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Townsend, Tennessee 37882
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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 12/18/17 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:56 am Eastern Time Zone : CFS=Cubic Feet Per Second
Fishing Gauge Indicating Fishing is Slow

Water Temperature Little River
Stream Flow
Rainfall 2017 YTD Knoxville Apt
Rainfall Normal YTD Knoxville Apt


39.7 Fahrenheit
1.72 Feet 117 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 5:56 am, the temperature outside is 41.1 degrees.

A warm front has moved into our area. It is predicted to last through Christmas. Expect high temperatures in the upper 50’s to lower 60’s through the period. Lows will dip to the upper 30’s to the mid 40’s at night. Expect rain tomorrow, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Little River is flowing at 117 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.72 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 260 cfs. The water temperature is 39.7 degrees.

The water temperature will rise this week, beginning today. It rose 3 degrees yesterday. If this trend continues, and it should, we will hopefully see water temperatures surpass 44 degrees soon. That may happen today or tomorrow. The warm water should be sustained through the weekend. Fishing will improve.

I don’t want to be overly optimistic, but I think we’ll enjoy at least fair fishing this week.

It is going to rain, more than the trace we saw yesterday. We may get ½” tomorrow night. 1 to 2 inches is predicted Wednesday. More rain is expected Saturday. There is a good chance for rain Sunday.

Right now, the only negative I can see is the possibility of too much rain. We need it. It has been very dry. The streams are flowing well below median flow.

Paula told me the IGA grocery store was packed yesterday. She saw a lot of people she did not recognize. Visitors are coming to town for the holidays. Some will be hoping to fly fish.

If you go, start with nymphs. The water is cold this morning. The trout will be sluggish. As the water warms, they will become active. You may see aquatic insects on the water. They could be blue wing olives or small black stoneflies. Other insects may become active. So, be ready to switch to dry flies if the trout are rising.

This is going to be an interesting fishing week in the Smoky Mountains. I am hoping for the best for you.

The beginning of the new year is two weeks off. Then, it is just a matter of a few weeks before we see Spring fishing in the Smokies. Sometimes that occurs in mid to late February. Other years, it happens in March. That all depends on the water temperature. During recent years, the beginning of Spring fishing has started earlier. I remember when it was always in March.

When that magic time comes, we will see Quill Gordon, Blue Quill and plenty of Blue Wing Olives on the water. The water temperature will rise to the upper 40’s to low 50’s. At that time, even if it turns cold again, which it usually does, the bugs continue to hatch and mate.

It is really not that far off.

In the fly shop business, we used to anticipate a long, slow Winter. It’s a time to get projects done. That long slow Winter goes by very quickly now. We never get done, what we expect.

Much of our merchandise has been ordered. Ship dates have been determined. If we see bad fishing conditions looming, we can postpone shipments temporarily. We don’t want to be overstocked for a month. On the other hand, if the fishing goes crazy, like it will at some point, we want to be ready. When fishing is booming, so is the fishing business.

Spring comes early here, compared to other fly fishing destinations. Fishing may be hand over fist in the Smokies, while the streams are bone chilling cold in the Catskills and elsewhere in the north. Many anglers from the north come here, when they hear our fishing conditions are good. It’s all about water temperature. Water temperature drives everything in our sport.

I am hoping, and I know you are hoping for good fishing this week. I am not good at predicting water temperatures, but I think we’ve got a good chance for fair to good fishing conditions this week, baring high water. We’ll see what happens.

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

Byron Begley
December 18, 2017

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