Townsend, Tennessee
January 12, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Little River Outfitters in Townsend, Tennessee.  It is overcast this morning and 30 degrees.  That feels like a heat wave compared to what we are used to.  Townsend is quiet, there are almost no cars on the streets.  Some of the lower mountains in Great Smoky Mountains National Park still have a covering of light snow.  The higher elevations have plenty.  As of yesterday morning there was a 20 inch covering of snow on the ground at Mount Leconte and 7 inches at Newfound Gap.

It is finally going to warm up some, starting tomorrow.  Hopefully the fishing will improve some by the weekend.  The water is low and cold right now in most of the streams.  January has been a cold month so far but it has also been dry.  Currently, Little River is flowing at a rate of 192 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Normal for this date is 317 cfs.  The weather forecasters are not predicting any significant precipitation for a few days. 

Fishing is slow however the trout can be enticed by streamers and large nymphs.  There have been some nice fish caught in the past couple of weeks for those who could brave the cold temperatures, spot a good fish and present a fly without spooking them.  The water is very clear.  You might want to check some tailwater generation schedules and pick one of those to fish.

Check out our Little River Journal Archive Page HERE. We have a collection of over a year's worth of newsletters with some great articles to help you learn more about fly fishing and fly tying.

A small but very nice lodge is in the planning stages right here in Townsend on the banks of the Little River.   I know the owners and they told me about this project months ago.  As a member of the Townsend Planning Commission I will finally get to see the plans Thursday night as the owners and their architect will present their site plan for review. 

Before we can approve the plan we need to be sure it complies with all the City Ordinances.  That includes setbacks, sewage disposal, parking spaces, rest rooms, handicap access, fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, landscaping, signs, building height, storm water containment, FEMA requirements and a lot of other precedent setting facts. 

One thing we all will be looking at has to do with safety, specifically “What if there is a fire?  How will everyone get out?”  Also, of most importance to most residents in our valley, “How will Little River be affected?” 

Most people who live here list the Little River as one of our most important assets.  I’ve seen the numbers in surveys conducted in our valley.  The National Park, Cades Cove and Little River rank very high.  Mountain views, open space and the lack of big attractions also rank very high.

As a result of our residents opinions, we need to respect them and allow only sustainable growth in tourism and development.  We know the area is going to grow, it’s how we grow that is most important.  You may not live here year-round but many of you do live here for a week or so every year.  You contribute to our community’s prosperity and you should have a nice place to visit so you will come back.  We know that.  We know who butters our bread.  We know that our future depends on how well you are treated when you visit Townsend and how much you like what you see. 

It also helps if you catch some trout in the Smokies streams.

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

Byron Begley
January 12, 2010  

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