Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee.  Wow, what a crippling winter storm we just had.  We only got around 6” of snow but a layer of ice was hidden beneath the white blanket.  It is beautiful here.  I can see Great Smoky Mountains National Park from my office.  The mountains are white mixed with brown. Most of the trees are still clinging to the snow.

Paula and I were the only ones to make it in yesterday.  We did not have any customers.  She left about 2:00, drove to our drive and started up the concrete slab hill from Old Cades Cove Road.  She slid down to the road from halfway up.  She tried again with the same result.  Her jeep was stuck about halfway up the hill.  I drove home about 3:00.  My suburban was in 4 wheel drive low, I got halfway up the hill then slid sideways down to the road.  I almost hit her jeep which might have brought it down the hill with mine.  I parked off the road and walked the ¼ mile road to our house. 

Daniel and I are here today.  Highway 321 through Townsend is clear and wet.  Most of the roads in the Park are closed.  441, Little River Road, Tremont Road and Cades Cove are closed due to ice and snow.

Of course, I don’t have any fishing to report on.  If you go fishing, park at the “Y” and walk up the road to the West Prong or Middle Prong of Little River.  Use large streamers or nymphs.  You might not catch many trout but you could get into a tussle with a large brown.  They were still active as of this past weekend.  I don’t know what the water temperature is.  I was just thankful to make it to the store this morning without stopping at the river to check.

Flow is lower than normal.  Currently it is 240 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 323 cfs.

I live in the most friendly place on earth.  We live in Dry Valley about 5 minutes from the shop but it is a separate community from Townsend or Laurel Valley.  Dry Valley is an area at the foot of Rich Mountain and Scott Mountain, two that you see when driving around Cades Cove. 

My truck is full of tools and all kinds of stuff used to maintain my lifestyle. For instance, if I want to tune and change fluids in my boat motor, everything is in the truck.   I left it parked on the road, out of sight from me,  ¼ mile from our house.  It was unlocked in case someone wanted in.  I did not worry at all about the truck or it’s contents as it was parked along Old Cades Cove Road overnight in Dry Valley.

I walked down to it this morning and started the motor.  I walked around while the windshield defrosted.  Three people stopped and asked if I was OK.  If I had stood there for an hour I bet 20 people would have stopped.  I’ve lived here 20 years and have never had a problem with anyone. 

The real locals, those who have had family here for generations are smart, friendly, helpful and most have a good sense of humor.  I feel lucky to be here living with these fine people.  One of my best friends, Jack is a real local.  His family and his wife’s family moved here from Cades Cove.  Jack called me yesterday to check in.  Lynn, who runs our water department saw my truck on the road and Paula’s jeep on the hill.  He called Jack and asked him to check on us.  One of my neighbors lived in Cades Cove as a young woman.  I think we are the same age.  When she was dating her husband to be, he had to drive to the Cove to see her.  There are a lot of transplants like me here but I tend to become closer friends with the local folks with a few exceptions.

I just like these people and we do have one thing in common.  My ancestors can be traced to the 1800's when they settled in the mountains of eastern Kentucky in Appalachia.  The local folks here are descendants of people who just came a little further south. I’m Scotch Irish, they are Scotch Irish.  My roots are in Appalachia and so are theirs.

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

Byron Begley
January 11, 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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