Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and warm in Townsend this morning.  The weather service indicates a high of 86 degrees today, 85 tomorrow and 87 on Wednesday.  It’s like Summer!  Townsend is fairly active to be as early as it is. 

Little River is dropping slowly to what appears to be close to Summer pool.  It really gets much lower during the Summer but from my view based on what I’ve seen this year, it is low.  I guess it is not really low.  A slight chance of thunderstorms through the week could change that quickly.  But for now, the river is moving slowly at less than normal flow for this time of year.  The flow is 167 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 225 cfs.  I think I read this morning that the Mississippi River is flowing at over 2 million cubic feet per second at some point right now.  Can you imagine that?  One analogy I read compared the flow to filling a container the size of a football field, 40 feet high in one second.  I may be wrong about those numbers.  I read it early this morning before coffee.  But, you get the picture.

Fishing has been very good in the Park.  The lower flows require changing your strategy and your tippet size.  I would still use 5X tippet because I hate 6X.  And you really need to hide from the trout.  Dry flies are working.  Anything yellow is what we are recommending.  Yellow Sally Stonefly Imitations, Yellow Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Neversink Caddis and small Yellow Stimulators would be my choice.  But, a Parachute Adams will work too.  This warm weather will get the terrestrials active.  So don’t forget about beetles.  Nymphs will work well too.  Drag them through faster runs either suspended or near the bottom.

I wonder about the smallmouth fishing in the lakes.  I wonder many times every day.  I have only been fishing twice this year.  Troutfest, work and city responsibilities have left very little time for me.  That will change in 10 days.  Thursday night will be a City planning meeting.  Friday, Troutfest will begin.  On Monday, we will count the Troutfest money and make the deposit.  Then, I’m FREE!  Paula and I are going to fish for a week.

Troutfest should be well attended this year.  Several additions to our marketing committee have paid off.  Troutfest is completely managed by committee.  You can see the list of committee members by CLICKING HERE.  You can see what they do.  You will notice we don’t have a Chairman.  I served in 2009 and 2010.  I talked to several people about them serving as Chair in 2011.  I had a couple of good candidates.  I thought it would work out.  Everything fell apart right before our first Troutfest 2011 meeting in August of 2010.  So, I said I would do the work.  For Troutfest 2012, the committee will pick a new chairman.

One reason for our success is the notion of management by autonomy.  In other words, each of the 22 committee members are responsible for something and they do it with help from other people.  But, there is no governing authority telling the committee member what to do.  They decide what to do.  We held four committee meetings for Troutfest 2011.  Two were held last year.  At those meetings we discuss each component and some people make suggestions.  New ideas emerge.  Old mistakes are discussed.  But, the implementation of each component is someone’s responsibility and the people who are responsible or share responsibility work to get the job done with 150 volunteers.  It is truly amazing how well this works.  I’ve spent all of my time the past few days finishing my TF chores and thinking about things we might have missed.  I woke up this morning, wondering if we had a licensed bartender for the Volunteer/Vendor party.  This is a new endeavor.  I shot out an e-mail to those who might know or can do something about it this morning.  I’ve been sending out e-mails every day for weeks, making sure we are covering our bases.  A lot of stuff happens during those three days. 

Next year we will add a few more committee members.  I serve on the marketing committee and a couple of others.  This year we found some professionals to come aboard.  David Anderson is director of special events at Dollywood.  His advice and experience has really helped us make good decisions.  Joe Rentz is new.  He has a PHD in marketing and taught at the University of Tennessee.  Joe started and continues to build our social networking effort.  He is doing a great job on our Facebook page. 

Michael Turbyville has a degree in public relations.  For the first time, Troutfest has a PR guy.  Just one example of his success I the interview he set up at Channel 10 with John Becker, Steve Moore and Rufus King.  You can see that interview by CLICKING HERE

Neil Smith is new to the marketing committee this year.  He is a professional graphic designer. His main job was the overall production, ad sales and design of the Troutfest Journal.  This is really a profit center but it should and does fall into the Marketing Committee.  When you see this magazine you will be blown away.  Neil did great. 

Sarah Weeks and I did our usual mailing to fly shops and large stores with fly fishing departments with the help of Joe Rentz.  We have 90 stores in 9 states who agree to help us promote Troutfest.  We call them first then send the marketing package in March.  The package includes a small poster in a plastic frame to sit on the store’s front counter.  Also included is a business card holder with 200 cards for their customers to take.  Those cards drive people to the Troutfest website.  I hope to expand this effort next year to stores in New England, Illinois and Florida.

Sarah and I also developed and maintain the Troutfest website.  Much of the photography is supplied by professional and amateur photographers who donate their time at the event.  They are Randy Frank, Jo Frank, Jeremy Tinsley and Gary Verholek.

Tom Rosenbauer has been very helpful.  He is in charge of the marketing at Orvis.  Just last week this appeared on their blog.  There is no telling how many thousands of fly fishermen this reached.  To see it CLICK HERE.

So, we expect a big turnout at Troutfest this year.

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

Byron Begley
May 9, 2011

Troutfest will be held on May 13th through the 15th. This is going to be an incredible event and you should plan to be here. To learn more CLICK HERE to visit the Troutfest website.  To purchase banquet tickets online, CLICK HERE.

Respond to: Byron@LittleRiverOutfitters.com


FLY FISHING CLASSES

Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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