Townsend, Tennessee
July 20, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is another cool morning in the Smokies.  It was 61 degrees at our house when I left for work.  Little River is actually flowing below normal for this date.  That has only happened a couple of times this year.  The cool air and low humidity brought out the Park visitors this weekend.  A lot of them were fishermen.  Fishing has been very good but crowded streams near roads and campgrounds were not the place to be for the last two days.  To catch trout, people had to hike.  Chuck had a beginner student out on the stream yesterday.  The student caught his first two trout during a short period of time.  I don’t know where they went.  My guess would be the Middle Prong of Little River.

A group of anglers were camping at Elkmont.  The campground was full.  They reported slow fishing. One of the guys told me the fishing improved after a two mile hike.  He also said fishing was much better right before dark. 

It is important to remember, especially on crowded weekends, you have to get away from the people.  People might be fishing in a run or pool minutes before you arrive.  If that happens you probably won’t catch a thing.  Kids throw rocks in the water.  That will put trout down for a while.  That is one of the reasons fishing is better early in the morning.  Also, the water is going to be cooler and the sun will not be shining on the water.

If I were fishing in the Elmont area on one of these crowded weekends I would hike four miles up to Fish Camp Prong.  That is one of my favorite streams.  You could also drive up high to the brookie streams.  They have been fishing extremely well.

I would still use terrestrials.  Ants, beetles and inchworms provide a sustainable source of food for trout this time of year.  In the evenings I would switch to a Yellow Sally stonefly pattern. Nymphs and attractor dry patterns might do well too. 

The water temperature in the streams is very cool for mid July.  Here in town the temperature of Little River was 62 degrees.  It’s going to warm up a little but we are having some comfortable weather and good fishing conditions.  There is a chance for rain every day for the next few.

How friendly is your website?  And, how friendly is your e-mail?  I’m not talking about “user friendly” I’m talking about “people friendly”.  I’m looking into our digital correspondence right now.  I want to make sure any automatic e-mail sent to customers sounds friendly.  And I want our staff to be careful not to fall victim to “Text Messaging Syndrome”. 

I get a lot of e-mail from customers.  They take the time to sit down, think and write me about many different topics.  Our website and e-mail is one of several ways we communicate with customers.  We all know it is important to greet a customer, smile and be friendly when they come to the store.  We also know we should be friendly when we talk to customers on the phone.  But, some companies forget about that when the communications go digital.

I start every e-mail with a greeting.  Hi George!  Hello Judy!  You know what I mean.  In all of my e-mail there is at least one “thank you”.  I treat e-mail correspondence the same way I would handle a conversation with a customer, face to face.  And I always type my name at the end of the e-mail.

I work with a guy who I know personally who works for a company that provides services to us.  We exchange e-mail fairly often.  If I have a question for him I start with “Hi Joe”, I ask the questions and type my name at the end.  What I get back from him is a one-word comment pretty often.  He never mentions my name, he doesn’t say anything friendly and I got two from him last week and he simply typed “Yes”.  That was it!  That burns me up.  I take the time to be friendly and he does not.  I’ll still do business with the company but I bet some people would be offended and go somewhere else for their services.  He needs to take the Dale Carngie Course.  Joe has “Text Message Syndrome”.

I hate going to a website and when the landing page comes up all it says is “buy stuff”.  That’s not friendly.  Sure, the home page should tell the story with a lot of text so search engines can have something to read and rank.  And I think you need to tell the story about your company.  But, to just start cramming product down the customer’s throat is not the way business should be conducted. That is why we don’t send you directly to our online catalog.  We try to be friendlier than that.

Heck, maybe I’m old fashioned.  Maybe people are going to limit their conversations to one or two words to save typing time. It seems to be happening. I got an e-mail from someone I work with as a volunteer last week.  It was so short and non-descriptive I wondered if the guy was mad at me.  Maybe he was trying to save time.  Maybe he was mad.  I don’t know.  I should not have to wonder.  I responded by saying “I am having trouble reading between your lines”.  I also said Hi and Thanks.  My name was also typed at the bottom of the page.

Thank you for being here with us and have a great day.

Byron Begley
July 20, 2009 

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