Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
February 21, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and cold in Townsend, Tennessee right now.  However, our high temperature today should be around 60 degrees.  It was just about that warm yesterday.  Anglers, hikers and outdoor lovers left their homes, inflicted with cabin fever and “hit the woods and waters”.  We were very busy here yesterday.  The good times are back, at least for now. 

I don’t know what was going on in the Park yesterday.  Here in town fishermen were scattered throughout the Little River.  TWRA stocked trout in town last Thursday, the word got out and the fishermen showed up.  That stocking was not scheduled.  Some large brood fish were also released.  Mike, one of my Townsend buddies caught a 20” rainbow. 

People will be out and about again today.  This has been a long, cold winter.  People are tired of living without their trips to the woods and waters.  The tailwaters have been almost un-fishable to wading fishermen due to high water in the lakes.  That trend continues.  I did spot one or two good possibilities for today.  The South Holston generation looks promising today.  Please check for yourself in case there are changes.

It will be warm tonight and we’ll get some rain.  Then, cold temperatures will return about mid-week.  Spring is not here yet. 

One of my old friends and business mentor for about 20 years of my life found me online and sent an e-mail.  His name is Frank Schochet, he lives in Minneapolis and he will soon be 95 years old.

Frank was the founder of Insty-Prints, a quick printing franchise he started in the late 60’s.  I became a franchisee in the Nashville market then in Lexington, Kentucky.  At the time, at 23 years old I was the youngest franchisee. I spent 6 weeks in Minneapolis at the franchise school when I was 22 years old.  Of course, I found some guys up there who took me fishing.  Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes.  When you fly into the twin cities airport and look down, you will understand why.

Frank loved to fish.  We went on a lot of business/fishing trips together.  Sometimes he would take as many as 10 of us, we rented cabins or houseboats and usually spent a week.

One trip was unforgettable.  We rented two houseboats on Rainy Lake just across the border from Minnesota in Canada.  We tied the houseboats to some trees on a point and had fishing boats tied to the houseboats.  We could jump into a small boat and go fishing anytime.  I think there were about ten of us on that trip.

The airline lost my rods and reels on the flight to Minneapolis.  They found them and somehow delivered my tackle to the people who rented the boats to us in Canada. A guy showed up at our houseboats in a small fishing craft the next day with my tackle.   The airline was Southern Airways.  I flew Southern whenever I could after that fishing trip.  I was impressed with their service.  

The walleye and smallmouth bass were deep so fly fishing was not feasible at the time.  We caught plenty of fish and enjoyed being the only people on that part of the lake for several days.  Rainy Lake is a beautiful place.  I would like to go back some time.

It was good to chat with Frank via e-mail.  We’ll probably keep it up.

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

Byron Begley
February 21, 2010

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