Townsend, Tennessee
November 24, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is a cloudy, sort of gloomy day but I think the sun will come out later.  It is warm and comfortable outside.  Little River is even warmer this morning than yesterday.  The water temperature now is 52 degrees.  Traffic is fairly heavy in town as more visitors arrive for the Holiday.  The streams in the Park are in great shape.  They are not too high and not too low. 

Fishermen are not reporting great fishing.  Most are catching a few.  David Knapp is in the Park right now.  That usually means better than usual fishing stories.  He is an excellent angler.  He gave me a new streamer he came up with.  It resembles a Clouser but the eyes are tied in on the long hook on the underside so the hook will ride down.  The belly and lower body is tied from Puglisi fibers and the back is a bunny strip.  I can’t wait to try this one.

I still believe I would use nymphs in the Park.  The trout are taking dry flies at times.  I would probably tie on a Prince, add a #6 split shot and start working the runs and pockets.  I wouldn’t use a strike indicator. 

Right now, I don’t have time to fish.  I washed the interior of the boat late yesterday.  I’m going to cover it and wait.  Maybe we’ll get out this winter and maybe we won’t.  We are taking our jobs very seriously here at the shop.  It’s been slow this year for us and many other fly shops.  For me this is a time to be working, mainly on the website.  I hope to finish the Fishpond Store in a couple of days.

Trying to understand what consumers are going to do is a frustrating mental exercise.  I got the new Filson dealer package yesterday.  I thumbed through it looking at all of those beautiful and well made hunting and fishing garments with a high price tag.  Would our customers buy them?  Or would our money be better spent setting up a conventional fishing department.  Would adding spinning tackle be a prudent decision?  That would get more kids into fishing.  We have an excellent put and take trout fishery running right through town that would be perfect for young kids getting into fishing. 

As the economy improves will anglers buy more $700 rods or will they buy less expensive rods?     

On our message board is an interesting thread about expensive fly rods and inexpensive fly rods.  Which ones should you buy is the question.  I even chimed in.  I hear the questions every day.  Why should I pay $700 for a fly rod when there is one next to it that costs $140.  Paula and I enjoy a lot of different kinds of fly fishing.  We have 12 weight rods down to 4 weight and everything in between. I even have two 11 weights.  We have 12’s, 11’s, 10’s, 9’s, 8’s, 7’s 6’s, 5’s and 4’s.  Some are what I would call “high end” and many are mid-priced to low-priced.  We can’t afford to have that many high end rods.  Some people can but not us.  Remember, there are two of us.

So, I’m very happy with a $140 rod since it fits my budget.  I’m also happy with the few Winstons, Orvis and Scott higher end rods, which we have a few of.  We are also fans of St. Croix and TFO rods.

The only reason we don’t have Sage rods is, we just started selling them a few years ago and we have not bought any high end rods since that time.  Sage makes great rods too.    

Some customers of ours only fish for trout.  They don’t fish for tarpon, bluegill, redfish and they don’t fish for bass.  So they don’t need as many rods as we do.  If I only fished for trout I would have the best fly rod made.

Actually I do have the best fly rod made.  Walter Babb made a cane rod for me.  It is beautiful, it casts well and it was hand made by one of my best friends.

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

Byron Begley
November 24, 2009


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