Townsend, Tennessee
October 26, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The fog is thick like it has been every morning lately.  The view of the mountains, after the fog lifts, is spectacular.  This is a beautiful Fall.  I don’t remember a better one.  The streams are full and crashing down the slopes.  I don’t remember more water in the Fall than we have now.  We will all remember the Fall of 2009.  I’m hoping for plenty of snow this year.  That would be good for the ground and good for the streams. 

Little River is dropping ever so slowly.  The aquifer is brimming so the rivers are barely changing in the downward direction.  As soon as they start to get close to normal, we get more rain.  That trend will continue this week.  There is more rain in the forecast tomorrow. 

I saw a lot of leaves in the water this morning.  In town the water temperature was 49 degrees.  In the Park it is cooler than that.  The tubers have curtailed their sport until next summer.  The Park is busy with visitors.  People travel from all over the country and others to see our natural beauty at this time of year.  I’m thankful to see it every day.

Fishing has been good, especially later in the day after the water warms.  The streams are far from overrun with anglers but we are getting some coming through the shop.  The trout are taking dries and nymphs.  So either fish a dry with a weighted dropper or drag the bottom with nymphs.  You will be rewarded for your efforts though the fish are feeding sporadically.  Sometime during the day it will be “good fishing” and other times it will be slow.  Of course, it’s always that way, except during certain times in the Spring. 

I got my November/December issue of Sporting Classics Magazine in the mail last week and didn’t open it until this morning.  I’ll start reading the articles tomorrow.  It is amazing to me how many of my friends write for that magazine.  I’ve known Mike Altizer and Ron Ellis for years.  Jim Casada and John Ross are friends of mine.  And of course, one of the nicest men you will ever meet, Chuck Wechsler is the publisher and editor.  Mike lives in Watauga, Tennessee.  He helped me with our advertising when Little River Outfitters was just a pup.  He taught me to use Quark Express, which is professional publishing software.  Ron lives in Northern Kentucky but has a house here so I see him often.  Jim lives in South Carolina.  We have sold tons of his new book on Fly Fishing in the Smokies.  John Ross was here this week.  He lives in Virginia. 

It dawned on me that this magazine and all of those fine writers should have a booth at Troutfest.  I already know that Ron, Jim and John will be here anyway.  Mike would be here at the drop of a hat.  So all we would need to do is call Chuck.  They could sell subscriptions and books. 

Then I started thinking about American Angler and Grays Sporting Journal.  I know the Editor of Grays, Jim Babb.  Heck, he's Walter’s brother.  But he lives in Maine.  I’ve met the publisher of both magazines, William Morris III.  He is a very nice man who lives in Georgia.  And there is Zach Matthews who writes for American Angler and other magazines.  Zach was here last year for Troutfest and wrote two articles about the event, one for American Angler and one for Trout Magazine.  So maybe they would come to Troutfest as a group.

This year before Troutfest I got a call from the marketing department at Fly Fisherman Magazine.  They were wondering if they should be here.  I didn’t know what to say.  We had no idea how well Troutfest would do this year.  But now we have a record, a history, one that would appeal to any company even remotely connected to the fly fishing industry.  I bet they will come next year.

I started laying out the tents yesterday on this computer and tried to figure out the best way to place booths and fly tyers while maximizing the space.  I’m going to add these three magazines as vendors on the sheets and make some phone calls to be sure they are here.  They won’t come if they don’t know about it.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn on Cedar Bluff Road this week.  I haven’t looked lately but I believe it is Thursday and Friday.  I better check the location too. 

On the agenda is the decision to change the trout regulations on the Caney Fork River.  An overall slot limit has been recommended by biologists and possibly a reduction in the creel limit from 7 to 5 trout.  I plan to go and speak to support the new regs, though I need to go fishing and put together the Little River Journal this week. I’ll review the schedule and just be there for the Fisheries Meeting.  You should plan to attend.  These meetings are very interesting, they are open to anyone who holds a Tennessee license and you can stand up and make a statement.

Tonight is the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s “Neighbors in the Foothills” party in Blount County.  Paula and I are on the host committee.  It is held at Ruby Tuesday Lodge.  I’m looking forward to it, we always have a great time and see a lot of friends.  And, we’ll make a few thousand dollars for the Park.  Dale Ditmanson who is the Park Superintendent is always there.  He’s a great guy.  We got together the other day with a group at the Lynn Camp Prong trailhead to take a picture for the Troutfest website.  He pulled in and parked his Jeep.  When he got out I said “Sir, you will have to move your vehicle, that is not a legal parking space.”  He told me “Wherever that Jeep is parked is a legal space.”  We laughed and started hiking up the trail.

By the way, Dale will be at the Troutfest Banquet next year for the first time.  He would have been there this year but his son was graduating from law school in Washington, DC that same weekend.  I don’t blame him.  After spending all that cash I would want to be there to see it happen too.      

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

Byron Begley
October 26, 2009

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