Townsend, Tennessee
November 13, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and 40 degrees this morning in beautiful downtown Townsend, Tennessee.  It is really foggy.  I can barely see Trillium Cove from my window and it is less than a block away.  It will burn off soon and we are going to have a warm, sunny day.  It will be that way tomorrow and Sunday.  This is going to be one fine weekend to be in the Smokies unless you are fly fishing.

The rivers are still flowing very strong.  Little River’s discharge is 1,020 cubic feet per second.  That’s a lot better than a couple of days ago when the flow was 3,600 cfs.  Today’s flow sets yet another record for this date.  The highest recorded flow on November 13th was in 1967 at 892 cfs.  Normal for this date is 132 cfs.  So you get the picture.  We’ve got some water and plenty of it.  No doubt about that.

Yesterday a fisherman told us he checked out Abrams Creek below the Falls Trailhead.  He said the water was out of its banks and in the trees. 

Here’s what I would do.  Find a small stream, fish from the bank, weight down some nymphs and “high stick”.  Show them something big and ugly like a Girdle Bug or maybe a large Prince Nymph.  How about a Yuk Bug?  That might work.  You can even do that on the larger streams, just be real careful.  If you fall in you are going to be in trouble fast.  The water is deep and cold.

I suspect the tailwaters are all churning today as well. 

This afternoon, Jack and I are heading to Kentucky to Frank Brown’s hunting camp. There we will meet Frank, Ronnie and Roger.  Mouse is coming over tomorrow to spend the night.  It will be a big “buddy boy” time.

There will be adult beverages and jokes.  There will be a lot of laughing, cooking and eating.  And, some of the guys are actually going to deer hunt.  I bet someone gets one.  This is the same camp where we turkey hunt every Spring.  To get to Frank’s camp you have to cross a stream 5 times.  “Cross” is probably not the right word.  “Driving through” describes the experience much better.  It takes about 30 minutes to drive one mile to get there unless you want to tear up your truck.  This is not one of those hunting plantations like you read about in Sporting Classics magazine.

Once you get there everything is great.  Frank’s cabin is wonderful with a complete kitchen, a bath room and two bedrooms.  Large covered decks on two levels offer plenty of space to sit out and look at the countryside.  Some of us sleep on cots out on the decks.  A third covered deck on the lower level provides a dry place to leave out your hunting gear.  A level area outside has a fire pit in the center.  A large grate can be swung over the fire for cooking.

There is no electricity like the kind you are used to.  Electricity at the camp is provided by a bank of car batteries. He has a wood stove in the great room so we never get cold.  Down at the barn is an outdoor shower with hot water.  There are two water tanks up the hill that Frank keeps loaded with water for showers and washing dishes.  An additional propane hot water heater is located at the cabin.  There are also propane lights in the cabin.  Just flip a switch and they are on. 

This piece of paradise has no name.  Frank calls it “The Farm”.  A small river runs through the property so there is plenty of bottom land that was once farmed by someone. I can’t wait to get there.

Well I think I did it again and I swore I never would.  Pat Jenkins, the Mayor of Townsend talked to me yesterday about serving again on the Planning Commission.  I could not turn him down.  Paula and I don’t actually live in the City and the people who govern this town would prefer to have someone take this position, who is a resident.  So, my service will probably be temporary.

They are looking for someone who would put the city first.  I would do that.  I’ll have to give up something if this happens.  I’ll probably need to drop off the Blount Chamber Board.  That and Troutfest take up a lot of my time and I still need to make a living.  Pat is going to talk to the Chairman of the Commission and they will get back to me.  I guess I’ll find out next week.

I’ve learned a lot since I served several years ago.  I built a commercial building in town, the one our fly shop is in.  Working with our building inspector and the planning commission on this project for about a year gave me more insight in the areas of safety and compliance.  I understand more about drainage and water containment. 

I have seen what some really bad development has done to the neighbors surrounding those new projects.  I think commercial developers, home owners and the tourism businesses have to work together and recognize how one affects the other.  I know we have a shortage of low cost housing.  The average age of a resident in Townsend is 10 years older than the average person in our County.  We don’t have many young families. 

Of utmost importance to me is making sure growth does not mess our town up.  And, important to me is having sustainable tourism growth whereby our heritage and lifestyle is not negatively affected.  It’s a balancing act and there are people who don’t care.  I know a couple of people who do everything they can to “not comply”.  I’m not one to keep my mouth shut and let things happen when I believe they are not good for our community. 

I would like to see more prosperity in our valley.  I hate to struggle and I hate to see other people struggle.  Maybe that’s why they want me to be on the planning commission.  And, maybe they will find someone better suited for that job before next week.

The Mayor and the Chairman of the Planning Commission are personal friends of mine.  I think they both do an excellent job.  They are smart and they care about Townsend.  Even though I may not be excited about this job, I am looking forward to working with this team of fine people.  I’ll do the best I can.

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

Byron Begley
November 13, 2009

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