Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  It is also fairly warm, 37 degrees right now.  That will rise to 52 for the high today.  Traffic was heavy last night.  I went home around 7:00 pm and there were a lot of cars, trucks and campers on their way toward the Park.  Great Smoky Mountain National Park is in clear view from here.  I can’t wait to see what these mountains look like Monday morning.

The flow in Little River is back to normal.  Right now the discharge is measured at 211 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 215 cfs.  The river has been running much higher than normal for a while.  The water temperature was 38 degrees this morning.

Though today will be nice, we have some extreme and hazardous weather headed our way.  Tonight we have a 100% chance for rain.  Tomorrow we have rain or snow.  Tomorrow night and Monday the forecast calls for snow.  The National Weather Service is saying “Northeast East Tennessee will get 3 to 6 inches of snow through Monday.  Accumulations of between 6 and 12 inches are expected across the East Tennessee Mountains through Monday.”

You should be able to fish in the Park today.  In fact, this would be a good day to do that.  But, it may be your only chance for a while.  I would imagine the roads in the Park will be closed tomorrow and Monday.  That may not happen, we are on the southern side of this storm.  After the snow storm passes very cold air will move in.  Expect lows Monday night to be near single digits and highs in the 20’s through Tuesday.  I would stay out of the backcountry for a few days.  It’s fun to camp in the snow but these temperatures could be very dangerous. 

Rob Fightmaster is here at the shop tying for you.  Come on by.  I just talked to him.  He is a good friend and excellent angler/tyer.  It’s free.  He will tie from 10:00 am til 2:00 pm.  You will enjoy your time with Rob and gain a lot of information you will find to be useful.

Yesterday, Herb Handly and I met with Steve Fritz.  Steve is the Vice-President of Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon engineering.  They are a large firm with 300 people on staff.  They have done a lot of work for projects in Blount County and Tuckaleechee Cove.  We discussed the possibility of re-building Laurel Lake.  Our plan is to get a group of interested people together after the first of the year.  Then, if there is obvious support and with help from the Daily Times we will amass a much larger group called Friends of Laurel Lake.  The lakebed and about 100 acres adjoining it is owned by the County.  Right now, the land and lakebed are not being used for anything. 

One exception is the Appalachian Bear Center.  Any use of the property would need to be designed to keep people away from the center.  Rehabilitating injured or orphaned bears requires as little contact with people as possible.  The bears are fenced in but you can’t even go up and look at them.  These bears are eventually returned to the wild and hopefully they are still afraid of humans. 

When bears become humanized there are problems.  We had a sow with two cubs hanging around our house for about two weeks.  This was about three years ago.  They were not afraid of people and it caused us and our neighbors a lot of concern.  Herb and his son Jake knocked on our door one night.  They were walking around the neighborhood and the bears cut them off in their driveway.  They could not get to their house.  I drove them home.

I carried a shotgun and a pistol at night when I walked the dogs during that time.  During the day the bears would sleep out in the open at our barn.  Though they behaved like pets, they can be dangerous.  Eventually, the bears were trapped and removed after we contacted TWRA and the Park.  Now we just see one occasionally and not for long.  We have all learned you can’t put your garbage outside and we can’t have bird feeders.

Mark Madoff was found hanged in his New York Apartment this morning.  He was one of Bernard Madoff’s sons.  Mark and his brother Andrew were principals in the Abel Reel Company.  I don’t know if that is still the case.  One website I visited just now referred to him as “Mark Madoff of Abel Reels”.  I guess we’ll see how this plays out.  Here is a link to that website.  CLICK HERE.   

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

Byron Begley
December 11, 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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