Townsend, Tennessee
July 2, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun is shining and the temperature is 66 degrees, the exact same temperature as Little River’s water.  The river’s flow jumped yesterday due to a small thunderstorm that dropped almost ½” of rain at the shop.  Today it  is back down and the water is clear.  But, the flow is still above normal as is the rainfall.

It is going to be cool for a few days.  The weather service expects the low tonight to be 59 degrees in the valley and much cooler than that in the mountains.  The high Sunday in the valley is predicted to be 77 degrees.  That’s the high!  This is very good news for anglers.  The water temperature in the Park is fine for fishing now but it is going to get even better.  There is a good chance for rain Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  Keep it coming!

Ted brought in a huge, light colored mayfly this morning.  It was about 2 inches long.  We took him out on the fire escape and he flew off.  I’m not sure what it was, maybe a willow fly. 

It is terrestrial time.  Well, it is almost always terrestrial time.  Beetles are falling into the water most of the year.  But they are especially available as a food source for trout and other fishes right now.  Beetles, ants and inch worms or sourwood worms should be considered in your fly selection.  Don’t forget your Green Weenies.  Also, any yellow bodied fly works well right now, either mayfly, caddis or stonefly.  I think the trout believe the yellow caddis is actually a stonefly. 

According to the Daily Times, AAA expects a 4% drop in automobile travel in our State compared to last year but a 37% increase over 2007 this weekend.  I guess everyone was flying in 2007.  Here’s the article in the Times.

Gasoline prices have inched higher lately with the National Average at $2.63.  But last year that price was $3.91.  That’s good news for us internal combustion engine lovers. 

My friend Rufus King loaned me a book called “Fortunes, Fiddles & Fried Chicken” by Bill Carey.  It is a history of business in Nashville, Tennessee.  You may know I moved to Nashville from Kentucky in 1973 and opened a franchised quick printing shop.  Then my Father and I bought some bankrupt dry cleaning stores.  I was 23 years old and running 4 stores.  Eventually he moved to Nashville and we opened several more stores then sold them to a company from Liverpool, England.  I ran the company for them for 5 years, then moved to the Smokies.

During that 17 year period, living in Nashville I met a lot of people.  I saw companies rise and fall.  Rufus and another guy took over First American Bank when it was in failure and they pulled it out, saving the bank.  I was just a kid and I owed First American what seemed like a lot of money back then.  And I got to know the top people at the bank.

I don’t need a distraction right now but this book is sitting on my desk and I opened it several times yesterday and read some of the pages.  Names kept coming up, people I knew or companies I had business connections with every few pages. 

Remember Jack Massey and John Y. Brown?  They took Kentucky Fried Chicken and expanded it all over the world.  My mother and John Y's parents were friends.  He eventually became the Governor of Kentucky.  Colonel Sanders and my Grandfather were buddies.  When my parents married there was the Colonel in the wedding pictures.

How about Ray Danner.  Mr. Danner was CEO of Shoney’s Inc.  I didn’t know him personally but that company spent a lot of money with the printing company.  For years they were our best customer.  I knew the Hookers, John J and Henry though I didn’t know them well.  They started the now defunct Minnie Pearl Fried Chicken empire. John J ran for Governor of Tennessee.   

The book describes Nick Spiva and Nick Hill buying O’Charley’s and building that company.  Nick and Nick were landlords of a couple of our stores. I always liked those guys.  Nick Spiva’s father lives here and is a fly fisherman.

When Lamar Alexander ran for Governor both times our printing presses were running wide open.  I don’t know how we got that business.  I know the Senator, he’s a great guy and he occasionally comes in the shop to buy some fly fishing gear. 

I will read every page before Rufus gets this book back.  But reading this makes me appreciate where I live now.  Last night I drove home, by the barn and right there near the road was a wild turkey hen and her two poults.  Bears walk by our house.  Trout swim in our creek.  A bobcat lives near us.  Last week I saw a bald eagle. 

We live in a large valley inhabited by a little over 2,000 people.  Only 250 people live in the Townsend City Limits.  We have a ½ million acre National Park in our back yard with 800 miles of fishable trout streams.  We have lakes and rivers here in every direction just a short distance away.  I was not made to live in a city.  I was made to live in the country. 

Nashville is a great city.  I’m just not a city guy and never will be.

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

Byron Begley
July 2, 2009

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