Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is hot in Townsend this morning.  And it’s going to get hotter.  Our town is full of folks for the holiday.  I stopped at the swinging bridge to take the water temperature and a guy was standing on one of those big rocks casting a small spinner into the water.  He said he had caught 3 trout so far.

Little River is getting low.  Flow right now is 98 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 194 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:30 am was 68 degrees. That is the warmest it has been in the mornings all year.  Of course the water will be cooler in the Park.  He higher you go the cooler the water. 

Trout are taking dry flies and nymphs.  If you go today I would probably hike above Elkmont or go up really high to the brookie streams.  There are a lot of people in the Park and getting away from them would be my goal.  After today things will get back to normal.  Evenings or early mornings will be best until we get some rain and cooler temperatures.  Those trout are going to be spooky in the low water.  Use light tippet and fish in the faster water.  Fishing has been very good in the Park. 

In addition to using Yellow Sally Stonefly patterns and Light Cahills you might do very well with terrestrials.  Green Weenies and beetle patterns will work well.  The Pink Weenies are working well too.  I talked to a old customer the other day and he was buying the shell pink chenille to tie those.

Daniel said the cicadas have emerged in Maryville.  I guess that just happened in the last day or so.  We may see them in the Park.  I hope so.  If we do those trout are going to go crazy.  Paula and I are planning to fish Tellico Lake next week.  The cicada hatch is in full swing there.  Big bass and carp will be the target.

The Troutfest Committee has been active.  We are holding a retreat at Laurel Valley Country Club on June 12th.  We will discuss this year’s event and start making plans for 2012.  Attendance was down this year.  We moved the date to the 2nd weekend in May.  I bet we go back to the 3rd weekend next year.  We had some conflicts with other fundraisers in the area, specifically Friends of the Smokies and the Heritage Center.  We don’t want that to happen again.  I know several people who could not attend the banquet because of those conflicts.

We have three new Troutfest Committee members.  Josh and Ashley Pfeiffer will be working on the Banquet/Auction Committee.  Also, Cindie Cornelius volunteered to join that sub-committee.  They will all be great additions to help Rufus, Mike, David and others. I think the new total of people on the Troutfest Committee is 25.  These are all people who take responsibility and go with it.  They all work many hours throughout the year to make this happen. 

This year the marketing sub-committee grew from 2 to 5 people.  A lot of big things got done as a result.

I’m ordering fly tying materials like crazy.  We got wiped out during Troutfest.  And that department keeps performing well.  I’m currently working on a Wapsi order.  I’m guessing there will be over 1,000 items on it.  An order like that takes to days to process and another two days to receive. 

We can’t just let the computer system do the work.  This department is too complicated, it changes by the month and phasing out slow movers to make room for new stuff is a challenge.  So, the actual orders require looking at each of the 5,000 or so pegs and making a decision.  For instance, everything in a crawfish color is selling fast.  I wonder why?  It doesn’t matter.  I just order deeper in burnt orange and look for more items in that color spectrum to add as new.

The Whiting Farm space on the wall is bare.  The women who use saddle hackle as hair extensions have depleted the supply nationwide.  Some smart individuals bought saddles and are now re-selling a few feathers on E-Bay for a huge profit.  I guess for a while we’ll just replace the Whiting 100 packs and saddles with necks.

Rabbit strips are hot sellers.  We stock a lower grade strip and a smaller selection of the more expensive high grade strips.  More people are opting for the higher grade bunny strips.  So, I’m going to expand that and reduce the color selection of the lower grade strips.

I also plan to expand the rubber/silicone legs section.  This area of the store does extremely well.  The popper body section right next to the legs requires continuous replacement of merchandise.  I guess a lot of people are making poppers. 

I hope have the fly tying department back to full stock in a week to 10 days.

Have a great day and think about our military personnel and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our Country and our interests.  That is what we do on Memorial Day.  Actually I do it a lot more often than that.  I bet you do too.

Byron Begley
May 30, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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