Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
April 8, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is warm and cloudy in Townsend this morning.  The wild turkeys were feasting on our neighbors garden and barely noticed me as I drove by.  There were eleven of them, all hens except for one jake.  The 5 minute commute was beautiful.  May apples are standing tall in the valley.  Trees are pink, green and white.  I noticed some blooms on the dogwood trees. I also noticed the green color is creeping up the mountains this morning.  The elevation at our house is 1,200 feet.  Scott Mountain which we can see from our house tops out at 3,000 feet.  So the green, at least on that mountain is at 2,100 feet if my math is correct.

A strong thunderstorm just arrived.  It is raining sideways.  I was looking at the radar when I wrote the paragraph above and knew it was coming.  It’s here now.  We need the rain.  The river is fairly low.  Currently the flow is 276 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 329 cfs.  We may see the water speed pick up now.  The water temperature in town is 69 degrees.

Fishing has been excellent in the Park, on the tailwaters, on lower Little River and on the lakes.  You will see some hatches in the Smokies.  Many of the bugs will be Quill Gordons and Blue Quills.  There are other hatches too, different mayflies, caddis and stoneflies.  Anglers are seeing some Blue Wing Olives at times. 

I would probably not fish in the Park today.  The weather service is saying this storm could bring with it, damaging winds and large hail.  The wind has died down right now but it is raining hard.  The temperature will drop to about 60 degrees today then remain cooler for a few days.  The rain on the radar looks ominous.  There is no mention of flooding in the weather reports but watch out for that anyway if you are fishing in the Smokies. 

I’ll be working on the Little River Journal today and tomorrow.  I’m going to try to do it here at work.  If I can’t do it here I’ll go home for a couple of days. 

Troutfest is fast approaching.  Too fast for me.  Our committee is performing very well.  We are a motivated bunch of folks.  I have not seen the list of prizes yet but I do know about some of them.  We’ll have another new Bogdan reel to auction off.  Stan Bogdan will be at the banquet to talk about it.  Last year his reel brought around $2,700. We will also auction a kayak that has two pontoons in the stern that swing out for stability.  The fisherman can stand up and hold on to or lean on a metal stabilizer.  These kayaks are great for fly fishing.  Orvis will donate $2,500 worth of merchandise.  They also gave us $1,000 in cash.  Our store will donate $1,000 in merchandise.  We will also pay to have Joe Humphreys here.  Temple Fork’s owner and staff will show up and bring Lefty Kreh with them.  And Chota will pay to have Bob Clouser at Troutfest.  There will be tons of other things donated for us to auction and silent auction. I think there is a trip to a bonefishing lodge in the Bahamas.  Jim Casada will be here.  I know a lot of you want to meet him.  He’s a friend of mine and you are going to like this guy. 

People wonder how we can afford to have this many celebrities at Troutfest at the same time.  These people get paid and their travel expenses are paid too.  Well, the answer is a simple one.  It doesn’t cost the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited anything.  And that is one reason we make so much money to donate to the Park Fisheries Department. 

Most of our vendor booths have been rented.  We charge a nominal fee and that pays for the tents which cost several thousand dollars.  Our National manufacturers donate merchandise for the auction.  In return, they get a booth.  The more they donate, the bigger the booth.  We give free booth space to some non-profit organizations who we think benefit Troutfest by having them here and it helps them too. 

Some of the freebies include Casting for Recovery, Project Healing Waters, Little River Watershed Association, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries Department, Foothills Land Conversancy, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, East Tennessee Fly Fishers, Townsend Art Guild and the University of Tennessee Fisheries Department.  We give a space to the Karnes Community Center.  They bring a diesel driven contraption that makes ice cream.  They sell the ice cream and make money for their community center.  TWRA brings a fish tank display and the Park Service catches a few trout to put in it.  People love to visit that fish tank.

Around 150 volunteers will make this happen.  This year each volunteer will get a free and special “Troutfest Volunteer” T-shirt.  I contacted a bunch of them yesterday to get their shirt sizes. 

Next week we are sending out 2,000 full color Troutfest postcards to our customer list in this area.  We have not done that before.

The Troutfest Committee and Volunteers should be proud of the job they are doing.  Troutfest is one of the most impressive fly fishing expositions you will ever attend. Click on the photo below to visit the Troutfest website.

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

Byron Begley
April 8, 2010

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