Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun shined early this morning due to the lack of fog.  Today and tomorrow are going to be hot.  The tubers are going to have their last fling floating Little River moving slowly and bumping along the bottom.  The river looked great at the swinging bridge this morning when I took the water temperature.  But, that is a deep pool, it almost always looks good there. Traffic was light earlier.  Frank was parked near the Parkway Grocery waiting for speeders.  I waved, and he waved.  One of these day I’m going to spend the day with him in the police car.  He wants me to do it and I think it would be interesting until he pulls into traffic and the chase begins.  Since I am a city official, I’m covered by the municipal insurance plan while conducting city business.  That might come in handy while spending a day with Frank.  Those guys want me to know what it feels like to be a policeman.  I guess I want to know too, I think.

Flow in Little River is 34 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 81 cfs.  The record low flow on September 2nd was 29 cfs in 1987.  87 and 88 were dry years apparently.  Those years keep coming up on the charts. The water temperature is 71 degrees right now.  It will get much warmer than that later today.  The high temperature today is supposed to be around 97 degrees.  That might be a record.

All the weather websites agree that a cold front will move in on Monday.  The high is expected to be in the 70’s until Thursday.  Then the high might tip over the 80 degree mark.  What the weather websites don’t agree on is the chance for rain.  One puts the odds at 80% on Monday.  Another thinks 40% is more reasonable.  The rain chance will continue through Thursday.

Fishing in the Park is slow.  You can catch them, but you need to pull all of your low water tricks out of your vest.  With this heat we are experiencing, you might be better off driving up into the higher elevations or hiking into the backcountry.  If I were fishing today I would probably pick a trip up above Elkmont.  You will find some spots to fish in the low water.  Riffles and places where a riffle enters a pool in the shade would lure me off the trail.  I would fish some sort of dry fly with a Green Weenie trailing close behind.  The dry might be a beetle or some other foam imitation of a terrestrial bug.  I have been hearing a lot of cicadas lately.  Josh and I used cicada patterns successfully last week fishing for smallmouth bass.  These are not the 13 or 17 year insects.  What we are hearing and seeing are the annual cicadas.  They tend to be olive or black.

If we get the rain next week, and if it is as cool as predicted, grab your gear and run to your nearest Smokies stream.  Fishing is going to pick up.  As the days get shorter, the opportunity for me to fish after work until almost dark, and be home for dinner is possible.  If it is cool and if there is more water I will be out there fishing.  I didn’t go fishing at all this week.  It’s hot and I have lots of work to do.

This is the time when we place our Spring orders from our manufacturers.  Currently, I’m working on Simms.  It is also the time for sales reps to visit.  Ben came by yesterday.  Kent Edmonds called.  I talked to our Simms rep twice.  I even squeezed in some time with Bill Guinn, the new Chairman of Troutfest. We worked on a committee structure and a strategic plan.  He is trying to group our 22 + committee members into smaller groups.  I think that’s a good idea.

I’ve been pouring through the new fly catalogs looking for new flies.  One in particular is a realistic olive cicada for obvious reasons.  So far, that bug can’t be found.  I can design one and have it tied but we have to order 12 dozen.  I can live with that.  Or I could design one and tie a few dozen myself over the winter.  I can live with that too.  I’m also looking for better caddis patterns to use on the Holston River.  I could use some help from you.  I have only fished there once during that caddis hatch.  Other people working here are making suggestions, especially Bill Bolinger.

We have the Smokies flies covered I think.  Our orders for flies will total somewhere around 2,000 dozen.  That gets us the best pricing from the two major suppliers we buy from, Umpqua and Holly.  As we need more flies during the year, we can order “fill-ins” at the same price.  Ben, who was here yesterday, represents Montana Fly Company.  To get his best pricing we need to order another 400 dozen from him.  I talked to the owner of Montana Fly yesterday.  His spreadsheet, which is loaded with tons of pages and macros crashed my computer at the shop.  I need to open it at home on my computer there.  It has lots more ram than this machine.  Then I can break up the pages and e-mail them here in smaller files. So, for the next couple of weeks, I’ll be ordering for next year full time.

Believe it or not, we submit Tiemco hook pre-season order.  They ship monthly.  I have to amend them every month, two weeks before they are scheduled to ship.  We sell a lot of those hooks, many online.  Even though it’s a lot of work to play the pre-season game with Tiemco, we get pricing of 20% below wholesale.  So every month I have to e-mail Josie a change order or we get stuck with hooks we don’t need.  We have to do that with all of our suppliers.  If we don’t make the change, we get what we ordered months before.  Failing to do that is a good way to go broke in this business.  I wouldn’t consider going broke to be much fun.

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

Byron Begley
September 2, 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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