Townsend, Tennessee

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is dark and raining.  The great deluge has begun.  I can still see the Smokies but shortly they will be out of my view.  The heavy rain will be here in a few minutes. 

We are under a flood watch and rainfall is expected to be 1” to 2” by tomorrow morning.  The rivers are already filled to the brim.  Little River is currently flowing at 500 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date based on 44 years of reporting from the Townsend Gauge is 253 cfs.  So we are already seeing flows that are double the norm.  Two more inches of rain or more, if that happens could cause some very high water.  Right now it is pouring out there.  The mountains are fading away quickly.

Fishing in the Smokies is out of the question and it could be dangerous.  Don’t go.  I am hearing thunder now and I expect the electricity to go out.  If it does the Fishing Report will be late.

I expect we will see a lot of generation at our TVA dams.  Today some of them are not generating much.  Wait until tomorrow.  But Wolf Creek, Center Hill and Dale Hollow are generating full blast all day.  Normandy and Tims Ford are spilling over the gates.  There is a lot of water in Middle Tennessee. 

Yesterday I was interviewed again by Channel 10.  This time it was about high water and how that affects our business.  I watched the station last night and never saw the interview.  Maybe I did such a bad job they were embarrassed to broadcast it.  They are good people and they call on me often because I keep up with what’s going on in our county and I guess I’m sort of a character.  I also seem to be in the middle of things including controversy.  I don’t try, it just happens.

I told the reporter that I am not going to complain about the rain especially after two years of terrible drought.  He asked me how our business was during the drought.  I had to tell him it was great and it was.  Both 2007 and 2008 were very strong. 

This year is soft because of the economy.  Last year at this time we thought our houses were worth twice what they really were and our expectations were they would increase at a 20% annual rate from now on.  Come on, you didn’t believe that and neither did I.  But some people did. I saw this coming because I have spent a lot of time in Florida for the past few years.  Thankfully, things are turning around.

You have probably heard this story but I’ll tell it again.  When I was about 18 years old I had a boat and kept it at Clays Ferry on the Kentucky River.  A very high bridge crosses the river there supporting Interstate 75.  Evidently a man left a note that he was going to jump off the bridge.  The Kentucky State Police followed up and came down to the dock where I was preparing to shove off to go fishing.  The trooper asked if I would drive him across the river and look for the body.  I obliged and we spent a couple of hours searching the banks.  We didn’t find anything.

A couple of days later I was back at the dock and one of the local fishermen who I knew found the guy on his trotline that was stretched across the river.  He was screaming at me to do something.  I called the Kentucky State Police.  When they arrived I took them over to Stanley’s boat and one of them jumped into it.  They dragged the body to shore and put it into an ambulance.

A few weeks later I got a package from the Governor of Kentucky.  He had awarded me the honorable distinction of “Kentucky Admiral”.  All I did was do the right thing but I was honored and I’ve probably still got that framed certificate somewhere.

Anyway, I sent my buddy Herb Handly a link to the boat Paula and I are buying.  Herb sent me an e-mail and referred to me as Captain Begley.  I sent an e-mail back to Herb and told him the story.  I also said I preferred he call me Admiral Begley when we are together in a group.  We’ll see what comes out of that.

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

Byron Begley
May 6, 2009

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