Finest Arkansas Tailwater – Norfork

Reports From The Field - Flys

May 6, 2014


Finest Arkansas Tailwater – Norfork
May 6, 2014

Scott’s first time being introduced to the Norfork
A day he will never forget.

The next time I fished the finest Arkansas Tailwater – the Norfork, was with David and Sam was about nine days later. This day we had generation until 9am and then off until 2pm. I wanted to fish low water, but did not  want falling water. We put in at 9:30 and by the time we got the shuttle downstream and rods rigged, it was pushing 10ish. The timing was perfect for what I wanted to do.

Again, another windy day and calling for thunderstorms in the afternoon. We didn’t wear waders hoping we could beat the storm. My goal again was to get downstream and not bother with up top in the bait holes. It was crowded again and one drift boat was working the tail end of  the Long Hole. This time I wanted to spend time fishing the deeper section in this particular area. In the winter months I learned that big browns hold in the stretch.

I wanted Scott to spend some time fishing it hard. The wind was blowing upstream like it normally does so rowing was tough.  It allowed us to spend a little bit more time making sure we hit every hole thoroughly. Long hole is a about a four hundred yard stretch that has no runs, riffles or shoals. It’s just open water that has a few deep spots. Lot’s of people probably overlook this stretch, but like I said, it produced for me in the winter and I’m sure it never changes. The key is having the stars line up like it did for me in the winter and when I fished David and Sam. I love low water and bad conditions (ie. windy, stormy) when fishing the river.

Scott's Norfork Brown Trout 17 inches
Scott's Norfork Brown Trout 22 Inches

Once we entered into the Long Hole, I told Scott to get ready and pay attention to his drift, in other words stay focused. Our first brown we hooked was 17 inches. We were off to a good start and usually when this happens you can expect more browns to follow. Not only that, but this Arkansas tailwater is holding more fish now than ever before, especially for this time of year. We hooked a few smaller fish as well.

Once in a while we would hook another brown and they were getting bigger as went through long hole. Scott’s next brown was 20 inches and we had both of these fish within fifteen minutes. It was looking good for our team as we kept fishing. Then I showed Scott a spot where the current picks up and brown’s love to hold.  Scott sets again and this fish “B” lines it.

We knew this brown was a little bigger than the other two we hooked so we played this fish and it was a 22 inch brown. Scott has been with me for a while now so he knows the ends and outs on how to play these fish so I wasn’t worried if he would lose it or not.

So the first hour produces three nice browns and we haven’t even hit the good spot that Sam and David did all their damage in. We were both looking forward to our journey downstream as we get closer to the good stretch. I was anxious because I had the same results with my other trip I had here just two weeks earlier. As we approach McClellan’s, I told Scott this is where it’s going to happen if we have any shot at a big fish.

As we were getting closer to the stretch I’m getting fired up hoping Scott will get the “one”.  Well, he never got the big one, but he did catch some quality trout. We spent about one hour in this stretch and he hooked two really nice rainbows with the biggest being 20 inches, one nice cutthroat, and three other browns that were 17-20 inches. It was a great day by any guides standard.  It was another stellar day on the Norfork and I’m sure it will continue.

We kept fishing, but I knew for the most part we did what we set out to do. The surge finally caught up to us around the Handicap access so we both decided to row out and call it a day and leave on a good note. As soon as we left and went our separate ways, the storm hit and we both drove back home in the rain thinking about the day we just had on this awesome tail water.

Scott's Norfork Rainbow Trout 20 inches

Here’s what Scott had to say about his first trip on the finest Arkansas Tailwater – the Norfork

Have fished with Jeremy for the past several years on both lake taneycomo and the white river but had never fished the north fork of the white river either with him or on my own. We set up a day to fish and after weighing the options Jeremy chose the go to the northfork. Was I ever glad he made that call. We hit low water and had an exceptional day with browns, rainbows and a very nice cutthroat. The browns were 18 to 22 inch fish that fought as browns always do but the rainbows were also larger than normal with a hook jawed male to top it off. Jeremy called the shots and generally predicted where the action would occur as we approached each separate area. I cannot think of a better guide than Jeremy to both enjoy a day of fishing with and also learn different techniques and strategies to make you a better fly fisherman. I would completely recommend him for fly fishing this area.

The finest Arkansas Tailwater, the Norfork, has been on fire ever since the siphon was implemented to create better oxygen quality. You can send me a email directly to [email protected] if you are interested in booking a guide trip. Feel free to visit us on Facebook, If you really liked this article, +1 above – check us out at +flysandguides (Google+) or send us a tweet with a question or just to say hi. Check out the Fly of the Month!

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