Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and warmer this morning in Townsend.  I also noticed more traffic on the streets than usual, especially for a Wednesday morning.  They say it’s going to be hot until Saturday, in the mid to high 80’s.  Darn, I was liking this cool weather.  Little River looks perfect and it’s almost exactly the normal level for this date.  The flow is 237 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 227 cfs. 

Hugh Hartsell was in the parking lot early this morning waiting for a client.  He is a great guide who we always recommend.  He is also a nice guy.  He remarked about how many trips had cancelled this year due to high water.  This really has been a strange year weather-wise.  People can’t complain about the water levels today.  They are perfect.  The water temperature this morning was 59 degrees in town.

A fellow came by the shop yesterday to show me some trout he caught in town.  I’ve got to say those trout were not very lively.  They were going to be dinner.  They were big, one was 21 ½ inches long.  He wanted to know if I wanted to take his picture, holding the trout for our advertising.  That happens occasionally.  I just don’t put pictures of people holding dead trout on our website or in the print advertising.  It was nice of him to offer though. 

Fishing conditions are perfect.  The water level is perfect.  The water temperature is perfect. It is overcast which is perfect.  The aquatic insects are flying around.  You couldn’t ask for better fishing conditions.  I can’t imagine not catching the heck out of trout right now.  For dry flies I would probably use a Yellow Sally Stonefly pattern or Light Cahill.  The Yellow Sally would be a #16.  The Light Cahill would be larger.  I would probably have some Elk Hair Caddis and small Yellow Stimulators in my box.  I would have some Bead Head Pheasant Tails and Green Weenies.  That’s it.  I would go today with just that. 

Of course I can’t go fishing today, we’re starting the setup process for Troutfest.  This is a huge undertaking.  I’m going to run into town and have 2,000 schedules printed to hand out Saturday morning then I’m meeting Jack at the Visitors Center.  We are going to mark and square the spots for the tents.  Tomorrow at 3:00, Anderson Rental will show up and start planting stakes in the ground and pavement behind the visitors center.

The largest tent is 60 feet wide by 120 feet long.  There are two others about half that size.  They will have everything set up by tomorrow night.  We’ll have hundreds of chairs, tables, dividers with curtains left in the big tent by Anderson Rental.

Thursday night I have a Townsend Planning Commission Meeting.  It starts at 6:00 pm and we usually go home around 9:00.  That is great timing!  Just what I need.

Friday morning Jack and I will mark off all the booth locations, about 60 of them.  The volunteer coordinators will set up early.  Rufus will get the auction ready with his team.  Donna and her team will start decorating the tent, making iced tea and setting stuff up for the banquet.  Steve will show up with a huge smoker.  They are cooking for over 300 people.  The vendors in the field and in the smaller tents will start setting up at noon.  The porta-johns will arrive.  Chad and his volunteers will make runs to the airport.  Joe Humphreys will show up first.  Stan Bogdan will arrive next.  Lefty Kreh and Bob Clouser will fly in later that afternoon. 

The national exhibitors will already be here.  The Temple Fork team, the Orvis Team, the Chota Team, people from Cortland, Hardy, St. Croix, Lamson, Winston, Fishpond, Ross Reels, you name it will be trickling in starting Thursday.  Simms has this monster motor home with graphics wrapped all over it.  He’s coming in tomorrow. 

Friday night at 6:00 the banquet will begin.  It will be exciting.  The food will be great.  It will be one of the best Trout Unlimited banquets ever held.  After that is over, a bunch of volunteers will start tearing down the banquet and getting the tent ready as an exhibition hall for the weekend.  We should have that setup by midnight, maybe 1:00 am.

Saturday morning the exhibitors in the largest tent will be assembled at 7:30 am.  Volunteers will help them unload and set up for the Troutfest Fly Fishing Exhibition, the “Greatest Show on Earth”.  Six food vendors will be ready to start feeding attendees.  Volunteer fly tyers will check in at the volunteer desk to find out where they will be tying.  By 9:00 am, Saturday morning we’ll all be ready to go.  The special events start right away.  This show will run non-stop for two days from 9:00 til 5:00.

When it’s over, we’ll all be tired.  We’ll clean up everything Sunday night.  Monday, several of us will go to the bank and pick up the locked night deposit bags dropped all weekend by the money team. We’ll count the money and make the deposit.  Last year we took in $59,000.  We hope to beat that this year.

On Tuesday, I’m going fishing somewhere.

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

Byron Begley
May 12, 2010

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