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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 11/20/17 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 6:03 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


44.2 Fahrenheit
1.90 Feet 159 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 5:47 am, the temperature outside is 27.6 degrees.

It will be sunny today with a high in the mid to upper 50’s and a low tonight in the mid-30’s. Days and nights will be similar through Saturday. There is only a slight chance for rain on Wednesday and Thursday.

Little River is flowing at 159 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.90 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 187 cfs. The water temperature is 44.2 degrees this morning.

We may see water temperatures climb some this week, but for the most part, I think the temps will be chilly. Fish later in the day when the water is warmer. I expect fishing to be fair at best this week. I hope I am wrong and fishing is good.

I would use nymphs that are weighted with split shot or weighted themselves, with beads or wire, or both. Unless there is a blue wing olive hatch, that gets the trout’s attention, I believe the trout will be near the bottom and mostly inactive, with some exceptions.

When water temperatures drop into the low 40’s, I have found trout to be inactive. Their metabolism slows. They don’t need much to eat. That is how they survive during the cold months, when there is not much to eat.  

Nymphs may become dislodged from their home under rocks, and drift downstream in the current. Those will be eaten. That is what you want to mimic, a dislodged nymph.

The post spawn brown and brook trout will be hungry. Right now, there is not much for them to eat. So, they will take every opportunity to feed, even if the water is cold. Large brown trout will eat other small trout.

At some point soon, the water temperatures will fall into the 30’s. When that happens, trout just hunker down on the bottom, not moving much at all, to conserve energy, through the Winter.

Leaves have fallen and more will fall. There will be more sunlight on the water without the leaves blocking the light. There are rare times during the cold months, when we get warm days and sunlight. The water warms and the trout become more active, temporarily.

Trout fishing is usually slow in December through February, in the Smokies. Some years, the water remains cold in March. In other years, the water warms to the mid-40’s in February, usually toward the end of the month. The Spring hatches begin. The trout become more active. Fishing is good. You never know when it happens, until it does.

Today, we have the ability to see water temperatures, live, online. The temperature probes, at the USGS gauge sites are usually at low elevations. The water is normally warmer in the low elevations, and colder higher in the mountains.

When a warm front arrives, in late February, or March, we watch those temperature numbers. We have all learned to time our Spring fishing based on what that data tells us. That is an advantage many of us did not have years ago. We had to guess and go, hoping for the best.

We spent all Summer preparing for the holidays. We worked hard, building our new online store, making sure we launched by November 1st, and it did. The store is merchandised well. We have a lot of fly fishing gear to sell. Many items are new for the coming selling season.

Mail order is already picking up. Some people buy online and others call us at the shop to order. More people drive to our store from cities nearby to shop. Gift Cards will sell well again this year. This will be a busy few weeks, until after New Years Day.

Then, like the trout fishing, the store will be slow until Spring, whenever that happens, depending on the weather.

We turn to fly tying during the Winter months. We stock the store with more fly tying materials and tools. We offer fly tying classes. We hold free Saturday fly tying demonstrations. Winter is a good time to tie flies, because, for the most part, fishing is slow.

Then, we wait for Spring, when fly fishermen and fish become active again. It has been like that for 22 years. We understand the routine. We are prepared. We are seldom surprised anymore.

I enjoy it all.

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

Byron Begley
November 20, 2017  

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USGS Stream Gauges


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Lake Information and Tailwater Generation Schedules


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