Townsend, Tennessee
July 4, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny this morning in Townsend.  The mountains are bright and vivid.  Tourists are milling around town, walking on the sidewalks and streets.  Traffic is heavy for a Saturday morning. It is Independence Day in America. 

Little River looked good this morning.  I talked to the same guy I have seen all week down on the big rock under the swinging bridge.  He has been catching a few rainbow trout and said one of his friends caught a 14” brown trout right here in town.

Fishing has been excellent in the Park.  Hugh Hartsell who is one of the guides we refer customers to told me yesterday they have been catching a lot of trout.  Glenn fished Wednesday and caught around 40.  With the good water levels and cool temperature the conditions are just right for trout fishing.  They are taking dries and nymphs. 

Fishing is best early in the mornings or late in the evening.  During the day pick shady areas.  Terrestrials are what I would use except in the evenings.  Then I would use a Yellow Sally dry pattern or a Light Cahill.  Fishing deep with nymphs may be the trick.

We are probably going to get some rain tonight and tomorrow.  That would be OK with me.  The water level in Little River is normal for this time of year.  Being a little over normal is better in the Summer. After tomorrow the chance for rain is low for a few days. 

The Little River Journal is late but it will go out today.  I’ve been working on the design and I am finished but Daniel is the only one who knows how to use Constant Contact, the company who manages our e-mail lists and does the mailing.  He has been on vacation for a week.  He is back today so if we don’t get slammed with customers it will go out.

There has been some discussion on the Message Board about holding a Warmwater Fly Fishing Symposium at the shop in November.  I need that much time to get the word out and do the planning.  Already some of the best striper, bass and panfish anglers in our area have volunteered to help.  I need to work it around Kent Edmonds’ schedule.  He lives in Georgia and there is going to be another fly fishing exposition in Asheville, North Carolina the second weekend of November. 

I am also thinking about inviting boat dealers to participate.  It would be fun to have some kayaks, canoes and motor boats here on display with eager salespeople giving us the pitch.  A friend of ours has a 3 acre lot just across from the shop that would be perfect for a boat show.

Yesterday afternoon a house in Townsend caught on fire and was destroyed.  Luckily, a lady and her granddaughter got out and were not hurt.  All five of our town’s fire trucks were there along with all kinds of other emergency vehicles.  It happened right after we closed and I was still here.  I can’t remember ever hearing and seeing that many emergency trucks fly by the store.

When I designed this building having a fire was always on my mind.  One reason for that is the nightclub fire in New England that happened during our design phase.  Around 100 people died in that fire.  Since we have classrooms upstairs and this building is made completely of wood it was a major concern.

Our town’s building inspector, Claude Scarborough is a former fireman.  We worked together on a plan that far exceeded code.  I told him, “If we have a fire I want everyone to get out”.  Also, if we have a fire I don’t want to be closed for a long period of time.

So, here is what we did:

We have four 6 ton dual fuel heat and air units.  Smoke detectors were installed in the units.  If they detect smoke the units shut down.  Having an HVAC system pump smoke into rooms can have catastrophic results.

We installed a sprinkler system that is hooked to an 8” water line with adequate pressure and volume.  We had to work with the water department on that.  They say that 90% of all fires are extinguished with one sprinkler head.  We have over 200 of them.  If the sprinkler system is ever activated a response goes to our security people and they will call the fire department.  There is also a mechanical bell outside that is rung by water passing through the sprinkler system.  So it will ring even if the power is out.  Also outside is a hookup for firemen to attach one of their hoses to pump more water through the system should the water pressure not be adequate. 

We have smoke detectors scattered throughout the shop.  If smoke is detected our security company will call the fire department and us at home.

I had a custom steel fire escape made so people can leave via the upstairs hallway.  That was expensive but it could save lives.

We have 5 exits, more than is required.

Each exit has a lit sign and spotlights that kick on automatically if the power goes out.

There is a fire extinguisher at each exit.

We have a fire hydrant right in front of our store.

So I sleep better at night and I am confident that should we have a fire no people would get hurt and our building would not be destroyed or damaged to a point that we would have to close for an extended period of time.  If I remember correctly all of this cost about $25,000.  After our building was finished we had an inspector from our insurance company come down from Cincinnati, Ohio.  I showed him everything we did and told him why.  As a result, our fire and casualty insurance is almost nothing.  We’ll get that money back over time.  It doesn’t really cost anything to have a safe building.

Our building also serves as a model for how things should be done here.  Our building inspector uses our story when working with other developers.  He told me that the other night at a City Commission meeting.  He said, “I use you all the time”. 

The cows are finally back and they are all standing.  Yay Hoo!

Have a great 4th and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
July 4, 2009  


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