Townsend, Tennessee
December 9, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and a very warm 56 degrees.  The wind is howling.  On my way to work I saw debris all over the roads and passed utility trucks headed into the mountains.  I imagine we have so power outages in the area.  Little River is a rolling torrent.  The water color is light chocolate pudding brown.  The gauge height at the “Y” is currently 6.69 feet which equates to a flow rate of 4,620 cubic feet per second.  Normal for this date is 198 cfs. 

I stopped and talked to Frank one of our fine police officers.  We laughed about things that happened during and preceding the Christmas Parade.  He said we didn’t get much rain down here and sure enough he was right.  Our gauge had collected only 1.1” of rain.  The airport got 1.32” before midnight but this river appears to be affected by a lot more rainfall than that.  It must have poured in the Smokies.  The river is out of it’s banks but it just crested a few minutes ago. 

Fishing in the Little River watershed is pretty much out of the question today.  That is probably the case for other rivers in the Park too.  We may have wind gusts over 40 miles per hour today and I wouldn’t want to be in the woods during conditions like that.  I wouldn’t want to be on one of the lakes around here either. 

By the weekend there should be some fishable water.  But, it might snow on Saturday.  There is a chance.

Ever heard of Big Rock Sports or Henry’s?  Henry's is a subsidiary of Big Rock. They are one of the largest if not the largest distribution company for hunting and fishing retailers in the United States.  Henry’s is located in Newport, North Carolina.  They just opened a new 310,000 square foot distribution center in Hamlet, N.C. late in October.  There, they employ over 150 people.  Big Rock has distribution centers in Oregon, California, Minnesota, Montana and of course North Carolina. Hmmm, they sell hunting stuff too. Here’s a link to their website:

I talked to Jackie Henry yesterday.  She and her husband Phil, will be servicing our account.  As you probably know we are making some changes for the future of our business and those changes include working with Henry’s.  Paula and I are planning to attend a dealer show in January in Raleigh, N.C. 

So, what are we planning?  First, we are going to have a kids fishing department in our store.  Why?  We are doing that to get more kids interested in fishing.  We will have spinning outfits for the little ones and less expensive fly fishing combos for the older kids.  Hopefully we can find some felt soled hip boots for kids, we’ll probably have a fish tank for their entertainment and small vests, caps, t-shirts and stuff like that.  We are still going to be the same fly shop we are but with something that will cater to the very young crowd.

Second, we are planning to stock some spinning tackle.  Why?  People who live in our valley don’t have any options close-by to purchase conventional tackle.  Basically, we will be catering to tourists and residents near us who trout fish.  Our goal is to build relationships with these folks and hopefully help them get into the sport of fly fishing over time.  Neither of these departments will be big profit centers.  We make our money selling fly fishing tackle. 

I heard there is a hunting and fishing store opening in Maryville so if that is true this conventional fishing tackle department might be smaller.  I think the only other stores who sell tackle in our County are Walmart and Dicks.  I could be wrong but I have not seen tackle for sale anywhere else. I think we can do a good job for the trout anglers.  So, here we go.

I ordered some inflatable life jackets from Bass Pro Shops last night.  I did it online but realized I had ordered the wrong ones so I called and upgraded.  I like Bass Pro and I’m a good customer.  I work hard all day trying to put them out of business but get nowhere.  Then I turn around and order gear from them. 

The life jackets I ordered are the Mustang brand with hydrostatic inflation devices.  They are not bulky at all and when you fall into 4” of water or deeper, they inflate.  I found a lot of less expensive automatic inflating vests and some reviews I read reported sporadic inflation or no inflation, both of which didn’t seem to be appropriate for us.  So we got the expensive ones, I’ll wrap them up and put them under the Christmas tree so Paula and I will have matching safety gear on Christmas Day.

The nice thing about these vests is, you can wear them all the time while in the boat.  As we found out this year, you can fall in the boat.  If you hit your head in the boat or something in the water like a tree or stump and you are unconscious, these things will inflate and you will pop to the surface like a cork.  They also have a tab you can pull to inflate the vest manually.  I hope my fly line doesn’t get caught in that.  I would hate to make that long cast with line shooting out to a rising fish and accidentally inflate my life vest.  All of that excitement and surprise might cause me to fall out of the boat and into the lake.

Wow, most of the cows are laying down. 

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

Byron Begley
December 9, 20009 

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