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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 11/17/17 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:35 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


47.3 Fahrenheit
1.87 Feet 151 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 5:36 am, the temperature outside is 32.4 degrees.

Don’t be discouraged by this chilly morning. It is going to be much warmer, in the low 60’s today and in the mid-60’s tomorrow. Tonight’s low temperature will only dip to the mid 40’s. Expect rain late tomorrow and tomorrow night. One weather site predicts we will get ½”. It is going to be breezy too. Sunday will be colder, with a high in the mid-40’s.

Little River is flowing at 151 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.87 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 147 cfs. The water temperature is 47.3 degrees this morning, at the low elevation USGS gauge site, just inside the Townsend entrance to the Park.

I saw a U.S. Geological Survey truck in town yesterday. I couldn’t see the driver, but it had to be Terry Phillips, who maintains our gauge site. He works out of the Knoxville Field Office, and is charged with keeping many gauge sites operating and sending data. He’s a good guy, who showed me all the equipment in that tiny building and explained how it works. When I notice a problem with the data, I shoot Terry an e-mail.

The water will warm, later today, tonight and tomorrow. That should improve the fishing, at least through tomorrow. I think tomorrow will be a good fishing day, but the wind, if it occurs, will be a negative factor. As is often the case, winds are predicted, but do not occur. Other times, when wind is predicted, it blows like crazy. Stream flows are normal.

I would fish the low to mid-elevations. Try the Middle Prong of Little River or Lynn Camp Prong. Fish the East Prong, below and above Metcalf Bottoms, up to and above Elkmont. Of course, there is the West Prong of Little River, where rainbows are always eager to participate in our sport. Try Abrams Creek.

I would still use nymphs, a pair of them, weighted. You may see aquatic insects on the water. They may be active. They could be blue wing olives, small black stoneflies or caddis. Be prepared to switch to dry flies.

I will spend the day, building our new Scott Fly Rod Department on the online store. You can watch the progress by CLICKING HERE. Watch the video. It is inspiring.

From there, look at the G Series Rod. Daniel has not added the rod options, which is what he does, but he should do it today. I wrote the text from a personal perspective because I own two of the old G Series rods. I love their action. I started fly fishing way before graphite was invented. Back then, fly rods were made from fiberglass and the action was slow. I became used to slow rods and I still like them. I also use an old Scott fiberglass rod today. It is slower than a sloth, but I love it.

I know, the new G Series rods are expensive. Most of the new “High Tech” rods are. These rods are more accurate. So, how can a fly rod be more accurate than another? That sounds like a sales pitch, right? I was skeptical too.

A few years ago, Raz Reid, our Sage Sales Representative came to the shop with the new X Rod. Raz told us, “the Sage X fly rod is very accurate”. We walked outside to cast them on the grass. He was right. There is a huge difference. Every time I cast, the line, leader and piece of yarn tied to the leader, went exactly where I pointed it. I found the same to be true with the Orvis H Series rods. There are probably other rod manufactures that have improved accuracy. Scott is one.

How do they do it? I’m not sure anyone knows, except for the rod designers themselves. I know they are using new carbon fiber cloth and resins. I think the accuracy also comes from the alignment of the cloth fibers, but I don’t know for sure.

I do know why they are accurate, with my limited knowledge of physics. The fly line, leader and fly goes where the tip of the rod points. You have probably read or heard Lefty say that. It makes sense. I believe it.

So, if you point your thumb and rod toward a target, the line should shoot right where you point it. My experience has been, sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. I try to cast accurately, and hope for the best. Sometimes I get lucky.

My understanding is, when you point the rod at the target, the tip of the rod may veer to the left or right. When that happens, you have made an inaccurate cast. What the new rods try to do, is eliminate the lateral wobble, so the tip of the rod does not veer off course. Maybe I am oversimplifying this. There may be other factors involved. All I know for sure is, it works. There is a significant difference.

Does it matter? I’m one of those fly fishermen who cares more about where I am and who I am with. If I make a sloppy cast, I laugh it off. If I catch fish, that is great. If I don’t, I am fine with that too. If I lose a fish of a lifetime, it doesn’t bother me. I’m out there to have fun with my friends or my wife. I am out there to enjoy a beautiful place. I’m there to relax.

It does matter to many fly fishermen. Some fishermen are more serious about the sport than I am. I think that is great. This is a sport that allows us to develop our skills, and be a better fly fisherman.

Take a look at these new, high tech fly rods. Come by the shop and cast them. You may be amazed. You may take one home.

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

Byron Begley
November 17, 2017   

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USGS Stream Gauges


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Lake Information and Tailwater Generation Schedules


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