Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report. It is cloudy right now in Townsend.  I had a few sprinkles hit my windshield this morning on the way to work.  Out in our neighborhood I followed some huge horse trailers to town.  Horses and equestrian activities are big business here.  Near our house are some ranches that cater to the horse crowd.  A lot of the trails in the Park can be accessed by foot or hoof from our valley.  There is no vehicle entry to the Park where we live in Dry Valley.  However, there is a one way road out of Cades Cove called Rich Mountain Road.  We live off Old Cades Cove Road.

There is a lot of traffic in town for the holiday weekend.  We are busy here.  For the first time in years, there was not Fishing Report yesterday.  Daniel was off on Thursday, which is unusual.  I took off Thursday.  I didn’t know he was going to be off.  This will not happen again and I am very sorry it did.  Like I said, this is the first time this has happened since we started writing the Fishing Report years ago.  As I speak, I am training Ethan McGroom to do the Fishing Report.  He is a bright guy with plenty of experience using all graphic programs.  He knows a lot more about Photoshop, Illustrator and all that stuff than I do.  I asked him this morning if he has ever written anything.  He has.  Then I asked if he could write the Fishing Report.  He said yes.  Ethan is also an excellent angler.  He goes fishing several days a week. 

So, from now on we’ll have even more backup.  Right now Daniel and I are the only two people who write the Fishing Report.  Now there will be three of us.  Yesterday we had the highest visitation on the report page, 1,361 views.  You are only counted once on your computer in a 24 hour period.  I guess a lot of people checked it at work, then from their computer at home or their smart phone later which is my only explanation.  Normally we have 600 to 800 visitors to the Fishing Report page on a weekday.  Again, I’m sorry. 

Little River is looking excellent.  The water is at the perfect level and the water temperature is 58 degrees.  You could not ask for better conditions.  Flow is currently 392 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 251 cfs.  The gauge is reading 2.48 feet.  This is ideal for fishing though the flow might be stronger than you are used to.  Most of us who live here prefer these higher than normal flows. 

Bugs are hatching and trout are slurping them down.  Ethan showed me some pictures he took of some aquatic insects he found on the stream this week.  Most were March Browns and Yellow Sally stoneflies.  There is no doubt that I would be using a Yellow Sally stonefly pattern in the evenings.  They come in all styles and we stock lots of different yellow stone patterns.  Most are tied on a #16 hook.  A Yellow Stimulator makes a good imitation that floats well and they are easy to see.  Other than that, most patterns that normally work in the Smokies will work now.  That could be a Elk Hair Caddis (yellow would be perfect), a small Yellow Stimulator, Parachute Adams, Thunderhead or Neversink Caddis.  There are plenty of others that will work too.  Nymphs will fetch as well.  Right now, with the conditions like they are the trout are hungry and eager. 

Boy did we get some bad news in Townsend on Wednesday.  Governor Haslam is closing the State Planning Offices to cut costs.  To most people that may not be something you will notice.  To me it’s like a blow to the head.  I am Chairman of the Planning Commission in Townsend.  The State Planning Office provides us with a staff planner.  We pay for the service.  I can’t remember how much but it is several thousand dollars per year.  Our planner is Joe Barrett.  He has a masters degree in planning from the University of Kentucky.  He is “the man” in my book.  We have been told he will only be available for 90 days.  Joe reviews all of our ordinances, studies each site plan that we work on and gives us the best advice we could get.  And now he may be gone.

I am not a planner.  None of us are.  Without Joe or someone like him we are in real trouble.  I have not called Governor Haslam since he was elected.  I do know him though and we held his Townsend “whistle stop” at our store.  He lives about 8 miles from the shop when he’s not in Nashville.  I’m wondering if he has thought of raising the costs to the small towns receiving this service and make that department profitable.  If I call him, that will be my question.  I really like Governor Haslam.  He’s a real nice guy and very smart.  Maybe he has some contingency plans for small towns like ours.  I’m certainly not going to second guess the Governor. 

First I’m going to send an e-mail to Senator Doug Overbey.  Doug has been extremely helpful to me on two huge projects in the past.  And he has done a lot for our town and our State.  He always answers my e-mails and is willing to meet anytime I ask.  When the TDOT issue came up last year, he was right here at the shop in our classroom talking to the Townsend business owners.  Then he took action along with me and others.  Over time (8 months), we worked it out.

I heard some other disturbing news last night.  I couldn’t believe it though it does not affect me.  Your smart phone is tracking your every move.  I’m glad now that I don’t own one.  And to make matters worse, they say other people can find that information.  Now that is scary.

So, if this is the case, everyone can find out exactly where you are fishing.  If you catch a big fish, take a photo with your phone I’m wondering if that information is available to anyone too.  What if you are a really notable angler like Jack, Ray, Walter, Ross or Joe?  Are they going to show up at their favorite fishing spots only to find that 20 people beat them there?  I know what Jack would do.  He would hide his phone in the worst spot on the river or lake, go fishing then come back and pick it up later. 

Now this will give us plenty to think about.  Thankfully, nobody cares where I get skunked and I don’t have one of those phones.

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

Byron Begley
April 22, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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