Townsend, Tennessee
December 7, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and cold in Townsend this morning.  Fog is hovering over the mountains at different elevations.  I can see peaks sticking out above the fog in some directions.  There is also a band of fog following the path of Little River through our town.  The National Weather Service refers to our current conditions as “Freezing Fog”.  Townsend is very quiet right now but it is very early.  I have to be in Maryville for a meeting this morning so I’m here early writing the Fishing Report.

Today would actually be a good day to fish in the Smokies especially if you are targeting brown trout.  Try streamers, a Tellico Nymph, Prince Nymph or Girdle Bug.  You will probably find the fishing slow for rainbows and brookies.  The water temperature is 40 degrees in town and it is colder in the mountains.  The brown trout usually ignore the cold water because they are trying to fatten up from the spawn activities. I would fish from Metcalf Bottoms up to the Elkmont Campground.  There is plenty of water and it is cold.  Don’t fall in!

It is going to rain tomorrow and into the night.  It may rain Wednesday too.  Then, a cold front is moving in with lows at night dipping into the 20’s to low 30’s.  It feels like Winter. 

The Townsend Christmas Parade was the largest ever in the recent history of our town.  Some say it was the largest ever, period. It was magnificent.  It could not have been better.  The weather was great, the participants did a super job on their floats, the tractors were beautiful and the antique cars were a sight to behold.  The horses were in true form for such an event.  There was a smile on everyone's face, especially the kids.  I bet several hundred pounds of candy were thrown to them.  The Shriners had their little trucks and go carts.  I probably took 200 pictures that I will put together into a show for you.  Next year, you will want to be here.

There was a bit of a problem that was quickly solved.  The staging area was supposed to be in the field next to the visitors center.  The melting snow made the ground soggy.  It would not be a good place to stage an event that had that much preparation involved and starting out in a muddy field.  Remember, these tractors, horses, antique cars, floats, 4 wheelers and emergency vehicles which are part of the show are spotless before the parade.

So, the City Officials, Fire Department and Police Department decided at the last minute to move the staging area to the street in front of our shop.  The Mayor came in the shop fairly early and probably mentioned to me that it was going to start here but I don't remember hearing it.  Then people started showing up.  A fire truck blocked the street from our drive down to highway 73.  It was a last minute decision but somehow the word got out.  I grabbed a couple of SLR cameras and started mingling with the parade folks.  I saw, talked to, shook hands with people I haven't seen in years.  Shannon showed up with two Porta-Potties for people to use.  We put them in our driveway.  One fellow showed up in a horse trailer going the wrong way on the street.  I put him in our parking lot to unload his horse.  Everyone kept coming up and telling me they were sorry for blocking our street.  I said "Hey, no problem, it's Christmas.  The Fire Chief, Police Chief and everyone involved were very appreciative.  Of course, we did almost no business.  "Who cares, it's the Christmas Parade".

I ran into some guys who were in a pickup truck full of hounds with a sign on the side that read, "Walland Coon Hunters Club".  We started talking and I mentioned all the hunters I know who used to run through our property at 2:00 in the morning chasing their dogs and waking me up.  I mentioned to one that I was going bear and boar hunting next weekend.  He asked where and I told them.  They all said they were going to be at the same place next weekend.  One of them pulled out a picture of a huge bear he shot a month ago.  It's a small world.  I posed with that bear for a photo while the guy was parked on the bridge over Citico Creek.  He remembered it.   Of course, they know my buddy, Jack Gregory who also lives in Walland.  And they know Jack's cousin who is a dog handler on our hunt. Well I've got to tell you, me and the guys from the Walland Coon Hunters Club are buddies now.  Great bunch of guys.  Good looking dogs too.  They are beautiful animals and friendly.  But they do have an odor to them.

One guy I talked to was standing next to this beautiful MG convertible.  I walked up to him with a very serious look on my face and asked, "Is this the one they are giving away".  At first he didn't know what to say.  There was a restored 1966 GTO sitting there.  I was drooling over it and found out it was owned by Ron, the Vice-Mayor.  I couldn't believe it.  I told Ron I didn't know he was that cool.  He said "I'm not cool".  I said, "Yes you are".  

I can't wait for you to see the pictures.  I think we need to have a Christmas festival weekend in Townsend. Maybe it could be called “A Tuckaleechee Cove Christmas”.  This is always a slow time in town for the motels, lodges and cabin rental companies.  And, it’s a great time to be here.  I’m going to bring this idea up today to Herb Handly.  All the businesses, the city, the county, the accommodations and our museums could work together.  People would come to town to enjoy the festivities.  Then they could enjoy the Christmas Parade before they go home.  There was room for another several thousand people to watch the parade.  We can park a couple of thousand cars at the Visitors Center.

I am going to my last Blount County Chamber of Commerce board meeting today.  I am resigning so I will have time to spend on my new appointment to the Townsend Planning Commission. I will still be involved with the Tourism and Travel Council.  I just won't be the Chairman anymore, at least for a while.  I will miss seeing everyone each month.  I was starting my third year in a row.  I guess it's time to move on.  Tommy Enos is taking my place.  He will do an excellent job.

Have a great day.  Thank you for being here for us.

Byron Begley
December 7, 2009


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