Townsend, Tennessee
September 4, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy in Townsend this morning.  The mountains are barely visible due to fog.  Traffic is very light on the streets.  That will change soon.  It’s labor day weekend. 

Little River looks very good though the water is getting lower by the day.  But, It is 22% higher than normal on this date.  The water is cool in town and cooler in the mountains.  I’m wearing sandals and shorts today so when I took the water temperature I stepped into the river.  It’s cool for sure, 64 degrees.

I was off yesterday but I think the fishing in the Park will be fine.  I was fishing on the lake and we had an East wind and the night before there was a full moon.  Walter Babb commented that we could not have had worse conditions.  Brian did catch what appeared to be a 3 pound smallmouth.  He caught it on a red and white Lefty Kreh streamer of some sort.  And we caught a few other fish but the fishing was slow. 

In the Park I would use beetles and Green Weenies.  If that doesn’t work try a Yellow Stimulator #16 or a Neversink Caddis in the same size.  Fishing will probably be best early and late. 

I saw on the Message Board last night that someone was asking about water levels on Hazel Creek.  There is not a gauge there that I know about so I guess there is no way to know for sure.  Some streams in the Park are flowing above normal.  Others are way below. For instance, Cataloochee is currently flowing at 29 cubic feet per second.  Normal for this date is 51 cfs.  But Little River is flowing higher than normal.  Little Pigeon is a little below normal.  And Tellico is flowing quite a bit above normal.  In the mountains rainfall has been spotty so without the benefit of a gauge and website reporting solutions we have no way of knowing what the stream conditions are in some watersheds.  Before the internet, we didn’t know about any of the streams unless you called someone who knew or you were standing right there.

Wildlife is acting strange.  Night before last when I got home there were about 10 wild turkeys, 2 squirrels and 2 rabbits right at the entrance to the road that goes down to our barn.  It looked like a zoo.  I’m not feeding them either.

I pulled out of the house with the boat at 6:30 yesterday morning.  It was pitch black.  Right on the road was a black bear.  He jumped into the trees just before I drove by.  Yesterday we saw a fox squirrel swimming in the lake.  Our first thought was a muskrat.  It was too slender.  I swore it was a mink.  We drifted closer and it was definitely a red squirrel.  Did he fall in?  Were there more nuts on the other side of the river?   

In all my years in the woods and on the waters I have never seen that before.  I have a friend who saw a bear swimming across a lake near here.  I have seen deer swimming several times.  I saw a moose swim across a lake.  Another friend of mine saw a deer swimming in the ocean.

I love to watch, listen to, talk about, write about and think about wildlife.  I’ve been that way all my life.  Everything I do at work and at play has to do with wildlife.  Almost every conversation I have has something to do with wildlife, mainly aquatic.  All of my closest friends are the same way.  They may make a living doing something that does not include wildlife but they all spend their spare time admiring nature’s beauty and talking about fishing and hunting.  That’s what drew us together in the fist place.  That is a common bond that holds us together. 

People who fish and hunt are close to the earth or “down to earth”.  And since we are social we like to be around people who are down to earth.  I chose to serve customers like that. 

I was waiting at the pharmacy the other day to make sure I didn’t have a reaction to a flu shot.  I was sitting next to a guy and we started talking about football.  He went to a high school game two weeks ago where 17,000 fans showed up.  He goes to a high school football game every Friday night then goes to all the UT home football games.  His life revolves around football.  This was a one topic conversation.  I would ask questions about teams, games and players and he would talk on and on.  I was not too bored but I only watched the Super Bowl in January and that was it since the Super Bowl in 2008.  I watch the commercials, the halftime show and tie flies during the game. 

If I had tried to engage this fellow in a fishing conversation it probably would have bored him to death.  I hated to do that to him.  I’ll probably never see him again anyway. 

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

Byron Begley
September 4, 2009

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