Townsend, Tennessee
October 4, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is another cool, partly cloudy day in Townsend, Tennessee.  Visitors are enjoying this weather.  With lows in the 40’s at night and rising to the low 70’s during the day, our tourists from Florida and other southern States are having a wonderful mountain experience.  And, there are a lot of people here.  And to those who came, “your timing was right”. 

Little River looks inviting to anglers, about as perfect has it can be.  The flow is abnormally high for October and even here in town the water temperature is 56 degrees right now.  You couldn’t ask for better fishing conditions except for one thing, the moon is full.  I believe and my beliefs are shared with many others that fishing is slower during the full moon phase, especially if the sky is clear at night.  We believe the trout and many other species including those in the ocean feed at night.  So, when we fish during the day the fish don’t have an appetite.

Somehow I don’t think the moon has a great effect on trout in the Smokies.  These freestone and somewhat acidic streams are not brimming with food for the smaller trout.    They need to eat as often as possible.  The big guys are eating other small fish.  There are plenty of them.  But still, there may be a lunar effect just the same.  Who knows?

One very important factor about your fishing success today is, “the cows are back and they are all standing”.  The farmer across the road has finally opened up the gates and gaps allowing the Townsend Herd to graze in my view.  So today, for the first time in a while the “Cow Standing Factor” is alive and well with a premier count this morning of 14 and they are all standing.  Get out your tackle and go fishing.

The water is clear.  Dry flies should work fine.  Nymphs and wet flies will produce as well.  Pattern is not as important as presentation.  Still, go with something yellow or orange, a Green Weenie, black beetles and ants and make sure they drift with the current. 

I was reminded about that after reading and placing Jim Casada’s article in the Little River Journal yesterday.  He and others have some excellent contributions this month.  The Journal is finally finished and it will go out to you early today.  I had some setbacks this week and the Journal is going out a little late.  If you want to receive the October issue sign up early this morning.  If you want to read the back issues CLICK HERE.

I came to work early this morning, took a camera outside with a 12 mm lens and shot a lot of photos of the store and grounds.  The light was perfect and our grounds maintenance guys have just finished mulching, trimming and thinning the landscape.  Right now the store looks as good as it ever has.

I took these photos to hand over to Sara Hedstrom a landscape architect in Knoxville.  She is a friend of mine, a new fly fisher and a creative brain.  My goal is to come up with a landscape plan that includes planting trees in front of the store.  We may even add a sidewalk down the street.  The trees, over time will essentially hide the store and provide shade, making our customers feel more comfortable and closer to nature.

Hiding a retail building is contrary to popular practice here and in many communities.  Our building inspector reminded me of that a couple of weeks ago.  Hiding the building with trees will eventually require some special signage at the entrance and I’ll need help from the City with a possible variance in the sign ordinances.  But the benefit to the community might seem worth making some allowances for us.  Adding a sidewalk would be a welcome addition to this street as well.  Everyone likes to look at trees.  How about a couple of park benches on the sidewalk?

There are communities that require commercial buildings to be screened by trees.  Take Hilton Head, South Carolina for instance.  You can drive right by the Walmart and if you didn’t see the low to the ground, wooden sign near the street you would not know it is there.  Pull into the parking lot and you feel like you are in Disney World.  You are surrounded by forest and flowers, there is shade and it’s comfortable.

Screening a building with trees equates to energy savings during the summer.  I’ve heard you can reduce the temperature of your building and parking lot by 20 degrees.  I don’t know if that is true or not but our house is located in a forest with almost no light penetration and during the summer our energy bills are low.  In the winter the leaves fall off the trees, the light shines in and that has to help our winter energy costs. 

This is a long term project.  It will probably entail removal of some parking spaces, jack hammering up the pavement, digging down, removing the gravel and replacing it with dirt.  New curbs would have to be formed around these new green spaces.

These new trees will need water for a couple of years, lots of it.  And trees like water that does not contain chlorine.  I’m thinking about bringing my John Deere Gator to the store and mount a 100 gallon water tank in the bed. I can fill the tank with city water and either wait until the chlorine goes away or add something to remove it quickly.  Then drive the tank over to the trees and let the water flow. 

Installing tanks to catch our rain runoff from the roof might be a good idea too.  That would cost some money on the front end but it would probably pay off over time.  The tanks would need to be buried.  We could change the way our retention pond works.  Right now the water runs out just about as fast as the storm drains and catch basins pour it in.  By moving the drain up we could store a couple of feet of water in the pond then pump it out when needed.

Rainwater could also be diverted to an underground cistern with an overflow into our storm drainage system.  Or, we could dig a well.  The water table is not far down underground where we are located.

It’s fun to think about and plan.  Right now it is just a plan.  If you have knowledge about this subject let me know what you think.

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

Byron Begley
October 4, 2009

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