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Townsend, Tennessee 37882
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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 11/09/17 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:42 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 2017 YTD Knoxville Apt
Rainfall Normal YTD Knoxville Apt


54.3 Fahrenheit
2.69 Feet 474 CFS

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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 5:42 am, the temperature is 48.2 degrees.

Rain is likely this morning, but not much is expected. In fact, it is raining right now. The high temperature should reach the high 50’s today and drop to the mid to upper 30’s tonight. Tomorrow through Saturday brings us sunny skies with highs in the 50’s and lows in the 30’s. Sunday will be similar, but there is a slight chance for more rain.

Little River is flowing at 474 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.69 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 134 cfs. The water temperature is 54.3 degrees this morning.

Stream flows are still high. Some areas are very swift, so wading should be avoided there. You may find some stretches or streams that are safe to wade. You do not have to wade deep to fish. You can easily “high stick” from a safe place and do well. You can fish closer to the trout when the water is high, like it is now.

I would use nymph rigs, weighted well, to get the nymphs down. Most reasonable nymph patterns should work. I would use Tellico, Pheasant Tail, Prince or Hare’s Ear patterns in sizes #12 through #16. Nymphs with rubber legs are a great choice. You might try streamers.

Though the water is warm now, in the low elevations, it will chill beginning tonight. I do not know how cold the water will be later this week. The air temperatures in the mountains will fall below freezing at times, especially tomorrow night. I would expect water temperatures to fall into the 40’s by the weekend, depending on what elevation you are fishing.

If the water temperature is in the upper 40’s, fishing can be very good. It can even be good in the mid 40’s, which happens often during the early Spring. But, when the temps drop to the low 40’s, fishing slows. You can catch them under those conditions, but the action is not “hand over fist”.

There are exceptions to this rule…post spawn trout.

Watch for post-spawn brown trout. They are hungry. Some browns may still be spawning, depending on the elevation.

The same is true of the brook trout. Post spawn trout are hungry and they will feed even when the water is cold.

Water levels will fall by the weekend to certainly a fishable and safe wading level, but the streams will likely be flowing at above normal for this time of year. Be careful wading. The water will be swift in some areas.

I talked to a man and woman yesterday, who are visiting Townsend. They live in Louisiana. They were both interested in “fishing in general” in this area. They do not fly fish, but they are thinking about learning, and visiting East Tennessee to fish in the future.

I began listing the opportunities available of which there are many. I told them about the nine reservoirs we have nearby. I discussed the tailwaters, below the dams. I mentioned the mountain streams, hundreds of miles of wild trout streams. They heard me talk about the lowland rivers, including the Tennessee River and its tributaries.

When you think about it, I don’t know where you could find more water than we have here. The possibilities are endless, whether you fly fish or use conventional tackle. You can wade or fish from a boat, raft, canoe or kayak.

Fishing is what prompted my move here 25 years ago. And, I like mountains. I like the mild weather and the friendly people. I love the abundance of wildlife.

And, we are not that far from the ocean, the Atlantic or the Gulf.

Some of my close friends were born here and have lived here all their lives. I’m jealous.

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

Byron Begley
November 9, 2017  

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USGS Stream Gauges


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Lake Information and Tailwater Generation Schedules


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