Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Right now the sun is shining bright.  We may get some cloud cover later.  This is the week before a holiday.  It’s quiet around here.  It is dry too.  Our grass, which is professionally maintained, is getting a little brown.  Little River is showing the lack of rain too. At the swinging bridge I talked to a guy who was fishing with worms and a bobber.  He had not caught anything yet.  

Fishing has slowed down too.  Everyone, including the guides are saying that.  I talked to some very experienced Park fishermen who said they only caught 8 or 10 all day. There we other who did worse than that. It started this weekend.  I thought it might be due to heavy angling pressure on the streams and it could be.  But yesterday some fishermen were having a hard time catching trout in the Park. 

It seems the hatches have slowed down some too.  Your best time to fish is early and late.  Cloudy days will be best.  Shady areas in the streams will produce more action.  It appears summer has come early this year.  The scientists who track the global temperature reported April this year as a record for high temperatures for that month.  I heard that on the television news last night.  I wouldn’t doubt we set a record here in April and May.  It has been hot.  I didn’t fish this weekend but I suspect the water temperature got warm during the day. That will effect your fishing success.

Still, your best bet for trout in the Park will be Yellow Sally Stonefly, Light Cahill and Terrestrial dry flies.  For nymphs or wet flies use a Bead Head Pheasant Tail, light colored emerger or soft hackle or a Green Weenie.  It’s hard to beat a small yellow Stimulator or Elk Hair Caddis.

The tailwater are fishing extremely well.  I heard yesterday that the Corp of Engineers has called a meeting with anglers and guides to discuss something about Center Hill Dam and the Caney Fork River.  John, who owns Gamefair in Nashville told me about the meeting.  It is supposed to take place on Thursday.  They are going to announce something important.  Maybe it will be good news.  Maybe it won’t.  I hope it’s good.  We have a lot of friends and customers who fish and guide on the Caney Fork.  They need a break. 

I’ve been studying maps of Norris Lake.  Yesterday I talked to the owner of a rental company.  They specialize in lakefront home rentals on the Clinch River section of Norris.  I know very little about that lake but I’m planning to learn.  Smallmouth bass fishing there is very good.

Back in the 90’s I sold a commercial building to a guy in Nashville.  My Father, my sister and I owned it.  Dad was not doing well, I was living here, the building was vacant and he asked me to try and sell it.  I drove to Nashville, visited with the man who owned a business next door and did the deal.  I spent a day on it.  My sister and I have been getting checks from the fellow, on time, every month, on the first day of the month for years.  Suddenly, this month, the checks didn’t come.

I checked Google Earth and looked at the building and it’s location relative to a creek.  I could tell by looking at the map, this man was probably flooded out and lost everything.  But I don’t know for sure.  I didn’t want to call him.  If he was flooded I’m one of the last people he wants to hear from.  So I waited. 

Finally yesterday, I called just to see if he was open. I planned to hang up if he answered.   I got a recorded message.  I tried later, no answer, just a message. I thought about driving over there and looking for myself.  If he was open, maybe the checks got lost in the mail or he forgot to pay because he was cleaning up.  That would take a whole day. I didn’t want to drive to Nashville, look at a building and then drive home.

I finally called my attorney and she said she would drive by the property and look, then call me back.  So, what do you do?  I told my attorney my plan was to do nothing, not even call him.  I don’t want him to get a lawyer letter.  I just want to wait and see.  Maybe he’ll get back on his feet and someday start paying my sister and I again.  I called my sister yesterday and she agreed.

This man is a foreigner.  I think he may be from Iraq.  I can barely understand him though we have only spoken a couple of times.  When he sends me a check it is made payable to: Mr. Byron Begley.  I’ve been looking at that “Mr.” all these years and wonder why he does not simply write “Byron Begley”.  I could tell back then it was his dream to own that property.  Maybe he is showing respect because I played a small part in his dream.  I hope his dream was not destroyed by that flood.   

This whole situation is and will be governed by one simple rule we all know of and we should all follow.  “You don’t kick a man when he’s down.”  People in and around Nashville need a break. This man probably needs a break too.    

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

Byron Begley
May 25, 2010


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