Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  We got a heavy shower this morning for about a minute.  Then it was gone.  I stepped outside to come to work and the humidity must have been 100% and the temperature was 77 degrees.  That was at 8:15 am.  Summer is here folks.  If I didn’t have to work today I would probably go sit in a creek, probably the one behind our house.  Not really, that creek maintains a water temperature of 58 degrees year round.  Did you ever try to sit in 58 degree water?  It is supposed to get up to 92 degrees today and tomorrow.

Fishing reports are good and bad.  It depends on who you are talking to.  That is probably because some people might be fishing in water that is warm or sunny.  That won’t work very well.  And maybe someone went swimming a few minutes earlier where some people fished.  I would seek out shady creeks in higher elevations.  I would try to get away from the roads.  There are a few hundred miles of those types of streams in the Smokies.  Just pick one and start walking upstream.  Eventually you will find cooler water and willing trout.  You will also see some beautiful country with less people. 

Green Weenies are working now.  I guess more inchworms are falling in the water.  Evenings are fishing well.  There are some decent hatches of aquatic insects before dark.  Getting on the stream at daybreak is a good idea. The trout have not been bothered by anyone for hours.  Try smaller dry flies and nymphs.  The water is right at normal flow in Little River.  Today the flow is 167 cubic feet per second (cfs) below the “Y”.  Median flow for this date is 166 cfs.  The water temperature in town was a warm 68 degrees.  The water will be cooler in the Park at higher elevation streams.

I received several e-mails from readers who were responding to what I wrote yesterday about sign ordinances in Townsend.  I talked about a conversation I had with a lady who owns a restaurant.  Since I am on the planning commission here, she was complaining to me about our sign ordinances.  I even got one e-mail from a friend of mine who is in the sign business.  He provided a lot of good insight and suggestions for us to follow.

We are in the process of re-writing our sign ordinances.  At one time Townsend did not allow interior lit signs or that is my understanding.  I could be wrong.  Most of us have wooden painted signs that are lit from below by lights mounted to the ground.  They shine up and light the sign.  That looks good.

But here is the rub.  Lights shining up causes light pollution.  Over time as our town grows there would be more light shining into the sky.  We live in a place where you can look into the sky at night and see the stars clearly, especially in the winter.  That is a very important advantage that we have as it pertains to tourism and our own enjoyment as residents.  People who live in big cities don’t see the stars like we do here.  That is because of light pollution.  Preserving our night sky is important to us.

So, how do we light our signs?  Lighting a wooden sign from above  and shining down is possible.  It does require long poles in high places and ladders to change the bulbs.  I would not let anyone who works here climb a 25 foot ladder on my behalf.  I would do it myself.  But, at 59 years old, I don’t think I want to do that anymore.  Changing bulbs in an interior lighted sign usually requires a sign contractor to perform that task.  At one time I had several interior lit signs. It seems like there was always someone repairing the lighting in those signs. 

Preserving our town is complicated.  I appreciate your input whether you just have an opinion,  you are a professional in the sign business or you are a planner. Your opinion as a visitor to our town is very important to us. Our prosperity in this valley depends almost entirely on tourism. We who live here like our town. We like to see the stars at night. And we want to see tourism grow while sustaining our way of life without a lot of changes. We want our river to be clean and beautiful. We want to look out the window and see these beautiful mountains unobstructed.

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

Byron Begley
June 13, 2010 

Little River Outfitters will be hosting a book signing with Ron Ellis on Saturday June 26, from 1 to 3pm. He will be signing copies of the new book "In That Sweet Country, Uncollected Writings of Harry Middleton".

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