Category: TBird Says…


FYI-
The Little Rock District COE Facebook Page has announced that one lane of Hwy. 177 across Norfork Dam will be closed at 7am on Sept 8th (today) and remain closed through the end of the year to conduct maintenance on the dam’s 12 gates. 

They ask that if you are traveling in the area to expect delays and please drive cautiously.

(Posted by TBird, Received from C. Graham, AG&F Trout Biologist)

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With great saddness that we want to pass along this information to all of you. We are sure that some of you would not other wise have heard about the passing of this wonderful man who worked diligently along with his spirited wife, Pat Smith.

Chet with all his tenacity and passion for fly fishing and tying as well as concerns for our fisheries system and healthy fish habitat lead by his example that we all must do our part for as long as we possibly can, just as he did.

Chet had a warm smile and a distinctive voice that I loved to hear.
Chet was tall in stature and even larger in his knowledge, opinions and terrific sense of humor and quick wit.

You will be greatly missed my friend.

For obituary and more service information and special request; please read below.

Davy Wotton and Teresa TBird VanWinkle

——————————————

Chester L. Smith
February 17, 1942 – August 30, 2015

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Chester L. Smith, Jr. was born February 17, 1942 in Searcy, AR to Chester L. Smith, Sr. and Ruby B. (Miller) Smith. He left this world to join them on August 30, 2015. In his last seven weeks, he suffered a compression fracture to his spine, a major stroke, a heart attack, a blood clot that necessitated the amputation of his lower left leg, and lung cancer.

Chester was a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Jurist Doctorate degree. Upon passing the Arkansas Bar, he joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was a special agent from 1966 to 1994 when he retired. During his time with the Bureau he served in Omaha, NE; Davenport, IA; Toledo, OH and St. Louis, MO. Upon retired he and his wife moved to Mountain Home, AR. He taught for several years at Arkansas State University-MH.

He was an avid fly fisherman and fly tyer. He was a life member of the International Federation of Fly Fishers and was awarded several awards from that organization. He was also a member of and past president of North Arkansas Fly Fishers. He was also an active member of Trout Unlimited, the Friends of the Norfork National Fish Hatchery, the Twin Lakes Retired Policemen’s Scholarship Association and the Society of Former Special Agents of the F.B.I.

In 1966, he married Patricia A. Pearle in Washington, D.C. He is survived by his wife of the home; daughters Shannon Smith of Nampa ID and Samantha (Jim) Farthing of Jefferson City MO; three grandchildren, Connor, Chester and Elizabeth; five cousins, Nancy Moore of Rogers AR, Harold Miller of Napa CA, Peggy Adams of Terra Haute IN, Steve Miller of Nashville TN and Barbara Gardiner of Fort Lauderdale FL; as well as a host of many friends and other relatives.

A memorial gathering will be held Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Conner-Hankins Funeral Home & Cremation Center Chapel from 2 – 4 p.m. to celebrate his life. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in his name be made to the North Arkansas Fly Fishers Scholarship Fund, PO Box 1213, Mountain Home, AR 72654. Following the service, an “old-fashioned Irish wake” will be held at the family home for family and friends.

An online guestbook and obituary are available at http://www.conner-hankinsfuneralhome.com.

Memorial Gathering
Thursday, September 3, 2015
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Conner-Hankins Funeral Home and Cremation Center
2833 Highway 62 West
Mountain Home, AR 72653

(From the desk of Christy Graham)

Hello All,

 

I know some of you are curious about what is going on at Norfork so  I obtained some more detailed information from the Corps of Engineers. 

 

Many of you have seen that the water is running around the sides of the gate.
(See photo)

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The gate was blocked by the bulkhead to allow painting of the gate and rehab on the side and bottom seals.  When the water came up in Lake Norfork, the work by the contractors was halted- this was outlined in their contract with the COE due to concerns for safety when the water got to a certain elevation.  The side and bottom seals are off and could not be replaced in time to prevent leakage.

 

We (AGFC) went out and measure temperatures today (July 28).  Temperatures throughout the river ranged from 60.2 F to 67.1 F (we took temperatures between the Dam and just upstream from the confluence). There were no signs of dead trout, but several anglers reported today that captured fish were stressed upon release.  That is not unheard of when temperatures increase in the tailwaters.  I urge you all to be aware of fish handling right now and try to reduce stress during capture as much as possible, especially if you plan to release the fish. The good news is that during generation, temperatures drop back down to the high 40s, providing adequate relief. If water gets any warmer, I will consider implementing a stocking restriction on Norfork until this situation has been resolved.  I will let you know if we get  to that point.

 

Because of the lake elevation in Bull Shoals right now, the COE is unable to give any channel capacity to Norfork above the daily minimum (firm power) [i.e., they cannot generate more than they are at this time].  Inflow into Norfork is close to outflow levels with the weekly rains they have had in southern Missouri.  Therefore Norfork has continued to rise.  However, it is 64% full, compared to 90% at Bull Shoals and 80% for the 3 lakes on the mainstem White River.

