Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 40 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic is light at 8:00 am.  Something looks different.  There are portable toilets appearing in the oddest places.  Two are in front of our store.  The Townsend Christmas Parade is tomorrow.  That explains that.

We are going to have a beautiful weekend.  The high today should be around 62 degrees.  Tomorrow, expect 66 then 67 on Monday.  We will see some visitors this weekend.  Some will be fishing, some hiking, others driving around Cades Cove and of course, there will be a crowd in town tomorrow for the parade. 

Little River and other Park streams are low.  Right now, Little River is flowing at 79 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 247 cfs.  We had a very dry November, a month that is usually wet.  The water temperature in the river is 39 degrees.

We won’t get rain until Tuesday.  We are all hoping so.  The water levels we are seeing now are similar to Summer.  The good news is, the water temperature will rise over the next few days.  With highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s, that rise in temperature will be substantial.  The trout will become more active.

Fishing in the Smokies has been slow this week except for a few isolated large post-spawn browns that have been caught or hooked. 

Though the water levels will remain low, the rise in the temperature will improve the fishing this weekend.  Don’t expect Spring-like fishing.  Do expect a lot more activity in the water.  The trout will be feeding better.

Stay hidden.  Don’t let the fish see you.  They are hiding.  Find out where.  Nymphs will probably work best.  Blue wing olive dry flies might work too.  These warmer than usual temperatures will change things, I just don’t know how much.  These weather conditions in early December are highly unusual. 

If you want to see a small town Christmas parade like you have never seen before, be in Townsend tomorrow at 1:30 or earlier.  The parade starts right in front of our store.  People line the main street through town.  Bushels of candy will be thrown from the floats to the kids. Our parade is special.  It’s like going back in time.  It is something to see.

You will notice a lot of antique cars and trucks, tons of them.  There will be a couple of high school bands I would think.  There usually are.  Fire trucks, police cars, and just about any emergency vehicle will be in the parade making a lot of noise.  The floats will be nice and usually filled with kids.  All terrain vehicles will be gathered and cruising down the road together.  Then, there are the antique tractors, many of them.  These are not working tractors.  They are fully restored and spotless.  The Shriners will be driving those small cars, weaving and turning.  You expect them to crash but they don’t.  Those guys practice.

If you like horses, you will see plenty of them.  Last year, Santa was riding in a wagon drawn by two beautiful mules.  Santa is my neighbor so I went over to talk to him before the parade started last year.  I could not believe the condition and beauty of the harnesses on those mules.  Those mules and the wagon are owned by Rick Myers. 

The Townsend Christmas parade will get you into the holiday spirit.  Don’t expect to leave after it starts.  You will be in town for at least two hours unless you know the back roads. 

I forget how many pounds of candy is donated or purchased for the parade.  I knew last year. 

Mike Talley, one of my old close friends and our new Mayor came by this week to pick up a donation from me.  We are all kicking in some money to pay for refreshment stands that will be set up along the parade route.  The stands will be profitable since what they are selling was paid for with donated money.  The money is going to a very good cause. 

Two weeks ago, there was a tragic home fire.  The mother of three children died in the fire.  The kids and one dog made it out.  Their mom made sure of that.  In August, the kid’s 50 year old Father died of a heart attack.

So these kids lost their dad and mother during a 4 month span.  They watched as their mother went back in the burning house to get another dog.  The house collapsed on her. 

Now they are orphans who lost everything they own in a fire.  That’s where the money is going.  It’s going to them.  It is going where it should.  We all hope to give them a better Christmas.  I’m getting choked up right now just writing about it.  The outpouring of help, money and kindness for these kids from our community makes me proud to be an American, living in Townsend, Tennessee.  There is no place on earth like Townsend.

The City of Townsend can’t give money to people.  Instead, the Commissioners came up with the refreshment booths idea.  By the way, our City Commissioners are practically volunteers.  They get paid $1 per day.  I think that was the original salary as stated in the original City Charter.  If we lived in the city limits, I would be proud to serve on the Commission but I can’t.  We are considered residents in the County. 

These volunteer City Commissioners do a great job. And tomorrow, they are doing something really special and kind.  I bet they all put in a huge amount of time on this special Christmas Parade.  I can’t wait until tomorrow. If you live near here, take a couple of hours out of your day and support this great event.  It will make you feel good to be in Townsend tomorrow.  If you live out of town, call a motel and spend the night.  They could use your support right now too.    

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

Byron Begley
December 1, 2012

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