Dry Run and a Norfork Trip.

Had an a chance to take Kam and a few of her friends to Dry Run Sunday.  To say it was a perfect day would be somewhat of an understatement.  I really dont know how many fish they caught but if a fly was in the water, within a few seconds a fish was on.

We started the morning off by helping everyone get the feel of things.  Watching Drift indicators, setting the hooks and not touching the reels if the rod was bent over to far.  After that only the occasional help to release fish was needed. 

Hayden Hooked the first fish and took one of my favorite pics of the day.  Kam and Abby started off on their own and Chris Curtis took a great pic of them in the fog.  We had the run of the creek to ourselves for most of the day.  The flies were the norm, small midges, flashy colors etc. Canon caught the Hog of the trip, a huge rainbow.  What I was impressed by was the fact that all the kids shared time on the poles in the hot holes.  It is a great feeling to help the kids hook fish, especially big ones.  But and even better feeling to be standing up on the ledge above, watching them hang fish after fish, and each of them netting the fish for the others.  No Ipads, video games or phones, just Fishing.  It really doesnt get any better than that. For More Pics checkout our Facbook page.

Monday broght a drift trip down the Norfork. I told Scooter that I would not mention anything about him stepping off the end of the Boat ramp and going completely under.  It was a really funny story that would have been a great read.  Especially the part about him yelling at Jordan “Full Waders! Help”.  Oh well  He recouped rather quickly and landed a 18 1/2″ Brown right off the bat.  I will say that the netting job by Jordan was both tense and exciting.  It was a method I had never seen before but it did get the job done.    All in all it was a great day.  I was a Cuttthroat shot of cathcing a grand slam.  I did catch a nice carp on a streamer which was fun.  I would say we slayed them but we caught several.  Color was the ticket.  Once we found the “hot” color the fishing got to rolling.     We finished the night off with a Pizza from Tommys that was unreal.  Pulled pork pizza, dont make any judgements until you try it.

Thats all for now, Come by the shop Friday and Saturday for some good deals on gear.  Find out what the hot patterns were and just hang out.

Remember, Money cant buy happiness, But It can buy Fishing gear and thats really the same thing.

“Get a Rod Bent”

Monday, Monday on the ‘Fork

Took another little trip on the Norfork on Monday with a couple of my customers.  Jimmy (the favorite,  inside joke) and Luke both were wanting a little time on the water and to learn a little more  about using a “sight indicator.” It did not take very much twisting of my arm to get me to go.

After last week I tyed up a few more small midges and PT’s for the trip.  We left about 7, got behind some sight seers around Sylamore and hit the water by 9:30.  AS we were fixing to drop the boat in I noticed some holding water on the ramp.  There was a small brown midge in it. I showed it to the guys to let them see what I had been talking about with all the midge talk. I would have took a picture but my phone I found out on the way up was full.  I guess its time to delete the countless pictures from vacations and fishing trips.  Its really kinda funny going through my phone.  I have as many pictues of fish as I do my kids.  However,  in my defense,  Several have both my kids and fish in them. After that we were off down the river.

It was hit or miss at first but Luke took the early lead.  Again he was using the miracle fly at the boat ramp pool.  There were 2 genrators runnin when we got on the water but didnt seem to be running full force.  We didnt linger long at the head of the river, I was hoping to get down to McClellan’s about the time the generation was suppose to end.  I did stop at my favorite little streamer hole and pounded the bank for just a bit.  It would only take 3 casts and an 16-17 inch Cutt pounced on the Galloups White Boogieman.  I was good.  Jimmy was ready to start throwing the 8wt SAGE ONE rod after that.  WE still had some high water to deal with but nothing else took the oversized offering.

THe next little strech would be hit and miss for a while as the water was beginning to fall. We pulled in few here and there but that seemd to be in all the boats.  I saw the other prototype Predator in the water with who had to be Forrest Smith and his clients.  He moved the boat up down and around McClellans with what seemed to be little effort.  I am ready to get behind the oars on one.  “Set, set , set!” and “Watch it now!” echoed around the lower pool but we didnt see to many make it to the boat.

