Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sky is clear but low lying fog has yet to burn off.  The temperature this morning is 50 degrees.  Visitors were out in large numbers even at 7:50 am.  The restaurants were packed early.  Today is going to be sunny and windy.

It is kind of amazing how bi-polar the weather websites are.  For instance, one of the top two puts the odds for rain today and tomorrow at 20%.  OK, it probably won’t rain.  On the other hand, the National Weather Service (NWS) website is declaring a 90% chance for rain tonight and 80% tomorrow.  I guess it’s not an exact science.

Weather radar backs up the NWS claim.  There is a large band of rain and thunderstorms moving into West Tennessee and headed our way.  It should be here tonight unless it peters out.

I checked the USGS water flow web page for Little River.  Data stopped streaming at midnight.  I’m using yesterday’s data on this page’s dashboards.  It’s pretty close.  The flow is near normal this morning.  The median flow based on 48 years bumped up today so the river is running below normal, just slightly.

The water temperature at 7:55 am was 56.3 degrees.

I mentioned a large brown trout that Ethan caught in yesterday’s report.  I was wrong.  He caught that fish on the Clinch River, not in the Park.  I feel better all ready.

Fishing is good.  I heard that all day yesterday.  The trout are taking dry flies well.  I talked to one fellow at closing time.  He encountered an isonychia hatch yesterday, tied on a good imitation and started catching trout.  He said the trout were tuned in.  The Slate Drake pattern represents an isonychia mayfly pretty well.  That guy was alert and concentrating on what was happening in the water. 

Anglers are seeing big browns too.  I heard one report of one in the Middle Prong of Little River that was estimated to be 24” long.

I placed our Waterworks/Lamson reel order yesterday for 2013.  The first shipment will arrive ASAP and the remaining shipments are spread throughout next year until July.

We do very well selling Waterworks Lamson reels.  They are fine machines.  I never get that excited about a fly rod.  I never have.  But I sure do love reels.  The most popular Lamson in our shop is the Guru, then the Konic.  I would have thought the Konic was the most popular.  But so far this year, we’ve sold more Gurus.  Konic has a color change for 2013.  We’ll have some here in a couple of weeks.  The new Konic frame is black.  The spool is the same gray color.  It looks sharp.

The new introduction is the Speedster.  I love that reel.  It is smooth, shiny and beautiful to look at.  You can see them by CLICKING HERE.  We should have some of those in a couple of weeks.  These reels are light, really light.

This afternoon, the board of directors of the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited will meet here.  This is a special called meeting.  The subject at hand is, “Will we hold Troutfest in 2013?”

I don’t think we will.  We have had two meetings dealing with the subject.  Today will be the third. 

This event requires a small group of people, maybe 5 or so, to work 200 to 350 hours during the year on Troutfest.  That equates to a normal work month, one out of twelve.  Many other volunteers work 50 hours, a typical work week.  And more than that work maybe 20 hours or less.  I believe we have averaged over 100 volunteers during the past 4 years, working on the event.

We have two problems.  The small group is getting tired.  I’m one of them. I served as Chair for three years.  And, nobody has stepped up to take those positions.  Bill Guinn took my spot as Chair last year. That is one exception.  Bill did a great job.

Second, our Chapter meeting attendance has dropped.  We think Troutfest has something to do with that. Our new officers and board will be focused on building the attendance at meetings and recruiting new members.  That will be a high priority.  It’s a good one.  It needs to be done.

I’m not on the board so I won’t be voting.  I will be listening to the debate.  Most importantly to me is, I work directly with the National Vendors.  I have not told them yet about potential changes because there is no official word.  I will be e-mailing all of them tonight giving them the news, one way or another.

One really beneficial change is happening.  Some of our younger leaders are taking charge.  They will decide the future of Troutfest.  They talked about continuing Troutfest in 2013.  The problem was timing.  It is October.  Planning usually begins in August. I bet they hold Troutfest again in 2014.  And who knows, they may decide to dig in right now and pull it off in 2013.  We’ll find out this afternoon. I’m looking forward to listening.

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

Byron Begley
October 14, 2012 

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