Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Little River - above Townsend - Tennessee

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Blue Winged Olive, Midges All Day 18-22 Beatis, Zebra Midge
February Blue Winged Olive, Black Caddis Warmest Part of Day 16-20 Pheasant Tail, Elk Hair Caddis
March Blue Winged Olive, Quill Gordon Mid Morning - Afternoon 12-16 Adams, Quill Gordon Dry
April Hendrickson, March Brown Early Morning - Late Afternoon 14-18 Parachute Hendrickson, March Brown Dry
May Eastern Green Drake, Light Cahill Afternoon - Evening 12-14 Green Drake Dun, Cahill Classic
June Sulphurs, Caddis Mid Afternoon - Dark 14-18 Sulphur Emerger, X-Caddis
July Terrestrials & Caddis All Day 10-16 Chernobyl Ant, Elk Hair Caddis
August Terrestrials, Blue Winged Olive All Day 12-20 Parachute Ant, Beatis
September Blue Winged Olive, Terrestrials All Day 16-22 Beatis, Foam Beetle
October Blue Winged Olive, Caddis All Day 16-20 Beatis, X-Caddis
November Blue Winged Olive, Midges Warmest Part of Day 20-24 Beatis, Zebra Midge
December Midges Warmest Part of Day 20-24 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Little River above Townsend, Tennessee boasts several hotspots for fly fishing. A few of the best spots are:

  • The “Y”: A junction between the Little River and Middle Prong. The water is deep and flowing, perfect for rainbows and native brook trout.
  • Elkmont: Home to the largest campground in the Great Smoky Mountains. A variety of trout species can be caught here.
  • Metcalf Bottoms: Known for its stunning views, many anglers believe this is one of the top spots to fish on the Little River.

These locations are recognized for their plentiful fishing opportunities and beautiful scenery. Always remember to observe local regulations and respect the natural area. Fly fishers can expect a memorable experience on the Little River above Townsend.

Best Access Points

If you’re an avid angler looking to fly fish on the Little River, there are some fantastic spots you should be aware of, particularly above Townsend. Here are some of the best access points:

  • Cades Cove: Located within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this area gives excellent access to the waters of Little River. It’s also a popular spot for tubing.
  • Elkmont Campground: This is another accessible location that offers exceptional river access. Plus, it’s a great place to camp if you’re planning on fishing for a weekend.
  • Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area: A prime spot in close proximity to the River’s banks that also grants great opportunities for fly fishing.
  • The Sinks: A large waterfall which creates deep pools that are teeming with trout. Access can be steep, but is worth the added effort.
  • The Townsend “Y”: Near the Townsend entrance of the park where Little River and the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River meet. A popular location for fishing.

Remember, the fishing regulations vary within the park and proper licenses are required.

Local Fish

  • Brook Trout – The native Brookie can be found in the higher elevations of the river system.
  • Rainbow Trout – An enduring, colorful species that can be found throughout the Little River.
  • Brown Trout – Known for their large size and spooky behavior, they are a favorite of seasoned fly fishers.
  • Smallmouth Bass – A robust fighter and because of that, popular to catch on a fly rod.
  • White Bass – Known for their strong fights and excellent taste, they are often found in larger pools of the river.
  • Crappie – While not as commonly targeted on a fly rod, these fish still offer a fun challenge.
  • Bluegill – These sunfish are a staple for many fly fishers in the area.
  • Carp – Often overlooked, these fish provide a rewarding and challenging fly fishing experience.

About The River

The Little River, nestled above Townsend, possess a rich and vibrant history. A charming water body with peaceful surroundings, it takes its journey from its headwaters in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

  • Early 1800s: Little River was named by the Cherokees, who were early inhabitants of the region.
  • Mid 1800s – 1900s: European settlers exploited this river to develop logging industries and later utilized the water source for generating electricity.
  • 1934 onwards: The establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park preserved the area, protecting the delicate ecosystem surrounding the river.

Today, the Little River stands as a lively witness to these evolving times and continues to enchant visitors with its serene waters. A favorite among fly fishers and adventurers, it continues to contribute to the local culture and economy, proving an ever-essential lifeblood of Townsend.


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