Townsend, Tennessee
May 26, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sky is overcast with a few open areas of light shining through.  The Smokies are visible from here.  There is a low fog hovering over the path of Little River as it meanders from the Park line through Townsend.  It is another beautiful day.

It is quiet in our town.  I only saw a couple of cars on my morning commute.  Frank, one of our city Policemen drove by when I was getting out of my truck.  We waved and he drove on.  I spent a lot of time with Frank during Troutfest weekend.  We messed up and had a lot of cars parked along Myers Road.  Most of them were not completely off the street.  Neighbors complained so Frank drove over to have me straighten everything out.  We took care of the problem thanks to his help.

This weekend I drove by Pat Jenkins house.  Pat is our Mayor.  I noticed that he had one of the new Trout Unlimited brook trout tags on his truck.  He had a low number too, in the 60’s.  That means he ordered his very early.  Paula and I ordered ours the day they went on sale.  We got 35 and 36.  But, how cool is that?  Our Mayor is a TU member and has the license tag to prove it.  Pat’s wife Mary K is a fish artist and avid supporter of Casting for Recovery.

Herb Handly who runs our Convention and Visitors Bureau and I have talked about calling Townsend “Trout Town”.  Roscoe, New York does the same thing.  And we have talked about having an Opening Day celebration in Townsend.  This would have to be an imaginary opening day.  Trout season never closes here.  We may get back on that.

Fishing is excellent.  You couldn’t ask for better conditions.  Well, I take that back.  The water is a little high but not too bad.  Yesterday and last night thunderstorms were scattered around but our valley did not take a direct hit.  We got .10” of rain.  The Airport reported 1.17 inches. 

Fishing will be good all day but evenings are best.  The last two hours before dark are red hot right now.  Yellow Sally Stoneflies are hatching along with a host of other aquatic insects.  I would be on the stream at 6:00 pm and fish until dark.  You can legally fish in the National Park until 30 minutes after sunset.  Sunset today will be 8:43 pm.  I would use any Yellow Sally Pattern.

During the day a Light Cahill, Parachute Adams or Yellow Sally imitation would work fine for a dry fly.  For nymphs I would use a Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Tellico Nymph or Prince Nymph.

I checked the USGS website to see the flow numbers at the Little River Gauge this morning just like I do every day.  They took the temperature off the site.  The temperature gauge at the “Y” has not worked in months.  That is why I take the water temperature every morning.  I called and left a message with a guy who I know at USGS and he is the one responsible for the maintenance of the gauge and equipment.  I guess they decided not to repair the temperature function at the site and just took that data off the website.  They are strapped for cash and having a hard time keeping all of their stations working.  They try to find partners to help fund the stations.  The City of Sevierville is a partner on the one there.  Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation chipped in on the Tellico site.  But, all state and local governments are lacking in funding. 

You should have seen the parade of motor homes and travel trailers leaving Townsend yesterday afternoon.  The tourists came, had a great weekend and they went home.  Our economy here is supported mostly by tourism.  Most jobs are funded in one way or another by tourism.  Our jobs here at the shop are supported somewhat by tourism though our revenue is more diverse than most businesses in Townsend. 

As more people move into our valley that paradigm will likely shift somewhat to a more community based economy.  It is already happened in the last few years.  I think that is a good thing.  If we grow, and we will and strive to become entirely supported by tourists, I’m afraid of what we will look like in 20 years.  To preserve our community there needs to be a balance.  Much of our green space here has been pulled out of future development.  Hundreds of acres of land, across the road from our shop are now tied to a conservancy easement and there is more land pending that same restriction.  That land will never be developed. 

In a week or two we will close on 10 acres next to the visitors center.  It will probably never be commercially developed.  Another 22 acres remain open next to that tract.  It could be bought and developed.  Somehow, that needs to be purchased and preserved.  I worked hard for 18 months on that one 10 acre tract with Herb Handly and other business owners. 

The $1.4 million price tag will be funded by a 1% increase in the hotel/motel/lodge and campground tax.  When you rent a cabin for $120 per night, an extra $1.20 will go toward paying for that property.  Some people argued that a 1% tax on accommodations would cause price resistance and we would lose that customer to Pigeon Forge.  I don’t believe that, especially when the visitor sees what we are working on for the future of our valley.  That planning has begun and I am proud to be part of the initial 5 person steering committee and 15 member full committee.  Our sleeves are rolled up and the work has begun.

Check out the Fishing Report Archive on the left panel of this page.  You can read past reports.  So far I have only added dates back to May 1st.  But, we have years archived and I’ll get around to adding those when I can fit it in.  Right now the Little River Journal has to be written and designed.  You can sign up for that below this report.

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

Byron Begley
May 26, 2009


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