Townsend, Tennessee
December 30, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and 30 degrees in Townsend right now.  Traffic was heavy this morning.  I probably saw between 50 and 100 cars on the main road through town.  Those are mostly visitors here for the New Year Holiday.  And more will be coming.  The water level is dropping in Little River though it is still quite a bit above normal for this date.  The water temperature is dropping too.  It was 39 degrees this morning in town, it will be colder than that in the Park. 

Fishing is pretty slow but anglers are catching them.  I talked to one customer yesterday who was fishing with a buddy around Elkmont.  He caught a 14” brown on a wooly bugger.  Other fishermen I talked to said fishing was slow but some reported catching one or two.  If you go today I would use large nymphs or streamers.  Don’t forget to have a Girdle Bug or two in your box, big ones.

It’s going to warm up a little, the high today will be 47 degrees.  We are going to get some rain through Thursday night then it may turn to snow.  We may get some heavy snow in the mountains.

I read this morning about a couple, my age or older who were stranded in the Oregon mountains in deep snow for three days.  Temperatures dropped to 17 degrees at night.  They are both OK.  They were following a route provided by their GPS.  I wonder how many people just follow their GPS routes and get into trouble because of bad weather.  After all, a GPS does not know if there is going to be snow, ice or a flood.  If a GPS had that information it would show users a different route, especially when traveling in remote mountain terrain. 

One of my best friends was going home from work last week.  It was snowing.  He lives at a fairly high elevation near Metcalf Bottoms.  The road going into the Park there can be awful when it snows.  He got almost to his house and saw a young couple and three kids walking on the road.  The family was not dressed for hiking in the snow.  He stopped to ask what they were doing.  Evidently, they were trying to get to Gatlinburg.  Their GPS sent them on the shortest and most scenic route through Metcalf Bottoms and through the Park to Sugarland Center.  The family’s SUV was hopelessly stuck after sliding off the road.  They were planning on walking to Wears Valley Road for help.  That was a long walk in the snow, over a mile. 

So, the family ended staying with my buddy and his wife until morning.

Here’s another one.  The sales manager of a manufacturer who supplies us was going to visit Townsend for Troutfest.  He had never been here.  He asked me for our street address so he could plug it into his GPS to find us after landing at the Knoxville Airport.  I told him to stay on the road when he gets to Townsend and we’re on the left.  You can’t miss us.  Well, he wanted to use his GPS.  Here is the problem.  When he asked for my address I gave him our home address.  I didn’t mean to, it just came out.  We live in the middle of nowhere at the base of a mountain just over the hill from Cades Cove.  So, he was driving around on our gravel road thinking “This is an odd place for a fly shop”. 

I have nothing against a GPS.  I own one.  I know how to use one of the features.  All I know is how to find my position so I can tell someone where to find me.  But, sometimes it makes sense to use a map.  I love maps.  I own many.  I know how to use almost all the features on a map. One problem I do have with plastic maps is folding them back to their original "off the shelf" condition.

I am going to learn how to use our GPS.  It would come in handy navigating back to the ramp on the lake in a dense fog.  These mountain lakes do get foggy, really foggy.  But, I’m still sticking to my maps.

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

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