Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and muggy this morning in Townsend.  I saw several wild turkeys in our neighbor’s garden when I pulled out of our drive.  I drove within 100 feet of them, they looked at me then resumed doing what they were doing.  I guess they were eating bugs.  On the street to the swinging bridge I saw Frank, one of our policemen driving my way.  We both stopped and chatted, mostly about guns.  I had my little .38 laying on the passenger seat of my truck.  He has a whole arsenal in his car.  I think he carries five weapons.  I was certainly outgunned.

I talked briefly to a fellow sitting on one of the big rock fishing with bait.  He said he caught 6 fish so far.  I asked if they were trout.  He didn’t answer.  The water temperature was 73 degrees.  I’m surprised there are many trout in the river through town.  Usually, TWRA does not stock in the Summer due to the high water temperature in the valley. 

The river is up some.  I was surprised.  Apparently, there was some rain in the Smokies last night.  We didn’t get a drop here.  Flow is currently 153 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 116 cfs.  We have a 60% chance for rain today and it will be somewhat cooler than it has been.  With the expected cloud cover today and possibly rain, fishing should be better today.  In the Park, fishing has been good this Summer.  Of course it is not like we experience in the Spring.  We have been blessed this year with near normal rainfall but way above normal temperatures.

I would still use a terrestrial pattern such as an ant, beetle or Green Weenie.  Most importantly is fly presentation and stealth.  Don’t let them see you and get a good drift.

Business is holding up despite a downturn in tourism this year and awful weather conditions.  I expect this week to be better than last year.  The first 7 days of August ends tomorrow.  I ran a report earlier.  We should beat last year without a problem.  I hope this trend continues. 

I spent much of yesterday with Dave Chouinard from Simms.  That has become a huge line over the years.  I remember when they just sold waders and wading boots.  Dave has a huge motorhome/showroom.  Even with two air conditioners running in the showroom sections of the bus, it was still a little warm in there.  I saw the new wading boots with felt soles.  It is good to see felt back on Simms boots.  Interestingly, cleaning instructions will be printed on the bottom of the felt sole to make anglers aware of the potential for spreading didymo and other invasive species.  There will also be instructions and tips on a printed piece in the box.  That’s pretty clever.

There are going to be some very important buying decisions to make over the next few weeks.  We submit pre-season orders from these companies to be delivered next year.  The big questions is, will the outdoor industry continue to decline? 

I was browsing on Johnson Outdoors website this morning. They are publicly held and are a good barometer of how the outdoor industry is performing.  Their list of companies include Minn Kota, Humminbird, Old Town, Ocean Kayak and Eureka plus other water sport and outdoor adventure brands.  They had a increase in sales in 2010 and reversed their net loss of $9.7 million to a profit of $6.5 million.  Cost cutting was the key to that reversal.  Brunswick, the largest boat manufacturer in the world is posting big increases in earnings.  Mercury Marine Group, one of their companies had a net increase in sales in the second quarter of this year.  So, maybe things are looking up for a change.

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

Byron Begley
August 6, 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 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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