Townsend, Tennessee

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The fog is burning off giving way to the sun.  It’s time for our valley to dry off a little.  After weeks of rain we’re going to get a break.  I started my workday as I always do on the banks of Little River.  The fog was moving downstream with the current.  Sparkles of light reflected off the water in a couple of lighted riffles.  The river looks great.

Rainfall this year is almost an inch above normal.  This month so far we have had 4 ½” of rain.  Normal is 1.62”.  We are up year to date and since March 1st in rainfall.  No complaints from me.

The rivers in the Smokies are dropping but they are all still above normal.  By the weekend they will be in perfect shape.  Right now I would fish the smaller streams or go up high and try the brookie water.  Fishing is good but the larger rivers are still a little high for wading unless you are very careful. 

Try dry flies like a Parachute Adams, Yellow Elk Hair Caddis, #16 Stimulator, #16 Neversink Caddis in Yellow or a Light Cahill.  Heck, try anything.  You never know.  Drop a bead head nymph such as a Pheasant Tail or Hare’s Ear off your dry.  Use a strike indicator if you want to and fish nymphs only.  Or, go deep with nymphs ticking the bottom.  A streamer might be the ticket for a big trout.  Toss a big Girdle Bug in a likely spot for a large brown.  Lots of options are available.  Figure out what works best. 

Late in the evening you should see small Yellow Sally Stoneflies hatching as well as many other aquatic insects. 

The water was cool this morning in town, 53 degrees.  It has been running 58 to 60 for a long time.  It was cool last night and cold in the high elevations.  But it is going to warm up some so the water will also. If you go up high to fish today you might want to wait a little while.  The fog has burned off now and the sun is bright.

Sheila and Bill Bolinger both work here and they are very hard working Troutfest volunteers.  This year I got them to handle the Troutfest tickets sales because I knew they would do a good job and our committee could expect excellent reporting.  They send me an Excel spreadsheet every week that shows who has bought tickets and when the deposits are made.  They have our TU Chapter’s credit card processing machine at their house and they process transactions from there.  It is really running smoothly.

We have sold banquet tickets on our online catalog here at the shop but the actual transaction goes through the chapter’s credit card machine.  That’s why you can’t use Paypal, American Express and other credit cards.  Our TU Chapter only takes Mastercard/Visa. 

We have been watching our ticket sales closely.   I send the spreadsheet out to our committee members once I get it from Bill and Sheila.  We talk about it all the time.  Sales started slow.  We originally planned for 400 people to attend the banquet but it looked like we were not going to reach that goal.  Two weeks ago we had only sold about 200 tickets.  A decision had to be made so we could order food.  Our volunteers prepare all the food.  We lowered the limit to 300 tickets and figured we would probably only sell 250 at the most but we could feed 300. 

I noticed the phone was ringing a lot yesterday.  I hardly ever answer the phone but I did it three times.  We have four voice lines and there were five of us working here.  Well, late yesterday right about closing time I went down stairs.  Bill told me that we had sold a bunch of banquet tickets.  He also said if sales keep going like this we will sell out by Friday.  Last year we sold 200 banquet tickets and the last one sold late on Friday, the night of the banquet. 

So, it looks like we are going to sell out.  That takes a lot of pressure off “Old Dad”.  And, there are a lot of people who are coming to Troutfest but can’t be at the banquet because it is Friday night.  I got an e-mail from a fellow in Florida who is coming up with 5 friends for the Expo but can’t be at the Banquet because they are getting in too late.  I’m hearing that a lot.

If you want to buy banquet tickets do it by calling us at 877-448-3474.  We’ll take your credit card information and hold your tickets here at the shop for you to pick up.  We are not going to mail any more tickets.  We have also stopped selling Troutfest Hats and T-Shirts online until after Troutfest if there are any left.

Yesterday I got a call from Beau Beasley.  He is the director of the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival.  He is going to be here to see what we are doing.  They have a very successful event similar to Troutfest.  In fact, we have been looking at them as a model for us.  He has been the director for six years.

So, we are expecting now to sell out the Banquet and we are expecting maybe two thousand people will attend the Fly Fishing Exposition.

I just got a call from Steve Moore at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Kevin Fitzpatrick who is the Assistant Superintendent will speak at the banquet.  Steve is getting some facts together for Kevin.  Dale, the Superintendent won’t be here, his son is graduating from college Friday night.  Kevin will do a great job.  We’ve done some stuff together and we share the same sense of humor.  I’m glad he will be representing the Park at the banquet along with Steve Moore and Matt Kulp.  All profits derived from Troutfest go to the Fisheries Department at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You will hear all about that from Kevin Friday night. Some of Steve and Matt’s seasonal staff will be handling the parking at the banquet, as usual.

Daniel and I have been working on the Troutfest website.  We finally have the event schedule up on the site.  You can see it by CLICKING HERE.

To see who is tying flies and when CLICK HERE.

So, plan to be here.  Thank you for being with us today and have a great one.

Byron Begley
May 12, 2009

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