Tag Archive: Brown

Embraces of Thanks for TBird from Jim (left) and Jim H. at the end of the two day event.

Wayne, Reel Recovery Retreat 2011 Cedar Wood Lodge October

Once or twice a year I get the chance to guide on the river. This year was the first for the Reel Recovery Retreat, what a joy and an honor it was.

As I arrived and River Buddies (a term that the event co-ordinators use for Guides) were paired with the participants my day began with Wayne, a fly fisher and tyer whom I had met at previous Sowbug and we jumped into the Jeep and headed off for Dry Run Creek and Quarry Park.

Wayne made his first cast and “FishOn!” He was off to a great start; Wayne took in 16 beautiful trout in an hour and and a half, mostly rainbows, but he caught his first ever Cut-throat within a few casts.

Ken and Mary Ann Green fixed a great lunch and Dave Caravella took a survey of hands and questioned who had caught fish on the first half of the day- all were successfull. I congratulated Wayne on learning how to fish like a girl! To which he blushed and the fellow Reel Recovery buds and River Buddies teased; Wayne took it well. Then Dave asked the participants to find a different river buddy.

Jim H, walked up straight away and said-“TBird”, “would you teach me to fish like a girl, too!” So that afternoon Jim H. earned a new nickname, “Rainbow Jim”- he ended the afternoon session with 33 fish and this was his first experience with a fly rod. Rainbow Jim did very well and even landed a 4lb brown and two nice 2+lb rainbows along with one really gorgeous Cut.

The end of the first day was with a great steak and fine hospitality at Chris’ home just down from Cedar Wood Lodge where the River Buddies kicked back and traded stories and shared some quality time together.

The second day also began around 9:am again at Cedar Wood where I met Jim, who is an avid wood worker and experienced bass fisher. But today he would leave that all behind and walk into the new world of fly fishing as we drove to Dry Run Creek. During the drive Jim shared the remarks of his fellow friends, Wayne and Jim, who I had fished the day before; they told Jim he too would enjoy the “fishing like a girl” experience.

Once we were at rivers edge, a couple of casts in and Jim had his first feel of the tugging trout on a fly rod. I wish I could describe the smile and glow on his happy face, I couldn’t help but smile myself.
Many more trout to the net in the coming hours for Jim and they included a couple of 3lb browns, a beauty of a Cut-throat and some rainbows with thick shoulders and broad tails that produced a good fight.
15 trout successfully now under Jims’ belt on his first fly fishing adventure. I have to say, he had me beat!
As Jim and I drove back to Cedar Wood for lunch/closing ceremonies with the others, Jim had shared with me that he decided that he might have to expand more of his fly fishing experience once he got home from the trip and carry on with what he had learned…”to fish like a girl”, of course!

As the ceremony ended too soon as they always do and it was time for all to get on the road, there were tears as we shook hands and exchanged hugs between participants and the river buddies. Strangers who met only hours before but had bonded for a lifetime in only a few short hours. Some we will see again and others we will see in our minds as we reflect on our fly fishing waters in days and years to come.

It was Jeff Hearn, River Buddy and personal friend to me who pointed out this photo of Jim and Jim jointly embracing me. Jeff expressed that he was personally touch and moved by this photo (taken un-beknown to the three of us) by Mary Ann Green.

I feel so fortunate to have had that one on one experience with each special person and through a fly and a fly rod it becomes a common thread at the end of it all that holds each of them forever as another stitch in the fabric of my life…

A special thank you to the Greens and Cedar Wood Lodge for everything they do and to the Reel Recovery Co-ordinators for giving me the chane to meet these wonderful men.

The biggest thanks go to Wayne, Jim H. aka “Rainbow Jim” and Jim for allowing me to take them into my world of fly fishing and share my time with them, you are strong and dear to me…”Be Well! FishOn!”



Look at that Smile! Look at that Brown!

