Townsend, Tennessee

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  I left the house this morning at 7:45 which is earlier than usual.  It was and still is foggy.  The first ¼ mile of my commute is on a gravel road.  When I hit the pavement it is on Old Cades Cove Road.  I started driving on the pavement fairly slow and in front of me I saw a wild turkey hen.  I slowed down more.  Then that massive bird flew off about 20 feet from the road.  Those birds are all over the place around here.  I’m glad of that. 

Little River is rolling.  And there is some color to the water made up of dissolved solids from the runoff.  Last night sometime it rained again.  We had almost ½” in the gauge at the shop.  There is a 60% chance for rain and thunderstorms today, 80% tomorrow and 50% tomorrow night.  Then the chance drops to 30% and 40% for four days.  We are getting some serious rain, not flooding and strong wind like other places in our region but plenty of water. 

You should be careful when wading the streams in the Park.  Don’t even think about wading across the East Prong.  Stay close to the bank and watch your step. 

You have a good chance at catching some large trout under these conditions.  Use large nymphs and streamers.  They won’t be able to see you well.  You won’t be able to see them well either. 

I drove back from the Chamber of Commerce board meeting taking the old highway along Little River from Walland to Townsend yesterday.  I even stopped at Misty River Campground to look around.  The river down there was whitewater.  I could probably have made it in an open canoe but on the other hand it would be easy to drown even while wearing a life jacket.  Little River was full of power yesterday.

Today I am meeting with Ginny Goan who is our Search Engine Optimization Consultant.  My plan this year is to take our website to a new level.  We already have almost one million visitors per year.  But I know where the future is going and I want us to be on the top.  This is my first step.  She will be here in two hours.

Last week I talked to our Apple Mackintosh guy, Alan Tallent at MCS in Knoxville.  I plan to purchase another 24” iMac, hook both to one hard drive and upgrade the software we use to Adobe CS4.  Alan can do that. He’s the best Mac guy I’ve ever known. If you buy a Mac, do yourself a big favor and buy it from him. It won't cost you any more than buying it direct from Apple. But, if you get it from him, you've got him.

Then I was planning to hire some college students who are majoring in Website Development.  They would work part time and help me build the website.  I could spend more time downstairs talking to customers, which is what I enjoy most about my job. 

Chuck Kline who has been teaching here for a while and has been a friend a lot longer than that told me the other day he was retiring from Kimberly Clark so if we needed any help around the shop he would be available.  My mind went from idle to sharp focus.  I could see him learning website development.  We talked and I asked him exactly what he does a KC.  He is an electrical engineer who makes big machines operate using instructions from computers.  So, he has the aptitude and is obviously very bright like many of our people who work here. 

The average age of our staff of 14 is 54 years.  Take Joe, Paula and Daniel out and that equation and the average age jumps to over 60 years old.  I’ll be 58 in two months.  So, I guess you could say that I am very comfortable working with people who are in their 50’s and 60’s for a whole lot of reasons.  I talked to Chuck and he said he would give it a try.  He won’t have any trouble learning how to do this.  It is really kind of simple you just have to learn how.  I am pleased with the progress we are making for the future of the website.  It is all coming together.

I went by the bank yesterday and asked the staff there what they are hearing about business.  They said things are looking up.  At the Chamber meeting I talked to a lot of business people from large and small companies.  One fellow works for our County’s largest employer.  Business is getting better he told me.  Everyone I talked to said things are looking up.  I mentioned yesterday that Warren Buffett thinks we are at the bottom and the future looks better.

So, yesterday afternoon I decided to buy a boat.  I called the Lowe/Mercury dealer in Morristown, we talked for over an hour and I told him to order one for Paula and I.  He is going to call me today to let me know approximately when it will be in. 

Now, this is not an expensive boat.  My plan for both Paula and I is to purchase more fuel efficient trucks or cars.  I plan to buy two new cars over the next two years.  So the boat I chose has to be towed by a compact SUV like a Honda Element or Ford Escape.  The boat has to be large enough so three people can fish out of it and two of those potential anglers are quite a bit bigger than me.  What I chose is a 16’ Lowe Deep V that is wide.  The motor is a 20 hp with tiller steering, electric start and power tilt/trim.  The trailer is galvanized so it can be dipped in saltwater occasionally.  I’ve looked at hundreds of boats online.  This one fit my criteria better than any I could find.

Evidently this type of deep V plain old fishing boat is not popular here in East Tennessee. They sell like hotcakes in the great lakes area but not here.   The dealer said he only sells 2 or 3 a year.  But he sells over 100 Lowe boats per year.  People in Tennessee prefer Jon Boats.  Maybe when I hit my first rock I’ll know why.

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

Byron Begley
May 5, 2009

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