Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park looks very fine this morning.  The sun is shining, it’s fairly warm outside, the streams are flowing briskly and the weather forecast is promising.  I talked to a guy at the swinging bridge this morning.  He was fishing but he had just started.  No trout yet.  He’ll do better when the water warms up in a little while.

Little River is flowing at 247 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 163 cfs.  We have rain in the forecast later this week but until then it is going to be warm.  The high today in the valley should be around 70 and it will be even warmer tomorrow.  Nice!

Fishing is good.  Nymphs are working best right now.  Egg patterns are also yielding some trout action.  The brown trout are spawning.  They are out where you can see them.  Some are huge.  I would leave the females alone and let them spawn.  If you want to catch a big one it’s best to pick on a male.  Fishing will improve for the non-spawning rainbows later in the day when the water warms. 

The tailwaters are fishing well.  I heard that all day yesterday.

Yesterday was fun around here.  We had our first beginner fly tying class so Walter and Brian were here teaching that.  The fly tying demonstrators were Buzz Buffington and Gary Troutman.  I hung around Gary as much as I could.  He was tying smallmouth bass and bluegill patterns and I’m interested in that at this point.  I’m going through a smallmouth bass phase in my life.  Buzz was tying some tiny midge and scud patterns.  He is very good at that.  I could barely see them.  He has some fancy magnifying equipment that he wears when he ties. 

Business is much better than last November.  I think we’ll end the first three weeks of November today and be up around 20% over last year.  Everywhere I look except for the construction sector, the news is better.  We have had two good months in the tourism business.  Herb told me the Visitors Center is hearing about many hospitality properties that are already filled for the Thanksgiving holiday.  That is excellent news. 

I saw Steve Thompson yesterday.  We have not seen each other since the mid 70’s.  He’s an old Army buddy.  He came in the store and I knew immediately who he was.  One of my other buddies, Bill Barron has stayed in contact with me but I never really knew what happened to Steve. 

We had a great time working together in those days.  We called Bill “Billy”, Steve was “Stevie” and I was “Begsley”.  We played hard, laughed a lot but when it came down to our mission, the sleeves were rolled up and we worked.  When I turned in my war equipment and said so long to “This Man’s Army” Bill was a Lt. Colonel and Steve was a Captain.

Bill went on and became a Major General (2 stars).  I’ll never forget when Bill told me Congress approved his first promotion to General.  I told him “That’s scary”.  But as it turns out, Steve also became a Major General.  They were both good soldiers with excellent leadership skills.

Steve gave me the best compliment I think I’ve ever heard.  He said that he and Bill talk about the old days and how I kept the wheels turning and made things happen.  Imagine that, two Army Generals saying I inspired the men in our unit.  I said, “Come on Steve, give me a break”.  And what he came back with was “You had such a great attitude”. 

And that’s true.  I have always had a good attitude.  I won’t say my cup is always half full.  I’m a realist too, especially in business.  The numbers tell much of the story.  But there is another side to business that can’t be quantified and that’s the people, staff and customers.  Of course in the military having a weak enemy helps.  In our shop we have great people.  We can’t help that the economy has stunk for a couple of years. But we keep plugging along.

I asked Steve about General Beech.  He was our Division Commander.  I just thought the world of that man.  He would come in my office and say “Begley, how are you doing young man?”  That always made my day.  Steve told me General Beech passed away a couple of years ago.  Of course he had retired from the Army a long time ago.  But Bill, who was stationed at Fort Knox at the time sent a huge group of color guard, riflemen and whatever else it takes to the General’s funeral in a small town in Kentucky.  You don’t see many 21 gun salutes in a small town in Kentucky.  I don’t think Bill was the base commander at Fort Knox but any Major General has the power to get something like that done.  Heck, maybe he was the base commander.  I was proud to hear that about Billy.   

Yesterday was a great day.  It was one of the most fun days I’ve had here in a long time. 

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

Byron Begley
November 21, 2010


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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