Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and muggy in Townsend this morning.  Traffic is light but there were a few cars with bicycles mounted on them headed to Cades Cove for an early morning ride.  It is transition time in the tourism business.  Visitors are waiting for cooler weather to begin their Fall vacations.  I’m doing the same thing.

Sometime during the night we got some rain in the Smokies.  Little River is up some but the flow has peaked.  Water flow is currently 105 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 129 cfs.  This will certainly help fishing in the Little River watershed.  One weather website puts the odds for rain today and tomorrow at 40%.  There is a chance for rain every day for the next ten.

Have you been wondering when this heat wave will end?  I think it is going to do just that next week.  Longer term predictions report highs in the mid 80’s next week.  Lows may be in the low 70’s which is way above normal but at least we’ll get some relief if the forecast holds true.  It’s about time.  Maybe soon we won’t have to “wade in the shade” or “bake on the lake”. 

I would fish above Elkmont or on Walker Camp Prong and it’s tributaries in the Smokies this week.  The water will be cool there and from all indications, there will be some water in the streams.  I don’t know about the water conditions in the Little Pigeon River watershed.  I think the flow gauge in Sevierville is out of order due to lack of funding.  The gauge was sponsored at one time by the City of Sevierville. 

Dry flies or nymphs should work fine in the Smokies streams.  I would pick a fairly large beetle.  I don’t think a trout could resist that offering right now.  Behind that I would  drop a Green Weenie.

I mentioned in yesterday’s report that I was trying to find a cabin on Dale Hollow Lake with a high speed internet connection so Paula and I could spend a week there in September.  Well, Don Winningham sent me an e-mail with the information I needed.  The resort is Sunset Marina & Resort.  It’s perfect.  Thanks Don. 

I found an interesting story in the Wall Street Journal.  I’ll give you the link HERE but you may not be able to read the story.  I subscribe as a web user.  OK, I logged out and can still read it.  Anyway, the article describes the plight of the manufacturers of booms, used to contain oil spills.  Evidently millions of dollars of booms material has been ordered and BP has canceled the orders leaving the companies who supplied them, holding the bag.  It sounds like some of these companies will go bankrupt.  If these guys call up and order a million dollars worth of fishing tackle, I may ask for payment in advance.

Tennessee Department of Transportation sent out up to 80 certified letters to property owners on Highway 321 in Townsend.  I didn’t get one.  I read one a friend of mine got though.  Evidently, some people have structures on the alleged right of way.  And, TDOT is demanding that they be moved.  They also say in the letter, that if these structures are not moved, TDOT will move them themselves and send the trespasser a bill for the costs incurred.  These structures include, gas pumps, canopies over gas pumps, small cabins, fences, signs, lights and other things placed there by someone.  Some of these “structures” have been located in the same place for decades.

A few weeks ago little red flags started appearing along the right of way.  I found one placed right next to our sign and parking lot.  I knew TDOT was trying to find the right of way for some reason.  Since the flag on our property was not placed in the correct location I pulled out a copy of our survey and site plan, which was prepared by a reputable engineering firm. I don’t know for sure why that flag was placed there or what it indicated.  I’m assuming someone thought the right of way was there.  But, I did not have anyone tell me that.

When Paula and I bought this property we had it surveyed first of course. We also bought title insurance, which also required a survey.  A site plan was drawn up to present to the City Planning Commission for approval, using the survey.  And, we built everything, store, parking, drainage, retention pond and the sign according to the plan.  This was done with oversight from our City Building Inspector. 

That survey clearly indicates that our boundary line along Highway 321 is 100 feet from the center of the sidewalk.  I measured the distance and found that the little red flag was placed several feet closer to our building and on our property.  Still, our sign and parking lot was clearly not in the right of way, so we did not get a letter.  Had that flag been placed one foot closer to our building we would be having problems right now.

Maybe the State has moved the right of way, our engineers made a mistake, TDOT made a mistake or I measured wrong.  Maybe that flag meant nothing or was a reference point for something else.  Maybe someone placed it there as a joke.  “You got me on that one”. 

I guess it really doesn’t matter in my case.  But that may be of most importance to some other property owners in town who face the financial burden of moving or demolishing signs, cabins or gas pumps.  I hope they get a survey before they do anything.  TDOT is giving everyone 30 days to comply and allowing extensions on a case by case basis. 

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

Byron Begley
August 11, 2010

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com  


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