 

Reservoir control in Little Rock will send a note to the Operator at Norfork and ask that they give special attention to Norfork conditions (i.e., asking that they closely watch and make sure that minimum flow continues to operate at all times during non-generation, whether that be from the siphon or speed-no-load).  I assure you all that both the COE and ourselves are monitoring this situation closely.

 

Hope this clears up some of the speculation about what is going on.  Let me know if you have any questions.

 

Thanks, Christy

 

Christy Graham

Trout Biologist Supervisor

E-mail: Christy.Graham@agfc.ar.gov | P: (870) 424-5924 | M: (870) 404-0477

 

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

201 East 5th St. | Mountain Home, AR | 72653

O: (877) 425-7577 | F: (870) 425-6596

http://www.agfc.com

Posted by Teresa TBird VanWinkle July 28th, 2015

Davy and I are on our way to Louisiana.
We are happy to be returning to the North Louisiana Fly Fishers Club.

For more information on this club or tomorrows event click on the link below:

http://www.northlaflyfishers.org/events.php

Keep a hook in the vise,
TBird

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Jim Gaston, a man who was ready with a smile every time you saw him. I will miss Jim driving by the farm an honking, arm waving as he passed by. TBird

I first met Jim Gaston through working with the U. S. Fisheries Division and the development of the Friends of the Norfork Fish Hatchery.

His compassion and lifelong advocacy for the White River and is conservation was contagious.

We became friends through our mutual interest of the rivers and fisheries. I treasure the memories and accomplishments that we were able to share.

Jim leaves a tremendous trail of testament to his never-ending push for public knowledge of river conservation.

Rest in peace, my friend.
Teresa “TBird” VanWinkle

(For more on Jim Gaston and his accomplishments click on the link below)

http://www.ktlo.com/Jim-Gaston–champion-of-tourism–outdoors-legend-d/21741047

Posted July 13th, 2015

No day here at the Wotton farm is ever dull or boring and certainly not the same day in and day out–don’t believe me? Well, just ask about anyone who has spent more than a day with us.

I planned to spend today at the vise, it being Mother’s Day (a holiday) and I figured to get lots done. That’s my thinking.

Davy was sleeping in, 8:45 am house phone rings, a voice that I know well says, “Hello, Teresa- I wanted to give you a heads up that I will be there in about 30 minutes. Can’t wait to see you two. Bye.” Dave Whitlock!!

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Left, Dave Whitlock with Davy Wotton and one of the newly hatched little doves. May 10th, 2015

Friends for too many years to count stretching to the days of Davy living in Wales.

If you ever wondered if we all brainstorm and discuss our work when we are together, the answer is absolutely. We discuss it over coffee, over lunch,  

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My Mother's Day lunch buds- the two DW's. By the Bluegill pond in the backyard! May 10th, 2015 photo by TBird

while opening Christmas gifts; you get the picture. But as the younger one, sitting on the sidelines- let me just say, “best seat in the house!”
Before me sits a wealth of knowledge and history from around the workd, and it leaves me in awe every time.

Mother Nature with her graces allowed us to also video a bit for YouTube on the subject of fluorescence which I will be posting a link to in the days to come.
Flourescence in tying and fishing is a topic that seems to come up frequently from the public to both Dave and Davy. I took advantage of having them both together to get a demonstration for you all.

To Ms. Em, Davy and I missed you and look forward to the four of us getting together.

Happy Mother’s Day to all our Mother’s and to all our Mr. Mom’s too!!

Keep a hook in the vise-

TBird

By the time this idea had come about, Dave Whitlock, a master at everything, (just ask Emily) had already completed his artwork called, North Country Spider Collection.

For a couple of weeks now I have been working on tying a North Country Spider Collection of Flies, at the request of Dave and Emily; a companion set for Dave’s latest art print.
I couldn’t have achieved this without the collaborative effort and support of Davy Wotton and his infinite fly tying knowledge.

Once Davy had a chance to see the print he set to identify the art imitating flies. After that, it was my turn to get schooled on some new fly tying techniques.
It was while tying this collection of flies that the phrase, “less is more” was most evident.

Davy naturally was quality control, but a true gem if ever a mentor could be. After each fly dropped from the vise came a hand under the lamp…I watched his face as he inspected each fly, turning them over, pulling and adjusting the hackles, with sober face. With a pause and one last long look, turning toward me, finally there it was the “Davy nod”. (For many of those who fish with him, you know the nod.)

Photographing the fly.
The macro setting will drive you nuts! Although, not photo perfect to start with, I kept re-tying as all great tyers do and photographing until they could all be tied in repetition to satisfaction.

