Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It’s chilly, 35 degrees in Townsend or it was when I drove to work.  But the sun is shining on the Great Smoky Mountains and warm temperatures are predicted for a few days.  Little River is dropping very slowly.  We have not had rain in a few days but the water level remains higher than normal.  Median flow for this date is 127 cubic feet per second.  Today the river is flowing at 173 cfs.  The water temperature is 44 degrees, up some from yesterday morning. 

The average high temperature in November is 60 degrees.  Normal low is 33 degrees.  We will be exceeding both by a significant margin, especially during the day.  Highs are predicted to be in the high 60’s and low 70’s.  It is going to be a nice weekend in the Smokies.  We may get some rain on Sunday.  I’ll be sitting in a tree stand this weekend on a deer hunt. 

Fishing is pretty good.  The water temperatures will rise through the days so I would plan on going later and fishing until dark.  But, some anglers will be on the water at the crack of dawn.  Large brown trout are being spotted.  The big fish hunters like this time of year.  I would still use nymphs but yesterday I talked to a couple of anglers who are insisting on sticking with dry flies.  Heck, use what make you happy.  That is really all that matters.

If you are a hiker this is a great time to be in the Smokies.  Traffic on the roads and trails is light.  The air is clear and the views are spectacular and unencumbered by leafy trees.  I love being in the forest during the winter.  It is a peaceful time. 

We had almost 5,000 unique visitors to our website yesterday.  Usually we have over 3,000 on a weekday but when that number gets close to five grand I notice it.  Yesterday I threw together a quick e-mail.  I probably spent only two hours designing it.  Then Daniel fired it out to over 3,600 people.  I don’t like to bombard people with e-mail.  I’m afraid a lot of people will un-subscribe.  This e-mail discussed the Free Fly Tying Demonstrations on Saturday and it showed our Fly Tying Class schedule.  There were plenty of links to our website on that piece and that would account for the higher than normal traffic.  These e-mail campaigns don’t cost anything except for the monthly $50 fee paid to Constant Contact.  I got a report this morning from them.  Three people joined the list and eight un-subscribed yesterday.

Since our e-mails list my address as the sender, I always get a lot of e-mails myself, immediately after the mail goes out.  Those are automatic responses telling me who is out of the office and when they will return.

We plan to use our e-mail list to promote Troutfest next year.  We are also going to send out a full color printed post card to our customer list.  We are limiting that mailing to East Tennessee because of the cost.  Last year our Troutfest advertising budget was planned to be $2,400.  We came in right at plan.  Almost half of that money is spent on printing and mailing a package of promotional materials to stores in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.  We have identified 90 stores that sell fly fishing tackle in those states.  Sarah Weeks and I call every store and ask if they will display the small poster and business cards.  We print 20,000 of those business cards and they direct potential Troutfest attendees to the website.  The cost to do that is around $1,100.  I think that’s why we get so many people from other states attending the event.  This year Orvis is going to help us by using their huge internet marketing machine.  That will take us to a new level. 

I like being on the Troutfest Marketing Committee.  We have expanded that committee to 6 people.  That means, over 1/3 of the Troutfest Committee works on the marketing side.  That is one of the reasons why Troutfest has grown so much over the past two years.  The three new Marketing Committee members are taking on the Troutfest Journal project.  This is a new magazine we are going to print. We will be selling advertising in it of course.  

Also, having Lefty Kreh, Joe Humphreys and Bob Clouser as headliners has increased our attendance.  There are other reasons Troutfest has grown too. It’s kind of amazing what has happened.

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

Byron Begley
November 10, 2010

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We are starting our Free Fly Tying Demonstrations on Saturdays again.  All you have to do is show up.  Our fly tying demonstrators will be active between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. 

On Saturday November 13th, Brian Courtney and Hugh Hartsell will be tying.  Brian is an excellent fly tyer.  He also teaches our fly tying classes with Walter.  Hugh is a guide specializing in the Smokies, South Holston and Holston Rivers.  He has a fly business and sells some unusual but very effective flies.  He is always willing to share what works for him. 


Our fly tying classes are starting Saturday November 20th.  The first one is a beginner school.  To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  Daniel is posting the dates on our website today in the Schools Section.  The fly tying class schedule follows:

Saturday November 20 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday December 4 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday January 8 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday January 15 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday January 22 – Advanced Fly Tying
Saturday February 5 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday February 19 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday February 26 – Advanced Fly Tying


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