Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and raining in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  Traffic is light.  I saw some walkers, runners and bicycle riders on my way to work before the rain started falling.  Little River looked good.  I didn’t hear it but Paula woke up during the night thanks to a storm that moved through the area.  We had ½” of rain in the gauge this morning.  But, the river level did not rise.  So, this was an isolated storm that didn’t affect the mountains and the Little River watershed.  We’ll get more rain though, today and especially tomorrow. 

Little River’s flow is 120 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Normal for this date is 119 cfs.  The water temperature in town is 72 degrees, up a couple of ticks from yesterday morning.  Cooler temperatures over the next few days will improve the fishing conditions.  You will probably be better off in the mid to high elevations if you plan on fishing all day.  In the lower elevations fishing will be best early.  Fishing is good depending on where you are.  I would consider a hike above Elkmont or a drive to the Chimneys area.  There you can choose from several streams including Walker Camp Prong which is the headwaters of the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.  The water will be cool up there.  Fish the main stream or the tributaries. 

I would toss a yellow dry fly of some sorts.  A small Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Elk Hair Caddis or the Neversink Caddis should work.  If you like, drop a small nymph or Green Weenie off the dry.

We are going to see fishing get a lot better in the Smoky Mountains if the cooling and wet trend continues.  I’m hoping for that. 

Well, yesterday was quite a day.  As you have probably read here, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has cited 80 properties in our town for infringement of the right of way.  Since 1952, some parking lots, gas tanks and other structures have been using the right of way.  Now, the State says they want that to stop.  Some of the alleged violations will be dropped when surveys are complete.  The State is working on a survey now.  What will be left after the smoke clears are a few hardship cases where business people will lose their parking altogether if there is no relief.

A group of business people met with some of our lawmakers here at the shop yesterday afternoon.  Listen to this list of public servants who attended.  We had one State Senator, two State Representatives, one candidate who won the Republican primary for State Representative and the list goes on.  Also attending was one County Commissioner, the Mayor of Townsend, the Vice Mayor and me.  I serve on the Planning Commission.  Our property was not cited by the State for infringements.  Oh, we had a reporter from the Daily Times here too.  You can read the short version of her article on the TIMES WEBSITE HERE.

Tom Talley represented the business group.  He gave a history of the right of way.  Tom is a little older than me and grew up in Townsend.  He owns the Tally Ho Motel.  Then he presented a list of actions that need to be taken.  We have a lot of support and we want to work out these problems with TDOT.  I was quoted once in the article in the very last sentence of the printed version.  “We’re going to work this out” said Byron Begley, owner of Little River Outfitters.

One thing that really bothered me as an afterthought was the way I addressed our lawmakers.  I couldn’t seem to help it.  I was the person who welcomed everyone and turned the meeting over to Tom.  I kept calling our dignitaries by their first name.  I know them all so well.  It was hard to say “Senator Overby”.  The word “Doug” is what I said every time.  It was the same with everyone else.  We are a small community in a small County compared to some others in our State.  If we are active in the community, we all know each other well.   

The meeting started promptly at 4:00 and the last of us left the building at 7:00 pm.  I’m glad that all branches of our government in the state are helping us work through this huge problem.  I really appreciated the way the system is working right now.  We are going to work this out.

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

Byron Begley
August 21, 2010

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