The Conway Fly Fishing Film Festival is this weekend. We have been blessed to see a forecast of 82 degrees and sunny weather for the day. Come out and enjoy the casting, tying, music and other events. We are also having a great raffle for several different guide trips. Jamie Rouse Fly Fishing Adventures, Arkansas Drift, Hogs on the Fly, Two Rivers Fly Shop, Davy Wotton, Paul Hoelscher, White Hole Resort Gift certificate from Real Sportsman Magazine, and several other prizes will be giving away in the raffle. Each ticket is $2 dollars or 15 tickets for $20. You do not have to be present to win and all the proceeds from the raffle go to Project Healing Waters. Hope to see you all there. Be sure to come out and enter the Casting Tournament at noon. You will get a chance to cast the Sage One 5wt in the tourney. We will have all our SAGE and Redington Fly Rods out so you can come by and give them a try. Looking forward to Saturday. Hope to see you all out there.
Its been a wild couple of weeks and the way it looks the next two weeks will be more of the same. The Conway Fly Fishing Film Festival is Nov 3 and we are getting everything together to make that a great first event.
After our rush moving adventure last week, my girls knew just how to calm me down and get me back into a semi-relaxed state, a day trip to Dry Run.
We awoke without the sound of an alarm clock sunday morning, had breakfast at the house (the first time I had done so in a few months), through the gear in Jeepers and headed out. The Girls had not been to the shop in a couple of months so we “swung” by on the way out. Of course they both needed new Buffs and Kam saw the New MFC Trout Print Ipad cases and got one of those too. After grabbing a few extra flies, we were off.
The drive up 65 is always a nice trip, but the leafs starting to change and the heavy morning cloud cover made it especially enjoyable. There is no better time to enjoy a Sunday drive in Arkansas than a cloudy Fall day. The blaze orange and reds of the maples illuminate what would be at any other time of the year a dreary sky. As you will find out I have somewhat of a sickness on when I choose to go fishing. The cloudier the day, the more I wish to be on the water. Light Rain, cold, and even snow forces me to get out of the house and travel to the nearest (or farthest) destination to get a line wet. I have passed this affliction onto my kids. This was done by taking them on one of their first trips to Dry Run in late fall 3 or 4 years ago during a cloudy, drizzling rain. Their first adventure to Dry Run started with a stop at Wal Mart to buy ponchos. When we arrived at DR, astonishingly we were the only souls there. It was the girls and I, my buddy Barry (known as “gingerbeard”) and his son Tyler and a stream full of Trout. All that really needs to be said about that day is every time the rain picked up, we would ask the kids if they wanted to go to the car and the answer was always “No, lets keep fishing.” The affliction for inclement weather fishing was past. So a cloudy day now results in a trip somewhere.
Back to Sunday, If you get the chance to make the drive this week, I would highly recommend it. Especially the drive from Mountain View to Calico Rock. The Sylamore Forest was in full color and it is sure not to last.
We arrived at Dry Run at around 2 and again were the only Car on the lot. I threw on my waders while the Girls rigged up the rods for what was sure to be a great afternoon. I was admittedly probably a little over hyped for the experience. The sugar high from having waffles and syrup for breakfast and the follow-up Rockstar was taking hold of an already hyper personality. Not to mention knowing that your kids have a real chance at landing a trophy fish every time their fly hits the water gets me amped up. So we started down to the creek Kori, then Kam leading the way. As we walked down the side-walk along above the creek you could see several trout podded up in the pools below. The setting itself is beautiful. A tree covered, small, stone lined creek, clear jade tinted water with scattered shadows of the aquatic inhabitants moving forward and aft gathering the nutrition needed for their daily balancing act against the constant flow of water that both brings their food source to them and creates the resistance that cause them to need more. As I glanced back up I noticed that Kam is taller than the railing that she use to be the same height as. Kori is now scouting out where she wants to fish and then telling me “I want to go to the hole.” When we first started coming it was, “where do we go?” “What do I need to use?” Now Kori knows where she wants to go and what she wants to fish with. She can tie her own fly on but lets me tie the first on. The coaching from the sidelines is not needed, but is still given. Some of the advice taken but done so begrudgingly. It is pleasing to know that she has learned to go it alone but also a little heart wrenching to know I am not needed as much.
