Townsend, Tennessee
December 21, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.  The sun is shining and the air is clear.  Most of the snow has melted in the valley.  The mountains have a nice coating of white.  A fairly large flock of wild turkeys were pecking the ground in front of our house this morning.  One of them was a big tom.  He stood proud with his head high and the long beard displayed as I drove by about 50 feet away.  He knew darned good and well that turkey season is over and that I am a law-abiding man.  I noticed someone destroyed the snowman at Miss Lilly’s restaurant. 

The Park entrance at Townsend was closed part of the day yesterday.  We were slow here at the shop.  Later in the day the Park Service allowed traffic to drive up the Middle Prong.  One person said there were a lot of fishermen up there.  I probably know most of them.  I’m sure some good trout were caught.  Some of the anglers who were up there are the best fishermen in our area.  I know because they came by here on their way to the Park.

Fishing will be slow today but trout can be caught.  Try big weighted nymphs or streamers that look like a small rainbow trout or a sculpin.  You might be surprised.  Fishing the way you normally fish during Spring through Fall won’t work well now.  Some of the fly fishermen I know resort to spinning rods and single hook plugs this time of year.

Looking ahead a few days we may see fishing improve.  First, it’s going to warm up right before Christmas.  And we will have cloudy conditions during that time.  That’s good too.  We will also have some warm rain on Thursday.  Sounds pretty good to me. 

Traffic was very light this morning.  There were more turkeys than people.  I saw only two cars on my way to work.  That will change soon.  Townsend will be hopping later this week and through New Years weekend.  One of our busiest weeks of the year is the last one between the two holidays.

We are finishing the third week of December today.  I expect we will be up around 20% over last year for the three week period.  November was up 25.25% over the same month in 2008.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed, hoping this trend will continue into 2010.  This has been a strange year in many ways.  We have made changes and adjustments and some were beyond our control.  Maybe the recession is over for small specialty retailers like us.  Like I said, my fingers are crossed.

Christmas will be here soon.  Today we will be getting calls from last minute mail order customers.  I just saw three phone line lights lit up.  I don’t get involved in the shipping end of our business but I guess FedX can get presents delivered by Christmas.  Gift Cards can be delivered by Christmas easily.  We can e-mail them. 

That kind of makes us like Western Union.  Remember them?  They are still around and running strong.  When I was born the company was 100 years old.  So I can easily compute their age now, 158 years old.  In the early days they used the telegraph and messenger boys on bicycles to deliver messages.  They are also still known as a source for sending cash, probably over the internet. 

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

Byron Begley
December 21, 2009 

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