Tag Archive: fly fishing


18, 000 cfs generation is not every bodies cup of tea.
When it comes to fishing the White River, granted fishing high, fast water is not quite the same as the lower flows. We fish for risers taking caddis, mayfly and midges.
Nevertheless it’s what you have to deal with when the dates are booked, which was the case when my regulars- Ed, Jim, Bob, Ted and Saxon arriving for their regular fall fishing trips with me.

That is not to say the fishing is worthless, far from it.
What it requires is intimate knowledge of the river so far as where the fish will likely be found and given the zone you are fishing; what is going to be your best option.

Some days it may be a large dry that induces a trophy Brown to show up, maybe a streamer at times, or deep water nymph tactics, not to mention traditional style wet fly, which for myself is always a good bet.

Contrary to belief neither is fishing rigs with large gaudy flies or heavy weight the only game in town. 
Each section of the river may require a different approach. 
Granted a good choice is to fish close to banks, but not always. Mid-stream shallows over gravel bars and rock structure will likely hold fish, as will slow water run offs from fast water seams.
Fishing over grass and moss beds may also be productive at times.
Fact is fish will tend to move around during high water flows.
Even better, high water flows are good for the Rainbows to add some weight.

Generally at this time of the year the Browns have packed on weight in readiness for the spawn season and may not be as aggressive as they were earlier in the year.
Often as not the females are heavy with eggs and are less likely to have interest in larger food sources. It is at such times that smaller flies will better the larger patterns, which was certainly the case for my fisherman.
Racking up between them some impressive numbers of Bows, Browns and Cutthroats, some of which are included in the pictures shown.

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By the way two of the larger Browns were caught fishing DW style wet fly tactics, size 12 hook flies !!!

Davy

(Posted by Teresa “TBird” VanWinkle)

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Public Announcement:

Hello Everyone,

 

The AGFC Trout Management Program will be hosting a general public meeting on Thursday August 13th, 2015  to discuss the current status of the Bull Shoals and Norfork Tailwaters.  The meeting will be from 6:00-8:00 PM in the McMullin Lecture Room, Dryer Hall, on the Arkansas State University campus in Mountain Home.  I  will be giving a presentation about data collected during recent years and discuss upcoming projects planned for the rivers. We’ll also discuss recently completed projects.  There will be plenty of time for questions at the end of the meeting. Multiple representatives from AGFC will be in attendance, including our new Chief of Fisheries, Chris Racey.

 

We look forward to providing you all with this information and hope you will be able to attend. Feel free to send to other interested parties.

 

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 July 15, 2015

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Davy Wotton and long time friend, Kelly Galloup at Dally's Ozark Fly Fishers annual Streamer Love Fest last night in Cotter, Arkansas. (Photo courtesy of TBird.)

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Selfie op here- TBird and Kelly Galloup at Dally's Streamer Love Fest. TBird photo.

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Streamer Love Fest 2015 was a personal complete success from an attendee perspective. Kudos to the efforts by all involved! Well done!

Davy reminisces with Jim and Brenda Duggan (above photo) over some artistic drawings of well known Legends of Fly Fishing.

Although this event held annually is a celebration of the technique of streamer flies and fishing streamers, it appeared to me that it could have been an abbreviated version of Who’s Who of Fly Fishing.

One thing for sure, right there under the roof of Dally’s Ozark Fly Fishers last night there was no shortage of decades of experience in the art of fly fishing and fly tying.

Everyone seems to eventually settle into a style and technique in the world of fly fishing and tying, just one of the aspects in my opinion that makes this sport especially unique. The other being that it truly can be enjoyed by all ages, without regard to gender.

I had such a terrific time and wish that I had took more pictures but got so busy visiting with all who gathered; a spectacular precursor to the areas next annual event, Sowbug Roundup 2015!
Many conversations last night included plans to attend the Sowbug event. As time gets a bit closer I will be posting information and a reminder for you.

In closing, besides Superbowl 49 today, Bull Shoals trophy zone also opens. Be sure to check the regulations for fishing zones and if you are unsure, stop in at Dally’s for newest copy (or many other locations) or go online to: http://www.agfc.com for up to date regulation changes- 2015 Arkansas Game and Fish Trout Fishing Guidebook.
Ignorance will get you a fine!

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We take violations on our trout serious here in Arkansas.

Our Game and Fish Field Officers are invaluable to the conservation of our rivers and the aquatic inhabitants who thrive in the White and Norfork Rivers, hats off and a huge thanks to all of them.

You too can protect our resources while on our rivers by calling the Stop Poaching Hotline open 24/7: a Toll free number 800-482-9262. Put this number in your phone contacts before you head to the river.

Keep a hook in the vise,

TBird

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Paul Arden, of Sexyloops, fly fishing for Snakehead. Photo provided by Davy Wotton.

Fly Fishing for Snakeheads, you better believe it.

This is my friend Paul Arden of (Sexyloops ) fishing for the Snakeheads in Malaya, may be they are not so worthless as we might assume.

This would be a awesome trip if you ask me.

 

Davy.

