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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 12/26/17 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 5:31 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


39.4 Fahrenheit
2.53 Feet 396 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 5:31 am, the temperature outside is 27.6 degrees.

Today will be partly cloudy with a high temperature in the upper 30’s to 40 degrees. Tonight’s low will dip to the mid-20’s. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with temperature predictions exactly like they are today. It will be cold and probably dry through Saturday.

Little River is flowing at 396 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.53 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 305 cfs. The water temperature has fallen to 39.4 degrees, down from 54 degrees 3 days ago and 50 degrees Christmas Eve.

We had much warmer than normal fishing conditions, but high water during the past few days. Now, fishing will be slow in the Great Smoky Mountains.

If you go today, dress warm. I would plan on using nymph rigs, weighted and fished deep. The streams are still on the high side. The trout will be inactive. Some post spawn brown trout could be actively feeding. But, for the most part, we will be settling into the Winter fishing or non-fishing mode. We will be waiting for Spring.

Except for the New Year Holiday, our valley will be quiet. Visitors will be gone soon. When we see someone, we usually recognize them. They say approximately 2,000 people live in this very large valley.

Businesses are not busy. Some close for the Winter. It is “off-season”. We do not close for the Winter. We want to be open for customers, just in case.

We expect snow in January and February. Maybe we will see a lot of snow. Maybe we won’t see much at all. The average high temperature in January is about 47 degrees. The average low is 25 degrees. Average precipitation is between 4.5” to 5”.

It often rains in the valley, and snows in the mountains during January and February. That is nice. We can move around down here, and view the white mountains at the same time. February is historically warmer than January. Late February can be much warmer. Spring fishing has been starting in late February during the past few years.

We see customers in our store on weekends. We see very few on the weekdays until the water warms to about 50 degrees. We are all hoping that will occur in late February this year, like it has in the recent past. That time is probably only a few short weeks away.

Fishing in the Smoky Mountains is usually very good in March. I remember, when there was a trout season in Tennessee. From what I remember, trout season closed in October and opened April 1st. We didn’t know it at the time, but we missed some of the best hatches and fly fishing for trout, simply due to the season being closed. We never saw Quill Gordons or Blue Quills, because we were not fishing. We were tying flies that would be used in April. We missed a lot of great Fall fishing too.

Now, there is no trout season in Tennessee. There are delayed harvest seasons on a few streams. You can catch trout, but they have to be released. There are no closed trout streams in the Park that I know of. They are open all year.

When I moved here, most of the good brook trout streams were closed year-round. That changed too, starting in the 90’s. The Park Service was trying to protect the brook trout population from decline. Biologists determined, fishing was not causing a decline. So, they opened the streams to fishing. I had a close relationship with those biologists during that transition. I knew it was coming. They talked about doing it. But is would be a gradual process.

Now, we can fish wild trout streams anytime we want to in the Smokies. Fishing in brook trout streams is just about taken for granted now. Many anglers don’t know it was different at one time.

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

Byron Begley
December 26, 2017     

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