Kori started off with a streamer on an 8wt Sage tossing an Olive Butt Monkey. Once she found the right retrieve and watched several chase the wiggling wool and rabbit strip across the pool she landed a couple of nice rainbows. Kam went to work below the fall with some midges. After they fished those two holes out and got warmed up, we headed to the “Midge Hole” where we had seen a slew of Browns stacked up on the way in. The girls then alternated back and forth, pulling out 14 to 17 inch browns one after another. There were a few rainbows scattered into the mix. The biggest fish title alternated back and forth with both blonde heads shooting towards the Measure Net each time they landed one to check the number at the nose and tail to see who had claimed the lead. The fish were full of their autumn colors that matched those of the turning leaves around them. Full of life and acrobatics as they struggle to release themselves from the deception of steel and thread trap that had only moments before looked so appetizing. Kam hooked another and this one refused to come to the top. It ran to the far end of the pool and sank deep onto the bottom. I had to get out and walk around the scrub brush lined bank to get to the pool as Kam continued to hold pressure on the line. As I walked up to the pool, I could see the line penetrating into what I though was the dark shadowed bottom of the creek. As I slipped into the cold, calm water it erupted with action as what I thought was the bottom was fish stacked so thick that I could not tell with all the splashing which fish the line was tethered too. Then the shimmering butter and gold body sprang from the water and I thrust the net forward. Kam saw me make the thrust and dropped the rod to race to me to see her bounty. As I pulled the net up from the water I felt no resistance…the fish was gone. The slack that had been created when the rod fell had released the hold the barbless hook had on the jaw of the fish. Lesson learned, do not let up till your sure it’s in the bag.
Kori had a similar take while casting a streamer at the foam of the waterfall. As the fly seemed to struggle in the turbulence of the fall a large rainbow came up to take advantage of the seemingly stranded meal. We all watched as the fish rose and attacked the fly and the hook was set. Slack in the line would again become the enemy of the capture. We caught a few more and then the “Warden” (I’ll pay for this later) said it was almost 6pm and we still had a 2 hour ride back to the house so it was time to go.
Nimas is closed on Sunday so we headed straight back to a sub-par meal at the Bell in Mountain View reliving the days events on the way home.
If you have not taken your child to Dry Run, Pack them up and head that way. It is truly a state treasure. Come by the shop and we will get you hooked up with what you need to go, or get you hooked up with a guide. I would venture to say that there is no other resource in the state or nation that will get a kid more interested in fishing and possibly a trophy fish. Just remember to observe the rules and spend the time to make sure the fish is revived and taken care of while in your care. Enjoy and hope to help you get a “Rod Bent” soon.
“The fish you release today may be a gift to another, as it may have been a gift to you. — Lee Wulff”
As many of you know Chris Morris and I spent the Weekend at The FFF Fishing Fair (Conclave) at Mtn Home this past weekend. It was a great event. I got a Booth at the last minute and got Placed right beside The “Hogs on the Fly” Booth and Dave Whitlocks booth. Being my first time to the Conclave, I did not know what to expect. I showed up late and the place was packed. There were folks from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Missouri, and Tennessee. The highlight for me was meeting Dave and Emily Whitlock and getting my pic with Dave. I was equally as star struck by getting my picture and getting to talk to Sister Carol Anne Corley the “Fly Tying Nun.” If you have never heard of her here is a link to a good article. http://juneauempire.com/stories/092701/Out_nun.shtml
We got to meet a lot of people and got to talk fly fishing all weekend. Guides Chad Johnson, Ben Levin, Paul Hoelscher, Larry Babin, Ken Minsky, Dominic and Brian Wise all came by the booth and had some conversations about the river and doing some fishing trips in the future. Working on dates for some of them to come down to teach some tying classes on our Tuesday night meetings.
