Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

elcome to the Fishing Report.  It was 11 degrees outside when I woke up.  Now it has climbed to 14.  It is partly cloudy in Townsend, Tennessee right now.  I can see the mountains in Great Smoky Mountains National Park well.  The air is crystal clear.  Little River has a light layer of ice in the areas where the current is blocked.  The water temperature is exactly 32 degrees.  We are expecting snow, rain, freezing rain and sleet over the next 24 hours beginning tonight.  It is going to be a mixed bag of nasty weather.

Some of the roads in the Park are closed.  Highway 441 from Gatlinburg to Cherokee is open to those with 4 wheel drive vehicles or chains on their tires.  Little River Road and Upper Tremont Road is also closed.  Foothills Parkway is closed.  There are more road closures.  Laurel Creek Road to Cades Cove was not mentioned as being closed.

There are not many if any visitors in town.  Traffic is light.  I’m almost ready for Spring.

Trout are going to be hard to catch right now in the Smokies.  When the water is as cold as it is the fish are lethargic and with their slowed metabolism, they don’t need as much food as normal.  The tailwaters on the other hand are warmer.  Water is pulled from deep in the lakes into the rivers.  Fishing has been good in many of those tailwaters but I have not heard anything in the past couple of days.  The high temperature tomorrow and Friday will be warmer than it has been.  Highs this weekend will be in the mid 30’s so head to a tailwater to fish.

I’m sure some people are fishing in the lakes for crappie.  They are using jigs most likely.  I don’t think you can do well fishing for bass right now.  The bass in our river are laying low.  There’s not much to do around here but tie flies.  Yesterday was my day off and I did plenty of that.  I never stepped out of the house.

On Monday, Mayor Pat Jenkins and I met with Steve Borden who is the Regional Director of the Tennessee Department of Transportation.  The department is determining what land on the Right of Way in Townsend is excess.  They have to plan for future expansion and provide a safety zone along the highway.  The safety zone is determined by doing average speed testing.  Once they determine what the excess property is, landowners will be able to purchase some of that land to satisfy encroachments they have on the Right of Way.  Some landowners will probably be allowed to buy land that does not have encroachments.  Steve and his staff are nice people and I enjoy working with them.  It is going to be a lot more fun working on future transportation projects than it is trying to settle this.  I’ll be glad when this part is over.  It is probably going to take more than a year to work all of this out.

Many residents and business people here want to see a better pedestrian walking system.  We are going to be working on that now.  That is my highest priority with the Planning Commission.  A better pedestrian walking system, in my mind would include an additional sidewalk on the south side of our highway, crosswalks across the highway, lighting for sidewalks and crosswalks and safety zones in the middle of the highway at those crosswalks.  Everyone I have talked to agree, that is one thing we could do to improve our town for residents and tourists.  Someday I want to see someone in a wheelchair cross our highway.  Right now, at certain times of the year, you have to run for your life.

The Department of Transportation will be very involved in this.  We will work with them first.  Then we’ll hire a firm to design the walking system.  Funding will need to be obtained.  I don’t know how long this will take but my goal is to shoot for two years.  That may be too optimistic. 

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

Byron Begley
December 15, 2010

Respond To: Byron@LittleRiverOutfitters.com

FLY TYING CLASSES

Our fly tying classes will be held in January and February.  To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly tying class schedule follows:

Saturday January 8 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday January 15 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday January 22 – Advanced Fly Tying
Saturday February 5 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday February 19 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday February 26 – Advanced Fly Tying

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


Home - Contact Us - About Us - Fishing Report - Online Catalog - Message Board - Sitemap