“Chasing Shad: A Thrilling Fishing Expedition on the White River”

Unraveling the Shad Mystery: A Guided Fishing Adventure on the White River

In the bustling world of angling, the emergence of fishing trips coincides with the spirited arrival of shad coursing through the dam’s waters. Advising my companion, Mitch, we opted to commence with shad patterns given the robust flow of water (250 mw). Reflecting on last year’s unusual absence of high water in September, which typically signals a shad influx, I anticipated their presence near the dam, eagerly awaiting the surge. Although generating ceased mid-August, whispers of shad sightings in December hinted at their approach, yet not enough to indicate a significant migration.

Our Tuesday expedition began at 9 am, aiming to capitalize on the initial hour of high flow before transitioning to the dwindling water levels. Recognizing the abundance of shad, we anticipated a sluggish bite later in the day. As seasoned guides, we chose to conclude the excursion once the flow diminished, prioritizing our clients’ experience. With the following day off, I took a chance, hoping for a repeat of the shad phenomenon. Fortunately, luck was on our side, and Mitch accommodated a morning outing before departing for Memphis.

Our endeavor revealed an abundance of surface shad, yet initial attempts with white patterns proved futile. Trusting my intuition, we persisted, eventually encountering a frenzied feeding frenzy. The altered current dynamics, slower due to decreased flow, triggered an unprecedented feeding spectacle, with browns voraciously preying on the shad. Witnessing this spectacle was an unforgettable experience, culminating in Mitch landing two browns, a remarkable feat for a newcomer to this technique.

Day Two - Valentine's Day

Eager to share the excitement with my wife, Lisa, I invited her along for the second day, doubling our chances of success. Exploring all three water columns, we discovered the trout’s preference for mid-column bites. While the catch predominantly comprised rainbows, the steady action suggested promising prospects. Remaining committed to our strategy paid dividends, particularly for Lisa, who landed a sizable brown. As the day neared its end, Mitch finally hooked into his personal best, fostering camaraderie and elation among us all. Concluding the trip on this triumphant note left everyone content, a fitting celebration for Valentine’s Day, with the catch serving as an unconventional yet memorable gift for Lisa.


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