Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sky is clear and it is warm already, approaching 80 degrees at 9:15 am.  I saw a lot of people wandering around this morning.  The parking lot at the Econo Lodge appeared to be full.  Down at the swinging bridge I met LB Richardson.  He was there to fish but I think he was actually trying to get out of the cabin he rented to smoke a cigar.  We talked for 30 minutes. 

Little River is look’n good!  The flow is 237 cubic feet per second (cfs) which is almost double normal at 121 cfs.  The mountains were pounded by heavy rain yesterday.  We got 1.10 inches here.  The airport reported .66 inches.  The water temperature was 70 degrees, quite cool compared to the morning readings lately.

If I were you I would have been on the stream about 3 hours ago.  Early mornings have been fairly good, fishing in the mid elevations.  Today I would probably hike up above Elkmont, on up to Fish Camp Prong and to small streams feeding that fine piece of water.  I would make a day of it.  Or, you could drive to the Chimneys or above to find cool water and temperatures.  I talked to one customer who drove over from Newfound Gap yesterday.  He said the air temperature up there was 68 degrees at mid-day.  I bet that felt good.

Terrestrials, Neversink Caddis, Green Weenies, Parachute Adams or nymphs should work if you are in the right place at the right time. 

It is going to be hot for the next 10 days.  I don’t know what’s going on this year.  It must be some kind of weather pattern with a Spanish name causing all of this heat.  I know one thing, I’m getting tired of it and a lot of other anglers are too.  I couldn’t count the number of people I’ve talked to who say, “It’s too darned hot to fish”.  If things don’t change soon, we’ll wake up one morning and it will be too darned cold to fish.

News in Townsend is nil.  Nothing much is happing.  I heard someone talking about the Clinton wedding yesterday in a fly shop.  Is that allowed?

Troutfest is going well.  We’re having our first 2011 Kickoff Meeting two weeks from today at the Laurel Valley Golf Course.  No, we won’t be calling in for a tea time.  For one thing, I hate tea.  And, I don’t play golf.  But, at our first meeting we will have several special guests and I asked a few new people to serve on the Steering Committee. 

I signed David Anderson up yesterday.  David is the Director of Special Events at Dollywood.  I know I don’t have to explain that choice.  Joe McGroom is a new addition.  Joe worked here while he was getting his business degree at Maryville College.  I know all about Joe’s work ethic and brain power.  I asked Joe Rentz to serve.  Joe is the retired Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Tennessee.  We need more marketing thinkers.  This year, thanks to Orvis, we’ll have a National Advertising program for Troutfest.  Warren Cornelius is new.  He is an attorney and a CPA.  We need an attorney and a CPA on the committee.  Warren is a good choice.

Neil Smith will give a presentation at the meeting.  He designs and manages a magazine, printed once a year for a fishing tournament in the Florida Keys.  Ad sales and sponsorships attributed to this Journal probably amount to more profit than all the other profit centers at Troutfest combined.  In other words, if we did the same thing here and it worked, we could double our profit from that one component alone.  Neil is an advertising professional from Knoxville and I’m glad to have him working with us.

Troutfest has grown by leaps and bounds.  Last year our Steering Committee had a good grasp on the job at hand and the event ran smoothly.  I’m not saying that we didn’t miss some opportunities but with the number of people we have serving on the committee and thanks to the hundred or so volunteers, I think we did very well.  The responsibility was spread out over a large pool of talented people.  We have already found holes to be plugged and new opportunities to take full advantage of. 

We know one thing for sure.  Troutfest is going to grow more, probably by a huge jump next year.  The word is out and it’s going to happen.  We have to prepare or be overwhelmed.  Volunteers don’t like being overwhelmed.  It’s not fun when that happens.  This is supposed to be fun.  Last year was fun.  I want to keep it that way.  Strengthening the staff and taking advantage of new opportunities will both make the event more successful and still keep it manageable…and fun.

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

Byron Begley
August 1, 2010

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