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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is partly cloudy and 38 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic was light early and human activity is low in town.  People are probably like me, trying to cope with what happened yesterday.

The streams are low right now.  Rain is a distinct possibility tonight through Monday.  The chances are very good.  Little River is flowing at 85 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 257 cfs.  The water temperature is still chilly, 41.5 degrees.

Fishing in the Smokies has been slow.  I’ve talked to two people this week, one is Glenn who just now reported fishing was slow on the Clinch River too.  He said he caught 9 trout in 4 hours.  That doesn’t seem that slow to me but since I haven’t fished that river in years, I have no point of reference. Bill said he caught 3 in a couple of hours. Bill and Glenn both said the fishing was slow.

The good news is, while we are expecting more rain and the temperatures at night and during the day are going to be warm.  The rivers and streams will do the same thing.  That, along with the rain should improve the fishing some, maybe quite a bit.

Nymphs would be my choice unless I saw some surface activity.  Then I would switch over to a dry fly, probably a Blue Wing Olive parachute.  Today is going to be beautiful so if you can, go fishing somewhere. 

We are shipping presents to people.  It is that time of year.  Our mail order business pulls us through early December along with our loyal local customers.  In a few days we will see more visitors, here for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Customers are buying lots of gift cards along with tackle and fly tying tools. 

I am learning to do the accounting.  Sheila is retiring.  I’m sure it has not been easy for her trying to teach an old dog like me new tricks.  But, being the great lady she is, her patience is strong and I am most appreciative of that.  I don’t mind doing her job.  I’ll just miss seeing her every Monday morning.  She has been working here over ten years.  Sheila fly fishes of course.  And she is very involved with the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  Her husband, Bill works here too.  They are both great people.

I spent much of yesterday working on our new website design.  The first page should be finished this weekend.  It will be a fly tying tutorial, tying the Knuclehead.  As part of the design architecture, I am trying to make the pages wider or at least some of them.  I loaded the new page that is under construction on our server.  Then, last night I pulled it up on my computer at home and made a screen shot of it.  I did the same thing with three other websites that I often visit for reference.  They are Patagonia, Apple Computer and Nikon.

Our new pages may be 936 pixels wide.  I chose that number because it is evenly divided by 2, 3, 4 and 6.  Web pages are designed using tables.  Tables have at least one column and sometimes several.  When I’m designing a page, it makes it easier for me to know how to divide the tables into columns accurately.  

My test last night, comparing our new page to theirs was interesting.  Ours is slightly wider than Patagonia.  But it is narrower than Apple and Nikon.  Basically they are all close.  Currently our pages are 800 pixels wide.  There has been a trend to wider pages, probably due to the fact that monitors are getting wider. 

The big test will be on the many and different smart phones.  I know our wider pages work on a iPad. 

Our new menu should be a great enhancement too.  The sub-menus or drop-down menus are easier to touch on a small monitor such as an iPad.  I have trouble hitting links on many sites using the tablet.  They are too small.

Once you all have a chance to test this new page on your device and the feedback I get is positive, I’ll spend the Winter re-designing and enlarging the site.  Believe it or not, we have around 2,000 pages on our website.  Several hundred are the archives of this fishing report and our online catalog.  We have some 27,000 posts on our message board.  Through yesterday, since the first of the year, over 17 million pages have been opened on this website.  You can see why we take this site so seriously.

I can’t close this report without expressing my condolences for the families and friends of the victims of the awful tragedy that occurred yesterday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  I pray for those people.  My mind has been on that tragedy ever since I heard about it.  Like you, I ask why?  Like you, I don’t know.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to be one of those parents. This is so sad.

I hope you can have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
December 15, 2012

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