Townsend, Tennessee

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Our little break in the rain ended early this morning.  It’s raining again.  Townsend is busy.  I saw a lot of campers at the IGA when I filled up with gas early.  Rain is a downer when you are camping and I could see that look on their faces.  Rain on weekends has an adverse effect on the tourism business.  A lot of people pack up and go home.  This year we have had a lot of rainy weekends. 

The river looks great.  And, according to the USGS gauge it is not rising.  However the fall on the graph since last weekend has come to a halt.  It will probably start rising again.  That could be a good thing for anglers.  A little color in the water is helpful for us and tougher on the trout. 

Overcast days and stained water gives the advantage to the angler. They don’t see us as well, the larger fish feel more secure and big streamers can be the ticket to catching a large trout.  Large by Smokies standards is 16” to 29”.  Those trout are browns.  One of my best friends has caught many in that size category and up to 28”.  He said he has seen browns that are 30” long in Little River.  He knows what a 30” brown trout looks like.  I saw a photo of him holding one that I think measured 33”.  He caught that one in Yellowstone.

Evenings are fishing extremely well for dry fly anglers.  Yellow Sally stonefly patterns are working well.  Now that it is overcast fishing should improve during the day.  Everyone I’ve talked to this weekend has had decent to very good fishing success.  I talked to guy this morning that did very well on Friday and said it was slower yesterday.  I think today will be better.

Today I would probably fish nymphs including the Green Weenie.  I would use a pair heavily weighted and ticking the bottom.  And, I might use streamers or a crawfish pattern.  They will probably hit dry flies too.

Our very own Joe Mcgroom married Erika last evening.  The wedding was outdoors on a farm that had all the wedding features including a beautiful view of the Smokies.  Somewhere between 200 to 300 people were there.  Erika arrived in a horse drawn carriage.  She looked beautiful.  She always has and I’ve known her since she was a kid.

They planned the wedding so we could close the shop and attend.  Brian Courtney was the pastor who performed the ceremony.  He talked about how fly fishing had brought us all together as friends.  A lot of the people there were fly fishers.  The groom’s cake was a creel. 

Joe graduated from Maryville College last weekend and got married a week later.  But he still managed to come into the shop and finish his last duties as a LRO staff associate this week.  Joe will go to work at Marriott Corporation.  We’ll miss having him here.  He is one of the finest young men I have met.  But, we’ll see him often because he is also one of the best fly fishermen I know, even at his young age.  He spent a lot of time on the water and with some of the best anglers in the Smokies.  He will be in here a lot.

Another one of the finest young men I have ever met, just like Joe is Ross Shaver.  Ross and his wife, Amanda were at the wedding.  Ross worked here when he was in high school.  He went on to get an engineering undergraduate degree and then a masters degree.

I’m proud to maybe have had some influence in their lives. I hope it was a positive.

I started working on the Little River Journal yesterday.  Lefty’s articles are back.  I missed getting a CD from him by one day last month so I had to leave him out.  His short articles are really well written.  I got a great article from Don Winningham.  I’m doing a story about how we made Troutfest happen.  Hopefully David Perry, David Knapp and Steve Yates will make their usual appearance.  The Journal is not the same without them.  I think I have one more article from Gary McCown.  Maybe more will come.  Sign up now to get yours in the box below.  It will go out June 1st.

I have been reading Jim Casada’s new book, Pursuit of Passion: An Insider’s Guide to Fly Fishing in the Smokies.  I love it.  It is a very comprehensive book. I think the finished book will be 300+ pages. Jim grew up in Bryson City, North Carolina and started fly fishing when he was 6 years old.  His Father introduced him to the sport.  He personally knew many of the old time mountain anglers.  Jim has written many books but this is “The Masterpiece”.

I know I will get a lot of e-mail asking where to buy this book.  You can’t.  Mine is two large 3-ring binders of the text in a word document.  The book has not been printed yet.  It is ready to go to print.  We will be selling them online and in the store later this year.  You can visit Jim’s website by clicking HERE.

I don’t claim to read a lot of books.  I don’t.  The last one I read before Jim’s book was “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman. 

Last night Julie Chrystyn appeared on Larry King promoting her book, “Secret to Life Transformation: How to Claim Your Destiny”.  Now, I might buy that one.  Everything she said reminded me of those old Napoleon Hill books I read in the early 70’s. 

There are two important points I heard from her interview.  One was: adversity can be an opportunity depending on how you look at it and what your attitude is.  The other closely related notion is and I’m quoting Napoleon Hill:  “For every adversity there is a greater or equal benefit”. 

I have lived by that philosophy all my life.  If you apply that principle to what is going on in the world today, there are millions of opportunities out there.  I hope to find some myself.  I hope you do to.  It makes for a more enjoyable and fulfilling life. 

And, it’s not all about money.  One of the people on the show said something like this:  “Money does not make Americans happy.  Relationships make Americans happy.”  I would add that success makes Americans happy and again, I’m not talking about money.  I’m talking about having success at improving your community, your personal relationships and our world.  A business like ours and others can do that too.  But, you have to give back, not take away.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend and thank you for being here and supporting all of us at the shop.

Byron Begley
May 24, 2009


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