(Posted by Teresa “TBird” Van Winkle- December 30, 2014)

In conjunction with Steve Dally of Dally’s Ozark Fly Fishers and Fly Fishing the Ozarks, Brian Wise we (Davy and myself) put together a collection totalling 5 videos earlier this year.

Last in the series:
Davy Wotton’s Catchall Caddis: http://youtu.be/H5aE7Qd1JR8

For those of us who aren’t yet converts of using the term Fly Fishing Fair…the last week of September til the first week in October will find every guide in a tissy with bookings …the rivers will be wild with fly fishers from across the country for one last get together this year!

The website and registration info on the event is fully vested as I am given to understand.

Davy has a Friday program on the water.
I will be tying on Saturday.

We do not have a booth as we have too many scheduled conflicts at the time.

To pre register or see a full schedule visit http://www.southerncouncilfff.org

Til Then- keep a hook in the vise.

TBird

At least for the most part we escaped the normal high temperatures we often see here in July, all be it this past few days its back to normal seasonal temperature.

Often as not that will also mean we will see some high water generations due to increased power demand, which is at this time taking place.  That being the case options for the best zone to fish will largely be based on water levels.

That being said their are two options here. The first is to check the COE site to see what was run prior 24 hours, that will give you some idea of what to expect at lower levels from the dam in the case of the White River if water was generated or not, rise or tailwater.

So far as the Norfork, rise and fall of water takes place quicker due to the shorter length of that river.

The second is to check projected schedules for the day, that said do not take it for granted that is what will take place. Pretty much to keep up to date with what is taking place you need to check on a regular basis.

 

Fishing.

The past month has been as good as you could ask for.
Stocking levels are high at this time so plenty of rainbow trout out there, not to mention always the chances to nail some of the trophy Browns, which indeed we have.

What you will have to do is to adjust your rigs and methods to suit the conditions and water levels where you are fishing at that time.
What we do now see compared to past years before min flow is the water temperatures well within the comfort levels for the fish, and due to that you may well find fish active all day, as there will be no serious increase in temperature to shut the bite down.

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Ian Cooper with one of the trophy Bows he caught fishing with Davy at Bull Shoals Dam. (Davy Wotton photo.)

My general approach at this time is to fish dry fly early on before the sun gets high and puts the fish down from surface interest.
Options here will include flies in the order of ants, beetles, hoppers, humpies.

Two fly rigs are also a good choice, hopper with an ant or humpy trailer are working well.

If you are fishing high water then during the day you might try fishing hoppers close to the banks and under overhanging vegetation, you never know when that trophy brown will show interest.

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A 22 inch Brown, took a Red-head Black Whitetail Midge.

(Davy Wotton photo)

 

Best bet after fishing the dries is to fish nymph rigs.  If lower water levels then you will not go far wrong with this range. Whitetail midges in black, pearl, silver, red. Also red-head whitetails. Pheasant tails, Hares’ ear scuds and sowbugs.

If fishing at Bull Shosls Dam or Norfork during min flow levels then you will need to scale down hook sizes, here you will need a range of small midge patterns, (18/24 hook size ) pupa, emergers and dry. Both small scuds and sowbugs likewise good choices.

Fishing both dead drift and with slow retrieves soft hackles and wet flies likewise can be deadly, so always worth giving this method a try.

As light levels increase so fish will seek shade, that being the case look for  zones where there is more depth, moss beds and rock structure, guaranteed you will also find fish in residence.

 

Water conditions are generally as good as you can get so far as clarity during lower flows, that said the fish can be wary, there fore longer leader/tippet sections may well be needed down to 5 and 6x.

Likewise the same will apply if fishing Bull Shoals Dam trophy zone during high water generation as here water will be gin clear. Lower down stream this may not be the case.

 

The deal is when fishing high water flows is to get the flies close to the river bed, which in the case of fishing clear water does not always mean you have to fish large flashy bugs ( unless the water is well colored) often as not that is not the case. Generally, l will fish same as l would for lower levels.

It’s as simple as this, the trout can easily see the naturals under these conditions, and they will likewise your imitations.
Case in point, l was fishing Bull Shoals Dam couple of days ago when 17,000 cfs was running. Those trout bows and browns were stuffed with sowbugs and scuds, most of which were in the hook size range 16/18,  likewise they also took our imitations of same size. That said in the case of the trout at Bull Shoals Dam we are not talking about newbie stock fish a also the case for the larger resident fish on the Norfork River.

 

I am often asked about night time fishing.
My experience is this, it is generally not worth fishing if there is thick fog on the water, that said with the current low water temps and high atmospheric temps odds are you will not find good conditions for night time or early morning of much worth until the fog starts to lift.

 

Tight lines all.

 

Davy.

 
(posted by Teresa “TBird” Van Winkle)
 

June; not as yet summer heat and humidity, but its on the way. Meanwhile the rains continue as l write.
l guess in way it’s good for the trout and the growth of what we have planted in the yard, not so much so far as having to mow the lawn more frequently. 

Fishing this past month has been pretty darn good, now the water temps are in the 50’s. Mininimum Flow Release along with released generations have more or less kept the river with good flow rates and that in turn has provided great habitat and food base for the trout.

