Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee.  The air is clear, the sun is shining and the temperature is 29 degrees this morning.  Almost all of the snow has melted.  But, there is more to come.  Traffic was fairly heavy on the morning commute.  I don’t know why.  Lately I’ve been seeing around 10 to 20 vehicles on the roads.  I bet today there were 50. 

I have not heard any fishing reports over the past few days.  I know fishing will not be good.  The water temperature was 36 degrees in town this morning.  Little River is low and very clear.  Usually, the colder the water is the clearer it is.  Trout feel vulnerable and the big ones are hiding during the daylight hours.  Fishing is not legal in the Park at night.  If it were, more big browns would be caught.  Also, more anglers would fall and get hurt.  These streams are dangerous places to be when it’s dark.

If you do go fishing try nymphs fished deep with a lot of weight.

I saw Tim this morning.  He is going to fish at Lee’s Ferry.  Evidently the big rainbows are spawning.  That is what he said. 

Most of the customers I saw this weekend were here to buy fly tying materials, watch a tying demonstration or take a fly tying class.  Daniel and I are working hard to keep the materials in stock.  That department is the most labor-intensive part of our store.  It also takes up more space than any other department.  This building was built large to accommodate the tying department.  As a result it is also our lowest profit center except for fishing license sales.  But, people flock here because we have the things they need to tie flies.  That is why we give fly tying such a high priority.  We’ve done that for many years.  I think it pays off.

The tying thread and spooled materials area takes the most time.  Each spool of thread, wire, tinsel, vinyl rib and other spooled items is placed in an individual plastic bag.  That keeps the material clean.  Then we staple on and punch a hole in a header card.  After that we print out barcodes.  Each item has a unique number and bar code.  If you are buying 6/0 Unithread, each color has it’s own number and bar code.  It’s the same with everything else.

That process speeds up the checkout process for you and us by scanning the bar codes and let’s us know how much of each item, in each color and size that we sell.  I have never seen this done in a fly shop before.  I’ve been in a lot of fly shops.  I always look to see if they are doing it. I think it is worth the trouble. 

I am working with our State planner on improving pedestrian transportation in our town.  I figured out, that since I’m now the Chairman of the Planning Commission, I can simply contact him and have something put on the agenda.  I met with the Mayor yesterday and told him about it.  I knew he would like that. 

I’m hoping to turn part of our planning commission meetings into a open meeting, working with citizens who show up and among our commissioners to come up with ideas.  We need to think out of the box.  More sidewalks will help.  Lighting crosswalks that exist now would be important.  Bicycle lanes on the main highway might be considered.  Adding mid-block crosswalks that don’t interfere with turning lanes is another idea.  Having small medians at those crosswalks so pedestrians can wait in a safe zone in the middle of the road will be considered.  Maybe we need a second traffic light or caution lights.  We could finish lighting the bike trail. 

It would be mandatory that all pedestrian walkways conform to the American Disabilities Act.  All new lighting in our town must be “Night Sky Alliance” compliant.

One thing I have learned working with the top people at the Tennessee Department of Transportation is, they can help us do this as long as the area we are working on is a State Highway.  Our highway through town is not only a State Highway but it was built with Federal funding and it is a State Scenic Highway though that designation stops at each entrance to the city limits.    

Most of us who live and work here want Townsend to be a place where we continue to enjoy living while also providing a level of prosperity that keeps us moving forward slowly but surely.  Growth can be good or it can be bad.  I’ve seen lots of bad.  I know some people who don’t care about prosperity.  They have all they need and some want to lock the gate behind them.  And there are some of us who are thinking about future generations.  At my age I’m working to serve the young folks too.  I have already seen huge changes here and I know for sure that more are on the way, sooner than later.

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

Byron Begley
January 24, 2011

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Our fly tying classes will be offered in January and February 2011.   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


Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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