Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Ain’t it good to be alive and be in Tennessee?  What a beautiful morning it is in the Great Smoky Mountains.  The sky is clear, the mountains are vivid and it was a cool 47 degrees earlier.  This town is hopping!  One reason is the weather and the scenery around here.  People are flocking to the hills.  Another reason is the Foothills Fall Festival in Maryville.  Last night Lynyrd Skynrd played to a huge crowd in town.  38 Special performed Friday night.  We’ve got some vintage southern rock going on here. “Free Bird”.  If you want to hear and see some footage from last night’s concert, CLICK HERE.

Little River is beautiful today.  The water is slowly moving by and everyone who fishes here knows there are some nice trout to be caught from her pristine waters.  The flow is right at normal for this date, 77 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 71 cfs.  The water was warmer this morning that it has been for days, 56 degrees.  Thought it doesn’t seem hot during the day it has been in the 80’s and it will be until later in the week.  It’s perfect, it’s comfortable and the scenery is awesome.

Fishing is really good too. It has been a good year except for the hot temperatures we endured this summer.  Anglers are out now, not just trout fishermen.  People are fishing again all over the Southeast and the States north of us.  And that means good business here.  Cooler temperatures mean better trout, bass, striper and bluegill fly fishing. 

Here you can expect to get some good action on nymphs or dry flies.  I tried to pick out selections for customers yesterday.  It’s hard for me because I think about anything reasonable will work.  Under conditions like we have now the fish are hungry, their metabolism is in high gear and the dissolved oxygen levels are perfect.  The water may seem low to some people who have not fished here in the Fall but like I said before the flows are normal.

I would still stick with terrestrials.  Also, attractor patterns like a Stimulator will work.  Good nymph choices would include the normal list for this time of year.  Tellico, Hare’s Ear, Copper John, Bead Head Pheasant Tail and Prince nymphs are kind of the normal list these days.

I’m ready for some good smallmouth fishing.  The boat and all the gear is organized and ready to go.  The batteries are charged.  Flies have been tied.  I probably have enough ready for about five years of fishing.  I like to have a ten year supply on hand so I need to get busy.

Speaking of fly tying, the floor in my office is covered with packages of materials.  We’ve been stocking the fly tying department and I have a huge order to process and put on the walls.  Fly tying picks up in the fall and winter but this year it was good in the summer too.  Fly designers have made great strides during the past couple of years.  I think one reason is the movement to warmwater and cool water fishing by our customers.  Smallmouth bass and striper fishing with a fly rod is getting more popular among our crowd.  I remember when saltwater fly fishing took a big jump in our customer base. 

Fly fishermen have a lot of new tackle options coming their way over the next three months.  One of the trends is the high end rods of the past couple of years are being re-designed and tricked in to bring the prices down to a more reasonable level.  You are going to see some excellent fly rods in that $250 to $450 range.  Orvis, Sage and Temple Fork all seem to be going that way.  You can still get $700 fly rods.  We have them.

Orvis has pretty much re-designed their reels.  They are lighter and the drag systems are better.  How much did their prices go up?  They didn’t.  I like that.

Umpqua has a great selection of new flies.  There is a huge fly that looks like a trout and costs about $20.  I never thought I would see a $20 fly but I have some I painstakingly tied that couldn’t be bought.  I have not sold a fly that I tied in probably 17 years.  I used to tie them in the winter to sell in the shop.  That almost turned me against the hobby.  I’d rather give them away.

Walter Babb is working on some unbelievable selections that he will donate to Troutfest.  He told me about them yesterday.  At auction, his flies sell for more than any I have seen anywhere.  He gives me flies and last year he tied some bluegill flies for me.  We could not have lived without them when Paula and I went to Dale Hollow Lake two weeks ago.  Walter knows about flies and fly fishing.  His knowledge is deep and broad.  He doesn’t forget either.

Have a great day and thanks for being here.

Byron Begley
October 10, 2010

Please vote yes on right to hunt and fish

Subject: FW: Hunting/fishing issue on the November ballot

We need to spread the word on this, it is one of the issues that people will scratch their heads about when they go to vote because they have not heard a about it. Please send this to everyone on your email list of voters...

On November 2, 2010 we will go to the polls to elect a new governor in Tennessee . On that same ballot will be the right to vote for an Amendment to the Tennessee Constitution allowing for the right of Tennesseans to hunt and fish. Even though we have been hunting and fishing in Tennessee as long as I have been alive, it is not a guaranteed right. With the amendment, it will make it much more difficult for anti hunting and fishing folks to challenge the right. In the last election for a Tennessee Governor, 1,900,000 votes were cast. In order to pass the amendment fifty (50%) plus one votes must be cast as a YES vote. If this election follows the pattern of the last election, we will need 950,001 votes. There are not enough registered voters who hunt and fish to pass this amendment by ourselves. Therefore, we need to make sure our spouses and our friends know to vote YES for the Amendment to the state constitution.

I have talked to several folks about this and they have said "but we already have the right to hunt and fish". Yes we do but the animal rights folks (PETA) are very well funded and they are passionate about stopping hunting and fishing. If we stand by and do nothing, there very well may come a day when we no longer have these rights. Fourteen states have already passed an amendment to hunt and fish. Tennessee , Arkansas and South Carolina will vote for the amendment in November.Please, don't take your rights for granted. Send this email to everyone who believes we should have the right to hunt and fish. If you want to know more about this issue, go to the Tennessee Wildlife Federation Web site at to get more information.


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