Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and warmer in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  The Great Smoky Mountains are clear and highly visible.  Those brown hills look good to me during the winter.  Today is a sharp contrast from the white mountains we’ve been looking at lately.  The snow has melted on the lower elevation hills.

Townsend is active.  People are visiting here from far away places.  Our little piece of earth in this valley is a sought after destination during the cold months, especially if you live in the South.  I talked to a guy from St. Petersburg, Florida.  He and his wife are staying at Gracehill Bed and Breakfast.  That beautiful building is the highest elevation structure in our County.  I look out at it every morning.  They had over 12 inches of snow up there this week.  For a couple from Florida, that is a treat.

The water is warming up some and that will continue.  I took the temperature at the swinging bridge this morning and it was 39.  The high temperature today will be 57 degrees and the low tonight is predicted to be 50 degrees.  On top of that, we’ll have rain tonight and tomorrow.  Warm rain will certainly help the fishing.  This should be one of the breaks we have been waiting for.  The fishing may not be as good as late Spring, but it will be a heck of a lot better than it has been. 

Use nymphs or streamers.  Food is going to be washing into the streams tonight and tomorrow.  Unless we get too much rain the trout will feed.  This may be your best chance for a while.  Cabin fever is currently at epidemic proportions.  Everyone has it and there is only one cure, go fishing or get outside.

Ethan, Daniel and I were opening the building this morning and Frank pulled in.  Frank is one of our police officers and he, like all the rest of the guys are nice people.  Frank has a particularly good sense of humor.  He’s the one who told Jim Casada that I can’t read and when there is written city business I need to know about, they have to read it to me.  We talked for a while.  Ronnie, our Chief is another good guy with a great sense of humor. 

There has been some talk about lowering the speed limit in our town.  Frank wants me to ride with him one day and see what it is like checking speeders.  I’ll do that in the next couple of weeks.  He promised not to scare me.  Our officers don’t want the speed limit reduced.  They don’t want our town to become a speed trap.  Frankly, I don’t blame them and I always try to listen to professionals.  I know nothing about traffic and safety control so I’m going to yield to the guys who do.

I would not tell a fireman how to fight a fire.  It would not be prudent for the patient if I told a doctor how to perform bypass surgery.   

Our speed limit here is 45 miles per hour. But, the average speed is about 52 miles per hour.  We had one fatality this year in the city limits.  A motorcyclist ran into the back of a truck.   That was very sad and we all take those kinds of events very seriously.  There are more accidents on the bike trail than there are on the highway that result in personal injury.  Our town has a good safety record.  We are proud of that.  We want to improve on that.

There are other ways to slow down traffic other than reducing the speed limit.  I’ve heard of it referred to as softening the speed.  It can be done with traffic lights, caution lights, signs, trees, medians and lots of other methods.

Frank has a stack of photos in his cruiser.  The photos are of terrible accident scenes.  One accident has a completely burned body.  The other night he caught some teenagers traveling at a speed of 80 miles per hour through town.  They were breaking other laws too.  They didn’t get off easy.  They got a butt chewing like they’ve never had before.  And, they got an opportunity to view Frank’s photo library of horrid accident scenes.  Frank was a State Trooper before he retired so he has plenty of them.  I’ve seen them and they pretty much turned my stomach. 

But Frank’s compassion for young people and being a good Dad and human being will make the future of these teenagers different.  They will have to pay a fine and they are wondering now what that court appearance is going to be like.  They are scared to death.  I might show up that day for court.  They will get off easy with a valuable lesson.

Frank is a great guy and good friend.  We wished each other a safe and happy New Year.  I’m looking forward to being a cop for a day and spending time with him.  He wanted me to do it today but I just couldn’t.  I’ll do it though and as we plan the future of Townsend I’ll be listening to those guys in uniform and make decisions based on their professional opinion. 

Have a safe and happy New Year and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
December 31, 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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