Townsend, Tennessee
October 24, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and warm in Townsend this morning.  Little River is brimming with clear water.  The mountains are a beautiful dark to light gold hue.  In the valley there are some trees displaying a deep orange color.  It is beautiful here.  A lot of visitors are in the mountains enjoying the views. 

It didn’t rain in town yesterday but it did somewhere.  Little River is flowing a few inches higher than it was yesterday morning.  The water is clear and there are some leaves floating past.  The water temperature is 59 degrees in town.

Fishing should be excellent today.  Be careful wading. The flow is strong. Trout will be taking dries and nymphs.  Watch for spawning browns.  Watch for rainbows eating the eggs.  Hmmm, you might try an egg pattern.  A small Stimulator or Elk Hair Caddis would be fine for the dry fly.  Drop a nymph off the back of that.  Try fishing nymphs deep.  Enjoy yourself in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Yesterday a man robbed a store in Pigeon Forge.  He was armed and driving a stolen truck.  When he crossed into our county a Townsend Police Officer started chasing the him.  The robber turned onto Carrs Creek Road then left on Webb Road.  When he reached the main highway he didn’t stop, he just flew straight across.  It is a miracle he didn’t hit another car.  He drove up Mountain Avenue then hit a house near the Townsend School.  Then the footrace began.  One of our officers fired but his foot slipped when he shot and he missed.  The guy got away.

Sheriff Deputies, Swat Teams, National Park Rangers, Deputies on horses, Tennessee Highway Patrol and other law enforcement officers that totaled 60 people began the search.  The school was locked down.  We locked our doors here and let customers enter and leave after carefully looking over those entering.  After a few hours I drove up to the search area.  Police cars were everywhere.  I talked to two of our Townsend officers.  They warned me that the man was probably headed toward where we live.  Paula was at a movie with a friend and had her phone turned off. 

I loaded up a rather large arsenal and drove home.  I searched around the house then waited on the front porch until Paula came home.  I got a phone call from the Sheriffs Department.  It was a recording warning that this man was on the loose, armed and dangerous.  Daniel said they got the same call at the shop after I left.  I called our closest neighbors and warned them.  Most of them have disconnected their land phone lines, switched to cell and therefore would not get that phone call from the Sheriffs Department.

This guy is still at large.  He was released from prison after serving time for violent rape of a child.  Now, why was he released?  Now they say he is a drug addict.

He is hiding in a heavily wooded and sparsely populated forest.  Dry Valley is huge.  There is one source of water, Short Creek which runs behind our house and barn.  That is why they call it Dry Valley.  I bet he is near there.  The mountains forming Dry Valley are steep, rising from 1,200 feet at the base to over 3,000.  On the other side is Cades Cove.  There are almost no houses on those slopes until you reach Laurel Valley.  We live in what is practically a wilderness.  This guy is going to be hard to find.

Unlike Rudolph, he is not prepared to live in the wilderness though they say he has the skills necessary to do that.  He is going to need food, water, shelter and a vehicle.  He will have to steal or hijack another automobile.  An army of police with all kinds of weapons, helicopters, horses and hounds are continuing the search right now. They were stopping all vehicles leaving the area last night.  We didn’t get stopped this morning.  

Paula and I plan to go to and from work at the same time.  We are both armed with pistols and a shotgun.  I don’t know what else to do but go armed and wait.  This guy is desperate.  He will do anything. Our Mayor just came by the store to fill us in.  He told us to be careful at home.

Have a great day, stay out of Dry Valley and enjoy the Park. 

Byron Begley
October 24, 2009

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