Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It was foggy early but it has lifted now.  It is going to be hot today, 90 degrees.  It will be cooler the rest of the week with lows dipping into the high 50’s by Friday if the forecast is correct.  We may see lows in the 40’s in the mountains.  That will help cool the streams down. 

Little River is lower than normal but not extremely low.  Flow this morning is 72 cubic feet per second (cfs) compared to the median flow for this date of 105 cfs.  The water temperature was 70 degrees at 8:15 am in town. 

Fishing is fine in the Great Smoky Mountains.  You will do better early in the morning.  The water is cool and the sun is not shining on the water.  During low water conditions like we have in August most of the time, trout are hiding in the riffles and under cover.  If you do fish during the day, pick the shady areas.  I would use a beetle but most dry flies and nymphs that are commonly used here should work.  Still, I would fish with some sort of terrestrial pattern.

The chance for rain is low for the next 10 days.  We’ll probably be dealing with low water but it will be cooler. 

I saw something Thursday evening when I drove home that I have never seen before.  In our field, close to the road was a hen turkey and one small poult.  The poult looked to be about 14” tall.  This is late August.  Most of the young of the year birds I see now look almost like adults.  I’ve watched two broods grow up all summer.  This youngster couldn’t be more than a few weeks old.  There could have been more than one in the woods.  Once turkeys enter the forest, they disappear.

I took the day off yesterday and tied flies, mostly baitfish patterns for smallmouth bass.  Paula and I are going to fish Dale Hollow Lake for a few days next month.  I’m not expecting great results.  I think the fish will be deep unless that lake cools down a lot.  Unlike most of the lakes around here, Dale Hollow is fed by free flowing rivers.  Many of our lakes here are fed with cold water from impoundments upstream.  At Dale Hollow most of the smallmouth bass fishing is done at night during the warm months.  I don’t think we’ll be out on a strange lake running around at night.  But, we’ll relax and learn about this fabulous smallmouth fishery.  We may go back in October and for sure next Spring when the fishing is best.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has made a shift in it’s plans to force landowners on the right of way in Townsend, to move buildings, fences, swimming pools, parking lots, landscaping and other encroachments.  80 letters were sent to property owners who had encroachments in early August.  They were told to move the structures in a month or TDOT would move them and charge the cost to the owner.  Some businesses would lose entire parking lots.  Other would have to demolish buildings.  It was an awful situation.

A small group of business people met here at our shop with our State Senator, two State Representatives, our Mayor, a County Commissioner and the Republican nominee for State Representative week before last. 

I got a e-mail from Senator Overby Thursday.  Things are getting worked out.  I couldn’t say anything because I didn’t want to be the one to leak the story.  But, it’s in the news now.  TDOT hired a firm to survey the right of way.  That is being done now.  They sent new letters to the 80 property owners giving them more time to move their encroachments and mentioned selling the property under the encroachments at fair market value if the encroachments could not be moved. 

Somehow I knew TDOT would end up being reasonable.  Those first letters were harsh and put some people through a couple of tough weeks of high anxiety.  Maybe TDOT should not have handled it that way.  Heck, we all make mistakes or wish we had done things differently.  The survey will probably prove that some alleged encroachments actually don’t exist.  What matters now is that our agency is willing to work with people who have hardships and with those encroachments that date back to the 1940’s and 1950’s.  I’m sure the city will continue to stop new encroachments on the right of way.

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

Byron Begley
August 28, 2010

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