Current Report: August 3, 2011
Updated about once per month, or as conditions change.
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Hello Fly Fishers!
Oh, Boy, l guess we are all wishing the current heat wave would go away and at least leave us with some more acceptable levels. I cannot remember such a long period of near on or above 100f days. If there is any consolation it is the fact our rivers are tailwaters and subject to generation the water temperatures are maintained to acceptable levels for the well being of the trout.

As posted in my July report early morning and later evening times are about the best times to be on the water, either before the main heat of the day rise or when it starts to cool down. Granted if you are close to the dam zones then the influence of the cold water will at least keep the atmospheric temps acceptable, at least till the mid afternoon period.

At this time we are more or less seeing generations around the clock. White river generations reducing around 12pm to low levels, early morning generations are upped to 8 gates at around 20,000 cfs. If early morning generation (12 to 6am ) is cut way back this may give you some wade fishing options further downstream for the White. Norfork may see shut off and then generation release, here again early AM time.

In both cases wade anglers need to be well aware of the water rise and stay well aware.

More or less to make the best of the day you need to figure out best zones to fish, either with the fall out to the lower water levels before the new rise of water or at closer zones to the dam zones, where after the initial rise of new water the trout will settle and begin to feed. Its more or less at this time a knowledge game of knowing what options you have out there and making the right choice for your fishing location.

This past couple of weeks at least for myself and customers we have experienced some awesome days out there from Bull Shoals dam to lower Rim Shoals area. Both the Rainbow and Brown trout bite has been as good as you can get, particularly so for trophy Brown trout. As a rule during August Browns do start to move upstream, often you may well locate a number of fish in a given zone, often as not 3 or 4 may be caught before the others wise up. Better still is to catch one or two move out give them a break and return at a later time. This past two weeks l have seen 13 fish over 20 to 25 ins caught, 6 of which came in one day.

High water generations have also been advantages for way better than average Rainbows, fish from 15 to 22 ins. Particularly from Bull shoals down to Wildcat. We are also catching good numbers of Cutthroats from 14 to 16 ins.

Options for fishing should include for the lower water levels either wade or drift fishing, combinations of white tail, prism, shimmer midges, sowbugs in tan and gray, scuds in olive and gray, GRHE, PTNS or two fly rigs either with a dry dropper set up or a indicator.

Both wet fly and soft hackles have also produced well during the lower water flows. Fishing clean high water levels, here again the above nymphs are still working well in combinations with Dynamite, prism and San Juan worms, or combinations of dry dropper rigs or indicator dead drift systems. Contrary to belief the food base in the river remains the same be it midge, crustaceans, or terrestrials, that’s what the fish expect to see and eat, so it pays to fish imitations same. Simply the deal is when fishing higher water levels is to have the right length the set up for you leader system coupled with the correct amount of weight, and that will take some figuring out depending on the location you are fishing and known structure of the river bed.

If fishing colored water then you may need to add a high vis fly such as a egg or worm, often in clear water such flies may well spook fish, granted for stock fish not so much a problem.

Streamer fishing may be productive but do not be surprised if you get many follows and no positive hook ups, climatic conditions may be against you for one and secondly the fish may have been wised up before you fish the same water.

It’s also getting close to hopper time, all be it l do not expect great results while we see high water surface temps and bright light conditions. therefore best options will be early on before the sun rise high and late evening dusk time into dark. Make no mistake trophy browns are well capable of seeing a large dry during the night time hours, as well as larger surface fished streamer lures.

Ok that’s all for now. Enjoy the fishing but do take care given the serious heat advisory warnings we have out there.


About Davy Wotton
Davy has been making his living as a full time fly fisher in one capacity or another for over 30 years. He has written many articles for all of the fly fishing magazines, created several unique flies and fly tying materials which he developed into a full scale manufacturing operation in his native country of Wales, and is a much-sought speaker around America at fly fishing functions and shows. Over the years Davy has fished in over 40 countries around the world but his choice for base of operation is right here on the White River. Davy operates his American International Schools of Fly Fishing in Flippin, Arkansas.

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