Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun is shining right now.  Some very strong thunderstorms blew through our County last night.  They were small and scattered.  We didn’t get a drop of  rain at our house.  The shop got ¼” only two miles away.  We heard the thunder but it missed us.  It is going to be a little cooler and we have a good chance for thunderstorms this afternoon.

Little River is low.  Flow is currently measured at 72 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 126 cfs.  The streams have been very warm in the lower elevations.  To catch trout you should venture up high in the mountains where the water is cooler.  The trout will be concentrated in the riffles for the most part due to the low water and in some cases because of a lack of dissolved oxygen, a condition caused by warmer water.  Up in the high elevations that won’t be a problem.

Fish early and late.  Dry flies will work.  Try a Parachute Adams, yellow mayfly patterns, yellow stoneflies and terrestrials such as beetles and ants.  I think it’s easier to use dry flies in low water when you are trying to fish the pockets and riffles.  I certainly won’t hurt to drop a nymph or Green Weenie off your dry.  You might be doubling your chances.

I’m hearing some good smallmouth bass reports from people who are fishing the rivers and tailwaters.  I don’t know about the lakes but I hope to find out first hand next week.  We are stocking and selling more flies at the shop to supply anglers who seem to be angling in greater numbers for smallmouth bass.  I am one of those people.  This has been a great year for catching these hard fighting fish.  They can be hard to catch, they will refuse your fly at the last second, they may sip a fly off the surface or they often slam your offering in a fierce attack.  You never know what they will do.  All I can say is, “Its Fun”. 

For now the oil is not leaking out of the damaged BP well in the Gulf.  That is good news.  We all know the cleanup will take decades and we don’t know what effect the dispersants BP has used will have on the environment.  This whole mess makes me sick.  I was online this morning looking at different problems we have in our marine environments.  One problem is the disappearing mangrove forest.  They are going away at a rate of .7% per year.  Another huge problem is plastics in the ocean.  Plastic is there because the world is dumping bottles and containers in the water. 

I have been hearing a lot of dialog lately about Tennessee’s proposed Bottle Bill.  The bill has been discussed in the State House but it seems to be going nowhere right now.  Basically this is how it works.  When a bottler sells to a retailer they charge a fee, say 5 cents for each bottle they sell.  When the consumer buys the bottle they pay the 5 cents back.  The consumer then turns in the bottle to a privately owned “Certified Redemption Center”.  The redemption center owner gets back his 5 cents plus another 1 cent when the containers are turned over to a “Certified Scrap Processor”.  The processor is then paid 5 cents, plus the 1 cent and another 1/10th cent.  And they get to sell the recycled plastic, glass and aluminum cans to someone who then manufacturers many products we use.

So, where do those extra fees come from?  They come from a fund that collects the original 5 cents.  Remember, not everyone is going to participate so there are extra funds to pay the extra fees.

Here is a link to the “Pride of Place” website that explains the whole process.  This bill will provide jobs.  This bill will give schools, scout troops and other non-profits a way to raise money by holding “bottle drives”.  It seems like a win-win to me.  Small businesses would open as redemption centers.  And right now, bottlers are collecting a 1/8 cent fee per bottle to fund the State Litter Program.  So, the bottlers are already going through the collection process, under this bill they would just collect more.  Aluminum cans and glass bottles will also be included in this plan. 

I don’t know of any company or organization that is against this bill.  I bet it will eventually pass.  I am going to talk to our State Senator the next time I see him.  And, when we get our new State Representative I’ll talk to him. 

We bought a water filter for the shop a while back so we didn’t have to use containers.  We’ve cut down our bottle and aluminum can use by a large amount.  We offer filtered water out of a pitcher at our schools.  Our students seem to like the idea.  I think we all should try to get these plastics, aluminum and glass recycled.  At a nickel a pop, I’ll carry bags to the redemption center and make money too.  A lot of people will do the same thing.

Thanks for being here and have a great day.

Byron Begley
July 17, 2010 

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