Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee.  It was 28 degrees when I drove to work.  The roads and streets are absent of vehicles.  There was the usual local crowd at the Parkway Grocery.  I stopped in to pick up a bacon and egg biscuit and saw an old friend, George.  I can see Great Smoky Mountains National Park clearly from my window right now.  Clouds cover the Park and our valley.  We are expecting some snow tonight but not much.  There is snow in the forecast over the next few days. 

Little River looked great and the water temperature was 40 degrees which surprised me.  I thought it would be colder than that.  The flow is 485 cubic feet per second.  Normal for this date is 319 cfs. 

You might score a big trout today in the Park.  It looks like a big fish day thanks to the overcast skies.  Fishing will not be great but you might catch a few.  The browns were feeding well last week.  The high water this weekend made fishing kind of tough, even for the experts.  Nymphs and streamers are what I would use. 

I’m trying to figure out what to do about this State right-of-way.  This is one of the toughest problems I have tried to tackle.  There is a lot a stake, people are counting on me to come up with a proposal that everyone can live with.

Basically our town has about 100 properties with signs and parking lots on the right-of-way.  Last summer the City was trying to keep someone from adding more encroachments on the ROW.  He sent a letter to the Commissioner of Transportation.  TDOT sent letters to everyone who had one and told the people to move the encroachments or buy the land.  Some people want to buy as much land as they can and move the businesses on two sides of the highway closer together.  They think that will be better for our town.  Other people want to preserve the ROW for future use and greenspace.  The city asked me to try to work things out with the Department of Transportation.  I’m working with the Regional Director and the Deputy Commissioner.  We have held Town Hall Meetings and I have tried to build a consensus among the citizens and business people.  So far, I’m failing.  I’m meeting with our State Senator this week or maybe next week.

The City did not ask me to come up with a solution.  Actually it was a couple of citizens who did that.  Anyway, I’m here and trying.

Someone asked me yesterday if I regretted taking this on.  I said no.  I have gotten to know a lot of people better and I have learned a lot.  Last night I laid awake thinking about it almost all night.

One of my best friends gave me a 3-DVD set for Christmas.  It is called “America, The Story of Us”.  Mine is a blue-ray edition.  I watched the first 3 hours Tuesday night and the second 3 hours last night.  I’ll finish watching tonight.  This is one of if not the best programmed documentary I have ever seen.  You should buy it and watch it.  You can see the information and order yours from the HISTORY CHANNEL WEBSITE HERE.

This video will give you a better understanding of what makes Americans what we are or at least what they were.  It tells the story using vivid detail and graphics, reveals facts I did not know about and paints a picture of tough individuals and leaders who took risks.  I highly recommend that you buy or borrow this.  It may not be suitable for young children but certainly appropriate for teens.  It is a 9-hour history lesson.  There are lessons in bravery and tenacity throughout.  I can’t wait to watch it the second time. This could not have come at a better time.

You should be here Saturday morning.  John Thurman and Clayton Gist are going to be giving a Free Fly Tying Demonstration starting at 10:00.  These guys are experts in my opinion.  And both have broad trout fishing experience in this part of the Country, the Mid-West and the West.  Both guys are very active with Trout Unlimited and belong to the Clinch River Chapter.  They are leaders in developing the new Trout Camp at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute.  The first one will be held this summer.  It is for kids only and funded by TU Chapters around the State.  They will tie between 10:00 and 2:00.  Just come by, watch and talk to them.  You will enjoy this very much.

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

Byron Begley
January 5, 2011

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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

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