Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 69 degrees in Townsend this morning.  There was a noticeable lack of human activity when I drove to work.  Visitors are here.  The motel parking lots are full.  People were just not outside earlier. 

We got some rain around us but none fell here.  Somewhere in the Little River Watershed rain did fall.  The river level spiked up for a short time then dropped back to where it was yesterday morning.  The Knoxville Airport received ¼ inch of rain during the past 24 hours.

Little River is flowing at 98 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.61 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 89 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:50 am is 70 degrees.

I think fishing is still pretty good in the Smoky Mountains though I don’t remember talking to any customers yesterday who were returning from the Park.  Fishing has certainly been very good during the past week.  Anglers are doing best using a dry and dropper.  Terrestrials are working well, flies like beetles, ants and Green Weenies. 

Fishermen are out and about, that’s for sure.  I did talk to Joe yesterday.  He and John floated the Clinch River last week and had a great time.  He didn’t mention how good the fishing was for them.  With their skills, I’m sure it was good.  I didn’t have to ask.

Fishing for smallmouth bass in the lowland rivers has been very good.  Lynn told me yesterday the bass are packed into pockets below riffles and feeding on nymphs.  Josh is reporting good top-water action too. 

We have been very busy this weekend so far.  Don’t forget, we are open today (Sunday) and tomorrow (Labor Day).  August was a good month for us.  Most of our customers live in the Eastern United States.  Fishing has been good in many of those areas.  I have been hearing that fly fishing on lakes has been off this year.  I can vouch for that. 

This Spring and early Summer, the tailwaters in our area were cranking so much water, many trout fishermen could not fish.  That was not good for our business.  But somehow, we managed to do well.  I think it is because the freestone streams, though high at some times, offered excellent angling the other times.  Water levels were up and down.  There were weeks when those streams were just about the only option for fly fishermen. 

We saw good business from states near the Appalachians.  Mountain stream levels go up and down due to rain events but they do not stay stained very long.  Most are on public land and there is almost no agriculture activity, which could cause days of discolored water conditions.

We have been in the mail order business for 17 years.  Though we do have an online store, and we get orders every day, many of our customers call us to order.  I look at every mail order transaction when I do the books daily.  What I see, are a lot of people we have known for years.  I can look you up in our point of sale computer system and see when you first visited our store.  Many of you, who order from us, started out by first visiting in person.  Our records go back to 1998 in the computer. 

I don’t think you could design a online store, run it up on the internet and expect much.  Many of our mail order customers, are longtime friends.  We met you first, in person.  We must have made a good impression and you rewarded us with your business when you got home.  That is the way our business model has worked for years.

There is also something else, a policy we started 19 years ago.  We don’t let you down.  If something goes wrong, we fix it.  If you don’t like something you bought here, bring it back or mail it back. 

Bill mentioned the other day, “I don’t ever remember seeing a customer, who had a issue with something they bought, leave here dissatisfied.”  Bill has worked here several years.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen either.  Maybe we don’t have something you want.  But if you buy something, we stand behind it.  If we do not have something you want, we’ll try to get it for you.

We don’t ever want to lose a customer.  I’ve spent 19 years working with our team, past and present, and we all want to keep the customers we have.  We want everybody to be happy.

Most of our manufacturers feel the same way.  If they don’t, we won’t buy from them.  When you have manufacturers who stand behind their products, it makes our job easier.  Our customers are happier.

I feel fortunate to work with great people, buy from great people, and serve great people. 

Thank you for being here and have a great day.

Byron Begley
September 1, 2013

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