Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It’s sunny now but we have a 40% chance of rain today, maybe more tomorrow.  There were people milling around town early, taking advantage of the sub-eighty degree temperatures.  It is going to cool off a little.  Lows are predicted to be in the high 60’s at night.  That is very good news.  It is still going to be in the low 90’s today and tomorrow then maybe in the 80’s on Saturday.

If it rains and cools down the fishing will improve.  The normal high temperature for this period is 84 degrees and the normal low is 60.  I’m looking forward to normal.  Maybe it will come soon.  Little River is flowing at 98 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 116 cfs. 

Fishing has been good in the higher elevation streams.  It is best to go early in the morning.  As the sun rises, concentrate on the shady spots.  The trout will most likely be in the riffles in pockets behind rocks.  Or they may be in the choppy water where a riffle enters a pool.  Use light tippet, get a good drift and stay hidden.  I would probably use terrestrial flies like beetles and ants.  I might use a yellow stonefly or mayfly pattern.  I would certainly drop a Green Weenie or small nymph off the dry.  With this low water my tippet would be 6X. 

Today is election day.  Though this is basically a primary Statewide, it is also our local election.  So it’s important to vote.  We vote at Townsend Elementary School.  I think we have about 2,600 people in this precinct.  I bet they process about 130 people per hour today at the polls.  It is seldom crowded.  Voting here just takes a few minutes. 

Last night I worked on a proposal for our planning commission to adopt a “Complete Streets” resolution.  I don’t know if that is the right thing to do but we’ll look into it.  You can Google “Complete Streets” and find the Complete Street Coalition.  Yesterday I downloaded a report from the TDOT website.  It was a study used as a model for Knoxville.  The idea is to make streets and byways friendly to people who ride bicycles, walk or are in wheel chairs as well as motorized vehicles.  The streets are designed or changed to be used by everyone. 

To do this might require narrowing driving lanes and painting in a bicycle lane.  It might require slowing down traffic, placing raised medians in areas where they don’t interfere with turning traffic and building sidewalks.  Crosswalks would be added.  Part of the plans include planting trees.  Placing park benches in certain areas are recommended.  Lighting intersections with street lights would be part of the plan.  This document is 89 pages long and this concept has been adopted by many cities.  Funding is available through Federal highway sources.

Then, I looked online at the advantages of reducing the speed limit to 35 miles per hour on our main highway.  The obvious advantage is reducing accidents and possibly saving lives. With a slower designed speed it would be safer for pedestrians and people on bicycles.  But there is more.  At that speed limit, more battery powered cars become legal.  Some towns similar to ours even allow golf carts on their streets.  Paula and I stayed in a small town in Florida called Cedar Key.  Everyone drives golf carts there.  Peachtree City, Georgia has 7,500 golf carts licensed to use the streets.  And the City keeps the license fees.  You can find this online.  Just Google “golf carts city streets” or something like that.  I know this is “thinking out of the box”.  It may not be a good idea to do that here.  But, it’s something to think about.

I’ve heard there are street lights that comply with the Night Sky Alliance.  They shine down.  Our lighting ordinance complies with the Night Sky Alliance.

I would like to see more trees, pedestrians, people on bicycles and wheelchairs in town.  I wouldn’t mind running around in a golf cart either.  The Planning Commission may think I’m crazy and I might get fired.  I’ll let you know next Friday what happened.

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

Byron Begley
August 5, 2010 

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