Townsend, Tennessee
05/19/09

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and a very cool 49 degrees this morning.  Townsend is quiet.  There was hardly any traffic on the road.  After the very busy weekend, everything is back to normal.  I walked by the front counter when I got to work.  Daniel was already pulling mail orders.  When I looked at our website numbers for yesterday it was apparent we were going to be busy today not counting the people who come in the shop. 

Little River and most of the streams are still filled to the brim.  The water is clear but there is plenty of it.  And listen to this. The water temperature in town is 50 degrees.  It was close to that yesterday morning according to the USGS temperature gauge that isn’t working.  The graph does appear to be relevant but the numbers are wrong.

I talked to a lot of people who attempted to fish this weekend.  The water was high and muddy on Sunday.  There were a lot of anglers on the water.  Some did well and others did not.  One guy said he didn’t catch any, but he met two other people who had fished together.  One of the two had been skunked, the other guy caught 10.  My guess is the one who caught 10 knew how to nymph fish deep.  The others probably did not.  Or, those who found the fishing to be slow might have been fishing behind someone.

Lefty made an interesting and correct statement yesterday on the way to the airport.  He commented on how these mountain fishermen who really do well, make three or four casts and then they are gone.  He said it’s not like what they are used to in the northern states.  Crystal clear water and wild fish make for challenging fishing.   I knew what he was talking about.  I’ve done a lot of fishing in Pennsylvania, New York and in other states where the water is more turbid and the trout are stocked.  I’ve stood in one place for hours and caught fish. Here it’s a whole different game.

I noticed that yesterday 812 different people opened the Fishing Report.  That is a high number.  What I hate about that is, yesterday was one of the worst fishing reports I have ever written.  I was pressed for time, Lefty was in here talking to Rhonda from Temple Fork and Jack Gregory, and I notice the word “yesterday” twice in one sentence last night when I read it.  Oh well, I do the best I can.

It was great to spend time with Lefty. We always laugh and have a great time. There are always words of wisdom that he gives to me. He was very impressed with Troutfest. He did have some ideas to make it better next year. I'm pretty sure after talking to Rick Pope who owns Temple Fork that they will be back next year. They paid for Lefty to be here. And Rick brought two of his management team people with him from Texas. That cost a bundle too. Kent Edmonds works for Temple Fork and lives in Georgia. He was here and gave fly tying demonstrations. He is a talened good person who is also active on our message board. They were great Troutfest Sponsors.

It was also fun to be with my friend Joe Humphreys. Joe and I go way back. He got in on Wednesday and Paula took him to the airport yesterday morning. We paid to have him here. Joe loved Troutfest. He said he signed more books than he ever has at an event. He invited Paula and I to come up and fish with him. I want to do that. We might do it this year. I told Joe to put the 3rd weekend in May on his calendar for the 2010 Troutfest.

Bob Clouser is another buddy that I was very glad to see. We didn't get to spend much time together at Troutfest. Bob is a talented, very nice thoughtful man. He calles me every year right around Christmas. That is one of his wonderful things he does every year. He sits down and calls his friends. I talk to Bob on the phone more than Lefty or Joe. Lefty is an e-mail guy. Every time I call Joe I usually end up talking to his wife Gloria because Joe is either hunting or fishing.

Bill Reed who is the National Sales Manager at Orvis was here. Robert Bryant who is our Orvis Business Manager worked at Troutfest too. I've known Robert for many years and he is a talented sales rep who probably knows more about retail than most of them. His dad owned a hunting and fishing store. Robert grew up in that environment and has a wealth of knowledge. He's a great guy.

I met Bill Reed when he was Sales Manager at Cortland. Bill moved to Vermont and started working with Orvis a few years ago. He is not only a nice guy but he is also very thoughtful and smart. We are going to be better friends from now on. I got to know him well at Troutfest. Bill and his wife own a large maple syrup business in Vermont. They sell it packaged in large drums. Their customers bottle and sell to retailers. I thought that was interesting.

Rick Pope who owns Temple Fork is who I call for advice. We talk often. At the banquet I had him sit with my best friend of 52 years, Frank Brown and his family. On his other side were our friends Jim and Pat Delashmit. I wanted them all to get to know Rick.

Frank Bryant, Pat Bryant and Mark Brown from Chota were here. Franks new partner Rick stayed at the show all weekend. They are all great folks and good friends. Since they are located in Knoxville we talk and see each other all the time. I call Frank for advice often. Sometimes he even calls me for advice.

All the other National Vendors you saw in the big tent were our sales reps. They are our working partners and we think the world of all of them. They paid out of their pocket to be here for Troutfest and I really appreciate it. I got positive response from all of them about Troutfest. They are a bunch of nice guys.

WBIR Channel 10 did another excellent job covering Troutfest.  As I have said before, they get the facts, take their time and show a great story.  Below is a link to the segment.  They say this was the 7th Troutfest and actually it was the 6th.  It’s not their fault.  I told them it was the 7th.  My bad! When you see my 5 seconds of glory you can tell I was tired.

http://lrctu.org/movies/TROUTFEST2009/index.html

It is going to warm up and so will the fishing.  I wouldn’t go too early today.  Give the water a chance to warm up.  It is high so be careful.  I would fish the smaller streams and still be careful.  There is not much rain in the forecast for a few days.  The water level will drop and things will get back to normal soon.

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

Byron Begley
May 19, 2009

Respond To: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com

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