Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun shines bright on my Smoky Mountains home, once again.  It is hot and we are going to have high temperatures for a few days.  The high today is expected to be 94 degrees.  Highs will be in the low 90’s until Friday.  The average high, according to, for July is 85 degrees.  OK, we’re 10 degrees above that.  The average low is 62.  Right now we are about 10 degrees above that.  It’s hot. 

The water is low too.  Flow in Little River is 50 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 142 cfs.  We’re at almost a third of normal flow.  That’s making the fishing more challenging.  You need to be fishing in the higher elevations.  Fishing is best early in the morning and late in the evening.  Dry flies are easier to fish.  You should be concentrating on shaded riffles and pockets.  Use light tippet, you may need 6X to get more strikes.  Low water tactics are required.  If you don’t know how to fish low water, now is the time to learn.  It’s a very good time to learn.  This kind of trout fishing can be fun.  To make things more enjoyable, venture into the backcountry.  Take your lunch, lighten your load and enjoy the scenery.

Business has been good here.  The first 5 days of July are up 18.02% over the first 5 days of July last year.  June was up almost 19%.  Daniel and I are making a high priority at keeping the fly tying department well stocked and merchandised.  As a result, that department is up over 100% from last year so far this month.  It was way up in June too. 

So why is business so good when the water is so low.  I know because I’ve been working on our local mailing list since before I went into the hospital.  What I have found is, a substantial amount of local customers left us for a while, for about two years.  Now they are back.  I can’t tell you why, but I know that is the case. 

Remember, when you shop here we ask your name and write up your order in the computer using your individual name as the file where the data is stored.  As a result of this ongoing practice, since 1998, we know what’s going on.  How many other stores do you visit who track your sales by your name?  Almost none.  Your car dealer does.  Your doctor does.  When you have your oil changed they track your automobile and they know who owns it.  But, they don’t track your buying habits hardly anywhere else. 

So, when business is bad or good, we know where the problems lie or where the opportunities are.  We may not know why but we know more than most businesses do about their customer’s buying habits.  We like knowing stuff.

Though I have not missed one day of work since I got out of the hospital, I have been working shorter days.  One reason is I’m tired.  Second, what I’m working on (Customer List) is tedious work, leaning over a couple of computer keyboards for hours.  So, I’ve been going home early every day and resting.  I’m getting stronger every day and today I will finally finish that customer analysis.

One thing I have enjoyed at home is watching a 3-DVD documentary on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  I’ve been a big Tom Petty fan since the 70’s when their huge record “Damn the Torpedo’s” hit the market. On that record were two of my favorite TP songs, “Here Comes My Girl” and “Refugee”.  It’s really interesting to watch this great band and Tom Petty’s life unfold.  The band that originally began in the small town of Gainesville, Florida shot to the top of the world in rock music.  And, some of the original guys are still in the band 30 years later.  It’s a great story.  You can buy this set for about $29 at your favorite music store.  If you are a Tom Petty fan it’s worth every penny.

It’s time to start begging for rain and cool temperatures.  The U.S. Drought Monitor indicates we are abnormally dry.  I didn’t have to look to verify that.  The chances for rain and cooler temperatures begin this coming weekend.  I’ll be ready.

I got out of my truck this morning and looked at the boat for a few minutes.  I should be ready to go fishing in a week or two.  I can’t wait.

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

Byron Begley
July 6, 2010

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