Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Townsend is fairly quiet this morning.  The sun is shining and it is already getting warm.  They say the temperature today will reach 98 degrees.  People were out on the streets this morning early before the heat index keeps them indoors.  We are expecting hot days and probably some rain tomorrow.  Tourism has slowed to a crawl.  The young families in many areas of the country are getting the kids back to school.  However, I talked to a friend in Virginia yesterday.  The Richmond public schools there don’t start until September.

Little River looks pretty good.  The beer cans and trash I found yesterday were cleaned up, probably by the tubing company that uses the property under the swinging bridge as a pickup point.  I was glad to see that.  The water temperature was 73 degrees, up one notch from yesterday morning.  Flow is currently 110 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Normal for today is 133 cfs.

Your best fishing in the Park will be in the high elevations.  Just pull out a map and look at Highway 441 that runs from Gatlinburg to Cherokee.  There are plenty of streams entering the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.  Higher up this stream is called Walker Camp Prong.  That stream is a good one and several tributaries offer excellent fishing for rainbow and brook trout.  The water and the air are cool up there.  Maybe today the air won’t be so cool.  Fish early in the morning if you can.  Pick shady areas to fish.  Try Terrestrials like beetles, ants and Green Weenies.  A Parachute Adams or almost any mayfly pattern should work.  Those trout up there don’t see that much food.  They have to work for a living.  They or opportunistic, they have to be.  You might want to go down to 6X tippet now that the water is lower.  You will probably get more strikes. 

Tomorrow is election day here.  We will be voting in the primaries and local elections.  This is a very important one.  If you live in Tennessee, please vote.  I hope I don’t forget.  I did that once.

Cars were driving through town with bicycles strapped on this morning.  On Saturdays and Wednesdays the Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to vehicle traffic until 10:00 am.  That gives bicycle riders and walkers time to get around the cove without breathing fossil fuel emissions.  There were also several people riding bicycles in town. 

Townsend is blessed with a bicycle trail that runs several miles along highway 321.  On the other side of the road is a sidewalk running the same distance.  People drive here from other Counties to use our bicycle trail. 

Our Planning Commission just finished our new sign ordinances.  I was talking to the Mayor the other day about our next steps.  What do we work on now?  I want to concentrate on “walkability” and “complete streets”.  We have this long stretch of highway running through our town with miles of bike path and sidewalk running parallel to it.  But sidewalks don’t connect to it.  I cant think of any sidewalks in Townsend other than the one along the highway. 

If I had thought of it, when I built our building, we could have put one in front of our store for close to nothing.  The equipment was here, the workers were here and concrete trucks were going back and forth at times.  The one problem I see is, I would have to build it on the City right-of way and connect to the only sidewalk we have by encroaching on the State right-of-way. 

We don’t even have a sidewalk that pedestrian kids can use to walk to school.  They have to walk on the street. 

I found a huge document on the Tennessee State Website called “Complete Streets”.  Within that document, the Tennessee Department of Transportation explains in detail, how to design or re-design complete streets.  Here is a re-design idea they mention:  Reduce the width of your 4 or 5 lane highway and add a bicycle lane or two.  I don’t know why the State didn’t do that when they built this highway.  They designed it.  It is a State Highway.  You should also have crosswalks.  Medians should be built in the turn lanes where they are appropriate.  That slows down the traffic. 

If you want to, Google “Sidewalk Construction Grants”.  They are out there.  Gainesville, Florida got $500,000. 

So, when we meet a week from tomorrow, I’m going to propose we work on this.  I’ll do the homework, apply for grants, work with TDOT and make it my project because I have a passion for this.  I want to see more trees and less utility lines too.  We will need a plan to show our State and Federal officials.

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

Byron Begley
August 4, 2010

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com  


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