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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 11/24/17 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 6:01 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


42.4 Fahrenheit
1.79 Feet 132 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 6:01 am, the temperature outside is 28.8 degrees.

Today will be a beautiful Black Friday, sunny with a high temperature around 60 degrees. Tonight’s low will fall to the upper 30’s or low 40’s. Tomorrow will be even better for fly fishing in the Smokies. There will be some cloud cover and it will be warm, in the upper 50’s. Sunday will be sunny and a little cooler.

Little River is flowing at 132 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.79 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 198 cfs. The water temperature is 42.4 degrees this morning.

Starting out this morning, the water will be cold. I think fishing will be slow, early. Then, the water will begin to warm. The water should be quite a bit warmer this afternoon. Fishing will improve.

With tonight being fairly warm and tomorrow being very warm, Saturday may be the best fishing day of the weekend. Sunday may be fairly good too.

We will see the water temperatures trending up, at least through Saturday evening.

I would use nymphs. The water is lower than normal and very clear. Realistic nymphs, without flashy gold or silver beads may serve you best. You can see our recommended Winter flies, on the online store by CLICKING HERE. Those you see first have shiny beads. Scroll down and also go to page two.

Look at the Quasimodo Pheasant Tail. That is a good fly to use in clear water. The bead is copper colored. That fly has been very popular among Smokies fly fishermen for several years. Other patterns I would consider are: Pheasant Tail Nymph, Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone, Prince Nymph, Rob’s Hellbender, Tellico Nymph (Weighted) or a Hare’s Ear.

I would also have some Blue Wing Olive dry fly patterns in my box, just in case.

It is daybreak. I can barely see the forest due to the dense fog. It is chilly out there too.

There will be many visitors and locals enjoying the Park this weekend. I’ve seen a lot of people pulling travel trailers and driving motors homes, headed toward the Park. Many are likely enjoying our campgrounds in town. I know for sure, there are a lot of people camping in the Park. Townsend and Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers campers everything from developed campground with hookups and showers, to backcountry camping for backpackers. This is a camping paradise. And, this weekend, is the perfect time to be camping.

We spent Thanksgiving with Pat and Jim. We always do and have for many years. They have set aside a large tract of land on their farm, for bobwhite quail habitat. I think Jim said they killed the grasses on 50 acres or more this fall using a herbicide.  

I was there, when experts from TWRA walked the farm and made recommendations to Jim. First, you have to get rid of fescue. Fescue is bad quail habitat. If you look around here and in many places in the south, all you see is fescue. It’s everywhere.

After the first kill, native grasses that provide good quail habitat will return from the seed bank in the soil. There is no need to plant anything. Just let the land recover.

Maintenance requires burning or killing the grass from time to time, in rows or patches, leaving old growth in some areas, and starting new growth in others. Spot treating unwanted plants like thistle, can be done with herbicide.

Think about this. What if the states did the same thing along the interstate highways? Sure, it may not be as pretty as fescue to some, but there would be more quail, living in those corridors.

I used to see ruffed grouse around our house. I haven’t seen one in years. Our forest has become a higher, thicker, shaded canopy. From what I’ve read, grouse need a new growth food source, that the shaded canopy chokes out by blocking the sun. Clear cuts make good grouse habitat, from what I’ve been told.

It would be nice to have the grouse back, but I’m not keen on clear cutting on this land. I love the forest too much for that.

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

Byron Begley
November 24, 2017    

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