Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and we got a few sprinkles in Townsend already this morning.  More rain is one the way.  But that won’t dampen our enthusiasm over the victory yesterday for hunters and fishermen in Tennessee.  This is a great day. 

This is a great day to fish in Great Smoky Mountains National Park too.  The water level in Little River is perfect.  Flow is currently 148 cubic feet per second compared to median flow for this date at 83 cfs.  The water temperature in town is 52 degrees.  The cloudy conditions make for the best fishing.  The cows are back in the field across the road and they are all standing.  What more could you ask for?

I would use nymphs.  Dry flies might work fine too.  I would cast something big and ugly with a Prince Nymph trailer following the big one.  Lynn Hayes who has been recently credited with hooking a 30 inch brown trout in Little River asked us to get some medium round and barred rubber legs in a certain color.  I found them yesterday and ordered those several other colors to stock in the store.  I see some possibilities with these larger barred legs.  Evidently Lynn does too.  By the way, Lynn had several credible witnesses when he hooked that brown a couple of weeks ago.  One was Hugh Hartsell, a guide and a man who has seen plenty of large trout.  Lynn has also successfully hooked and landed a 28” brown trout.  So, I believe this one was certainly 30 inches.  If that were me I would still be shaking.

Tennesseans will have the constitutional right to hunt and fish. Our state will be one of only a few that have that right, in writing, in their constitution.   The resolution to place the referendum on the ballot yesterday was actually signed in March.  I noticed a couple of my friends were sponsors, Senator Doug Overbey and State Representative Joe McCord. 


For the referendum to pass over half the voters in the state general election had to vote yes.  If a person did not vote for the referendum it was considered a no vote.  That scared me.  But, so many people in our state love those outdoor sports that the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of adding the right to hunt and fish to our state constitution.  We won.  The constitution will be amended. 

That means, in the future if some group wants to ban hunting and fishing in our state the reverse must happen.  To overturn the constitution it would require over half the voters in a general election to remove the right to hunt and fish.  That would be hard to do. Our right is deeply imbedded and protected and this good ole country boy is very happy about that.

This vote was endorsed by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation headquartered in Nashville.  I served on the board of directors of that organization several years ago.  Back then it was called the Tennessee Conservation League.  I met a lot of people during my term as director.  All of those people I met were staunch supporters of hunting and fishing.  I visited a website devoted to this amendment change and noticed one of our customers, Phillip Fulmer is a spokesperson in the video on the site.  YOU CAN VISIT THAT SITE BY CLICKING HERE.  You will see a video featuring Phillip and other hunting and fishing enthusiasts.

Bill Haslam will be our next governor.  I guess I can’t call him Bill anymore unless he is in the shop on unofficial “fishing business”.  I think he will make a great Governor.  Evidently a lot of other people think so too.

Art Swann will be our new state representative.  Art is a avid hunter and he fishes some too.  I don’t know if he fly fishes but I’ve fished with his brother who does fly fish.  Art will take Joe McCord’s place in the House of Representatives.  Joe decided to step down.  When Joe ran the first time for State Representative, Paula and I were the first to sign his petition. 

I’m glad all these fine people choose to serve us in government.  I’m glad it’s them and not me.  Thanks guys. 

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

Byron Begley
November 3, 2010

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