Hatches.
Not much at this time so far as hatches; caddis was not as we have seen before and as yet we await the appearance of the sulphurs and related mayfly species.
If they do, and you see trout interested, then you will have options to fish: soft hackles, emergers, nymphs and dries- patterns associated with the species.
At this time the fish are concentrated mainly on midge, sowbugs and scuds, bait fish and crawfish, snails also in certain zones. 

Fishing
As a rule brown trout become more nocturnal in feeding habits once the day light hours increase, that said we have had some awesome brown trout fishing early AM before the sun gets high and the light conditions become unfavorable.
Typically, when the fog is still present over the river and the day is generally overcast.
Other than that, the rainbows for the most part have been active all day long. Water levels have generally not been high enough for big time streamer drift fishing, that said many of the big brown we have caught recently have been taken fishing wet fly and nymph rigs and smaller streamers tied to 8 and 6 long shank hooks, such as the sculper and Davy Wotton Bugger.

Often as not as of now when we see increase flows the river may become trashy with dislodged moss and alga, best bet here is to fish dead drift methods which will reduce crap on the leader and flies, same will apply if you fish your rig too hard on the bottom, likely your flies will be covered in moss and crap. Either way it pays to check your flies regularly.  

In the case of nymph fishing,  White tail Midges in black, red and pearl have caught serious numbers of fish including 20 inch plus browns.
Hook sizes 14/16. I have also fished many days with two fly combinations of a white tail midge and a soft hackle set 18 inches above the Whitetail Midge  or at times below the midge, again 18 inches below. The latter rig well suited to shallow water zones.

You may also find in the slower zones you will have to reduce overall size of your flies to max size 16 and even 18’s for dead drift techniques, you might also try a two fly rig of soft hackles 16/18’s, again fished dead drift.
I would also include this month so far as nymphs are concerned, gold ribbed hares ear, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Sowbugs and Scuds.
If the water is high and dirty, then you will need to fish flies they can see such as Prism Worms, eggs and jigs.

You may also see early AM fish working the surface taking midge, choices here will include midge type soft hackles, pupa and emergers.

Small dries may also work well. In the case of dry fly fishing, now water temps have risen and the fish are actively looking for food, odds are you will catch fishing dries. Good general patterns to try are Adams, Ants, Cahills, Royal Wulf, Humpies.

Emerger style dries such as the various Klinks also well worth fishing. Still early, that said hoppers may also induce a good fish early AM and late PM after the sun has set. 

In the case of fishing small streamers, l favor to use either a short section sink tip, 4 to 6ft ips 4  or a intermediate line 1/2 ips. 

Once we do start to see the heat of the day, humidity and blue bird sky, odds are the fishing may slow down in the afternoon unless you seek deeper water that has good shade cover, moss beds or any other structure that provide fish with cover and shade. 

Tight lines all. 

Davy.  

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Photo courtesy of Grant Carter.

These beauties from the White River were the rewards for Grant Carter as a result of his studies from Davy’s Wet Fly Ways DVD.

Grant was kind enough to share with us his excitement of his newly applied techniques and had this to say; ” a few weeks back, my first double was brought to net. I was experimenting with Davy Wotton’s “Wet Fly Ways” with a tagged soft hackle on top and a caddis emerger as an anchor–”

Grant went on to explain; ” I have fished tandem soft hackles on the White River many times with good and bad days. I am convinced–a great way to fly fish emergers! ”

Davy and I are so pleased that Grant is doing so well with his newest found fly fishing style of fly fishing and guess that it is safe to say that he’s “hooked”.

Thank you for sharing, Grant.

If any one else has photos and want to send us your success stories we would love read them,  and you may do so by emailing them to: DavyandTBird@live.com

Keep a hook in the vise-

TBird

Davy – On The Job

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Davy working hard with Ed and Ted to make another memorable trip this year.

Davy taking care of details as Ed and Ted apply the flies to the fish.

For many years now Ed Garner has made multiple trips annually to the White River to fish with Davy.

Here Ed is joined by his friend, Ted of Louisiana.  Camped out for the past several days Ed and Ted are joined at the campsite with a group of guys we deem the “Boeing” guys. (Most of them now retired, were employed or associated with Boeing in St. Louis previously.)

At least once a year and sometimes twice, the group makes a trek to fish, camp and enjoy terrific fellowship together as well as cozy up to warm campfires in the evening with Davy and I.

You may also make note that Davy is sporting a new boat- it is gorgeous!
Those who have been lucky enough to have fished out of it so far have commented on how sleek and roomy that the layout is for them. 
One day I hope to survey this environment for myself. Did that sound like a hint or a whine? 
Well, for now I am happy to take an I.O.U as there is a reservation list that doesn’t allow for a pleasure cruise in the near future.

The weather forecast is looking to be seasonable for the coming week which is welcome news for guides and fisherman alike.

Looking forward to a year of return fishers and meeting the new ones as well.
Til then-

Keep a hook in the vise!

TBird

(Photo courtesy of Scott Branyan)

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