Townsend, Tennessee
November 22, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Clouds have replaced the sun.  It’s kind of cool too (temperature).  Townsend is active for a change.  People have already started arriving for the Thanksgiving holiday.  There are cars parked in the motel lots and campers in the campgrounds.  Prosperity is back in our little town for now.  We have been pretty busy too.

Little River is perfect though a little on the chilly side.  Most of the fishermen I talked to yesterday reported catching some trout but not a lot of them.  I talked to a couple who got skunked.  So, I guess yesterday was a slow fishing day for quite a few people.  There were probably exceptions.  The browns should be active and if you hook into one of the big ones you are having a good day.

Nymphs are working good but some people are catching them on dry flies.  Don’t expect to be hauling them in all day long.  You should catch a few trout if you stay hidden and get a good drift.

Our business is almost exactly even with the first three weeks of November last year.  That’s not saying much though.  Last November was awful.  We’ve got a couple of mailers going out in the local market before Christmas and I’m working on the online catalog.  Right now I’m working on Fishpond, making photo changes for the new colors and adding new gear. 

Shane Buckner and his wife came by yesterday.  Shane is the manager of Hunter Banks, a very nice, well managed fly shop in Asheville, North Carolina.  He’s a good guy.  We’ve been friends for a long time.  He said their business is acting like ours. 

I also talked to a fellow who works at Gander Mountain in Knoxville.  He said their business is great.  I guess that proves once again, the big stores are going to do well and us little guys are going to have a hard time. 

Last night I worked on my list of items to buy from Cabelas to customize our boat.  I bet that will cost around $1,000, maybe more.  I’m going to ask them for a donation for Troutfest.  I’m planning to hit up all the other big box stores in our area like Gander Mountian and Bass Pro.  I’ve bought a lot of stuff from Bass Pro this year.  I’ve probably spent at least $1,500 with their mail order company.  I know they will certainly support Troutfest when I tell them about that. I’m buying a new rifle scope from Gander Mountain.

Our store donated right at $3,000 to Troutfest this year.  $2,000 was in cash to bring in Joe Humphreys and put him up for a few days.  We also gave $1,000 in merchandise at retail. 

Yesterday we got our annual visit from Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers.  They are having their banquet next month.  We always donate stuff to them.  They also buy some auction items from us at 40% off.

Supporting our sport and giving back to our resource and community is important to us.  Some of our manufacturers do a good job at that.  Orvis and Temple Fork come to mind.  Chota does too.  And there are many others. We should all appreciate them and buy their products.  I do.

Then there are some who don’t give a penny.  I talked to someone who works for one of those companies Friday.  They elected not to donate merchandise to Troutfest this year. They told me they don’t donate to events like ours. 

Then they called me from their home office and asked me to give them $200 to support their National Advertising Program.  I gave them the same answer they gave me early this year.  “NO”.  I thought some other things but I can’t repeat them here. 

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

Byron Begley
November 22, 2009 

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