Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun is shining in Townsend this morning but it was cold when I came to work.  The temperature was 35 degrees.  And today I saw what I think is our first frost in the valley.  I didn’t leave the house yesterday so I don’t know, we may have had some frost then.  We have quite a bit of traffic in town.  There are a lot of tourists here to see the fall foliage.  It is pretty.  It won’t be here much longer.

Little River is lower than normal.  Today the flow is 57 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 76 cfs.  The fishing is still very good.  The low water and leaves drifting through makes for some expected challenges.  But, this is a great time of year to fish and we are hearing about some really nice fish brought to hand. 

I would wait a little while before I went today.  The water temperature is 51 degrees in town and colder than that in the Park.  But, it will warm up today and so will the water.  Dry flies are working well.  If you spot a big brown you should probably tie on a nymph and sneak up on him or her.  Make it a big nymph.  Or try a big nymph with a smaller one for a dropper.  Prince Nymphs, Bead Head Pheasant Tails, Girdle Bugs, Copper Johns and Tellicos would be a good choice.  For a dry I would use an Orange Stimulator or Orange Elk Hair Caddis. 

We are going to see some warmer temperatures over the next few days and some rain.  The fishing will get even better with some more water in the streams.

We are busy stocking the fly tying department.  Historically, November through February are the best months to sell fly  tying materials.  This year was different.  Even the summer was good for that part of our business.  Wapsi is our largest fly tying supplier.  Making an order takes about a day.  Then it takes a week to get here.  After the order arrives it can take up to two days to receive the order and get it on the wall.  After that is done we order again during the busy months.  We call the process “Wapsi Hell”.

We are one of their largest customers.  They say we are in their top ten.  I can only imagine what they say when they get a 12 or 15 page order from us.  It’s a huge job for them too.  They probably refer to it as “LRO Hell”.

But, we have a great relationship and both of us are very organized.  So, mistakes are almost non-existent.  We often get in orders with over 500 items and Wapsi’s fulfillment is usually absolutely perfect, no errors.  I’ve got a big box from Wapsi sitting behind me just waiting to be torn into.

We are getting lots of new designs for clothing embroidery, stickers, license plates, T-shirts, patches, caps, coffee cups and all kinds of new branded items.  Our artist, Cindy Day and I are meeting Tuesday.  She can pretty much read my mind.  And she is an excellent graphic artist and illustrator.  I’m going to tell her what I need over the next 12 months and she will provide new art probably every month.  I’ve learned not to make too many suggestions.  I will probably say, “I need a license plate” then she will take it from there.  I don’t tell her what I want something to look like, that’s her job.  She’s better at that than I am.  Right now she is working on our logo with a “Permit” fish incorporated into the design.  She just finished a trout.

Finding new clothing to sell with our brand has been difficult.  I searched the internet for days finding what I was looking for.  I finally found everything I was searching for in the United States.  What a relief that is.  I did spend hours on websites in China.  You would not believe what some people wear in other parts of the world.  I also can’t believe how inexpensive garments are when you buy them directly from a Chinese cut and sew factory.  I would rather pay more and deal with someone in the States and buy smaller quantities.  But, as you know, almost everything you buy to wear is made in the East rim.  Maybe we’ll start seeing more clothing manufacturers in the United States.  If we made our own clothing, all of a sudden, the economy would rebound immediately.  Think about how many people would be employed to make the clothing for all American citizens. 

I was on the Filson website last night.  I wonder, but I didn’t think to check, how man of their garments are still made in America?  They used to make everything here.  I’ll check into that.  We are a Filson dealer and their garments are top notch.

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

Byron Begley
October 23, 2010

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