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P.O. Box 505
Townsend, Tennessee 37882
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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 04/17/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:41 am Eastern Time Zone : CFS=Cubic Feet Per Second
Fishing Gauge Indicating Fishing is Between Slow and Good

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


44.1 Fahrenheit
2.48 Feet 411 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 5:41 am, the temperature outside is 33.3 degrees.

Spring-like weather is returning. Today will be sunny with a high temperature in the mid-60’s and a low tonight in the low 50’s. Tomorrow will be sunny and warmer, with a high temp in the upper 70’s. Then, it will cool some later this week.

Little River is flowing at 411 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.48 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 271 cfs. The water temperature is 44.1 degrees this morning.

Stream flows for the most part are on the high side of good. Water temperatures, even in the low elevations are chilly. The streams will warm today and tonight. Fishing should be good again soon.

Today, I would wait a while before going fishing in the Smoky Mountains. Fishing will be slow this morning. Later today, fishing will improve. Tomorrow will be better.

Nymphs will work best early, and maybe all day. Trout are sluggish in 44 degree water. They become active in the higher 40’s. When the water reaches 50 degrees and above, trout are actively feeding, so fishing is good.

Try Pheasant Tail, Tellico, Prince and Hare’s Ear nymph patterns. Use extra weight to get them down. Dredge the stream bottom, while the water is chilly. Use “tight line” or “high sticking” techniques, which are the same, just worded differently. You can use a strike indicator too, but I think you will do best without one.

As the water warms, you may want to switch to dry flies. A good attractor, that resembles common aquatic insects is what we are recommending at the shop. A Parachute Adams or Elk Hair Caddis are both good attractor flies to use. A Stimulator is another. When the water warms, trout will be more attracted to a good drift and presentation, this time of the year.

Fly fishermen are seeing Yellow Sally stoneflies, though not in large quantities. We will see more of those as the month progresses, and even more in May. Rob’s Hellbender, Yellow Neversink Caddis and small #16 Yellow Stimulators are excellent Yellow Sally dry fly patterns. We have many choices of Yellow Sally imitations.

When the consistently warm days and nights finally arrive, we will be using Yellow Sally stonefly patterns often. As we move into late Spring and Summer, the Green Weenie and Pink Weenies are very productive flies to use, sub surface. We will be recommending Green Weenies and Yellow Neversink Caddis patterns more than other flies, when the weather warms further.

You should have some trout fishing opportunities on the Clinch River today. Check the Norris Dam generation schedule by clicking on the link near the bottom of this page. See if TVA’s schedule works with yours.

This has been an odd year so far. It was cold in January, then warm in February. The Spring hatches started in February. Then, March was cold for the most part, and colder than February. Now, it is mid-April. Yesterday, we saw snow and sleet.

Looking ahead, the long term forecast appears to be normal. I forgot what normal is. The monthly high temperature, in April, here is 70 degrees. The normal low for the month is 41 degrees. Later in April we should see highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the mid-40’s.

Water temperatures drive trout activity. We enjoy a weather dependent sport. Rainfall can be good for our fishing, or grind it to a halt, if we get too much or too little.

I am ready for normal. Or, is what we have had normal?

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

Byron Begley
April 17, 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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