Townsend, Tennessee
July 18, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It felt like Fall when I stepped out of the house early this morning.  The temperature was 60 degrees.  Little River was flowing beautifully.  There were some guys bait fishing off the big rocks near the swinging bridge when I took the water temperature.  They had not caught anything yet.  TWRA usually stops stocking trout this time of year.  The water in town gets too warm for the trout. 

Fishing is excellent, especially in the upper elevations.  Charlie Barton was fishing up high off Newfound Gap Road yesterday.  He caught about 20 brookies.  The water will be cooler in the lower elevations for a couple of days.  Conditions should be perfect around Elkmont and upper Tremont.  Probably about any flies will work but terrestrials including Green Weenies would be my choice.  In the evenings I would switch to a #16 yellow Neversink Caddis or Yellow Stimulator of the same size.  Fish until dark.  The fishing is best right before dark.  During the day fish the shady sections of the streams.

I got all my popper making stuff out last night.  My plan is to photograph the process I use to make them for the Little River Journal.  I’m going to make some Wiggle Minnows too. I’m behind on fly tying.  My problem is I give flies away and then my inventory dwindles. 

I enjoy tying, especially during the winter months.  I don’t understand why more people don’t tie.  Our computer tells us that only 1/3 of our customers buy tying supplies.  I know some people don’t like hobby things that require you to use your hands.  To me, it’s a big part of our sport. 

I started tying when I was 11 years old.  Actually the first fish I caught on a fly rod, took  the first fly I ever tied.  The fish was a bass.  The fly was a streamer.  I was fishing in a pond for fish that had never seen a hand tied fly.  The fish were so willing to take a fly I could not believe how effective fly fishing was.  I learned later it’s not always like that.  But that was 47 years ago.  Fish are smarter than they were back then.  Or maybe I’m dumber. 

I also seem to be more interested in watching nature than actually landing a fish.  I find myself surrounded by some of the most beautiful creations of God and forget that what I’m there for is to catch fish.  We all know what Thoreau said, it really is not the fish we are after.  You learn that as you age.

I remember the days when Frank and I would be waiting for daybreak, sipping coffee on the Yellow Breeches. We knew exactly when legal fishing time started every morning to the minute.  Now we are waiting for the breakfast bar to open at Allenberry Inn first, then we go fishing.

I guess we also learn as we age that our friends are the most important reason we go fishing.  Fly Fishing is a social activity for me.  It’s a chance to be with my buddies or Paula. 

I live in what I think is the most beautiful place on earth.  Many people would agree with me.  And here, the diversity of wildlife and plants has no match anywhere else.  Alex was in here yesterday.  He runs Cades Cove Heritage Tours.  We talked about deer, bears and mountain lions.  We always talk about that.  That’s what we do every time we are together.  He talked about calling in a wild turkey and not shooting it. 

We talked extensively about wild boar hunting.  He thinks he has found a place where he can shoot one with a bow.  Now that would be something.  I can just see that boar rotating on a spit over the fire while listening to the thrill of the hunt, every detail vividly described.

Robert came in yesterday.  He bought some rods and reels to use on his trip to Argentina next week.  I bet we talked for an hour about sporting clays shooting.  I learned more about shooting in that hour than I have my entire life.  He’s good, he competes and he has competed with professionals.  We plan to shoot together in August. 

You see, my job and my sports are all about interacting with people.  I guess I am well suited to my job as it provides the means to talk to people all day about what I’m really interested in doing when I’m working or not working.  What could be better than that? I'm not lucky. This was a plan, a long term lifelong plan.

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

Byron Begley
July 18, 2009 


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