Townsend, Tennessee
September 9, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cool and the sun is popping through the clouds off and on.  It is beginning to feel like Fall.  The mornings are in the 60’s and the temperature during the days is climbing into the low 80’s.  Humidity has been low so it feels comfortable all the time.  Next week the highs should be in the 70’s.  This is my favorite time of year.  The fishing gets better, the forest changes and the tourist tends to be a little older and more interested in fishing, outdoor photography, nature watching and hiking.  I have a lot in common with these people. 

This morning there was a flock of wild turkeys in the field by the barn again.  I only saw nine.  Yesterday there were eleven.  There was a tom in the group today though.  There is something in the grass in that field they are eating.  I promise I’m not feeding them.  One of my neighbors does feed the turkeys and I have been known to do the same.  He stopped recently because of the bear we had hanging around the neighborhood.  He saw the bear walking around with his nose to the ground picking up kernels of corn that were spread, not piled.  And, he picked the kernels out of the gravel. It’s interesting they have the ability to do that.  You would think an animal that size would also pick up gravel and try to chew it.  Like I’ve said before, bears are smart and they can do physical things that are unimaginable. We don’t have a big problem here but in Gatlinburg they have bears known as “dumpster divers”. 

Fishing is pretty good but the water is getting somewhat low.  The flow today on Little River is 96 cubic feet per second.  Normal for this date is 86 cfs.  But here and in the Tellico River area the water levels are fairly good and the water temperature is fine.  Terrestrials are working.  Most flies are working if you get a good drift and stay hidden.  You might want to use fine tippet until we get some rain and we may today.  There is a 50% chance.  We should have cloud cover for a couple of days.  That’s good. 

The lakes are getting a little cooler.  That brings the bass and other species into shallow water.  We’re not there yet but fishing is getting better on the lakes.  We like to fish with floating lines so we are limiting ourselves to fish in about five feet of water.  Next week I’m going to have a rod with a sink tip line in the boat.  We found some water that is between 5 to 10 feet deep that is holding some good smallmouth bass.  I think we’ll do better if we can get down a little deeper.

We have a classroom full of college students today.  They come every year.  They are a class of young people who are majoring in outdoor recreation.  Paula gives a seminar every year on being in the outdoor business.  I think they come from Tennessee Tech University but I’m not sure about that.  They started this morning at the Visitors Center where they were given a talk by Herb Handly of the Visitors Bureau.  They will be in town for a few days.

Herb and I met with the Townsend Board of Zoning Appeals last night.  There have been some changes in the city laws that caused a problem for the Fall Festival and Townsend Days.  Herb is on jury duty so I was prepared to work with them myself but he ended up going and doing most of the talking.  We, the Board and the Mayor hammered out a variance that we all think will work and not set a precedence that will cause future problems in our town. It was a public meeting but Herb and I were the only citizens who showed up.  But, in addition to the Mayor, the City Clerk and the Board, another Commissioner was there as was the Codes Inspector and the Chief of Police.  We all had a great time working together and chatting.  Since Ronnie Suttles, our Police Chief was there we did engage in some fishing talk.  Ronnie and I have become good friends over the years.  And I’ll tell you this, if we have something going on in the shop that requires quick thinking and accuracy with a gun, Ronnie is the guy I want handling it.

I’m headed to Morristown with the boat right now.  The motor is broken in, I want to watch them change the oil before I start doing it myself and there are some more items on my huge list that need to be purchased for the boat.  It takes me over an hour to get there.  I go through Knoxville to avoid the Pigeon Forge traffic. I have always liked going to boat dealers.  Of course I like visiting fly shops. 

And, I like bait shops too.  There is something about the smell of a bait shop that takes me back in time.  The aroma of minnow and shrimp tanks and the sound of water pouring  and splashing makes me feel good.  I don’t like the smell and noise of a thousand crickets held in a small space. 

Some of the best information I’ve gotten in Florida, I found at a bait shop even though I always fly fish.  I bet I’ve been asked hundreds of times by mostly non-flyfishing customers why we don’t sell bait.  That may never happen but “never say never”.  Somehow the words “Fly Shop” and “Live Bait” just don’t seem natural on a sign.     

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

Byron Begley
September 9, 2009

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