The water finally started to drop out pretty good so we tried to push on down the river to get away from the crowd.  We pulled up on a shoal a fished awhile and caught a few more.  We looked at some different types of water and where to fish and why.  Luke fished to a set of 5 big fish feeding at the back of a pool.  He finally hooked one of them but the barbless hook did not hold.

We hit he water again and fished a big slow moving pool.  The sight indicator work that was done on the way down started to pay off.   Jimmy started making up for lost fish and gaining on Lukes fish total.  Luke hooked a beautiflully colored Rainbow that had some good size to it.  Jimmy would hook the largest Brown of the day.  It was also the only brown so we will leave it at that.  As we floated to the bottom of the pool, a heron flew over making its unmistakable call.  Then as we were all observing the white and pink thingamabobbers, waiting for any movement, a huge fish leaped from the water and landed with the sound of a large boulder faling from a cliff into a deep pool of water.  I saw only the tail as it slapped the water.  Instantly, both flies came out of the water and landed in the vacinity of the splash.

The water was all the way down now and we still had a good strech to drag the boat.  I walked it through Ackerman while the guys fished the shoals.  I saw John Berry on the bank as I was walking down.  I had met him before at the conclave, but after years of seeing is charichter on his logo he becomes unmistakable on the river.  The guys caught a few more and we headed to the pullout.  I managed to stay dry this trip but a bad Mcburger in Mt View made the trip home interesting.

Ill be in the shop the rest of the week.  New stuff coming in today and Paul Hoelscher is coming in tonight to teach the tying class.  Hope to see you there.

Good luck bending a rod.  Come by and we will try to help you make it happen.

Norfork with Johnny and Jim

The Toad Fly Shop 501-499-6914

I had planned to take a day and float the Norfork after the Conway Fly Fishing Film Festival.  A float down the river always seems to get my head back in order and yesterday was no different.

We arrived at the river just in time to catch Matt Millner of Jamie Rouse Fly Fishing Adventures heading out on the maiden voyage of Supreme Boats new “Predator” drift boat.  I have been talking to Rob (the owner of Supreme) about the new boat and was very excited to actually see one.  I like the looks of it.  Matt said last night on Facebook that he was very pleased with it on high and low water.  I am supposed to have one here at the shop around the end of the month and will be selling them shortly after. I will be writing a blog post with more info on the boat as soon as I get it on the water.

The water was up so we dropped the boat in the water. While Jim and Johnny were gearing up the rods, I took the Truck and trailer down stream and caught a shuttle back to the boat from Dominic from Two Rivers.  The thing I always loved about Two Rivers was Jim (the old owner) and his big, bushy, white, trout wizard beard.  He always had a few tips for how the river was fishing that he would lay upon you as he drove you back up river.  I have to admit I have a little touch of beard envy.  I will blame  it on the fact that my wife doesnt like it when I try to let it grow out.  The fact is I dont believe I have the genetics to grow a good one. Anyways, it is somewhat appropriate that the new owner, Dominic would seem to be a younger version of Jim with a big, bushy, brown, trout apprentice beard and a slightly thicker southern accent.

I arrived back to the boat, jumped in and gave a guy some tips on where to fish since the river was up, and pushed off.  The fishing was a little tough at first.  We hung around the upper part of the river a little too long but got some good time in on learning exactly what to be looking for with a sight indicator.  That little bit of extra time would both payoff and hurt us a little later on. Johnny hung a few fish and landed a couple of them.  The miracle fly seemed to be the ticket at the head of the river as it was over run with powerbait fishers and the miracle fly seems to mimic the power bait.  On down the river we went.

The water started falling as soon as we started downriver.  Falling water for me has always been somewhat of a bad time to fish.  The next hour was no different. We pulled over just above McClellans and had some summer sausage, beverages and some laughs. Johnny is full of good fishing stories.

