Townsend, Tennessee

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and warm.  Little River looked spectacular.  The flow has finally dropped to 2.49 on the gauge.  If the water is flowing above 2.50 we don’t take beginners fly fishing students on the water.  2.49 or 379 cubic feet per second is on the high side but good for fishing.  The temperature in town is 58 degrees. That is perfect.  It will be a little cooler right now in the Park but it will rise during the day.  You could not ask for better conditions.  Barring any rain, the streams should be great this weekend. 

So, finally we got ideal flow and temperature.  This sun can be a problem.  If you fish today you might do better in the shady spots where the trout feel less vulnerable.  In the riffles and choppy water you will probably be OK.  The cloud cover will move in tomorrow and there is a good chance for rain this weekend.  Dang it!  We don’t want rain for Troutfest.

I would fish with dry flies like a Parachute Adams, Yellow Parachute Adams, #16 Yellow Stimulator, #16 Neversink Caddis, Light Cahill or Yellow Elk Hair Caddis.  Anything might work but that is what I would use.  Try dropping a nymph off the dry to increase your odds.  Try nymphs fished deep if the above doesn’t work or do it anyway if that’s how you like to fish. 

And, it might be early, one never knows when it will work but I would consider using a Green Weenie.  That’s right, I said Green Weenie.  I know, it resembles a sourwood worm and there are probably not any in sight.  You probably won’t see any on the water.  But, trout love them.  Lefty rates them in the top ten flies for trout.  I’ve caught trout on them after a frost in November.  They have saved the day for me many times.  I would not be out there without a #12 Chartreuse Green Weenie.

There are some excellent hatches in the evenings, Light Cahills, Yellow Sallies and March Browns.  It seems late for March Browns.  But Steve and Ronnie got into a bunch of them last weekend.

Two of a small group of the best trout fishermen I know are going to be fishing in the Park today, Walter Babb and Joe Humphreys.  You can count on some sore lipped fish today in the Smokies.  Those two guys have so much trout knowledge I don’t care how much talent these wild trout have, some fish are going to be caught today.

I have a cell phone problem.  I don’t like them and they don’t like me.  I guess it goes back to the car phone days.  I had one in my car and I hated to hear it ring.  Mine would cut out at the absolute wrong time and people would stare when I used it.  I had stores scattered all over Metro Nashville.  It could take an hour to drive from one to the other so really I needed one I guess.

I got stuck on the interstate with an overheated car a couple of years ago returning from a hunting trip.  I found a pay phone, which are very rare now.  My old A T & T credit card didn’t work any more.  I could barely read the numbers.  I ended up calling our toll free number at the store and Daniel past on information so I could be rescued.  Everything worked out.

So Paula bought me a cheap phone to use for emergencies. It doesn’t work in a lot of places.  It is ugly and if you are wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt where do you put the darned thing.   Sometimes I know where the phone is.  But the charger is nowhere to be found.  Sometimes I know where the charger is but can’t remember where I put the phone.  So, I don’t carry a cell phone. 

Paula bought me a new one yesterday.  It is sleek, well lit, looks expensive but it isn’t and since it is just like hers it will work just about anywhere.  I’ll need one for Troutfest.  I had her write my cell phone number on some business cards so I can hand them out to Troutfest volunteers.  I don’t even know my own cell phone number.  Maybe I’ll start using the darned thing. We’ll see.

I got pulled away from the Fishing Report for about an hour.  Sorry, it was Troutfest stuff.  Jack and I were talking about what has to be done and who is going to do it. Things have run smooth because we started planning 10 months ago. And, we have over 100 volunteers. Imagine that. That is about 10 volunteers for each committee member. No wonder this event is running smooth. Lots of good people and plenty of time and planning.

Last night Joe Humphreys showed up at the airport on time.  I have not seen him in three years.  He looks great.  He’s 80 years old and doesn’t look a day over 60.  We hugged as usual and started talking.  I took him to the Highland Manor where he is staying for the weekend and we talked until 11:00 pm.  It’s great to have him back.

Two years ago he was supposed to be here for an event at the shop.  The day before he was to fly down he had emergency back surgery.  It was a close call.  He still brings up the non-fact that he let me down by canceling.  That’s the kind of guy he is.  He and Walter just walked out the door to go fishing.  Paula, Joe and I will go to dinner tonight.  Then, he will be here for the Troutfest Banquet and Fly Fishing Exposition all weekend.

Joe was downstairs buying a fishing license a few minutes ago.  The store was full of fly fishermen.  And everyone’s eyes were on Joe.  When you see him in a fly shop and look at the people it is very interesting.  I guess it’s like being in a golf store and having Tiger Woods walk in.   

He is one of the finest people I know.  I am lucky to have a friend like Joe.  I met him the first time 27 years ago at Allenberry Inn in Pennsylvania.  I’ll never forget that day. 

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.  CLICK HERE to see the event schedule at Troutfest.  CLICK HERE to see the fly tying schedule.  There are some banquet tickets left. It will probably sell out tomorrow. Don’t miss Troutfest.

Byron Begley
May 14, 2009

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