Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and warmer this morning in Townsend, Tennessee, “The Peaceful Side of the Smokies”.  And peaceful it is.  Little River looked peaceful this morning.  It meanders through town and serves as one of our many identities along with the Park and Cades Cove. 

The river’s flow is 170 cubic feet per second right now.  That compares to median flow for this date of 130 cfs.  The water was 44 degrees at 8:30 am.  It will warm up as the day progresses.  This is going to be a warm and beautiful weekend.  I like that since I’m going to be in the woods for a few days hunting with many of my best friends. 

Fishing will get better each day.  It is going to be sunny though.  Trout seem to like it better when there are clouds.  They feel safer.  They are more vulnerable to us.  Brown and brook trout are spawning in many rivers.  Or, they are preparing to.  Bill and Sheila just got back from the Little Red River in Arkansas.  Normally the browns would be spawning there.  But, low water has postponed that event for a short time. 

I would fish late in the afternoon right now.  Early in the morning before the sun shines on the streams might be good too.  I would rather spend my time on the stream when the water is warmer and that will be later in the day.  I would use nymphs exclusively.  Some people will use dry flies and might do fine.

Lynn just came in a showed me a picture of a brown Jack caught in the Park Monday.  It was 24” long, a male and it was a very dark fish.  Lynn hooked the 30” brown a couple of weeks ago.  Lynn came by to pick up some rubber legs we special ordered for him.  If Lynn wants them, I want them and you will want them.  Now they are in stock for us.

We have somewhat of a controversy in Townsend about how much of the right-of-way should be saved and not sold to landowners.  I am holding “Town Hall” meetings to get input from the public. Our next meeting will be held Monday the 22nd.

Last night I was thinking about everything that could be done with that land to benefit the community as a whole.  I also thought about and wrote down current uses of that land.  Here’s part of the list.

If it rains the runoff is contained, retained and dispersed in a fairly elaborate storm sewer system.  We need that.  It is on the right-of-way.  Our power lines run overhead, we need power.  Underground on the North side of highway 321 is buried fiber optic cable.  I remember 10 years ago when that line was severed right in front of our store.  We lost all communications with the world for three days.  A tent was pitched and heated.  People in white suits worked in that tent day and night repairing the cable.

Water lines run the entire length of our town, in the ROW on both sides of the road.  You can’t build any structure over a water line or a buried fiber optic cable.  Our ROW serves as greenspace.  Visitors and residents like green space. 

So, what will it be like in the future, what will our needs be?  One thing we don’t have, and many land-owners want, is a sewer system.  One benefit for owners, especially motels would be the ultimate use of the huge drain fields to expand their business.  A lot of acreage in Townsend is devoted to drain fields.  You can’t build anything on a drain field.  Sewer lines require land too.  That could be done on the right-of-way.

We need a better pedestrian mobility system.  Walking across our main highway can be very dangerous.  A more elaborate sidewalk system and crosswalks would improve that.  It would take more land along the roadway.

One thing that I believe would enhance our town’s appearance would be to bury all the power lines through our main corridor. 

Decades from now we may need a mass transit system to take visitors into the Park.  One or two National Parks require that during peak visitation times.  Our future transportation needs might include electric vehicles.  Will they need their own lanes?  Where will visitors charge their batteries. 

There is a fairly new concept called “Complete Streets”.  That is a plan that narrows traffic lanes, slows down the traffic, adds bicycle lanes and makes the transportation system more pedestrian friendly.  Is Complete Streets in our future? 

There is a lot to discuss.  There are big decisions to be made.  I asked our City Recorder to develop a mailing list so we can reach more citizens.  We need more attendance at our “City Hall” meetings.  Our first mailing will go out Tuesday.  I hope more than 100 people show up at our next meeting.

I’m going hunting.  Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
November 11, 2010

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We are starting our Free Fly Tying Demonstrations on Saturdays again.  All you have to do is show up.  Our fly tying demonstrators will be active between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. 

On Saturday November 13th, Brian Courtney and Hugh Hartsell will be tying.  Brian is an excellent fly tyer.  He also teaches our fly tying classes with Walter.  Hugh is a guide specializing in the Smokies, South Holston and Holston Rivers.  He has a fly business and sells some unusual but very effective flies.  He is always willing to share what works for him. 


Our fly tying classes are starting Saturday November 20th.  The first one is a beginner school.  To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  Daniel is posting the dates on our website today in the Schools Section.  The fly tying class schedule follows:

Saturday November 20 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday December 4 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday January 8 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday January 15 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday January 22 – Advanced Fly Tying
Saturday February 5 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday February 19 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday February 26 – Advanced Fly Tying


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