Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  This is one beautiful morning in Townsend, Tennessee.  A transparent fog that doesn’t really block my view but casts a slightly blurring effect is everywhere I look.  There were 13 wild turkeys in our neighbor’s field this morning.  They appeared to be disinterested in me as I drove by.  They kept on pecking the ground.  At this time of the year, they are eating insects among other things they can find and digest.

The sky is cloudy and 67 degrees.  The rain we expected yesterday did not happen.  I don’t know if storms missed us or they never formed.  There is a slight chance for rain today and on Sunday.  Otherwise we can expect high temperatures in the low 80’s and lows in the high 50’s to low 60’s for the next few days.  This weather we’ve been experiencing is nice.

Little River is flowing at 65 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 115 cfs.  The water temperature was 68.7 degrees at 7:45 am.  Other streams in the Park may have relatively more flow than Little River.  I’m checking on some other flow gauges right now.  Cataloochee is flowing at 49 cfs.  Median flow for that beautiful little stream is 57 cfs.  So, it is closer to normal than Little River.  The Oconaluftee downstream at Birdtown is running about normal.  Tellico River is low.  I have heard there is plenty of water in the West Prong of the Little Pigeon and it’s many tributaries.  

I was busy doing other stuff yesterday and I only talked to a couple of fishermen.  I suppose fishing is getting tougher in the Little River watershed from what little I heard yesterday.  Those anglers who are good at stalking and hiding should do fine.  Dry flies and nymphs will work.  I would offer them a beetle pattern for the dry.  Behind that I would probably have a Green Weenie dragging along.  My beetle would have some bright color on the back so I could see the darned thing.  Other patterns will work too.  I guess it seems like a beetle day to me.  Maybe those wild turkeys planted the seed.  I bet they were eating beetles.

I would probably fish above Elkmont today.  It will be nice up there.

If you click on the archived fishing report for yesterday to the left, you can see the Laurel Lake concept plan we are going to use to show the public.  This drawing is crammed full of ideas about re-building Laurel Lake and turning the 150+ acre tracts of County owned land into something the public can use.  The image is very small on the fishing report. 

I was asked to oversee this project, keep our committee on track and I’m enjoying this very much. 

One of the many ideas our concept team came up with is disc golf.  This sport is becoming very popular.  From a land use point of view disc golf offers a lot of enjoyment to certain people while being inexpensive to build a course.  Disc golf requires very little changes to the landscape.  It is low impact.

If all of this does come about, I won’t be playing disc golf where there is a 35 acre lake on the same property.  I will be fly fishing.  But other people will be watching me fish as they play disc golf.  I don’t think we will interfere with each other unless I catch a flying frisbee on my back cast.

I talked to Joe Huff yesterday.  He is the executive director of Park and Rec.  Parks and Rec is financially supported by Blount County and the cities of Maryville and Alcoa.  Parks and Rec runs the parks.  Joe is interested in disc golf because we don’t have a course in Blount County and our neighboring Knox County has three. 

We had a nice talk and I sent him a PDF of the Laurel Lake concept plan.  I promised to get him more involved in this planning process as it moves along.

I will be working on the content for the concept plan, we will print a few hundred copies then go to the public for comments.  Of utmost importance are the stakeholders who live near this project.  Paula and I live 1,385 feet from the proposed park property and 2,300 feet from what will be the lake.  Other people live closer.  Laurel Valley is one very large stakeholder that will be affected by this project either adversely, positively or both.  Laurel Valley is a large community of homes, an 18 hole golf course, resort, bed and breakfast and homes rented to tourists short term. 

I was contacted by the President of the Laurel Valley Homeowners Association, yesterday.  They want to meet and become involved in the planning process.   That is good.  I am meeting with their board week after next.  We do have one engineer who lives in Laurel Valley and serves on our Concept Plan Committee.  I’m looking forward to getting more of those stakeholders involved now.  And there are other stakeholders who live close to Laurel Lake but not in Laurel Valley.  I hope to meet with them and get their ideas.

It is opening time.  I better go.

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

Byron Begley
August 18, 2012

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