But the real fun started after we closed up shop on Saturday afternoon. We had planned on hitting the river early Sunday morning, but the cloudy overcast afternoon with a light mist and finding out that the SWPA was going to be running 2 generators was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Chris and I had already been talking to Larry, Chad, and Ben about fishing and some hot patterns and our “streamer affliction” had began to take over. So we packed up our booth and helped the SAGE/Redington Rep David Oldham break his booth down except for a few of the new 7 and 8 wt rods that needed a good “testing” on the river. Taking the new rods out for a test spin was Davids bartering tool to go along. We told Chad to have us a few flies ready (never underestimate the advice of a guy who “lives” on the river) and we were off.
We got on the water at about 6pm. 3 Guys, 6 rods, 2 rain jackets, 2 boxes full of flies and a full YETI headed off into the already darkening sky with a light mist slowly turning into a soft, icy rain. “Do you guys happen to have another rain jacket???? or some gloves?” The trip was not for the rational thinking person. It was cold, dark, and is not really something you want to do if you are just learning to cast. There is no light except for the occasional dock or house lights that are speckled along the river. Casting is strictly by feeling the lines roll out and load the rod at the end of the stroke, then starting your back or forward cast. But that was somewhat of the beauty of it. Not only could you not see where you were casting, but there was no sight indicator to watch. You could not see fish rising to cast to. Nothing to let you know visually that anything was even interested in what you were presenting except the distinct sound of “ga-loop”, and then physical “setting of the hook”, then the always rewarding tug on the line. It was an enlightening entry into a completely different experience in a sport that I was already in love with.
Strip, strip, strip…….GA-Loop!
So now I’m hooked on Night Fishing. Yes I caught a Fish but it was only about 16 in. After seeing those two fish there was no need for a picture of it. I spent a lot of time on the oars. Chris is a guide and I really wanted He and David to have plenty of fishing time.
We got off the water at around 1:30, in bed at 2:30, back on the water to float the Norfork at 6am. We caught several but nothing of any size. But for me its not always about catching fish. Time on the water with friends is always a good “investment”.
So swing by the shop and swap some stories, pick up some gear or find out whats hot on the rivers. Call and we will get a trip set up for you on the Little Red, Norfork, White, Or the North Fork of the White. The spawn is coming and we are going to experience an epic year with the lake levels being where they are. Lots of low water and streamer fishing when they are generating. We hope to help you “Get a Rod Bent” soon.
The river remains the same (low and clear). For the last couple of days, they have cut the generation back to one unit for one hour during the late afternoon. The water temperature is staying in the good range throughout the trout section of the river.
Arkansas Game and Fish stocked another batch of Mcconaughy rainbows in the Lobo and Dripping Springs sections last Friday. These are about 3 to 6 inches in length. This is making it hard to get to the larger fish in some areas since the little stockers are eager to bite. They are beginning to spread out over larger areas but you still may encounter a large number on shallow shoals in the area. The larger fish are still there; you just have to endure quite a few strikes from the smaller guys. A little inconvenience but it will be good for the river. This strain of trout seems to grow quickly and put up a good fight when hooked. Also, the brown trout will probably find them to be a good food source as they begin feeding before the spawn.
Fishing remains good with midge and blue winged olive hatches continuing on the river. I have seen some signs of caddis hatches but they are coming off mostly at night. Sow bugs, small midge pupas and small streamers seem to be the best flies. Small tippet and good presentations are needed in the low, clear water.Bill did everything right and was rewarded with this good brown on Friday.
Call Or come by the shop. We just received a new order of Fishpond and Yeti Coolers. We have some Baby Rainbow Flys From MFC that will be excellent patterns for the “Bait” AGFC is stocking the river with. We can even show you how to tie your own streamers to make the catch that much more rewarding.
We will also be putting out more Info on the Fly Fishing Film Tour and Festival that will be happening on Nov 3 at The Village at Hendrix on the Silver Moon Cinema.
Good luck this week and we hope you “Get a Rod Bent”.