Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy, warm and we have had some showers that have made the river a little off color.  It is very quiet in Townsend this morning.  Traffic is very light.  I saw some trees starting to bloom that looked like dogwoods. Is that possible?  It seems early to me.  All trees in the valley are starting to sprout leaves.  I can see some new green growth on the smaller mountains right now.  It is supposed to rain more today and it’s going to be cool at night through Saturday.  Then comes the big warm-up.  The high Sunday should be 65 to 70 and the low 60.  Now that is more like it.  Sunday is going to be nice!

The river looks fine.  It is a little off color but I think that is from runoff in town.  We had ½” of water in our gauge this morning.  Little River is flowing at 370 cubic feet per second compared to normal of 350 cfs.  So, we’re about normal.  This would be a perfect day to fish in the Park.  The cloud cover will remain and there will be showers early.  It looks like most of the rain has passed through. 

I would fish dry flies today and maybe use a nymph or wet fly for a dropper.  There may be many different species of aquatic insects on the water.  I would start with a gray #12 mayfly imitation but be prepared to drop down to a #14 or #16.  Watch for Blue Wing Olives.  They like overcast skies and wet weather.

Fishing in the Park has been very good and it’s going to get better, especially after this cold front passes through later this week.  

A streamer might be a good idea too.  If there is some color in the water you stand a better chance for catching a large brown. 

I think next week will be “Smallmouth Bass Week”.  The rivers and lakes will warmer and I believe we’ll see the bass on the riffles and shoals in the rivers and closer to the banks in the lakes. I may spend a day or two on a lake next week.  We have so many to choose from I’m not sure where to go.  But everything is ready, including me.

I ordered some new T-shirts yesterday.  It is a new design created by our artist Cindy Day.  I had a gross of shirts sent from Vermont where they were dyed to Nashville where they will be printed. 

Then, I contacted Cindy and asked her to start on a new design.  This new shirt will have a Brook Trout Restoration theme.  I sent an e-mail to the Park to find out if there are any problems mentioning Great Smoky Mountains National Park on something we sell.  I did a little research too, especially about using the Park Service emblem.  We won’t use that.  I would hate to go to jail over a t-shirt.

I don’t think any of our old designs will be re-printed this year.  We’re starting over.  Cindy and I are going to come up with something new every other month or so.  A new design costs under $1,000 which includes prep at the screen printing company.  After that, the shirts are printed as needed.  We are going to have a lot of new colors this year.  One of our discontinued designs lasted ten years.  We sold thousands of them. That was the “Smokies Streams T”, something I designed myself.  I’m not much of a designer so that shirt will be completely re-done by Cindy.  Later in the summer when we re-order shirts of a design we’ll stick in some long sleeve shirts too for fall. 

These shirts are printed on a revolving 12 color press.  The printing company in Nashville is called Dragonfly Screen Graphics.  It is owned by a friend of mine, someone I met while he was in college at Vanderbilt in the early 70’s.  His name is Bruce Hackett.  Bruce took up fly fishing after I left Nashville.  We sort of lost touch with each other.  Then one day he showed up in our shop here.  I said “What are you doing here?”  He said, “What are YOU doing here?”  He has been printing our t-shirts ever since.

Our T-shirt designs will be showing up on other merchandise as well.  In fact, I used our new brown trout design as an ad in the Troutfest Journal.  You will see them on coffee mugs, glasses, stickers and who knows what else.  We’ll use them on the website too. 

Cindy and I are re-branding everything.  She did a simple license plate that sells for $2.50.  I could have them printed on metal or thicker plastic and we may do that.  But, for $2.50 we’ll sell a ton of them.

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

Byron Begley
March 30, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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