Townsend, Tennessee
October 15, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and raining in Townsend, Tennessee. Fog is following the path of Little River through town.  That happens often. The water in the river has risen and will probably rise more.  It is clear though and the water temperature is 60 degrees.  Right now the river is fishable and you can wade but care should be taken.  Pick the right spots to wade and watch your step.  We could see some high water though the Weather Service says the chances are low. 

Rainfall here since yesterday morning is a little over an inch.  There is a chance for rain every day through Sunday but there is no mention of thunderstorms or heavy rain.  So, you should be fine this weekend if you visit here to go fishing. 

Fishing has been very good.  The brown trout are just beginning to spawn.  There are some redds in the river.  Jack Gregory and David Knapp were in here yesterday.  They talked about the fish they have spotted and where they are.  And the discussion came up about the size of the browns.  This is the time of year to see them during the day and get a look at the population.  Jack recounted the days when there were a lot of fish in 25” to 30” range.  That was during the time after several years of good water levels following droughts.  This year will be good for the population of all trout in the Smokies.  This year so far our rainfall numbers at the Airport are almost 11” above normal.  This year the larger browns are in the 20” to 23” range.  There are probably some 28” to 30” fish in the larger rivers but I have not talked to anyone who has seen one.  What I’m hearing from those who know, a big one is 23”.

They also talked about the girth and weight of both rainbows and browns.  The fish are healthy.  A lot of rainbows died during the 2007-2008 drought especially in the lower elevations.  So there are less fish and plenty of food to go around.  The brook trout population is doing very well.  The Park Service and TU volunteers captured about 800 last week and moved them to Lynn Camp Prong.  There were some in the 9” range and they all appeared healthy and fat.

Next year will be awesome if this rain keeps up. 

If I went today I would use large nymphs and try to spot some male brown trout.  I wouldn’t try to catch a female on the redd.  It’s best to leave them alone. The males are most likely behind the redd.  They will be aggressive and willing to take your fly. I would choose a Prince Nymph or Girdle Bug.  A streamer might be a good choice too.  For rainbows and brookies about anything the is drifting correctly should work.  But, I would start with an Orange Palmer or small Orange Stimulator and drop a Bead Head Pheasant Tail off the dry.  Terrestrials should work too.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a little over 10000 yesterday, which is a milestone I’ve been waiting for.  When it gets to 15000 I’m moving into bonds for the rest of my life.  The Dow is the highest it has been since October 2008.  The first time that index reached this level was in March 1999.  Since March of this year the Dow is up 52%. When I moved from Nashville to Townsend the Dow was trading at 3500.  I remember thinking at the time it might reach 5000 at some point.  I never thought about it climbing to 14000 but it did. This is good news.

Preparing Is Half the Fun

Most of us enjoy getting ready for a fishing or hunting trip.  Preparing for a woods or water adventure is half the fun, maybe the most fun.  I always make lists, start making piles of gear, buy a few things and do some maintenance on my equipment.  Often it means tying flies.  I like tying flies anytime but I enjoy it most when there is a specific purpose. 

Right now I’m preparing for a hunting trip.  I’m behind at work, which means I’m going to get a lot done today.  I told everyone in the shop that I can’t talk on the phone today.  I’ll return the calls Monday.

I remember when I was young, the night before a special hunting or fishing trip was sleepless.  The excitement and anticipation was overwhelming.  Will I catch that big fish?  Will it be the best few days of fishing in my life?  Will the quail be flushing and flying all day long?  Anticipation seems to be the driving force behind hunting and fishing as a sport.  Success does not necessarily have anything to do with your performance like some other sports.  Success is often due to some divine intervention totally out of our control.  You know what I mean.  There are those days when everything is perfect and you catch fish or see a lot of game.  Anticipation. 

You know what?  My job is getting people ready to go on fishing trips.  What could be better than that?  I get to share your excitement and anticipation.  You come in here or call and we are part of your preparation.  I think a lot of folks believe what we love about our job is being around all this gear.  It’s not that.  What we love is sharing your excitement and getting you ready.  We do it every day, all day long.  Then when you get back we hear the stories, see the pictures and learn about the place you visited. 

We also talk about fishing every day, all day long.  The conversation here is almost always about fly fishing.  There may be several fishing conversations going on at once.  I have a great job.  I love it.

Well, I better get my work done so I can pack for the hunting trip.

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

Byron Begley
October 15, 2009 


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