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Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. At 5:31 am, the temperature is 32.2 degrees.
We have a light dusting of snow on the ground. Highway 441, Newfound Gap Road is temporarily closed in the Park, due to snow and ice. There is an 80% chance for snow this morning. Snowfall is expected to be light. Today’s high temperature should reach about 48 to 51 degrees.
This is going to be a cold week with lows at night falling into the teens, 20’s and 30’s. We will have a couple of cold days too. It will probably rain Monday and Tuesday.
Little River is flowing at 299 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.26 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 346 cfs. The water temperature is 42.3 degrees.
Fishing will be slow to fair today. Later this week, the water temperatures will fall further and fishing will likely be slow, unless the weather pattern changes. These are certainly not ideal fishing conditions in the Smoky Mountains. We may see some improvement next weekend and almost certain improvement the week after, based on today’s long term forecast.
If you go fishing, over the next few days, plan on using nymphs, dredged deep and hope for the best.
Our shop is stocked for Spring. Shipments arrived throughout last week. Much of this year’s new gear has arrived. Those orders were placed last Fall. It is a lot of fun, setting up for the new selling season. There is new gear to talk about and show customers. And there are the “best sellers” that people continue to order or come in to buy.
The key to success is letting potential customers know what is here. That used to be an expensive problem to solve. We didn’t have the internet. We printed color catalogs and mailed them. We hoped people would either call us to order, or come in the shop to look.
That has all changed and the retail players have either adapted or disappeared. People still visit stores, but today, they are informed. They know what to expect. If I go to Target or Home Depot, I have looked at the selection online, before going to the store. When I arrive, I pretty much know what is there, and have probably made up my mind, what I intend to buy and how much it costs.
The other decision a consumer makes, deals with what form of fulfillment they want. Do I want to pick it up at the store? Or, do I want them to ship it to me?
We offer both and have for many years. Some of our customers use both methods. Others simply rely on us shipping their new fly fishing gear to them. And there are those who want to touch and feel an item, in person, before they buy.
It is our job to inform, stock and ship, or stock and display. Our job is to have knowledgeable people, in the store, who can assist customers who are making buying decisions. Those knowledgeable people are focused on one thing, fly fishing. We scramble to special order something we don’t stock. We can’t stock everything. Our store is not large enough. And, our store is big, by fly shop standards.
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The retail business is interesting and ever changing. For a time, the small stores were disappearing. Now, large store chains and mail order companies are facing new challenges. The “mall model” is changing. There are companies who handle transactions, online, for other companies, who they don’t even know.
Small companies have adapted. They are the specialty retailers and I think they are making a resurgence. Narrow focus may be preferred by consumers these days, over broad focus and massive selection.
I have owned a business, continuously, since 1973. They were different businesses. They didn’t go out of business, they were sold at the right time. I find business to be fascinating and particularly challenging, in a good way.
I enjoy the fact that we are small and focused on one tiny segment of the whole retail world, while working and participating in a business and sport I really have a passion for. If I retired, I don’t know what I would do. I will be 66 years old soon and I never think about retiring. If I did, I would be bored.
It is dawn. I can see the forest outside my office window. Snow is clinging to the trees and the ground underneath is mostly bare. I walked to the front of the house and looked at the mountains. There is a lot more snow up there. This is a beautiful morning.
Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.
March 12, 2017
Respond to: Byron@littleriveroutfitters.com