Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It was foggy earlier but it lifted and the sun is shining.  The temperature is a very warm 68 degrees already.  The temperature here at night has usually been in the low 60’s.  There are a lot of people around town.  Another motorcycle pulled out in front of me this morning.  Three pulled out right in my path yesterday.  If I had been speeding I would have hit one of them.

Little River is looking low again.  I know the flow is below normal. We do have a technical problem.  The USGS Website that reports the river flow from the station just inside the Park went down last night.  You can see the words “Unavailable” in the “Most Recent Instantaneous Value May 30th” column.  That’s not good.  We all rely on those readings.  Flood control, kayaking, fishing, lake managers and water supply people watch these gauges.  This could take time to fix.  Terry, who keeps our gauge running has a lot of sites to watch.  I’ll call him Tuesday.  I bet some trees have grown a little and blocked the GPS transmitter that communicates with the USGS satellite. That data is fed to a central location and updates the website hourly.  The website is controlled by the office in Nashville.  Or, maybe a tuber’s flip flop is blocking the probe.   

We’ve got afternoon thunderstorms in the forecast for a few days.  Some of these storms could be significant.  Be careful.

Fishing should be fine, especially early in the mornings or late in the day until dark.  The water is low and clear so stealth and light tippets will improve your luck.  Light colored dry flies, mostly yellow will work best.  But who knows, you might do better on a Parachute Adams.  Try any Yellow Sally Stonefly or Light Cahill pattern for your dry.  Nymphs will work too.  Try dropping one off your dry.  Choose a Green Weenie, Copper John, Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear or Prince Nymph.

I heard a lot of emergency vehicles fly by yesterday with sirens blaring.  I couldn’t find a report of any accidents in the newspaper this morning.  They were probably tuber rescues.  Rescuing tubers is a common occurrence during tourist season.  The emergency people take it seriously too.  I’ve seen fire trucks, police and a rescue team bringing a tuber back to the other bank where they feel safer.  Sometimes the people are injured.  Other times they are just scared.

I’m hoping our tourism business is good.  It seems to be doing well this year but it’s hard to tell until the Hotel/Motel tax numbers are released.  I’ve noticed the Gulf Coast States are doing what they can to assure potential tourists that their beaches are fine.  What about Louisiana?  Louisiana needs a break.  First there was Katrina and now it’s BP.  I lived in that state for 6 months when I was in the Army.  Fort Polk was a huge training base for soldiers headed to Viet Nam.  Louisiana is a sportsman’s paradise. I liked living there.  The coast is beautiful.  The culture is of it’s own, like no other and that makes the State a great place to visit.  Fly fishing for redfish couldn’t be better anywhere else.  It makes me sick to see what is happening there.  I wish there was something I could do.  Maybe there is. 

You know, anglers can make a difference and this is one instance where we should.  Check out the Coastal Conservation Association Website.  This organization does good work.  I bet a Troutfest-like fundraiser would be huge for helping Louisiana.  And like here, money donated can be leveraged many times by matching grants.  You can turn a dollar into five dollars pretty easy.  In Louisiana there will be lots of grants that will require matching funds.  Volunteer labor can be counted just like cash and matched.  That’s how the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited helped raise $2.5 million for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Actually I think the number is higher than that now or it will be when we turn over this year’s donation.  Maybe Tennessee needs a CCA Chapter. 

Give it some thought.  And, you anglers in Louisiana should consider contacting us here in Tennessee.  We have history of going to other places and getting the work done.  Remember the Alamo?

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

Byron Begley
May 30, 2010

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