Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy, foggy, raining and cool this morning in Townsend, Tennessee.  Rain fell last night in the Great Smoky Mountains and in our valley.  We got almost an inch in our gauge.  The Knoxville Airport received much less.  The leaves are turning and it’s happening fast.  Today the red leaves are abundant in the valley.  Trees in the highest elevation mountains are in full color according to the Visitors Bureau.  My truck was covered with them this morning.  Tomorrow is going to be very windy so more will fall.  I was hoping to be on a lake tomorrow, it’s the only day this week I could go.  Winds are expected to be 15 to 20 miles per hour with gusts of 30 miles per hour.  That is not a good time to be on the lake.

Fishing in the Park will be excellent.  The conditions are what you would expect in the Spring.  The water temperature in town is 59 degrees this morning.  That’s just right.  It will be cooler in the higher elevations.  The water level is also spring-like.  Flow is currently 224 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 70 cfs.  The water in town is slightly stained.  It should be clear or maybe a little off-color in the Park.  The conditions are set to catch a big brown.  It’s getting close to spawning time, the cloudy conditions are perfect, the water level is just right and the temperature is just what the trout prefer. 

I would fish with nymphs, Prince, Pheasant Tail, Tellico or Copper John.  A Green Weenie would be good too.  If you want to concentrate on big fish use a Slump Buster or a Girdle Bug.  Use heavy tippet, cast into cover or deep in the runs.  Hold on!

Tonight we are holding our monthly City Planning Commission meeting.  Hopefully we will decide how the City will proceed in our right-of-way issues.  There are many differences in opinions among the business owners and some City officials.  It is my job to work directly with the Department of Transportation.  The Regional Director, Steve Borden has asked to meet with me in the next week or so.  I need to be prepared.

After all the right-of-way encroachments are settled, the City will enter into a long term lease with TDOT.  I’m supposed to be in charge of that too.  I have had a huge amount of support from Senator Doug Overbey.  Doug has done an excellent job at getting me “in” with the right people at TDOT.  He and I worked together on another project that required  a House and Senate vote.  I watched him present our bill live on the internet.  He’s good.

Now that I’m in with TDOT, I really like these people.  I’m hoping I can continue to represent the City with the Department.  I can see many opportunities including but not limited to Department of Transportation grants to improve our transportation system.  Our transportation system of the future could include more sidewalks, street crossings, bicycle lanes on the highway, overpasses, trolley systems, neighborhood electric vehicles or even golf carts. 

One of my favorite towns to visit is Cedar Key, Florida. When you are on the island, transportation is awesome.  Walkability is perfect everywhere you go.  Many local people and tourists drive golf carts.  I could see that happening here.  We would have to slow down the traffic though. 

I don’t know what the next decade will bring to our town.  Maybe nothing will change at all.  You don’t believe that do you?  Yes, it will change here.  What is important to our prosperity and quality of life is how we let things change. 

I have found that my personal opinion can easily be in conflict someone else’s opinion.  I have my preferences and other people have theirs.  I guess we have to strike a balance to reach a compromise that supports sustainable tourism without harming our quality of life. 

Since I started working on this Department of Transportation issue, I have had many conversations with the business owners.  I think we have become closer as a group.  Most of us understand that we are a team with the mission of developing long-term relationships with tourists.  The campground and the grocery store can do a great job but the restaurant can ruin the vacation.  The restaurant, the fly shop and the horseback riding stable can do everything right but the motel can let the visitor down with a dirty room.  We must all strive for perfection to achieve a sustainable tourism based economy.

The meeting tonight will be very interesting.  I can’t wait to read about it in the newspaper tomorrow.

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

Byron Begley
October 14, 2010  

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