White River Fly Fishing - Weekend Report
I'm sure this could turn into a debate, but I didn't think this years "February Streamer Bite" was all that great.
I wonder if anyone else thought that as well? I did a lot of streamer trips in February, but the crowds are getting thicker and thicker which in turn means we have to think a little outside the box to get these bigger ones to eat.
Bottom line is, PRESSURE. Every time you turned the corner to hit a bank it just got fished with a streamer.
I also noticed that the big big monsters weren't caught like previous years too.
Trust me, I'm not complaining, it is what it is and us guides have everything to do with promoting it so we just have to accept this streamer craze and make the most out of it
March seem to be less crowded and the water was still ideal for running streamers.
I sure wish we had mouse water at night, but we didn't. Hopefully this upcoming August through December we will.
I like this bite the best nowadays because you really have all the water to yourself most nights.
That's a whole other subject to talk about, but if you want more information never hesitate to give me a call and we can go into more detail.
My buddy Les just retired so he's been traveling the states in his R.V. and finally made his stop to Arkansas.
I fished him with his Son a few days in March, but really fished Les hard in the month of March.
Les is a streamer junky and only fishes his flies that he ties. He doesn't care much for indicator (bobber) fishing so he is in the class just like the dry fly purist.
He will wait for the right conditions for streamer fishing just like a dry fly fisherman who will wait for bugs to hatch before they get excited. I respect that passion for sure, but I'm the guy who wants to catch fish any technique as long as it's with a fly rod.
With that being said, Les had the perfect conditions and he was all about chartreuse and white streamers, especially two patterns in particular.
One is the Kelly Galloup Bottom's Up and the other one is the Game Changer using polar fiber brushes.
I'll tell ya, the Game Changer has some serious action in the tail and really swims like a baitfish for sure. I actually learned something from Les.
I've never really fished this chartreuse, or should I say chartreuse that has a glow to the material when you see it in the water.
He definitely made a believer out of me when I saw that this fly in particular out fished any other fly we used in the month of March and I believe it had a lot of it had to do with the "glow" of the material.
You could really see this down deep in the water and so can the fish.
Les also likes slow pulls and long pauses, something to think about next time your stripping streamers.
I've seen several different ways to strip streamers, but one thing to keep in mind when running streamers fast is you miss a lot of strikes because you are really never ready for the hook set.
Most of the times, you get the hit on the pause, so it's really important to have pause and the pause allows you more time to feel the hit and then set up on the strip set.
I would also agree that stripping flies fast depending on the pattern, like a streamer with a deer hair head either with some sort of lead eye with your sinking lines have a way batter action to them when stripping fast for sure, but the ones that don't, try slowing down and see what happens.
You'll be amazed that slow strips can trigger more hits and when it's a slow day I've seen this type of presentation change the day from slow to productive.
In conclusion -
March was a better month for me overall because we got several hits thoughout the day and kept active.
Only downfall is we only stuck smaller brown's for the most part, but averaging ten a day was well worth it.
And keeping the customer happy doing what they love is key for success.
Les is still here and will be until the end of May.
My goal before he leaves is to get him fishing this caddis bite which i believe he will absolutely love if we can get them to eat up top.
However with higher water fishing dries is not the best way to target brown's in numbers, you have to get down closer to the bottom.
Yes, you can get them on top, but you won't catch as many brown's through the day unless you can target strictly risers and you know they are brown's that are feeding up top.
I like lower flows when fishing dries, but everyone has their way of doing it, so get out there and take advantage of it.
You'll be glad you did!
School aged kids all across the four state region couldn't be more ready for Spring Break, little did we all know that all them including mine would not be returning back to finish up the 2019/2020 academic school year.
When all of the Covid-19 shutdowns started to take place I was safely planted in our little 5th wheel parked at Copper John’s Resort alongside my family. Spending time with them at camp, on the water and helping run a family group trip with another longtime client of Fly’s and Guides, Todd.
Todd has been bringing his family on an Arkansas spring break camping trip since his youngest was still in diapers, with two of his children already in college and the rest in middle and high school, he still somehow manages to get it all done every March.
This group of kids knows Dry Run Creek like the back of their hands. Everything was planned for mornings at the DRC and afternoon/evenings on the Fork. Unfortunately, this year brought that high water everyone has been talking about making those evening wade trips a big NO GO.
I was more than happy to step up and help get everyone out on the water, Jeremy and I worked up mostly by the dam to keep the kids on a steady bite in the afternoons. Pink San Juans, White, Peach, and Chartruse Mega worms, White Marabou Jigs, and Yellow and Peach Miracle Flies produced well throughout the trip.
When it was all done Sam caught his first trout on a fly rod, Zach landed his largest brown to date (on the big water, even bigger than what he has landed at DRC), Ben started the learning curve of casting weighted line and articulated streamers with Jeremy, and to be honest it was just so much fun watching this family interact that I really can’t keep listing all the wonderful memories that were made on this year’s trip.
So glad this family got to get out and make memories before the lockdown and social distancing started.
March was another month that I got to go along for ride and enjoy a little fishing and spending some time with Jeremy learning more about the ever changing White river water flows.
Les and his faithful dog Cassie, was nice enough to let me go along for the ride for a couple of days. Les being such a gentleman and quite frankly probably just felt sorry for me after a day of me watching him catch brown after brown with his Kryptonite game changer.
On the second day he insisted I have the front of the boat. I fished the slop mop in olive and yellow throughout the afternoon with minimal luck….but more than likely it was that I just missed a few opportunities.
As the evening bite started to roll in and the temperature startied to drop I remembered that ugly old chartreuse and black lap dancer that worked the month before in about the same weather and water conditions.
So out of the meat locker and into the water she went and within a few minutes, I was able to hook up with back to back browns on what is still one of the ugliest flies in my streamer box.