Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  Wow, it feels like Summer this morning!  Not really.  The temperature is 22 degrees. 

Little River is getting warmer.  Not by much, the water temperature has climbed to 34 degrees.

Fishing is great!  I don’t think so.  We will have to wait a while.  Maybe it won’t be long.

Little River is flowing at 357 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.42 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 296 cfs.

OK, here is the truth.  It is going to be much warmer, especially this weekend.  The high temperature Saturday should be around 57 degrees.  Sunday will be slightly cooler at 51 degrees.  Monday looks like 56 degrees.  Now that is good news.  It is probably going to rain Friday night through Sunday.

Fishing will improve though it’s hard to tell by how much.  On a scale of 1 to 10 we are at about 1 right now due to the cold water.  We would like to see the water warm up to at least 46 degrees to see some improvement.  If the water rises to 50 degrees we would see significant improvement.  I don’t think that will happen but, it will be raining when the daytime temperatures are warm, so maybe.  I’m going to be conservative and tell you, don’t make a long journey here expecting good fishing.  It may not happen.

If you live nearby, by all means give it a shot this weekend.  You might get lucky.

You will probably do best using nymphs fished weighted and deep.  You may find some stained water this weekend.  Lightly stained would be an advantage.  Whether you catch trout or not, being in the Smokies on a Winter day is a treat.  Jack, Ronnie and I fooled around on Little River last Saturday and only saw one other fisherman. 

Stan and I were talking the other day about our hope that we will be seeing spring hatches in 4 to 6 weeks.  Six weeks is believable.  It’s happened before.  Good fishing in late February is not common but it does occur.  Stan and I were just wishing out loud.  It could be 8 weeks.

I was talking to Kenny yesterday.  He grew up in Townsend.  He has even been our Mayor and a darned good one.  We discussed the fact that, only 20 years ago, service and retail businesses here were few.  Restaurants closed for the winter.  There was nothing to do but fish, camp and hike.  Well that is changing.  Townsend/Walland is certainly known for good food.  Now, more restaurants are staying open during the winter months.  That alone is a very positive step in improving our economy.  If people can eat, they are more likely to come.

I talked to Joseph Lenn the other day. He was buying some fly tying materials.  He knows all about food and cooking.  He won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast last year.  That is a huge deal!  I bet he is working today at Blackberry Farm.  You can CLICK HERE and read about the Blackberry Farm chefs on their website.  Hey, we take food seriously in this valley.   

I remember, back in the 80’s, many of the motels closed for the winter.  Not anymore.  Most of them are open.  For all I know, they all are.  You can also rent a cabin, stay in a lodge or bed and breakfast.  They are open for business.

See what I mean, we want you to visit here in January and February.  We all do.

Some of the earliest visitors to our town come in late February or March toting their fly rods.  Early spring in the Smokies is a wonderful time to fish if the conditions are right.  That is why we update our fishing report every morning.  When fishing conditions are right, we want you to know.  If they are not right, we want you to know that too.

Today, the fishing conditions are not right.

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

Byron Begley
January 9, 2014


Respond to:

Home - Contact Us - About Us - Fishing Report - Online Catalog - Message Board - Sitemap