Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cold, 28 degrees this morning in Townsend.  I guess, to some of you, that is not very cold for a morning in mid December.  Compared to last week, this is cold. 

I am off today, the first day off I have had since Thanksgiving.  I’m staying home all day.  I will spend part of the day tying Knuckleheads to be sold in our store.  I have yet to find a company to tie these flies for us. If they become more popular, I will have to do that. I will tie a few every day all Winter long.  I’m still working on the tutorial to show you how to tie them.  It would be finished by now but I got involved in using a new drop down menu on our website.  I want to test it on this tutorial.  Also, I am making this new page wider, 936 pixels.  I want to test this page on mobile devices before re-designing all the other pages.  I’ll get Daniel to help me figure out the menu problem tomorrow.  I got a little frustrated with it yesterday and gave up.

The USGS water temperature page is operable again.  The water temperature in Little River this morning is 42.2 degrees.  Flow is 98 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 270 cfs.  Terry, from the USGS Field Office in Knoxville calibrated the gauge equipment yesterday.  He does that several times per year.  Doing that requires taking depth readings across the river and determining the water pressure at each point where a depth is taken.  Using a complex formula, he can determine the flow in cfs.  Then he can adjust the equipment housed in the small building just inside the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the Townsend entrance.  The data is constantly monitored and sent via satellite to Nashville where it is displayed on the USGS website for all of us to use and enjoy.  Scientists gather this date and use it to make conclusions about water flow and temperature.  I’m not sure how it is used by them. I use it every day for me and you.

The streams are cold.  The trout become lethargic in cold water.  Experts tell me the trout stop feeding when the temperature reaches 40 degrees.  The brown trout do not stop feeding, at least now even if the water is cold.  They are hungry.  They have been spawning.

I would use nymphs.  I would pinch on some split shot for extra weight and drag those flies along the bottom of the streams.  You could use a strike indicator or you could elect not to.  A strike indicator helps you detect strikes but they also limit the depth at which you are fishing.  You can be a better angler if you vary the depth throughout the drift by lowering your rod tip to allow the fly to sink deeper or pulling it up shallower if needed.  But, you have to be on your toes and react to the slightest signal that a trout has taken your fly.  It’s easier to do that if you have a strike indicator attached to your leader.  I guess you have to make that decision.  Do what works best for you.  I use a strike indicator sometimes and at other times I don’t.

You could get into a blue wing olive hatch this week.  Have some dry flies ready for that. 

A man caught a 7’ 10”, 445 pound yellowfin tuna off the coast of Mexico.  This is the largest yellowfin ever landed on a rod and reel or at least the largest ever reported.  He did not achieve a world record though.  The boat captain held the rod for the angler while attempting to remove the line that was temporarily tangled in the boat’s anchor rope.  To be recognized as catching a world record, you have to hold the rod yourself throughout the battle without assistance.  The current world record was caught in 2010. It weighed over 400 pounds.

We are not seeing many customers right now.  They will show up Christmas Week and on the weekends prior to the holiday.  Right now, almost all of our business is mail order.  I was looking at the shipping table yesterday.  The two most popular items were gift cards and Renzetti fly tying vises.  We sold several of both yesterday.

Our website visitation numbers posted here are reaching the end of the year.  I view them every day and they are displayed to the left on this page.  I’ll start over again on January 2nd.  I’m not sure why I even post these numbers on this fishing report.  I do like looking at them every day.  Maybe you are interested too.

A visitor is only counted once a day even though you may visit the site more than once in a 24 hour period.  If you visit from a different computer you are counted again.  Visitors click on a lot of online store pages, this fishing report, the message board and other pages.  I look at that every day too.  It looks like we’ll end the year just over 1.6 million visitors.  Those who click on this fishing report will be around 200,000 for the year. 

I showed these numbers to a couple of Townsend business people this week.  One of them commented that we should be selling advertising on our website.  There are several reasons we don’t do that.  Who would we sell to?  We would probably sell advertising to our manufacturers, guides, local motels, campgrounds and inns.  Most of the manufacturers, most of the guides and almost all of the local businesses in Townsend are owned by friends or acquaintances of ours. I just don’t want to get into the business of selling something as intangible as advertising to friends.  I like selling fishing tackle to anyone.  These items are back by warranties and if the manufacturers don’t take care of a problem, we will.  Advertising has no warranty. It is intangible.  Results are subject to discretion.  I just see a lot of problems I don’t want to deal with.

Additionally, I don’t think selling advertising would be fun.  I would rather sell fly fishing stuff.

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

Byron Begley
December 13, 2012 

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