Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun is shining in Townsend, Tennessee.  The temperature is 17 degrees here and 16 degrees at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at 8:30 am.  There is a good amount of snow in the mountains.  As of yesterday morning there was 18 inches on Mount Leconte and twelve inches at Newfound Gap.  This morning’s reports from the Park have not been posted.  I noticed the low, night before last at Leconte was 2 degrees below zero.  I bet it was colder than that last night. 

It will warm up some tomorrow but moisture is moving in Saturday so we may see freezing rain and snow through Monday.  This is not exactly what I would call fishing weather.  Some people do.

Little River is flowing at 244 cubic feet per second compared to median flow for this date of 196 cfs.  The water temperature this morning in town is 32.5 degrees.  I’m not using a digital thermometer right now but the red line was just barely above 32 degrees.  On every stick that touches the water are these small bell shaped ice cubes.  They look like suction cups.  As the water level falls, which it is now and a wave of water hits the ice it forms a larger profile close to the water.  This is not unusual but you don’t see these things very often.  I saw them yesterday too.  There are always different shapes of ice on the stream depending on where you are when the temperature is this cold. 

If you go fishing today don’t fall in.  I’ve never been in 32 degree water and I don’t want to find out what that feels like.  I can only imagine.  You would not last long if you did fall in.  So, I wouldn’t wade now.  If I had to go fishing I would pick a tailwater.  I think I’ll just tie flies.

Last night I searched for street lighting on the internet.  I know, many of you probably do that but this was my first time.  I’m preparing for a planning commission meeting.  The poles that hold the lights are available in many designs from contemporary to antique.  The poles are made from steel, aluminum, fiberglass or a combinations of those.  The lights attached to the poles are varied with more choices than you can believe.

We have a city ordinance forcing all new lighting to be Night Sky Alliance compliant.  There are plenty of streetlights that do comply.  LED lighting has come a long way and it is very efficient.  You can save 60% to 70% on energy usage with LED lighting.  Maintenance is also minimal with LED. 

I looked at solar powered lighting. To me that would not fit our local character.  You would drive down the road and see a bunch of solar panels in the air, which would be distracting and not what I would call “visually pleasing”. 

Our goal, I think, is to provide lighting where people pull into streets at night.  Our town is so dark, visitors can’t find the motel entrances or streets.  We think that is dangerous.  I don’t want to see us over-do this.  I think we just need to have streetlights using underground power in places where they are needed.  And, instead of lighting the main highway, shine them down onto the street and crosswalk that you intend to turn onto.

Lighting crosswalks is essential to safety as we move forward as a more walkable town. The city has installed lighting on much of the bicycle path.  There is more planned.   We want to become less auto-oriented.  I hope we all agree that would be good for our community. 

I guess we’ll start discussing that tonight.

Rob Fightmaster will be tying here at the shop on Saturday, weather permitting.  Rob is a guide, outdoor writer and fly fishing lodge consultant.  Unless we are covered with ice or snow he will begin tying at 10:00.  If the weather is iffy, call us before you come.

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

Byron Begley
December 9, 2010  

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Our fly tying classes will be held in January and February.  To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly tying class schedule follows:

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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