Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is 31 degrees and frosty in Townsend this morning.  After I took the water temperature at the swinging bridge I saw Tim and Tee scraping the frost off of their cars.  I stopped to talk for a minute.  Tim decided to run for City Council.  They have a beautiful house right on the river.  Finally, Tee got Tim into fly fishing.  One trip to Alaska is all it took.  Yesterday he told me how he is so careful to release a fish.  When he gets it to shore all he wants to do is get that fish unhooked so it can swim away.  Before, he said, “I just dragged them up on the bank and beat the X$%! out of them.”  Tim is now a true catch and release proponent.

The high temperature today will be around 63 degrees.  The low tonight will be in the low 40’s.  That trend will continue for several days with warm rain expected tomorrow and tomorrow night.  You know what that means.  Fishing will get good again in the Smokies and in East Tennessee.

The water level in Little River is dropping to a respectable number.  There are some spots in some streams that will be tough to wade.  The current is still strong.  Flow this morning in Little River is 411 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 289 cfs.  Some anglers love the flow at this level.  The trout are scattered and they feel less prone to predation. 

As the water warms the trout’s metabolism will kick into higher gear and they will require more food.  60 degree days and 40 degree nights will cause that effect.  Get ready.  Nymphs are going to be your best choice for a while.  But, when the water warms you can expect some dry fly fishing like we had a couple of weeks ago.  Though this is the last day of January it looks and feels like Spring.  Tee showed me her blooming daffodils this morning.  They are all over the place, blooming in January.  This has been a strange winter.  But it is not over yet.

For now lets enjoy the warm weather and better fishing while we can.  I wish I could.  Right now I’m working 7 days a week, 10 to 11 hours per day on our website.  We have around 1,000 pages to re-design.  Some pages take an hour or less, some take several hours.  Photography is the defining factor of time allocation per page.

I attended a tourism marketing meeting yesterday at 9:00 am.  Dooley Tombras of Tombras Group Advertising gave the presentation.  I think they are the largest advertising and marketing agency in our State.  Every time I attend one of these presentations I learn a lot of important things that can help our business, especially as it pertains to the web.  I sat through one of these a year ago and learned one trick that I immediately put into action on our website.  I made the change on this fishing report the next day.  And guess what?  I saw a visitation difference and SEO improvement immediately. 

The seminar was held in the auditorium at the Heritage Center.  It was free to attend and lasted 2 hours.  I bet only 20 business owners and managers were there. Maybe there were 30.  Every person in the tourism and related services should have been there.  The auditorium seats 100 people.  There should have been people standing in the isles. I came away with a lot of ideas that will help our web e-commerce and visitation. 

I think most people attend to see how the hotel/motel tax money is spent.  I go to learn strategy that I can use.  During the question and answer session there were some comments about how the tax money is spent.  My questions were more directed at “how do you optimize for an iPad?  How do browser sniffers work?  Now I wonder if you should use client-side sniffing or server-side sniffing.  I got my answers.  Most people in the room probably thought I was crazy.

Sniffing is code used to determine what kind of device your visitor is using.  If they are using a smart phone you can have a different set of web pages just for them.  If they are using a full size computer those folks can see a different set of web pages.  This is interesting stuff that I will use. 

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

Byron Begley
January 31, 2012

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