Townsend, Tennessee
July 1, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun is shining in Townsend this morning.  Little River is clear right now and 66 degrees at the swinging bridge.  We have two swinging bridges in town.  I always refer to the one on old Highway 73 across the street from Miss Lilly’s Café.  That is where I take the water temperature every morning.  A guy was fishing on the big rock under the bridge.  He said he had caught one trout. 

We had a 20% chance for a scattered thunderstorm last night.  That storm picked Townsend and boy did it rain.  We got almost ½” of rain.  The river is going up a little but it is clear.  If the whole watershed got that rain the river will go up quite a bit.  My guess is the storm was small but strong and it won’t have much of an effect on the river.  We’ll see in a couple of hours.

It is going to be cool in the mountains for a few days.  Up around Elkmont you can expect nighttime lows in the 50’s.  The water will stay cool and fishing should be very good.  We might get some rain Saturday and Sunday.  Right now there is a 40% to 50% chance depending on which weather website you check.

I would fish terrestrials, ants, beetles and Green Weenies during the day.  I might tie on a #16 Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Elk Hair Caddis, Neversink Caddis or a Yellow Parachute Adams.  In the evenings I would definitely use those.  Fishing will be better early and late.  In the middle of the day you might want to go up high to avoid the tubers and find cooler water.  And, fishing small streams back in those shaded hollows would be a good idea. 

Downstream, Little River may be stained.  The gauge in Maryville is showing an increase in flow and the chart looks similar to the one we have here.  The increase in flow is small but it is moving up.

I’m thinking about holding a Warmwater Fly Fishing Symposium this Fall, probably the first week in November.  This is just in the thinking stages and I wonder if there would be a good turnout.  We would probably have several people who are warmwater fly fishing experts, fly tyers, seminars, maybe some boat dealers, Umpqua Feather Merchants and who knows what else.  But, this would be new and there are a lot of people who don’t care about bass and bluegill.  I posted a thread about this last night on our Message Board and have not had one response yet. 

It would not be financially feasible unless a few hundred people showed up.  I don’t need any failures right now.  So, I’ll mention it and think about it.  If I get a hundred e-mails or so about it then we may proceed.  If I don’t, we won’t. 

Have you ever noticed that when you shop here we ask for your name and pull it up on the computer?  If you are a new customer have you noticed we add your name to our customer list in the computer?  We have been doing this for over ten years.  Over 90% of our customers are in that data base.  I have not checked lately but there are probably around 20,000 different names.  And we have all the information about when people bought, what they bought, how much they spent, where they live, if they were a mail order customer, a online buyer and just about everything you can think of including what size vest they bought 7 years ago.

What we don’t have in our database is your credit card number so don’t worry about that.  Also we don’t print out your sales history and give it to your spouse.  We don’t share that information with anyone but you.  It does come in handy sometimes for warranty issues, insurance claims, size information and things like that, but you are the only person who will get your information.

How many fly shops have you been to that go to the trouble?  Not many, if any.  So we have this 10 years of information stored on several hard drives to be used for something.

All we use the information for is creating a mailing list.  But, think about the possibilities.  We could take that information and profile our customer’s habits.  For instance we could run a report for 2008 and compare the customer habits to 2009, look at the changes and make decisions that might really change the way we market or do business.

Have you noticed if you buy using our mail order service there is a line on your ticket for shipping even though it may not have a dollar cost associated with it?  We do that so we can identify our mail order customers.  We can sort based on the sales category “Shipping”.  If you buy from our online catalog your sales ticket will have a line that lists “E-Ship” but there usually is not a charge for that.  Why?  We can sort using a sales category that separates online customers from the rest.  We have not used that information yet, but it’s there, years and years of it.

I called Marty our Point of Sale software guru yesterday.  I asked him to give me a price on some custom reports that will dump all that information into an Excel spreadsheet.  That way I can slice, dice, sort, learn, mail to and find out what the profiles of our customers are.  Very few small businesses have this information, especially retailers.  I’ve been in a lot of huge chain store operations and all they ask for is my zip code.  They don’t know if I ever came back, if it was my first visit or anything except which zip code I live in. 

It is interesting to think about the possibilities.  I have some friends and customers who are professors with PhDs in marketing and statistics.  I bet they will help me.  I have worked with professional marketing people all of my 35 years in business.  I almost always had a Professional Marketing Company gather information and recommend where to open stores.

When the economy is in a downturn, it is time to get creative.

By the way, the Dow Jones Industrial Average just had it's best quarter since 2003. And, the index only spent one day during that quarter in positive territory all day.

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

Byron Begley
July 1, 2009


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