Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and warm this morning in Townsend.  I left the house at 7:15 am and only saw 8 vehicles on the roads.  Maybe there were more than that and I couldn’t see them.  The fog lifted quickly, it’s gone now.  The restaurants were not busy.  It’s a little early for them to get into gear.  I stopped at the swinging bridge like I do every morning.  Little River looked about normal and it is.  The flow there was peaceful.  The water temperature was 72 degrees.  I heard a noise and walked out of my office to look out the fire escape door.  It was Clay, here at 7:30 waiting to meet a client for a day of fishing.  Those guides put some time in.  It is what they like to do.  They seem to love it.  They are young too for the most part.  I guided people fishing in the Park a couple of times due to some scheduling mistakes and once because a guide just didn’t show up.  I hated it.  First, I was afraid someone would get hurt.  Second, I was afraid someone would not catch a trout.  Both were too much stress for me.  I prefer talking to customers and stocking a store.

Little River is flowing at 131 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 118 cfs.  There is a chance for rain every day for the next ten days.  The odds range from 20% to 60%.  And, it is going to warmer than normal until later this week. 

Fishing is pretty good.  Clay is getting on the water early this morning with his clients.  That’s a good idea.  Late in the evenings is another good time to fish.  During the middle of the day I would be in a remote stream deep in the forest with plenty of shade.  I think you would do fine then.

Yellow Sally stoneflies or terrestrials are what I would use for a dry fly.  We got some more Yellow Neversink Caddis in for now.  One week we ordered 24 dozen.  Two weeks later we ordered 18 dozen.  I think we just received 24 dozen again.  And there are day when we are out of them.  That is a popular fly.  It looks like a Yellow Sally, it floats well and you can see it.  Those are three important features in picking a dry fly.  Beetles and ants work well but they disappear in the riffles when I’m trying to find them.

Fishing on the lakes early and late, especially on the Tennessee River has been really good.  Stripers and white bass are attacking huge schools of small threadfin shad.  Ethan and I decided to start going to a lake after work for a few hours.  We will probably go next week, not this week.  Paula and I will be fishing Tuesday.  I have two evening meetings this week.  Herb and I are going fishing on the 20th.   

And, I wear contacts with some very good sunglasses when I fish.  The only time I wear contacts is when I go fishing or hunting.  They cause problems for me when hunting for boar or bear because we don’t use scopes.  My 45/70 has open sights. Take the contacts out and the rear sight is in focus.  I put them in and that sight is fuzzy.  I guess most important when a 350 pound wild boar is running straight for me is seeing the pig, not the sights.

Today I’m putting out some original, tied by Walt Cary himself, poppers.  Last year we sold some poppers made by a fly company under the supervision and with an agreement with Walt.  I think that company went out of business.  I called Walt and we did a deal.  He makes poppers to sell to a few stores at his home.  They are beautiful and durable.  One reason I got here so early this morning is to get some of these out before customers come in.

There is one problem with Walt’s poppers.  They are too inexpensive.  They will sell too fast.  And, I’m afraid we won’t get them replaced quickly.  I told Walt that.  He wants to keep the price low so he will always have a stack of orders to fill.  This order included some of his rejects that are clearly marked TU or Trout Unlimited.  I’ll give them to Buzz or John for next year’s Kids Trout Camp.  They spend a day on a pond with the kids.

Walt’s smaller sizes will sell for $2.50 and they will be displayed next to some other poppers we sell for $3.75.  Walt’s larger poppers will sell for $3.00.  I’m announcing this on a Sunday when this Fishing Report readership is low so we don’t run out in one day. 

I think he only sells to a handful of shops maybe 5 or 6.  He loves the work and dealing with the customers (fly shops).  We have spoken several times.  He has told me twice about the cork that he buys from some place in South America. Maybe it is Brazil.  He talks about the painting process without divulging all of his secrets.  He did tell me what the clear coat is and for the life of me I can’t remember what he said.  I’ll ask him next time we speak.  I make my poppers out of foam cylinders and they work fine.  They are also very durable.  But, I’m tempted to buy a few of his just to see if they are a good as people tell me they are. 

Well, I’m going to start packing poppers. 

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

Byron Begley
July 10, 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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