Townsend, Tennessee
September 25, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and a thick fog follows the path of Little River through town.  It is also very warm, 71 degrees when I left the house this morning.  Townsend is buzzing.  The largest event and festival of the year begins today in our town.  People are here from everywhere.  I stopped at the Visitors Center to check in. 

Volunteers and staff are waiting and hoping it will not rain.  Maybe it won’t today.  It doesn’t look good for tomorrow.  There is a 90% chance for rain and thunderstorms.  But, thousands of people will be here rain or shine to enjoy the festivities, music, food and demonstrations.  They will go to the big craft show.  But they will probably be wet tomorrow.  Sunday looks good.

It’s going to cool off.  That will help the fishing and my overall attitude.  The high tomorrow is supposed to be 70 degrees.  Lows next week will dip into the 40s here in the valley.  It will be cooler than that in the mountains.

The river is rolling strong and the water is stained in town.  The level is certainly fishable and there is a great opportunity to catch some larger, more wary trout under these conditions.  I would probably take a heavier rod and use large nymph combinations or streamers.  The smaller streams are probably clear by now.  It did rain last night after closing time but the river has peaked. 

Next week the fishing should be very good.  The trout will think Fall is here.  We will think Fall is here.  I’m looking forward to that.  After Saturday the chance for rain drops to nil.  It will be cool and comfortable.

I’ll be riding my bicycle a lot next week and hopefully the week after that.  I’m trying to get into better shape for the bear and boar hunt in the Tellico National Forest in mid October.  Last night I pulled out my old Winchester Model 94, 30-30 caliber rifle.  I bought it in the early 1960s about the same time I started fly fishing.  Holding that little rifle took me back in time.  After all, it’s the gun that won the west.  The Model 94 is a lever action.

Many of the bear and boar hunters shoot these short rifles.  A 150 foot shot is a long one.  Most opportunities are close and quick.  The hounds are chasing the game through the woods and there’s no telling when or where one will pop out right near you.  I’ll carry a sidearm too.

This is a two day hunt so I'll be in the woods for two or three nights. I don’t plan to shoot a bear unless it’s him or me.  I’ll buy a bear permit just in case that happens.  But, I would never shoot one of those animals unless I had to.  I hardly harvest any game.  I haven’t killed a deer since I was a teenager, I’ve shot a couple of turkeys lately but I don’t enjoy killing animals.  I do like to go on hunting trips with my friends and I have always wanted to shoot a wild boar.  This area is infested with them, they are a nuisance  and TWRA wants you to harvest as many as possible.  There is not a limit on boar.

So if I’m lucky enough and the hounds run one toward me I’m going to do everything possible to get one and fulfill a 50 year dream. Bear and boar hunting is a Southern Appalachian tradition that I want to experience. 

Since we will be hunting on public land I’m going to wear everything I can find that is “blaze orange” even socks and underwear if they make it.  The dog handlers do have a gentlemen’s agreement on where they will place their hunters and run their hounds.  This is not a game preserve.  These are wild animals in a large wilderness area.  Evidently there are a lot of bear and boar this year.  The guys I’m going to hunt with have been successful in the past.  They are bear hunters.  The dog handler knows what he’s doing.  I’m really looking forward to this.

I have a photo somewhere of my Grandfather, Byron B. Begley standing next to a bear he shot back in the early 1940’s. I think I’ll dig that out this week.

Gary Troutman just came in.  We were talking about Puglisi flies and fishing next week after the water cools off.  Fall is here and I’m glad.

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

Byron Begley
September 25, 2009

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