Townsend, Tennessee
October 23, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is partly cloudy, warm and very windy in Townsend this morning. The Weather Service is warning us of 40 mph wind gusts.  Little River’s flow has dropped just slightly from yesterday.  I saw a lot of leaves in the water.  The water has warmed up a lot.  It was 56 degrees this morning in town.  Townsend is busy.  I stopped to fill up my truck at the IGA.  Today, 5 cents from each gallon sold goes to United Way.  Kathy, our friend and banker filled up my truck as part of the fundraising effort.  Volunteers will be pumping gas and cleaning the windshield.  I gave Kathy an extra $20 as a donation. 

The trees are beautiful.  The mountains are a deep gold color.  I have not seen a lot of red leaves yet.  Maybe they will come later.

Today would be a great day to fish if it weren’t for the wind.  I bet the leaves will cause problems too.  Rain is imminent.  It’s coming, there is a 90% chance.  It’s not supposed to be heavy though so fishing this weekend should be good unless a thunderstorm stalls over the watershed you plan to fish.  It is going to be cold Saturday night so plan on fishing later on Sunday. 

Dry flies and nymphs are working.  Try both, using a dry with a dropper.  The dry could be a Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulator or parachute fly in an assortment of colors.  The nymph could be a Bead Head Pheasant Tail or Prince.  If that doesn’t work go to weighted nymphs fished deep.  If that doesn’t work just enjoy the scenery. 

We are working on a new business, fly fishing destination travel.  We are going to start small and learn from that point with two companies, Andes Drifters in Patagonia and Turneffe Flats in Belize.  I personally know the partners in both lodges, I know people who have been there and I feel confident our customers will be treated extremely well at either destination.

We will build these companies into our website with links to theirs.  We will have printed materials in the shop.  Our tackle and fly selection will be updated frequently for our customers who plan to visit.  We will know all the costs involved and everything to expect. 

Yesterday afternoon I met with Chip Drozenski from Andes Drifters.  The American partner in this company is my friend Kevin Howell who owns Davidson River Outfitters.  Kevin and I met a few weeks ago and decided to work together on this.  Chip is a retired IBM executive who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He is a long time friend of the Argentine family who are Kevin’s partners.  Chip spends several weeks every year in Argentina, fishing and spending time with the managing partners.  His job is to take care of booking and marketing.  After our meeting yesterday Chip gave a program at our TU Chapter meeting.  I really like Chip and look forward to working with him.

Andes Drifters is a service company made up of the family, 5 guides, chefs and people who take care of their customers.  They do not own a lodge.  Instead, they have contacts with several accommodation properties and offer overnight camping on the rivers.  You can stay in a very upscale small city of 25,000 people in a resort area, spend your time in a lodge in the wilderness or sleep in tents.  Or you can do a combination of both.  For the non-fishing spouse other tours can be arranged and there seems to be plenty to see and do in Patagonia.  They cover a large area.  If the fishing is not good in one location for some reason you might be taken to another river where the fishing is better. 

By them not owning a lodge equates to a benefit for you…price.  This company is not burdened with a lot of overhead.  The dollar is very strong against the Argentine peso.  Travel business in Argentina has been very slow during this recession.  Everything is inexpensive if you have U.S. currency.  So far, from what I can tell you can fish in Argentina complete with accommodations and meals for about the same price we pay to fish for tarpon in Florida.  The cost per person is about $450 per day.

It does cost more to travel to Argentina than going to Florida.  Right now the airfare from Atlanta is around $1,200.  We can fly to certain cities in Florida for 1/10th of that.  Or you can drive to the Panhandle in about 10 hours from here.  If we went to Argentina we would burn some sky miles so the travel cost for us would be free.

This will be an interesting project.  We’ll be up and running soon. 

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

Byron Begley
October 23, 2009

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