We pulled over at the first shoal and swapped out flies till we found the magic mixture of feathers and fur.  Jim and I went at th shoal first as Johnny was hesitant to put on the his waders.  Johnny was content to watch us pulling in 12 to 15″ rainbows and take in the scenery of the colors of fall on a deceptively warm fall day.  The next few events would inspire him to suit up.  First, Jim, while learning to adjust from setting the hook on bass, broke his fly, tippet and thingambobber off on a fish.  The fish disappeared into the pool and was gone.  Then after rigging back up, Jim and I both doubled up on 15″ rainbows.  After landing them and releasing them back into the water, Johnny said “did y’all lose a thingamabobber?” He pointed out about 15 feet out in front of me a white thingamabobber still tethered to a fish.  I tried to walk towards it but it swam upstream about 10 feet.  I was fishing a weighted “Extra Crispy” so I hollered back to Johnny for a witness and said, “Watch this.”  Now most of the time you here someone from the South yells, “Watch this!”,  a camcorder is usually handy as an event  is fixing to transpire that could earn you some money on Americas Funniest Videos.  However, no alcohol was involved so the events were pretty tame but still entertaining none the less.  I cast up-stream just above the Sight indicator and let the line drift back over the tether and jerked to snag the indicator.  It took two casts but I snagged the line and indicator and released the fish free and clear.  I had no more released that fish and Jim hung another.  He fought the rainbow for a few minutes then landed and released it.  He cast back up and the Thingamabobber stopped and the hook was set.

“Is it a Fish?”

“I don’t Know”

The indicator  moved forward a foot and the rod bent over with the pressure.

“yep, it’s a fish!”

“Do you need the net”

“I don’t….” the water boiled ahead of the indicator and started to take out line off the reel, “Oh yeah, I need the net!”

After a few minutes the fish was laying in the bottom of the net.  “13 at the head and 5 at the tail, that’s an 18″ Brownie!”

Johnny started slipping on his waders.

I pulled the boat down river to get ready to float the next stretch of the river.  Jim and Johnny continued to fish above the pool.  We jumped back into the boat and set off.  A few 100 yards down stream Johnny enticed a very nice rainbow into taking his fly.  A nice hookset and the fish went airborne.  I would say that the fish realistically went over 20 inches.  I would also say that the rule that a fish tends to grow in size the farther one gets from the river makes me think the fish  was closer to 24 to 26 inches.  Either way it was a nice fish that through the hook before we could land it.  We caught a few more before Johnny landed a fish “with a nice set of shoulders”.  A 17″ beautifully marked Rainbow.

“just take the Picture”

  We fished some more but the time we spent at the head of the river had caught up with us.  The light was fading and with no flow on the river it was going to take a lot of rowing and dragging to get to the dock.  As we rounded a corner we got to watch a decent buck fording the river.  As he reached the island he stopped and turn to watch us.  The deer and I sat there for a moment and studied each other with calming sounds of the rushing water coming over the shoal behind us in the background.  The picture was somewhat similar of a painting that you would see in an Outdoor Life magazine.  It would have to  be a painting because moments like that are seldom captured on camera as the participants are usually wise enough to take the time to just enjoy the image unfold before them.  The true beauty of nature is seldom captured on film anyway.  Man has yet to be able to capture the full range of colors, sounds, smells and feel of nature that combine to make the time spent in there seem more like an investment in ones own soul.  As some turkeys took roost in the trees behind us we pushed on forward.  While pushing on down through Ackerman access, the boat got to moving a little faster than I wanted and clipped my legs and into the drink I went.  The same thing that waders keep dry, stay wet with waders on.  I was thankful that we were close to the confluence and a the pullout point.

After a good meal at the Wing Shack in Mt View, the drive home and a hot shower I hit the sack.  Tired eyes and arms hit the pillow at what seemed to be the  same time the alarm went off.  Rise and shine.

Stop by the shop and we will try to help you get a rod bent.  New Stuff will be coming in from Montana Fly Company next week.  Come by and make your wish list so whoever is shopping for you gets the things that you want put under the tree. $10 Toad fly Tees Sunday afternoon.  Come check out the Conway Downtown area Sunday after Church.  Enjoy some good food and shopping as The Downtown area gets ready for the Christmas season.  1-5 Sunday afternoon.