Townsend, Tennessee
July 3, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun is shining in Townsend.  The Weather Channel website describes today as having “Abundant Sunshine”.  It is cool this morning, literally.  The water temperature in Little River dropped one degree since yesterday morning. 

The water is getting lower too.  Today is the first day in a while that the flow is normal.  The river has been running higher than normal for a long time.  Discharge today is 131 cubic feet per second.  The lowest flow recorded on the date was 36 cfs in 1988.  The highest was 693 in 1989. 

I saw Hugh Hartsell this morning early.  He had a couple of nice clients he will be guiding today.  They were young and enthusiastic.  He has been guiding a lot lately in the Park.  He said the fishing has been very good.  I’m hearing that from everyone I talk to who fish in the Park often.

I don’t know what Hugh is using.  Probably one of his special patterns.  I would use a terrestrial pattern, probably a beetle or Chernobyl Ant.  I would drop a Green Weenie or sinking ant off the dry.  In the evenings I would use a Yellow Sally stonefly imitation.  Early and late is best.  You are going to find the water temperature to the trout’s liking especially a little higher up.  Yesterday the Middle Prong of Little River on the gravel road was fishing well.  Above Elkmont would be another good choice. 

The tubers are out in droves.  You might have to hike a little to get away from them this weekend.  I don’t think I would want to be on the lakes for a couple of days but fly fishermen are doing well with poppers early and late in the day or on shady banks during the middle of the day.   

Yesterday I called Bass Pro Shops to order some stuff for the new boat.  We don’t have the boat yet but it was supposed to be shipped this week.  When I call Bass Pro I always tell them I’m their competitor.  Those nice Missouri ladies always get a kick out of my calls.  This is like getting into fly fishing.  You buy everything you think you need then you think of other things you need.  But, there is hope.  Someday you will have it all.

Next I called our insurance agency to insure the boat we don’t own yet.  I didn’t want to get the call from the dealer to come pick it up and forget the insurance.  Of course there were some questions I answered like model, length, motor horsepower, motor model, trailer specs and cost of each major part of the package.  Then she asked me a question I didn’t expect, “Years of Boating Experience”.  I answered “Over 50”.  I’ve been driving boats since I was a kid.  To be more accurate I told her I owned my own powerboat when I was 12 so that narrows my boating experience down to 46 years.

My first boat was a 10 foot Sears jon boat with a 3 horsepower Sears outboard.  I have owned four others since then.  My last boat was a 14 foot bass boat with an 80 horsepower motor.  I used it for years then started working so much and trout fishing more so that boat just sat in my driveway in Nashville. 

I asked Jim Hall to give me a price on painting the outside of my house.  Jim did a lot of the remodeling of our stores and preparing new buildings to open new stores.  He even built the formica covered cabinets.  Jim had never been to my house or laid eyes on that boat. 

He fell in love with it and asked me how much I would take for it.  He had already given me a price for the paint job.  I knew the boat was worth more than that.  But, I wasn’t using it so I told him he could have it in exchange for painting my house.  He was a happy guy, I had sellers remorse but I wanted him to get a good deal and I hated having something I didn’t use.

They say the two best days of owning a boat are, the day you buy it and the day you get rid of it.  I can’t say I agree with the last part of that statement.

Happy 4th of July weekend.  You will all be out having a good time and I’ll be here working.  I don’t mind.  I like working.  What I really like is people.  Let’s face it, most of us like other people.  Really when you get down to it, that is all that really matters.  It doesn’t matter how big your house is, what kind of car you drive, wearing nice clothes or appearing to be wealthy.  There was a time in my life when that mattered.  Not anymore.  You can look at my truck and figure that out. 

I don’t enjoy this business just because I love fly fishing tackle.  I do like fishing tackle.  What I really like are the people.  I like the customers, the people who work here, our manufacturers and their staff and almost everyone I come in contact with. 

Look at this Fishing Report and think about why I do this every day.  It is because I like to communicate with people who fish and I like to share my thoughts.  A lot of people read what I have to say and many respond by e-mail telling me their own stories and thoughts.  We become friends.  As a result I have a lot of friends.

One of them was Dave Grimwood.  He and his Dad have been coming in the shop during Thanksgiving week since we opened.  They camp at Cades Cove with JR and his family and they have been doing it for nearly 40 years or more.  David has spent almost every Thanksgiving in Cades Cove all of his life and for the past 15 years he has been stopping at the shop and talking to me.

He read the Fishing Report every day.  When he was moved for some reason he would send me an e-mail.  I always wrote back.  We considered each other friends.  Dave was a very thoughtful and kind young man.  I feel the same about his Dad, Bill but Dave and I stayed in closer contact.

Yesterday Dave’s wife TJ sent me an e-mail.  Dave passed away in his sleep on June 22nd.  He was not sick.  It just happened.  Dave was only 42 years old.  When I wrote TJ back I started crying.  This was a very hard thing for me to do.  I have tried unsuccessfully to reach his Dad.

I save my favorite e-mail.  I have an archive for 2008 and 2009.  I searched yesterday in this year’s list and found this one.  He would not mind if I share this with you, I’m sure of that.  I also copied this and sent it to his wife TJ.

“I am so sorry to hear about Madison.  A good dog is hard of come by.  I’ve had two in my life.  After reading the fishing report today, TJ and I were remembering the good memories that we had of your dogs roaming the old store and sleeping next to the fire.  Remember the good times.  Long may he run.”

Dave Grimwood

So long old buddy.  I will remember the good times.

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

Byron Begley
July 3, 2009

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