Townsend, Tennessee
September 1, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Early this morning the mountains were completely fogged in but there was not fog in the valley.  It looked like Middle Tennessee or Kentucky around here until the fog lifted.  It is lifting now and the mountains are coming into view.  The big ones are still hidden.  The sky is cloudy.  It is a beautiful morning in Townsend.  There is almost no traffic. 

Little River could not look better.  We had some rain last night in the mountains but just some sprinkles here.  I noticed the water level ticked up earlier this morning.  There is plenty of flow, 156 cubic feet per second.  Normal for this date is 91 cfs.  The water temperature dropped one degree from yesterday morning’s reading.  It is currently 65 degrees in town and cooler than that in the Park. 

Fishing is good but hardly anyone is going.  The water level in our watershed is conducive to dry fly or nymph fishing.  Take your choice or do both at the same time.  I would still use beetles and other terrestrials.  A Green Weenie would work well.  But you can probably use one of a large choice of flies right now.  The trout are active and hungry, especially early and late. 

Tomorrow, September 2nd is the re-dedication of the Park.  This is one of the many events held this year as part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s 75th Anniversary.  The event will take place at Newfound Gap right off Highway 441.  Rumor has it the road will close sometime tonight and be closed all day tomorrow.  But that can’t be verified either on the Park’s website or by calling the road closing recording. 

Who will be the highest official there to speak at the re-dedication?  We don’t know.  I do know the Park officials want President Obama to be there. I have been asked by two people if I wanted an invitation to attend.  I didn’t.  I would rather be working or fishing.  Big crowds are not my thing. 

If the President does in fact show up I’ll know beforehand.  There will be a lot of black Chevy Suburbans running around.  Some have equipment mounted on top.  I guess it is communication equipment and probably some rockets and machine guns.  These trucks travel in large numbers and they are fast.

The first time President George W. Bush visited Townsend it had to do with Education.  Our elementary school is known to be one of the best.  He visited the school in his first term.  We knew about it way before it happened.  This town was crawling with Secret Service people, the phone company ran a ton of new lines into the school for the service and the press to use.  I guess those days are over.  Cell phones and satellite communications did away with the ground lines.

The second time President Bush visited here he was to speak at Cades Cove.  That was during his second term.  We were in this building by then.  From my office I can see the main highway, 321.  That fleet of armored black and shiny trucks came flying through town an hour or so before the President was to arrive.  From the fire escape which is right outside my office I can see the mountains surrounding Cades Cove.  I kept watching as a storm moved over the Cove.  The President was on the Ground at the Knoxville Airport, which is actually in our County.  I watched as a helicopter flew over town and toward the Cove.  Lightning was flashing and the sky was black.  The helicopter flew over the area then turned and headed back here and probably back to the airport.  A few minutes later the stream of black trucks doing at least 70 miles per hour sped through town in the pouring rain. 

It was too dangerous for the President to land in Cades Cove.  My guess is he was not in that helicopter.  It was not Marine One.  It was too small.  I think the Secret Service had staff in that one to check everything out. 

But we’ll see what happens tomorrow.  Highway 441 will be closed from Sugarlands to Cherokee.  Other roads might be closed too.  And, if President Obama does come here to speak there will be a lot of other strange things going on around here. 

I have to take the new boat to Maryville tomorrow to have her Tennessee registration numbers applied at the sign company.  I hope none of this conflicts with that important event. 

Put these dates on your calendar.  Thursday and Friday October 29th and 30th.  That is when the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission will hold the meeting in Knoxville to vote on several fisheries issues including protected slot and maybe some harvest reductions for trout on the Caney Fork River and other rivers.  The location has not been announced and the final regulations may be subject to change.  Tighter regulations will be better for the Caney Fork fishery.  Or at least that’s what I think and I’ll be there to support the new regs.  Also, it is important to write TWRA and your Commissioner.  Here is a link to the list of Commissioners:

Some of them don’t list their e-mail address.  So you may need to send your letter via fax or mail.  You can call them too.  I called Mike Chase who is our Region Commissioner.  He called me back.  There are several new Commissioners. 

If you attend the meeting be prepared to get up and say a few words about your position.  You don’t have to say much, just be nice. These Commissioners are representing us because they are hunters and fishermen who care.  They give up a lot of their time for you and me.  They deserve respect and courtesy from all of us. 

Two of them are actually part of the Governor’s cabinet, the Commissioner of TDEC and Commissioner of Agriculture.  I’m not sure when that started.  I thought the Commission was made up of citizens like you and me and most of them are. Maybe this is new or I missed it before.

Eight months into the year have past and we have had 702,713 visitors to the website during that period.  You are only counted once each day no matter how many times you visit. Thank you for supporting us by visiting this website.  The Little River Journal will go out tomorrow.  It’s not to late to subscribe.  It is free and you can do it below.     

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

Byron Begley
September 1, 2009

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