Townsend, Tennessee
August 31, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and pretty warm in Townsend this morning.  It’s going to cool off this week.  We’ll have highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s for the next few days.  It’s going to be good fishing, hiking and being in the outdoors weather.  The water is going to be cooler too.  Little River looked perfect this morning.  The water temperature in town was 66 degrees.  That will change to lower morning numbers.  The flow is 145 cubic feet per second.  Normal for this date is 84 cfs.  The mountains look beautiful.  I’m here earlier than normal.  The sun is poking through the clouds lighting up some of the peaks.   

Fishing is good and going to get better.  We’ll see the fishing in the lakes pick up too very soon. I believe beetles, ants and Green Weenies would be my choice today.  Everyone, though there are not many, are reporting good fishing.  People just don’t fish here much in August.  But this August was a good one.  We have had good water flow and cool temperatures compared to a normal August.  Our business reflects that.  We are up from last August.  Fishing is still better early and late and if you fish during the day pick the shaded areas of the rivers and creeks.

Tourism appears to be very slow right now.  It is supposed to be.  Most of the cars I see are local people.  Most of our customers right now are local too.

The new bridge that crosses Little River at the town entrance from Maryville is open. I didn't know. Jim Gleaves told me about it yesterday. I wonder if there was some kind of opening ceremony?

I have been hearing the Skipjack Herring in the Tennessee River are gone.  They are probably not extinct from that watershed but according to anglers I’ve talked to, “They are not seeing them.”   Maybe they are in a down cycle.  I don’t know much about that and I’m only telling you what I’ve heard.  But here is the effect it is having on the fishing.  The large stripers don’t have that normal food source.  So they are turning to the threadfin shad as forage and threadfins are much smaller.  So, these stripers are hungry and tearing up the smaller baitfish.  Sounds like a fishing opportunity to me.      

I’m working on the Little River Journal and Troutfest.  Put this on your calendar.  The Troutfest banquet will be held on Friday evening, May 14th 2010 at the Visitors Center just like this year.  Banquet tickets will go on sale later this year.  The Exposition will be held on Saturday and Sunday May 15th and 16th.  You should consider booking your room, cabin or lodge now. 

Jack, Rufus and I got together yesterday to do some preliminary planning.  The event is going to be different this year.  The Exposition will be held in three huge tents that will be pretty much connected together in the back of the Visitors Center.  We will have one 60’ x 120’ and two 40’ x 80’ tents.  We will also have the pavilion connected or close to the tents for the bluegrass bands.  Everything except the seminars and casting demonstrations will be all under that 13,600 square foot area.  So, if it rains, it’s no big deal.  National Manufacturers, Fly Fishing Artists, Non-Profit Organizations, Fly Shops, Sporting Goods Stores, Rod Makers and Builders, Food Service and Fly Tyers will all be under that one large covered area.  It will be like one big store.

We are making changes in the management team too.  I’m still Chairman just like this year.  But, I’ve asked two people who own fly shops to be on the steering committee.  Jim Mauries of Fly South in Nashville, Tennessee and Kevin Howell of Davidson River Outfitters in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina will be on the committee. I’m planning to ask another guy who is in the fly shop business to join us.

Our store is sponsoring Joe Humphreys.  He will be here just like this year.  Temple Fork staff and Lefty will be here but I don’t have written confirmation on that yet.   Orvis National will be here.  Most fly fishing companies we do business with will have booths.  I’ve already got two fly shops to commit to booths. 

Due to the expected size of the banquet we are having the meal catered next year.  Our volunteers have done the cooking in the past and this year we served 308 people.  But, with the National press we are getting we are preparing to serve over 400 people Friday night.  You don’t want to miss this one.

We need sponsors.  Sponsors donate cash.  We need a sponsor or two to fund getting Bob Clouser here.  Sponsors pay for the tents which cost about $6,000 to rent.  We need banquet and auction items.  Think about that and ask around.

This year Troutfest cleared $34,634.  Our TU Chapter also received an “Embrace A Stream” grant for $10,000.   We are holding back $4,634 as seed money for next year’s Troutfest.  We are donating $40,000 to the Park Fisheries Department directly and to the Scholarship Endowment Fund through Friends of the Smokies. 

So, the money goes for a good cause, the event is not like any you have seen in the Country, you will learn a lot and you will have fun. May is also a great time to be here fishing in the Smokies.

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

Byron Begley
August 31, 2009

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