Townsend, Tennessee
June 21, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and warm this morning in Townsend.  Around 6:00 am I started hearing thunder.  Then the rain came, hard.  Then the power went off.  What a great way to start the day.  I left the house at 8:00 and drove to the river.  It’s up a little and slightly stained.  The water is getting warmer every day.  It was 69 degrees this morning.  It will be cooler in the Park.

As I drove down the road to work I noticed stores without power.  One restaurant had all of their customers sitting on the front porch in rocking chairs.  Across the road from our shop is that large power station surrounded by chain link fence.  Fire trucks, police cars and other emergency vehicles were parked around the area with their lights flashing.  I could hear a very loud “hum”.  I guess lightning struck the station.  But, our power in this building is on.  Strange. 

Some very dark clouds are hovering over the mountains.  And, true to their name, puffs of fog are scattered around the peaks.  It kind of looks like smoke.

I don’t know what to say about the fishing today.  It could be great especially using large nymphs and streamers.  You might catch  your Smokies fish of a lifetime.  When the water is turbid they can’t see you as well.  The flow gauge is not showing any rise in depth or flow in Little River.  I might be a little suspect about that.  They may not have power at the gauge station.  The river does not look to be up much.  We got .65” of rain at the shop this morning.  Ted just came in and said the small creeks are flooded in Sevier County.  So, if you want to fish in the Park it could be good or it could be bad.  It’s just hard to say right now.

The Maryville Daily Times reported this morning that the Park Service has already trapped or shot more than 500 wild hogs this year.

Evidently that is a significant number.  The problem is the wild hog population is growing.  The original Russian Wild Boar that escaped from a hunting preserve and invaded the Smoky Mountains have mated with feral domestic stock.  I’ve seen those cross bred hogs in the Park.  I saw one once with a white face.

I’ve known some of the Park’s boar hunters.  They are usually young and very tough.  They go into the backcountry and stay for days at a time.  Using high powered rifles they do kill a lot of pigs.  The Park spends a lot of money trying to control the population.  But it keeps growing.

I just checked the gauge at the “Y” online.  The water is going up.  It does look like the rain is over for now.  But there is a 50% chance for more today and tonight.  Guess I was wrong.  It’s raining again.  OK, now it is clearing and the rain has stopped.

More people are camping this year according to the New York Times and the National Park Service.  Bookings for National Park Campsites were up 9% over last year in the first quarter.

Is there a movement to vacation in the great outdoors?  Evidently.  Camping has been in decline for years.  It’s funny though, Paula and I are talking about pulling our gear out, getting those stoves and lanterns running and doing the same thing.  All we would have to buy is some propane.

Have a great day and thanks for being here with us.  Happy Fathers day to you dads.

Byron Begley
June 21, 2009

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