Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The air is crystal clear and the temperature is 28 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I am at home, it is my day off.  There is no traffic out here in the country where we live.  It is rare to see a vehicle on our road unless it is us.  We have two neighbors here that live on our end of the road.  There are four of us living on 60 acres and the road has a sign that reads, “Enter by Permission Only”.  That seems to work.

I’m guessing the water temperature is 42 degrees.  It could be 40.  Flow in Little River is 425 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 317 cfs.  We will see s slight warming trend this week.  The low temperatures at night will be in the mid 30’s, not dipping into the 20’s like it has been lately.  Highs will be in the 50’s.  There is no rain in the forecast.  That is good news.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park fishing is going to be less than good.  That doesn’t mean you can’t catch trout.  You can.  You will have to work for them.  Fishing will be better late in the day after the water warms a little.  I would definitely use nymphs.  Pinch on some split shot and get them on the bottom.  A strike indicator might not be good to use.  Try fishing without one.  That way, you can keep your nymph or nymphs on the bottom where the trout are likely to be.

There are not many anglers on the water in the Park.  There may be some fisherman activity starting tomorrow.  Townsend will be busy with visitors who will be here for the holiday weekend.

There is some snow at the highest elevations in the Smokies.  Mount Leconte has 5 inches of the white stuff.  We could only see one mountain from our store that seemed to have a good covering of snow yesterday.  I think it was Thunderhead Mountain.  Some other peaks had a light covering early yesterday but it melted later in the afternoon. 

Tailwater fishing opportunities have been sporadic due to the frequent and ongoing discharges at the dams.  It looks like Cherokee Dam on the Holston will be quiet this afternoon.  Wading fishermen might take advantage of that.  Norris Dam is draining the lake all day, again.  The Clinch River anglers can’t get a break.  TVA indicates on their website that the South Holston may have some fishing opportunities this afternoon.  I have some friends fishing there right now.  Check before you go as these schedules are subject to change.

I’m having hard drive problems.  The drive I backup the website to every day did not want to load the data down to this computer at home.  I backup the website to four hard drives every day.  The drive finally copied the 12 gig file after I unplugged it and started over.  It is time for a new remote hard drive.  I’ll pick one up today in town.  I use two hard drives to transport data from work to home and back to work.  I am a backup fanatic.

Hard drive crashes are not common but I have had a few.  I have never lost much data though thanks to those backups.  Particularly vulnerable are these remote drives.  They are protected in Pelican boxes during transport but they probably do get banged around some.

In the old days (1970’s) I bought my first computer for accounting purposes.  I remember well, it cost right at $50,000.  They called them mini computers.  This one had it’s own dust free, no carpet, no static electricity room and there were plenty of air conditioning ducts.  The tape drive used for backup was about 5 feet tall including the stand.  The tape reels were probably 14 inches in diameter.  I made sure we backed up every day, the whole computer, which had two hard drives.  Those drives held a whopping 6 MB of data each. That was it.  There were three workstations, so data entry could be done by three people at once.  This thing was state of the art for an inexpensive computer.  Back then, a $50,000 computer was inexpensive. 

There was no digital interface in those days.  It had not been invented yet.  Xerox came up with the original idea of a digital interface.  Apple made it happen for the masses with the first Mac in 1984. Microsoft did the same thing later, almost.  They called it Windows.  I still prefer the Mac for the job I do.

Tonight we are having a retirement party at City Hall for Claude, our City building inspector.  It starts at 5:00 pm.  I know some Townsend folks read this report and I hope you join us.  I will miss Claude. 

When we built our building for the fly shop we paid a fee to the City.  I think it was around $2,000.  In return we got Claude.  Before he became a building inspector in Alcoa then in Townsend, Claude was a firefighter.  His focus, more than anything else is safety.  He has a vast knowledge of fire safety.  He was most helpful to me when we built this building because I am sensitive to that too. 

Claude and I worked together to make our building safe in case we have a fire.  First, if smoke is detected all four HVAC units shut down.  Smoke detectors also send a message to our security people who summon the fire department.  We have five exits.  One, upstairs has a steel fire escape.  We have a sprinkler system with about 200 heads and an 8” water line in the building.  One head puts out 90% of fires I was told.  If a head does start spraying water, a sensor in the main unit also sends a message to our security people.  A water powered bell rings outside the building.  We have fire extinguishers at each exit.  Emergency lighting comes on and exit signs light up if the power goes out.  My goal was to make our store the safest building in town.  Claude helped me do that.

Since I am on the Planning Commission, I meet with Claude every month.  I am going to miss him, we all will.  Enjoy your retirement my friend.  You have earned it.

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

Byron Begley
December 29, 2011

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