Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is extremely foggy and 36 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I saw more traffic than usual on my way to work.  It was 8:00 which is late for me so maybe it was not so unusual.  Janice, who owns Miss Lily’s beat me to work this morning.  She does that to me fairly often on Sundays.  I stopped at the swinging bridge across from her restaurant to check the water temperature.  It was 47 degrees.  Then I drove the 4 or 5 block last leg of my commute. 

There were three white ducks standing in the vacant lot across from the post office.  When I got to the shop I thought, “Wait a minute, white ducks standing in the grass across from the Post Office”?  That can’t be.  White ducks don’t fly.  The ducks we had on our farm couldn’t fly.  Non-flying ducks would get killed here by something.  So I drove back to the Post Office, turned around in the middle of the street (in full view from the Police Chief’s house) and pulled up to the ducks.  They started walking away from me into the fog.  They had a black tail.  I Googled “white duck with black tail”, found some similar waterfoul and I guess they were either snow geese or Ross’s geese.  That was strange.  They looked too small to be snow geese and their heads looked more like a domestic duck.  The black tails were probably the tips of their wings folded back.

Fishing seems to be OK.  For sure, fishing in the delayed harvest water in Gatlinburg is excellent.  I talked to some friends of mine from Middle Tennessee yesterday.  They stayed in Gatlinburg, fished in the Park but also in the Little Pigeon running through town.  Evidently there are some big fish in that stretch of water.

I would use nymphs, weighted and close to the river bottom.  You might find some try fly action too in the form of blue wing olives or midges.  So, be prepared for both. 

I have an office full of fly tying materials and there are more on the way.  It is fly tying season.  Next week we are getting a huge hook order from Umpqua.  And there are more materials on the way from Hareline.

It is hard to get the fly tying department into full bloom during October.  The new materials are being introduced, pre-season orders are being entered into the supplier’s computers and Wapsi closed for inventory last week.  The hooks are coming from Umpqua and many are new to us.  I’m ready though.  Their item numbers have been established and the display hooks are on the wall with description cards inserted.  When I get this Wapsi order out, I’ll have to order again from them.  From this point on it is a big job keeping that department stocked.  I will be using faster shipping so I can get the stuff in then order again the next day.  It takes me at least a day to process a Wapsi order into our system and on the wall.  It takes close to a day to get an order ready to e-mail to Wapsi.  I will spend two to three days a week working on the fly tying department until March.

For some reason, Mustad hooks are hard to get.  Most of what I ordered last week did not ship.  Gamakatsu hardly ever runs out of anything.  Tiemco, or their U.S. distributor Umpqua runs out of a certain hook or size sometimes but they keep getting better.  The new Umpqua hooks that are coming next week are made in Korea, they are of excellent quality and the price is low.  I googled these hooks to see if anyone had complaints about them before I made the commitment.  I could not find any complaints in the first few pages of Google.  All I read was praise.  A dry fly hook that is chemically sharpened and costs $5.75 for a 50 pack sounds too good to be true.  But if they had quality issues, you could find it online.

It’s time to open the shop.

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

Byron Begley
November 6, 2011 

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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