Townsend, Tennessee
July 14, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is a sunny cool morning.  It feels great outside.  The temperature at our house was 65 degrees.  The water is cooler too.  It was 66 degrees, down 3 degrees from yesterday morning.  Townsend seems to have quite a few visitors. 

There is rain in the forecast for Thursday and Friday.  A cold front is moving in.  This weekend promises to be perfect with cool air and low humidity.  Stream levels are excellent.  Little River is flowing a little above normal for this date. 

Conditions are right for good fishing.  We have water and it is cool.  I would fish higher elevations, maybe above Elkmont or way up on the Middle Prong of Little River.  The water will be cooler there.  The sun is going to be bright today so early and late will offer the best angling opportunities.  I would fish with ants, beetles and Green Weenies during the day and some sort of Yellow Sally stonefly dry imitation in the evenings.  But, many patterns will work now.  The rainbows are fat and healthy.  The brookies and browns are too.  It has been a good year for trout in the Park.

I’m excited about today.  I’ll be there when the Park Service stocks the first batch of brook trout in Lynn Camp Prong.  This is the largest wild brook trout restoration in the Park so far.  Lynn Camp Prong is over 8 miles of pristine trout water.  Above the falls, all fish were removed last fall using fish toxins.  Brookies will be captured from other streams in the park using electroshocking devices.  They will be put in a hatchery truck and driven to the trailhead.  Steve Moore is going to call me when they are 30 minutes from the trailhead.

I will have two digital SLR cameras and a tripod.  I plan to write a story for the Little River Journal and the Troutfest website.  The crew from the Heartland Series will also be there including Bill Landry.  Then there will be the fish crew from the Park and biologists from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.  TWRA and the Park Service biologists work together often.  We should meet around 1:00 at the trailhead then hike up about a mile to release the trout.  I guess they will use ATVs to transport the fish up the trail. 

The stocking will continue through October.  Lynn Camp Prong has the carrying capacity of 3,000 fish per mile.  For such a small stream that is on the high side.  Lynn Camp is also an easy access mid-elevation stream.  When it is opened for fishing us older guys will enjoy the accessibility factor. The stream will remain closed until monitoring by biologists deem the population to be stable and sustainable.  That may take between 3 to 5 years.  Then they will cut the ribbon and up the trail we will go.  I’m hoping God gives me that opportunity.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is going to get $64 million thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  Improvements to the infrastructure in the Park has been needed for years.  Kevin Fitzgerald who is the Deputy Superintendent at the Park released the news to the Maryville/Alcoa Daily Times.  If you attended the Troutfest banquet, Kevin was the spokesperson who addressed the crowd that night.  He’s a good guy.  I’ll probably see him again Thursday night at a Friends of the Smokies function in Maryville.  Here is the story.

I was chairman of Troutfest this year.  In the past Park Service staff attended banquets in civilian clothes.  This year I asked them to wear Class A uniforms with their smoky the bear hats.  They all showed up in them.  I thought it made a better impression on the crowd.  We raise the money for the Park and some people would not be aware they were there if they didn’t know them personally. 

Steve Moore who is the chief honcho of the Fisheries Department is not a big fan of the “round hats” or at least he lets on to me he feels that way.  He resisted the hat idea. But, we are good friends and we give each other a hard time often unless we are on a serious subject.  I have been working with him directly for more than 15 years.  He can pretty much retire whenever he wants to.  I hope he waits a while.  He will probably work here part time when he does retire.  Maybe that’s why I want him to stay at the Park.  Just kidding Steve.

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

Byron Begley
July 14, 2009

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