Townsend, Tennessee
November 19, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and warm this morning.  The fog that obscured the mountains all day yesterday is gone.  The Smokies are void of people.  So is Townsend for that matter.  I take a walk almost every day, just strolling around town.  I ran into Tee and Tim yesterday.  He said this reminds him of the 70’s, before Townend was found.  One reason for the lack of tourists is due to the "holiday week before factor".  We are always slow around here before a holiday.

Little River looks great.  I watched it for a while this morning.  The water temperature is 52 degrees and the flow looked normal, not normal for November, normal for March or April.  Fishing is good.  Bill did well at Elkmont this week.  He didn’t see any spawning browns though.  He was using nymphs but saw another guy we know using midge dry flies.  He was catching trout on the dries.  Bill said the water temperature up there was 48 degrees.

It is going to cool off a little, especially at night.  The temperatures here in the valley will dip down to the high 30’s for the next two nights.  Highs will be in the low 60’s.  There is a slight chance for rain Saturday and Sunday, only 30% at this point.

I would use nymphs.  And I would fish Little River above Metcalf Bottoms up to and above Elkmont.  I would also add extra split shot and dredge the nymphs near the bottom. 

Alex came by yesterday.  He runs Cades Cove Heritage Tours.  We talked about hunting and rifle scopes.  He is helping me pick one out for my newly acquired Marlin .45/70.  He and I were plotting against the wild boars that have all but invested this area.  He has found a bunch of them and asked me to go hunting with him.  After deer season is over we will have a lot more safe opportunities for hog hunting this winter.  Also, I would hate to mess up someone’s deer hunting while out blasting away at hogs.  Hog season is open all year here except in Wildlife Management Areas. Hunting is not allowed in the National Park of course.  But, they do have a group of Government Hunters who are out in the forest now trying to kill all the wild boars they can. These Russian exotic animals are hard on the fragile environment in the Smokies.  

We will do the skinning and “Phase One” butchering down at the our barn. Then we will finish the job somewhere else to be determined after the fist hog is bagged.  

Well it is official or it will be today.  I’m serving a one year term on the Townsend Planning Commission.  This is an appointment by the Mayor.   I did this once before.  It will be important work, trying to spare our area from overdevelopment or the wrong kind of development.  I know what most of the people who live in our valley want to see Townsend become.  They want to keep it basically what it is.  And they want to see sustainable tourism without destroying what we have.  Research has proven over 90% of the residents here want to see that happen.  The research conducted over 10 years ago by the University of Tennessee reported specifically, “we don’t want to become a tourist attraction” like other towns near the Park.  So, our job is to listen to them and act accordingly.

I’m going to have to step down from the Blount County Chamber of Commerce Board.  I will do that “officially” today.  Fred Forster our CEO already knows about this. 

Last night I started reading the updated City Ordinances.  Our Mayor sent a pdf file of the book to me yesterday. Some of the ordinances have changed since I served on the Commission about 10 years ago. 

Lighting and light pollution have become an issue.  From what I understand it will become a bigger issue.  Townsend is a place where you can look up at the stars at night and actually see them.  Herb Handly told me he saw the Space Station the other night.  It flew right over his house.  All he could see was the reflection of the sun, it looked like a well lit airplane but there were no flashing lights.  Herb got online and found the schedule for where and when you can view the station.  That verified what he saw.

When I first bought property here I used the 10 acre tract as a camp site.  We used to lay down on the ground at night and look up into the sky.  Since I lived in a city I was not used to seeing something like this unless I was in Montana.  It’s the same here. 

Our view of the sky is important to tourism.  I bet visitors come here and don’t even look up.  They should.  What they will see can’t be found just anywhere.

It appears the allowed sizes of signs have decreased.  Our front poll sign is still under the maximum limit.  I chose a smaller sign when we built this building.  I think smaller is better at least for us.  Our exposure is very good at the shop. 

The ordinances have been cleaned up over the years and they are easier to understand. The document is 82 pages long. We will be writing new ordinances and voting them into law.  And, it will be our job to defend and uphold those ordinances.    

I’m looking forward to the challenge.

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

Byron Begley
November 19, 2009


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