For more on these flies search the Internet for W. C. Stewart and T. E. Pritt.
I took a look through the online text from W. C. Stewart’s book, Practical Angler, circa early to mid 1800’s.
I laughed out loud while reading one of the phrases from the book.
It read something like this, “most fly tyers should apply the sparcest of materials to these flies, once finished, take them to the river and catch fish with it all day, then the sparse appearance will be more correct.” Although paraphrased here, you get the idea.
I would encourage you to have a look at the history of the Spider patterns.
Below is one of the nine patterns featured in the collection.

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Spanish Needle Tied by TBird April 2015

Once the flies patterns were decided, the flies tied; another first for me, my own personal logo on the fly boxes.

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My very own personalized logo!!

Truly the most nail biting wait was the final approval from the Whitlocks. Three days after mailing which seemed an eternity. (I refer to it as “fly tyers purgatory” suspended between, “yes”, “I nailed it!” and “burn it”, to begin again.)
Then a text from Emily- it simply read, Beautiful!

Now that the approval process is completed the North Country Spiders Fly Collection will be available from myself- you can contact me at flyfishingdiva@yahoo.com for more information…
  
Or Emily is also placing them on their website. The art is also on their website at http://www.davewhitlock.com

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Art by Dave Whitlock- North Country Spiders

For those who attended the Sowbug Roundup and who came by my table to inquire when the flies could be purchased as a companion to your art print – the time has come!

What a fun experience teaming with Dave and Emily Whitlock and Davy.

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This photo from the meeting than began the joint project. The Collaborative Team, TBird, Dave Whitlock and Davy Wotton, photo from Sowbug Roundup 2015 (Emily was holding down the fort at their booth) photo by Mike Morphew

I am blessed to be surrounded by such talent and fly fishing knowledge.

Keep a hook in the vise-

TBird

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin a spillway release from the Norfork Dam this afternoon at 4.
    Channel capacity in the White River currently allows for both hydropower units at Norfork to run around the clock to lower the lake. However, the Corps is making spillway releases while one of the hydropower units is offline for annual maintenance.
    Water will be released at 3,000 cubic feet per second through the turbine generator on Unit 1, and tainter gates two through six will be open one foot, releasing another 3,000 cubic feet per second.
    The Corps says the total release will be roughly equivalent to what both units at full power could pass, or 6,000 cubic feet per second.
    Future rainfall may cause the Corps to adjust releases at Norfork Lake.
    Lake elevation forecasts can be found at the Little Rock District water management website:http://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/reports/remote/lakfcst.htm.
    The Corps urges caution while boating and fishing below Norfork Dam while the water releases are in effect. Generation, lake elevation and river levels are available by calling (870) 431-5311. Fore information, contact the Mountain Home Project Office at 425-2700.”

 

 

From the desk of Christy Graham:

FYI.
I was notified yesterday afternoon that the Corps would be opening the spillway gates at Norfork Dam at 4 pm yesterday.  The following information was posted on ktlo.com:

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin a spillway release from the Norfork Dam this afternoon at 4.
Channel capacity in the White River currently allows for both hydropower units at Norfork to run around the clock to lower the lake. However, the Corps is making spillway releases while one of the hydropower units is offline for annual maintenance.

Water will be released at 3,000 cubic feet per second through the turbine generator on Unit 1, and tainter gates two through six will be open one foot, releasing another 3,000 cubic feet per second. The Corps says the total release will be roughly equivalent to what both units at full power could pass, or 6,000 cubic feet per second.
    
Future rainfall may cause the Corps to adjust releases at Norfork Lake.
Lake elevation forecasts can be found at the Little Rock District water management website:http://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/reports/remote/lakfcst.htm.
The Corps urges caution while boating and fishing below Norfork Dam while the water releases are in effect. Generation, lake elevation and river levels are available by calling (870) 431-5311. Fore information, contact the Mountain Home Project Office at 425-2700.”

 

Christy Graham

Trout Biologist Supervisor

E-mail: Christy.Graham@agfc.ar.gov | P: (870) 424-5924 | M:(870) 404-0477

 

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

201 East 5th St. | Mountain Home, AR | 72653

O: (877) 425-7577 | F: (870) 425-6596

Please share with anyone that you believe to be of interest in this event.

For as long as I have been aware this event has been held in March, but has had to be changed for the 2016 venue.
April can be quite busy with tourism accommodation so start getting your reservation made if you plan to attend.

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TBird tying a Spider st Sowbug Roundup 2015. Photo by Kevin Piper, Baxter Bulletin newspaper.

TBird

*******************************

From Sowbug Roundup Committee:

Bad news / good news.
The only available dates for 2016 for Sowbug were in either February or April.
We chose the April date.
While we were making those changes, we confirmed the next five years! 

Please pass the word to anyone who might not catch this message. A lot of people made reservations at motels and campgrounds based on the dates we had given them. 

The new dates are:
2016 – April 14,15,16
2017 – March 23, 24, 25     
2018 – March 22, 23, 24.    
2019 – March 28, 29, 30
2020 – March 26, 27, 28

If anyone needs local help in changing reservations, would be happy to help.

To contact: E-mail: sowbug@northarkansasflyfisher.org

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