Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny this morning, imagine that?  And here is the weather forecast for the next five days:  Hot, Hot, Hot, Hot and Hot. 

I drove by the grandstand and stage where fireworks will be ignited and displayed tonight.  We are one of the few towns that still have fireworks around here.  4th of July or Independence Day and the fireworks are a big deal here.

I’m right in there with our community.  Last night I watched a documentary on the History Channel about the revolutionary war and the steps and arguments that ensued after the Brits gave up, so we could form or more perfect union.  We had some brilliant minds working on that project.  Our Constitution has held since about 1787 if I remember correctly, longer than any constitution in the world.  It was July 4th 1776 that our leaders finished writing and signed the Declaration of Independence which put everyone on notice, including the King of England that we were not going to be subjects anymore.  The revolt began.  The war started.  We were on our way to becoming the United States of America.  God bless America.  God bless us all.

The creeks are low, very low.  Flow in Little River is 55 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 118 cfs.  Fishing is tough down low, much better in the high elevation streams.  The water is cooler up there and the trout are more active.

When it rains, and it will, fishing will pick back up.  Until then, I would probably fish in the tailwaters and lakes.  You can catch some trout here.  But, I would venture away from the roads and crowds and find some shady, cool water.  What a nice way to spend the day.  The challenge of fishing low water is something you should enjoy if you are patient.  Before long, the crowds will be gone, the water will be higher and cooler.  It’s not that far off.

Daniel and I are planning to build a more perfect fly shop.  Mixed into our formula is a notion that the economy will remain as it is for a while.  Our product mix will reflect that notion.  We are determining what customers want in times like these.  One of those is our most profitable and highest volume category, flies.  Flies are easy for us to display and market.  We see more opportunity there than just about any category, including fly tying.  Expanding and improving fly tying will be important, but only to 1/3 of our customers. 

Our data, which is enriched by the fact that we write all orders in our computer under a customer’s name, indicates that 1/3 of our customers buy fly tying materials.  2/3 of our customer don’t.  As I share this valuable information with our competition they should take note.  I bet that trend is nationwide.  And that information is difficult for most stores to obtain.  By all means, use ours.

I’m not working long days since I got out of the hospital 12 days ago.  I worked until 2:00 yesterday which was my longest day.  When I got home yesterday afternoon I loaded my Marlin 45/70 rifle and my Ruger 357 magnum pistol.  I placed them in an easy to reach spot, and took a nap.

My paranoia was escalated by my neighbor, Herb.  He came by the shop yesterday and described a very large black bear that is hanging around our neighborhood.  The bear is big and bold.  I’m not planning to shoot a bear, even if I find him on our front porch.  But, I like to be prepared when I know an animal of this size and demeanor is running around our neighborhood.  Our neighborhood is sparsely populated.  There are five of us living on 60 acres.  We are used to having bears around and I’ve never felt threatened.  The only time I felt threatened by wild animals at our house happened one night when I was walking our dogs.  A pack of coyotes got dangerously close.  The moon was full and I didn’t have a flashlight.  They were following us.  But the bears don’t cause a lot of commotion and they are not around often.  But, when they are, and they could be humanized, I’m going to be prepared.

Shooting a bear does not interest me most of the time.  I would only resort to that under two circumstances.  One, if the bear is about to harm another person or me.  The second circumstance is during bear hunting season in the fall.  I do go on bear hunts.  I sit in the woods and listen to the hounds and dog handlers on the radio and I did it last year for four days.  It’s a rush to think that an animal like that could come crashing through the brush toward me, 50 feet away and I would have to think quick and shoot fast.  That may never happen and it won’t bother me if it doesn’t.  I just like being out there and participating in this Southern Appalachian tradition.  What I really hope to shoot some day is a wild boar.  Now that really intrigues me.  Maybe that will happen this fall.  It will be one of my prouder moments and satisfy a lifelong dream.  Wild boar is very good to eat too.

This bear that is hanging around our homes will probably give up and go away.  He’s looking for food.  We don’t leave food out.  We all keep our garbage in our homes. 

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.  I have not checked my e-mail in a few days.  I hope to get to it in a day or so.

Byron Begley
July 4, 2010 

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com  


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