Townsend, Tennessee
June 10, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun is shining and Townsend is very quiet.  It is peaceful, maybe a little too peaceful for this time of year.  One man I saw this morning was walking up his driveway reading the newspaper as he moved.  He appeared to be in a peaceful state of mind.  Down at the swinging bridge I was waiting for the thermometer to figure out the water temperature.  On the other bank, just upstream a woman sat in a folding chair holding a fishing rod, waiting for a trout to take her bait.  She looked peaceful too.

Fishing is very good early and late.  The water temperature in the streams is rising about a degree every day when I take the temperature in the mornings. I take the temperature in town where the water is warmest.  The further up into the mountains you go, the cooler the water will be.  

The flow is right at normal. We have a pretty good chance for rain over the next three days. The cloud cover, when it arrives this afternoon will help the fishing during the day but it will still be better in the mornings and evenings.

Fly selection should include Yellow Sally Stoneflies, Light Cahill, terrestrials, Green Weenies and other nymphs.  If it does rain and the water is discolored you should have some streamers such as a Matuka Sculpin or Clouser Minnow.    
I know several people including me who plan to float the lower river this week fishing for smallmouth.  We are all waiting to see how much rain we actually get and if the water will be muddy downstream.  I am tying Stealth Bombers when I get home at night.  Some of the color combinations I’m using include black foam and silver flashabou in case we are fishing in turbid water. 

I don’t think there is any doubt there are less visitors here than there should be.  This is the time when young families go on vacation.  That is the usual demographic we see here in June and July.  I don’t think many of them are here.  We are very slow at the shop.  Last week was a disaster.  But May was our second best month.  Go figure.

Maybe young families are staying home.  I expected to see a very busy summer season.  We all expected tourists to stay closer to home and that would prove to be beneficial to the Townsend area.  Maybe they will start rolling in this weekend. 

Almost every person who works in our valley are somehow compensated and supported by tourism.  I spend about 75% of my volunteer work on tourism related projects and committees.  Last year the other 25% was dedicated to Troutfest.  Troutfest helps tourism too but I don’t consider that a tourism related project.

Remember the 10 acre parcel of land next to the Visitors Center?  I worked on the project to buy the property for 18 long and tedious months.  It finally happened or is about to.  The Smoky Mountain Convention & Visitors Bureau is paying $1.4 million for it and the closing will probably be today or tomorrow. 

But that does not mean the job is over.  It is just beginning.  Now will come the long and tedious process of deciding what to do with it.  Personally I would like to see a 30,000 square foot covered pavilion for events such as Troutfest and other festivals where rain is your worst enemy.  I won’t have much say in how the property will be used.  The whole community will decide.  It is most important to the young people here, not folks who are my age.  The property will not be paid off for at least five years.

I’m serving on a five person steering committee to form a new group called Tuckaleechee Tomorrow.  We will be a planning organization.  Our fist meeting is next week then two weeks later we will hold a one half day work session.  Our goal is to protect Tuckaleechee Cove as our tourism business grows.  Some of the big thinkers in our County are involved.  I’m more of a small thinker but that will have to change next week.  I’m excited about this and I know it is going to take a lot of my allotted volunteer time.  So, I’m re-thinking what role I will play as a volunteer over the next two years.  I’m planning to make some changes.

Everyone seems to be making changes lately.  My big change starting now is I’m going to go fishing more.  I think a lot of people have made that same decision this year.  That is a good way to improve your life.  I talked to an old friend yesterday who has not fished in the Park in years.  He’s back.

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

Byron Begley
June 10, 2009


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