puglisi Threadfin Shad. A lot of anglers use a white or chartreuse and white Clouser Minnows. I prefer my Clousers with bead chain eyes, instead of lead eyes. They are easier to cast. They will sink, if you give them time.

The white bass will be in the lower reaches of the lowland rivers or at the mouths of the rivers. They can be found in the tailwaters too. I’ve found, catching the white bass run can be hit or miss. Go fishing more often, and your chances are better.

The farm ponds are fishing well. I saw a nice largemouth bass photo at the shop yesterday, caught on a BuggleBug popper. Bluegill are active too.  

The trout tailwaters are fishing well from what I’ve heard. TVA is releasing less water now at the dams. If you are interested in fly fishing for trout, try the Clinch River below Norris Dam or the Holston below Cherokee Dam. Check the TVA website to determine when to go.

If you are new to fishing the tailwaters, you need to understand how generation schedules affect the water levels at different locations. The best way to learn is, get out there and fish. Plan on driving to avoid high water. Be aware of the generation schedule on the river. Watch and talk to other anglers.

Spring is here. I see one cold night in the long term forecast, through April 27th. The days should be warm. Fly fishing in the Smokies will continue to be good through the month, unless we have high water temporarily.

Of course, May is the best month and not far off.

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

Byron Begley
April 13, 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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