Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  People I saw on the roads were driving slow, including me.  I stopped at the Townsend Shopping Center on my way to the river to buy a new broom for the shop.  If you have not been in there, you should.  It is like going back in time.  Jerry has just about anything you need in terms of hardware, cast iron cookware, and other various and sundry items.  He also is a huge Case knife dealer.  He is serious about his knife selection.  Jerry ordered our special Troutfest knife for us.  I got my broom but they were out of feather dusters, two important pieces of equipment if you have a retail store.

The river looks good.  Flow is about normal again.  She is running at 189 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 124 cfs.  The water temperature was 70 degrees at 7:20 am.

I was out of town yesterday but got here before closing time.  Josh from Frontier Anglers was in the shop.  He took a client fly fishing for the first time.  I think he said the fellow caught 12 trout.  That’s good for your first day.  The trout were taking dry flies.

I bet he was using ants.  Josh has been doing well with ant patterns lately.  I would also cast a beetle, Yellow Sally stonefly pattern or a Green Weenie.  I like to fish the Weenies weighted but you can also do well using them as a dropper with either a tiny piece of split shot above the fly or none at all.  Fishing will probably be better early and late unless we have some cloud cover today.  There is a good chance for rain. 

I read this morning that the Park is considering a backcountry user fee.  There would be a charge for camping in backcountry sites and at shelters.  The money would be used to fund backcountry rangers and a reservation system for those sites.  I wouldn’t use the backcountry reservations system since we quit backpacking.  But, I would really like to see more backcountry rangers.  I have encountered a couple of them over the years but I would like to have seen more.  You can read the story on the KnoxNews website by CLICKING HERE.

The Park will hold public meetings.  I will probably attend one.  I usually do show up when they hold one in Townsend. 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the only Parks that does not charge an entrance fee.  And, this is the most visited National Park in the Country.  Visitation is down this year.  Management speculates that some of that decrease is actually due to additional traffic last year caused by the rock-slide on Interstate 40 in North Carolina.  Some people used the Park roads to get around the slide.  But, camping in the developed campgrounds is down from last year too.  That’s hard to explain.  Supposedly, people are vacationing near home and car camping is getting more popular because it doesn’t cost much, especially in a National Park.  I think it’s the heat more than anything.

Our business is going to be down some in July even if we have a very good weekend.  I think it is the economy and the heat.  Our fishing license sales are down 10% in July.  Some fly shops in the Southeast are blaming their Summer sales drops on the heat. Our fly tying material sales are up.  I blame that on the heat.  Fly line sales are way up.  Rods are too.  Reels are down.  Flies and schools are up.  Go figure.

Wow, I got to cast the new Sage “One” rods this week.  I cast a 4, 5, 6 and 9 weight.  I’m impressed.  They are going to come in at over $700 and will replace the Z-Axis.  Those are on sale by the way.  See below.  I fell in love with the 9’ 6 weight.  Our sales rep had a Rio Smallmouth line on it.  What I noticed more than anything is how well these rods tracked.  When I pointed my thumb at something, the line went dead on in that direction.  The rods are thinner than previous rods from Sage.  And, they are extremely light.  I’m going to order a few this weekend for August delivery.  We may or may not get them.  It could be September before they arrive.

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

Byron Begley
July 30, 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 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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