Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is 29 degrees this morning in Townsend.  I saw only 5 vehicles on my way to work.  I’ve got a feeling a lot of people are off today and sleeping in.  Fortunately, I am not one of those.  I get to work today.  It is partly cloudy but the air is very clear.  I can see Great Smoky Mountains National Park vividly through the window behind my monitor.  A series of fog columns are hovering over Little River’s path as it winds through town from the Park. 

East Tennessee is going to get some rain tonight and tomorrow.  Apparently, we will have about ½ inch tonight and maybe an inch tomorrow.  Little River has plenty of water right now.  Flow is currently 490 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 282 cfs.  A 1.5 inch rainfall will swell the rivers and streams.  But today, the flow is fine though it is on the high side.  The water temperature was 44 degrees in town this morning.

I don’t expect trout fishing to be great today.  It will probably be a little slow.  However, we all believe fish feed heavily before a front moves in and there is one headed this way.  So, fishing may be better than I believe it will.  The water temperature is effecting my judgment call.  Trout will eat when the water temperature is 44 degrees and it will probably warm up some today.  I expect the guys who fish for the large browns will be out today, at least those who are not working.

I would certainly use nymphs, heavily weighted and fished near the bottom.  Though the water is very clear, there is plenty of it.  You should be able to fish without a strike indicator and get your fly or flies down on the bottom.  Higher water gives you the opportunity to get closer to fish, especially in broken water.

I would not expect the smallmouth bass fishing in the lowland free flowing river to be good at all.  It is too cold for them.  Experts say that smallies do not feed when the temperature drops to 50 degrees.

It looks like, according to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), you might have an opportunity to fish the South Holston late this afternoon.  If they keep their promise, the generators will be turned off at 11:00 am then back on at 5:00 pm. I don’t know if that generations schedule is favorable since I don’t drive that far to fish.  The TVA website indicates a full day of generation on the Clinch.  Cherokee Dam will not be generating between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.  Most of the other tailwaters will be flowing strong.  Check with TVA before you go.  Don’t take my word for it.  I gave the list a very quick check.

The KnoxNews website has an interesting article about how Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg turned their slow winter tourism numbers around.  They decided to get together, formulate a plan and they have made it work.  I don’t think that will happen here in my lifetime to that extent, and I hope it does not happen.  But, we would all enjoy our business more if we had some during the winter.  A lot of the businesses in Townsend close for the winter.  Not so on the other side of the mountain.  You can read the story by CLICKING HERE.

We could have a year-round business here without ruining our town.  But, that would take a joint effort between the City, County and the Blount Partnership.  I have proposed that the City start getting involved with the Blount Partnership, which in includes the Chamber of Commerce and the Visitors Bureau.  Some of the City Council members are listening.  The County Government is all ears.  They are certainly listening.  I just keep reminding everyone that we should all work together to benefit prosperity without doing anything to mess up our town and this valley. Maybe that will happen.  We just don’t need to over-do it. 

Retail business in our town is tough due to the seasonality of our tourism business.  If we didn’t have the mail order business at our store, I probably would have given up a long time ago.  All we need are reasons for people to visit our valley during the winter.  We have the accommodations.  That infrastructure is built.  We have a few retail businesses and some restaurants.  If the visitors came in larger numbers, they would stay open during the winter months. 

I noticed that Madeline Rogero,  the new Mayor of Knoxville is appointing someone to be a Business Liaison.  This is a new position in the Knoxville City Government.  Good for her.  Go Madeline! READ HER STORY HERE. I think she will be an outstanding Mayor. She understands the importance of businesses in her town.

Madeline is replacing Bill Haslam who left the office to become Governor of Tennessee.  She worked with Bill in the City Government.  Bill was an excellent Mayor and a nice guy.  I think he is doing a great job as Governor.  I don’t know him well but I’ve been around him enough to know he is the right person for the top job in Tennessee.  His home is roughly 8 miles from our store.  He and his family moved here after he became Governor.

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

Byron Begley
December 26, 2011

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