Townsend, Tennessee

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and comfortable this morning.  The forest is deep green thanks to the rain we have had this Spring.  I stopped at the swinging bridge to take the water temperature on my way to work.  There were three guys down on the big rocks casting spinners.  They said they had caught one trout.  The temperature was 59 degrees.  That’s perfect!

Fishing has been great everywhere.  The Park is fishing extremely well.  The water levels are almost down to normal after a couple of weeks of strong current.  We finally got a break from rain, the water receded, the temperature is right and you couldn’t ask for better conditions.

Daniel went fishing after work night before last.  He caught a lot of trout.  Evenings are a good time to fish.  He was using a #16 Yellow Stimulator.  You should probably have yellow bodied dry flies in your box right now.  They could be stimulators, caddis, Neversink caddis, Yellow Palmer or basically anything yellow that resembles a small stonefly.  The trout don’t seem to mind what shape it is.  But small and yellow is working.  Other dry flies will work too. 

Glenn fished for smallmouth bass yesterday.  I think he said he caught 26.  I didn’t ask which river he was fishing.  It was probably Little River, Little Pigeon or the Holston.  That is where most people around here fish for smallies.

It is Memorial Day weekend so there will be a lot of people fishing, hiking and driving through the Park.  It’s time for the tubers to be on the water.  You will see some hardy captains of those inflatable donut skiffs floating down the river.  Water that is 59 degrees is very cold but some will be giving it a try.  I could not do it. 

Business is very good at the shop.  The first three weeks of May were up from last year. 

The economic impact to Townsend from Troutfest must have been astounding.  Business people in our town are smiling when you mention Troutfest.  One business owner told me he had the best weekend so far this year.  Motels were full, restaurants were packed and retail stores fared well. Also, many local volunteers rented cabins or stayed in motel rooms.   

Our Townsend City Government and the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau are happy.  I attended a City Commission Meeting this week.  I even attended a County Commission Meeting this week and they were talking about it.  When you bring that many people in from out of town business is going to be good.  Those who own businesses and government officials notice.

We deposited all cash and checks from the event yesterday.  Rufus King, Roy Roberts and I picked up the night drop bags, all six of them, counted the money then made the deposit at Citizens Bank.  The people working at the bank had their hands full for a while. 

The information I have indicates our total harvest was over $50,000 but that does not include most vendor and sponsor payments.  We’re sure our profit will exceed $30,000 from the event.  These proceeds will be donated to Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries Department and the Fisheries Endowment held by Friends of the Smokies.  The split will be determined by the Board of Directors of the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

As important as the raising of money was the good time enjoyed by people who attended and participated.  There were over 100 volunteers involved, a lot of vendors and National Manufacturers.  Everything ran very smooth.  Some volunteers donated hundreds of hours of their time over the past year preparing for Troutfest 2009.  And that hard work paid off.  Good job everyone.

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

Byron Begley
May 23, 2009

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