Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
April 2, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The night was clear and today is going to be sunny and warm, 83 degrees they say.  I’m at home and it is very early.  Today Paula and I celebrate our anniversary.  We are going fishing of course.  I worked last night at the shop getting our gear together.  The boat is hooked up to my truck in the driveway.  I keep it and all of our gear at the shop.

We are hoping the smallmouth bass have moved onto the banks.  We are probably going to Tellico Lake or maybe Chilhowee.  We’ll see what the launching ramps look like this morning.  I bet they are crowded.

The water temperature in Little River, 56 degrees, was taken in town last night on my way home at 7:30 pm.  Fishing in the afternoons this weekend and today should be excellent.  There are a lot of anglers here in town because of the great fishing conditions. 

You may have good fishing all day.  The water temperature is perfect or at least it was last night.  It’s probably cooler this morning but much warmer than it has been. Dry fly fishing is very good.  Use Quill Gordon and Blue Quill patterns and you will do well.

I tried to explain the relationship between water temperature and trout fishing yesterday during an interview with a local newspaper.  I hope the writer got it right. She asked about where to buy fishing licenses in Townsend.  I mentioned the Townsend Shopping Center, our shop and The Backcountry.  I suggested she call that store and include them in the article.  They are competitors in a way but they are also friends and part of our local economy, service to visitors and part of the story.  To me they are partners as are many businesses in Townsend who work together to give visitors a good experience.  I hope she calls and includes them.

Our fishing license sales were down almost 30% in March.  But our business was up from last year in March.  Explain that one.  I can’t but I’ll try.  Our mail order business is way up.  Fishing in the Southeast United States took off in early March, maybe not in Tennessee but in the states south of us.  We do a lot of mail order business in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida.  So maybe the fishing was still a little slow early in March here, but it was going gangbusters to the South of us.

Here’s another reason our fishing license sales may be down but tackle sales are up.  I bet more people are buying their fishing licenses online.  I buy my fishing and hunting licenses online in other states.  I’ll wager that the trend is moving toward online license purchases.  Last night I loaded down a kill tag for wild turkey.  I’m going turkey hunting tomorrow.  I’m going to register for the elk hunting drawing online.  That process became active yesterday.  Only five people in Tennessee will be drawn for that hunt.  My chances are slim.  But I’m going to try.  So we’re going to see more hunting and fishing license sales online in the future.  Why not?  It’s easy.

This is a good indicator of how the sporting goods business is leaning more toward mail order and online business.  I’m guilty of the same thing.  I received an order from Bass Pro and Cabelas this week.  Some of it was gear for hunting and some for the boat. 

You won’t see me at the store this weekend but I’ll be nearby.  I know you will be well taken care of.  It’s going to be an excellent time to be fly fishing in the Smokies.  I hope you take advantage of this opportunity.

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

Byron Begley
April 2, 2010

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