Townsend, Tennessee
November 29, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report. It is warmer this morning than it was yesterday.  The sky is painted with some beautiful clouds and the dark gray mountains are very clearly in view from my window.  I came to work at 7:45 so there was very little traffic.  Little River is getting low.  It is currently flowing below normal.  When I got out of my truck at the swinging bridge I could smell and hear fresh running water.  That was a nice change since a garbage bag leaked in my truck and I’ve been driving with the windows part-way down so I won’t get sick.  I’ll be glad when that conditions goes away.  Townsend has been hopping this weekend.  We should be busy today.

Fishing is not bad at all, some reports yesterday were very good.  Andy Harmon caught two 16" to 18" browns on Little River.  He only fished for an hour.  Now that is a good sign.  These were probably hungry, post spawn browns.  Fishing in Townsend has been good in the stocked water.  We had some customers who fished in Gatlinburg yesterday and reported the fishing there was slow.  These guys know what they are doing so I believe them.  They saw some scattered trout but not as many as usual.  A lot of anglers came through the shop yesterday.  We had a busy day.  We ended the week just shy of double over the same week last year.  But, last year was awful.  Remember, we thought the world economy was going to collapse a year ago.  Glad that didn't happen.

Today will be nice.  If you go fishing I would stick with nymphs fished weighted and deep.  It's hard to say what the fishing will be like.  The "Fishing Gauge" tried to move closer to slow today until the news from some anglers showed an uptick in the fishing.  The Gauge moved back up to about halfway between good and slow where it has been for several days.

Today is going to be beautiful with a high of 63 degrees.  After today the weather is going to be less hospitable.  It is going to rain tonight and tomorrow with a high of only 49 degrees tomorrow.  Tuesday will be fairly nice but then more rain and cold temperatures are on the way.  We may get snow Wednesday night in the mountains.  That would be "Sweet".

Yesterday was a great day at LRO.  First, we were busy.  Drew Delashmit tied flies for four hours for the enjoyment of several customers.  Drew is a fly fishing guide in Key West.  He worked here at the shop for four years while he was in college.  Drew was one of the first group of us who formed the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  He was fourteen at the time.

One of the guys watching Drew was Lee Whitehead.  Lee spent the day with us.  He just got his drivers license and he is mobile.  We'll see more of him.  I found out he likes to hunt so we have even more in common.  And, Sam Barbee was here to watch Drew.  Sam is 16 years old too.  He has been fly fishing with his father for years.  Sam practiced his casting using a hoola hoop as a target when he was a kid.  When he got to the point where he could consistently hit the target, he and his dad went fishing. Both Lee and Sam tied flies at Troutfest this year.  It was the first time for both to demonstrate in front of a crowd.  They did great.  I like seeing younger people getting into this sport.  

Drew's dad, Jim was here for a while.  We are close friends with the whole Delashmit family.  We spend Christmas Eve with them every year.  They guys shoot guns all afternoon.  Then we have a great dinner.  All of us at LRO had a good time yesterday.  And I got to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a long time.

After I got a couple of e-mails from customers I changed my schedule for writing the Fishing Report.  I am now writing most of the text the night before.  I am also ironing my clothes for the next day the night before.  I can leave the house like I did today at 8:00, stop and take the water temperature, finish the report and be downstairs greeting customers at 9:00 am.  I tried writing the entire report the night before on Thursday. The input I got from customers was, "the report was not real time". It sounded like the day before and the description of Townsend was not accurate and real.  I think this will be better.  Thanks for the help guys.

You will see below that my buddy Jack Gregory will be tying next Saturday.  You should be here for that.  Jack and I have fished and traveled together for years.  He is probably the best fly fisherman I know.  Here is a good "small world" story.  My friend Bob Stack from Chicago sent me an e-mail a few weeks ago.  His buddy met Jack on an airplane flying from Bozeman a couple of days earlier.  His friend told him about this guy from Townsend,Tennessee who really impressed him with his knowledge about fly fishing.  Bob said his friend is not easily impressed.  Bob's friend couldn't remember Jack's name and wanted to contact him.  I sent Bob Jack's contact information so his friend could call him.

Tomorrow I will be visiting with Frank Bryant, President of Chota Outdoor Gear.  We are meeting here at the shop.  I'm looking forward to that.  We are good friends and give each other advice all the time.  We have one "taken for granted" non-mentioned and unwritten agreement,  he doesn't tell me anything about our competition and I don't tell him anything about his competition.  We talk about business but we stay off that subject.  We go fishing, hang around, and discuss business but conversation about each of our competitors is off limits to both of us. That's the way it should be.

Kathy Skinner came by yesterday and we talked about our County and our Town.  Kathy is President of the Raven Society.  This group is a Political Action Committee and their mission is to "Support candidates and issues that protect the rural, natural and historic qualities of Blount County and East Tennessee by promoting the principals of smart growth".  They are a very strong and influential PAC. I am not a member and could not be one.  Because of my association with all of our governments in our County and now that I am back on the Townsend Planning Commission it would be a conflict of interest for me to be a member.  However, I do agree with a lot of their policies and support their goal in many ways.  We don't always see eye to eye.  I support the completion of the Pellissippi Parkway.  The Raven Society does not.  But, we stand on a lot of common ground, I always enjoy our conversations and take their position very seriously.  I even attended their last annual meeting in January. I sat in the back of the room and kept a low profile.  Their keynote speaker was awesome.  I ran into Kathy at a planning conference in Knoxville recently.  I think the Raven Society is lucky to have her leading them.  She is smart, organized and passionate.  She challenges me often but in a nice way.  And like I said, we have a lot of common ground.

Get ready for some winter weather in the Smokies.  I'm ready and waiting.  I guess I'll do some shooting and hunting for a while and wait for Spring.

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

Byron Begley
November 29, 2009

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