Townsend, Tennessee
December 31, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Happy New Years Eve!  It is cloudy and fairly warm this morning.  Clouds that look like puffs of smoke are hovering over the mountains.  We had some light rain falling earlier.  Townsend is hopping.  Visitors are here.  Last night I had to wait for several cars to pass before I could pull onto the highway on my way home.  It seems like October.

Get ready.  It’s going to feel like January in Alaska this weekend.  We are going to endure lows in the teens until Wednesday.  It won’t be that cold tonight but the future looks grim unless you like freezing your backside off.

Fishing is slow. Yesterday was not productive for anyone I talked to.  The water is a little warmer today so you might do OK. Try big nymphs and streamers.  Try a Wooly Bugger or Girdle Bug.  Get them down.  Run it by their nose. 

Fishing this weekend is going to be very slow.  If you go this weekend, don’t fall in.  I know, there will be people kayaking through The Sinks.  That is a tradition.  I can’t imagine doing that for fun, anytime of the year.  Of course, people who do that probably don’t understand why I go wild boar hunting.

Daniel and I have been working on statistical analysis systems for our website.  We already have some information but there is more to be learned.  One of the reports I liked is a map that shows where everyone who visits a certain page in a specific day comes from.  The United States has so many icons it’s hard to get any significant information.  Nigeria?

More bad fly shop closing news.  The Little Red Fly Shop in Heber Springs, Arkansas will be starting their going out of business sale January 2nd.  I have met one of the guys there.  Bill and Sheila who both work here love that shop.  I looked at their website when I heard and it looks top notch.  The people there are very nice.  The fishing is great.  What happened?  This is the second shop I’ve heard is closing in two weeks and I have had conversations with people from both stores so I feel close to them.  I hate this.  This is not good for our sport and it is awful for the owners.  Believe me, I can feel their pain.

I’ve been through every kind of near disaster business experience possible during my 36 years as a business owner.  Closing a business doesn’t have to be the only option.  So, I called the Little Red Fly Shop yesterday to offer some help. Nobody answered the phone.  I may try to call next week.

It’s tough to run a small business when many people think bigger is better.  But let’s face it, that is what most people think.  You probably don’t think that way but many folks do.  I order stuff from Amazon, Bass Pro and Cabelas. I do it for convenience.  And, they treat me good.  But I try to buy everything I can from a locally owned store in our area, what few are left.

Things have changed and the pace is picking up.  To survive in a small business you better push every button, leverage every strength and continually search for new opportunities.  That is hard to do.  Things are a lot more complicated now.

I’ll tell you who I admire is my buddy Kevin Howell who owns Davidson River Outfitters in Brevard, North Carolina.  I know him pretty well.  I like him a lot.  The guy is smart.  And he can keep ten balls in the air without ever dropping one.  OK, surely he drops one occasionally.  He is a natural at strategy and innovation.  He pushes all the buttons.  He leverages his strengths and he searches for new opportunities. Kevin is also very nice and he loves to fish.    

Thankfully for us, we have you.  And we appreciate every one of you more than you know.  We’ve had a pretty good year thanks to you.  This is the last day of the year and I would like to finish it by saying Thank You and God Bless You.  And if we ever do anything to you or you are dissatisfied for any reason, call me toll free at 877-448-3474 or shoot me an e-mail.  You will get some action.

Have a Happy New Year and thank you for being here for us.

Byron Begley
December 31, 2009

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