Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is already muggy outside.  The temperature is 77 degrees.  Townsend is busy.  A lot of people have decided to take last minute vacations.  That seems to be the trend right now.  I’ve been hearing that from the hospitality people who own motels, campgrounds and cabin rental companies.  People don’t seem to be planning in advance. 

Little River looked nice this morning.  There was a little color in the water, which is good.  Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency stocked the river last week and people are catching plenty of trout.  I talked to a guy fishing from the big rock below the swinging bridge this morning.  He said he had caught five trout.  I could hear his son screaming with excitement when I was walking down the path to the water.  His dad had just caught a trout.  After the trout was released the young fellow went back to skipping rocks.

Flow in Little River is currently 185 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 159 cfs.  The water temperature is 68 degrees.  It’s getting warm down low.

If it remains overcast this should be a great day to fish in the Smokies.  There will be a lot of tubers and swimmers on the rivers along the roads.  It being a weekend, I would hike into the backcountry.  And I would probably find higher elevation streams where the water will be cool.  Fishing has been good thanks partly to higher than normal flow.  Late evenings should provide you with some good hatches of aquatic insects.  I would use a Yellow Sally Stonefly pattern in the evenings.  Other nymphs and dry flies will work during the day. 

I was talking to Clay Aalders this morning.  He is a guide who is one we refer customers too.  He was meeting some clients from Middle Tennessee in the parking lot.  He’s been using this tiny nymph that I had never seen.  He said it had been working well. 

I was having lunch with Jack yesterday and talking to the woman who owns the restaurant where we were eating.  I started discussing signs with her.  We are working on our new sign ordinances on the Planning Commission.  I should never have mentioned that to her.  She went off on me.  She said that she should be allowed to have a huge sign on top of her building.  She was complaining about our building inspector.  She went on and on.  I finally had my fill when she said, “Townsend is for making money”. 

I wonder how many people feel that way.  I don’t.  I wonder if she actually lives in Townsend, probably not.  Isn’t Townsend also for living, raising families, continuing to preserve the heritage and history?  Isn’t Townsend a place to educate children?  Isn’t Townsend a place to stay and enjoy the National Park, go hiking, go fishing, watch wildlife and camp?  Townsend is located on one of the most beautiful rivers in the world.  It is located in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  Shouldn’t we as temporary stewards try to keep it that way?


Signs can be overdone.  Signs can be bright and flashy.  Today, signs can look like a television.  I don’t like big bright signs.  Most people who live here don’t either.  The free-standing sign at our store is 6 feet high by 10 feet wide or 60 square feet.  It is 20 feet off the ground at the highest point.  We are allowed to have a 128 square foot free-standing sign.  Paula and I chose to go with a smaller sign when we built this building.  Why?  Because 60 square feet is more than adequate and it does not mess up the landscape as much as a 128 square foot sign would. 

I have visited places where sign ordinances are barely restricted, every business tries to out-do their neighbor by building a bigger, brighter, flashier sign.  Things get out of control quickly without good sign ordinances.  I don’t like going to those places.  I like visiting places that look more like Townsend.  If we let Townsend become a mass of flashing huge signs, people like me won’t want to come here either. 

Maybe that’s why our City Government wanted me to serve on the Planning Commission.  Maybe that’s why I agreed to serve.  Maybe I’ll have people who don’t agree with me criticize me in a rage while I’m spending money at their business.  That’s OK with me.  It goes with the territory.  I’m representing her and looking out for her best interests in the long run.  If she doesn’t see it that way right now, maybe she will some day.  I’ll be back at her restaurant as soon as possible to get one of those great hamburgers.  And, I’ll send customers to her just like I have in the past.  I just won’t mention signs to her anymore.

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

Byron Begley
June 12, 2010

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