Townsend, Tennessee
June 23, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun is shining in Townsend, Tennessee this morning and I am darned glad of it.  No more rain for a while.  I can’t believe I’m saying this after the years of drought we have endured. 

Little River is rolling through our valley.  It is a little off color, just the way we like it.  But there is a lot of water.  Yesterday, Little River and Little Pigeon River set records for the date.  The cause of this was a small band of thunderstorms banging away at these two watersheds for two days.  I watched it on the radar.  Other areas of the Smokies and Appalachians got very little rain.  For instance, yesterday Cataloochee was flowing about normal.  The Davidson River was below normal.  Tellico was slightly above normal. 

Right now Little River is flowing at 652 cubic feet per second.  Normal for this date is 143 cfs.  Little Pigeon is currently discharging 590 cfs at Sevierville.  Normal there, for this date is 185 cfs. 

For the past two days anglers who are staying in town are scratching their heads.  I sent some that I talked to toward Cades Cove.  Anthony Creek and Laurel Creek were fine.  Jack Gregory and Bill Boyd fished Anthony Creek yesterday and caught between 25 and 30 trout.  Jack said they missed a lot of them because the trout were not aggressively taking the flies. 

He said Laurel Creek looked good but the Middle Prong of Little River was gushing muddy water.  The West Prong was fairly clear but the current was too strong to wade.  The East Prong of Little River was impossible to wade safely.  He didn’t even try there because he didn’t want Bill to get near that water.  If Jack had been alone he would have fished the East Prong standing on the bank and chunking big nymphs and streamers.

The high water didn’t keep tubers away.  The Townsend Fire Department rescued 8 stranded people this weekend.  Two people suffered serious head injuries.  Our Police Chief Ronnie Suttles said in an article in the Daily Times “ I’m afraid somebody is going to get hurt bad”.  Here is a link to the article:

What are these people thinking?  And here’s what is really crazy.  Parents let their kids tube down the river during high water without a life jacket.  I talked to a man one time who almost lost his young daughter in a tubing accident.  Lucky for her there were people nearby to pull her out of the tree that had her trapped. 

These people are stupid!  I didn’t tell him he was stupid.  I think he realized it and didn’t need to be reminded by me.  But I came close. I did tell him that tubing in high water was crazy.

I understand the theory of “natural selection” but these kids are not old enough to make potentially life-threatening decisions on their own.  I don’t know what needs to be done but when a little kid drowns I am going to be sick about it. I have watched two teenagers drown in my life, both within a two year period.  In each case there was nothing I could do, it happened too fast.  But those two incidents are burned in my memory today though they happened 40+ years ago.  I saw the look on their faces when they went down for the last time.

Paula and I were fishing on the Manistee River in Michigan a few years ago with Chuck Scribner.  We were fishing for King Salmon. I noticed a man thrashing around in the water downstream about 200 yards from us.  He would have been swept into a run and would have drowned.  I told Chuck and we ran the boat downstream and got the guy before he drowned.  We held on to him and Chuck motored back to the bank.  The guy stood up in water that was about a foot deep.  We drove off to start fishing again.  I looked back and he had fallen in again.  We turned around and saved him a second time.  This time he was so exhausted he could barely walk.  Guess what?  He wasn’t wearing a wading belt.  And, adult beverages were probably involved.  Stupid!

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

Byron Begley
June 23, 2009

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