Townsend, Tennessee
June 18, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report. The sun is shining and it is warm and muggy this morning. Heavy rain fell last night during the thunderstorms. I could hear them all around our house but we were on the edge. We got .55" of rain at the shop. The Airport shows more than that. I've got a feeling it was very heavy in the mountains. Little River is up and muddy in town.

It will take a day or so for the streams to recede. This would be a good time to cast streamers or large nymphs. You might catch a large brown trout. The smaller streams should be fishable but swift. Wherever you go be careful. A lot of people don't consider the flow at 388 cubic feet per second as dangerous but it can be.

It looks like the rain is over for a few days. There is a chance for scattered thunderstorms every day but the odds are not high. It is going to get hot, in the 90's for a couple of days. The fishing should be good this weekend especially in the higher elevations. Also fishing will be better early and late.

Today would be a good opportunity to fish terrestrials. Ants, beetles and inchworms have been washed into the water. Trout will be feeding on them. Try dropping a Green Weenie off a foam beetle pattern.

Townsend is very quiet. I've heard that remark from several customers. And the numbers prove it. Last night I heard on a local TV station that the May visitation in the Park was up 1.4% from last year. It was also mentioned that the Townsend entrance was down from last year. The hotel/motel tax was down about 20% in April while the attendance to the Park was way up. I guess we can assume a lot of that traffic was from day use by local people.

The Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau starts their year in July. The Bureau tracks and spends part of the hotel/motel tax on advertising. The tax revenue, year to date through April which is 10 months is down 12% from the year before.

So, tourism is down no doubt about it. April was awful. We don't have the May numbers yet. June is not looking good at all.

Though May was our second best month ever at the shop, June is starting out very slow. Troutfest helped our business in May. We were slow in March and April.

I wonder how much of an influence this rain we have had this year has affected our business in a negative way. The bulk of our business comes from Tennessee and the adjacent States. Dams have been generating and spilling. Lakes have been muddy. Streams have been high and stained often. What happens in Kentucky flushes into Tennessee and there has been a lot of rain up there.

Though fishing activity is reported to be high this year in our Country, maybe that is not the case in our region. A lot of people are fishing here on weekends when the water is in good shape. But often, especially on the weekends the water has been high.

I guess all we can do is tighten our belts and hope for better times. I really thought people would be traveling to the Smokies for their summer vacation in large numbers. I guess I was wrong.

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

Byron Begley
June 18, 2009


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