Townsend, Tennessee
July 12, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is partly cloudy and we had a brief shower this morning.  It looks like more rain is headed our way.  The river looks great right now.  It is flowing at normal for this date.  The early morning water temperature in town is creeping up.  It was 67 degrees earlier.  Townsend is unusually quiet.  One reason is this is the week after a holiday.  I’m not sure about the other reasons.  It’s probably the economy.

I got reports that fishing was fairly slow yesterday in the Park.  I talked to some good fishermen who were catching fish but said it was slow.  I talked to one customer who had been skunked.  I’m hoping to see those fishermen today to see if they did better last night.  Evenings and mornings are the best fishing this time of year.  Trout are more at ease when the sun is off the water.  Early in the morning they trout are less likely to have been disturbed and the water is cooler.  You will see more bug activity in the evenings.

Trout are eating terrestrials.  So, I would use them.  Green Weenies are working well.  We are out of the Green variety until tomorrow but we do have the Pink Weenies in stock.  They work well too, especially for Brown Trout.  Light Cahills and Yellow Sally stonefly patterns should be in your box especially if you are going to fish until dark.

Most of the lake fishermen are saying the willow flies are not active where they are fishing.  I also heard the craneflies are mating on the lakes.  That will bring up some action.  A cranefly looks like a huge mosquito.  They have legs that appear to be about 1” long attached to a tiny body.  You see them everywhere but I believe they are an aquatic insect.  I’ve seen cranefly larvae patterns and hear of people using them in tailwaters.  I don’t think I have ever used one.

I walked by the front counter two days ago and saw a pile of foam cylinders.  I use them to make poppers. When I see people buying them I can’t help but talk to them.  But, this fellow was buying them to make Todd’s Wiggle Minnows.  That is a great bass fly.  Some people use them for trout too.  You can see them on our online catalog.  I intend to start making some of those.  I have some store bought flies but I like making my own.

Our website went down yesterday morning.  At first I thought it was our T-1 connection.  I checked the speed and it was low.  I called our data service provider in Greenville, South Carolina.  As we talked the speed went up.  But our site was still slow.

Then I called our internet host who also lives in South Carolina.  We were trying to watch the activity on our remote server in Washington, DC using a program called Telnet.  It showed no activity.  So our host called the data center in Washington and found that they were having a widespread problem, it wasn’t just our server located there.  In a hour or so everything was up and running. 

I have a laptop running next to this Mac. It has the Telnet window open.  We watch two things, load averages and percent idle.  We want the load average to be less than 1.  And, we want the % Idle to be less than 1.  Right now our load average is over 1, now .93, now .86 then .80, it keeps dropping.  I have seen load averages over 3.  If that happens and it stays there for a few seconds your access to our website is going to be slow, maybe for only a moment. 

Our internet activity is growing.  Last  year we had almost 1 million visitors.  So far this year we have had 552,000.  OK, now the load average is .30 and the idle is 97.1%.  That is good.  You are clicking through the pages fast.  I like that. Hmm, I just tried to open the National Weather Service page I look at every morning.  Their server is giving them problems too.

I guess the internet is one of the most important human inventions in the past two decades.  We can’t run our business without it.  Right now I’m watching a big thunderstorm headed toward us.  When the yellow mass reaches the cross hairs on my computer it is going to be raining. 

I was talking to a friend yesterday and he said the GPS is one of the most important human inventions.  He is right.  Look at all the applications from missles, airplanes, boats, hiking and driving your car.  It is pretty amazing. I have a little cheap GPS that I don’t really know how to use.  I will learn someday, maybe.

How about the cell phone?  I have one but hardly ever use it.  I buy 1,000 minutes using a credit card and that will last me a year or more.  Actually Paula buys the minutes because I don’t want to know how.  I am certainly in the minority in our country.  Everyone has them and use them every day.  I have never used a Blackberry.  I guess it is considered to be a telephone.  I think of it as a small computer that people stare at with a puzzled look on their face.  They seem to have the same problem I have with my GPS. 

One of my favorite inventions is the graphite fly rod.  I can sink my teeth into that one.  Modern fly lines and breathable waders are two more.  I like my Dewalt cordless drill.  I didn’t have any of this technology when I was a kid.  

Computers amaze me.  My first real computer cost $50,000.  It had two 12 mb hard drives that were about 24” in diameter.  This one has a 500 mb drive or ½ terabyte.  I have another drive that has the capacity of 1 terabyte.  Heck, I never heard of terabytes until two or three years ago.

I used to hate e-mail.  I refused to participate.  If someone wanted to communicate with me they had better use a phone.  Not anymore.  I communicate with customers and friends, companies we do business with, committee members of organizations I work on, hey, I can’t do without it.     

Digital imaging is fascinating to me.  I spent much of my life owning a printing business.  I remember sitting around with some peers who owned printing companies all over the country.  We were attending a printing convention.  We were looking at this new box called an Apple Macintosh.  Some people thought this new computer might have an application in our industry, typesetting for instance.  We all shook our heads and said it would never happen.  We all bought one anyway because they were cool.

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

Byron Begley
July 12, 2009 

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