Tag Archive: Trout

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.





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


Posted July 15, 2015


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!”


T-bird, our local fly tyer, nails this near on 5lb. Bow” while fishing with davy at Bull Shoals Dam

Hello, Fly Fishers!

At last the 100 degree fahrenheit days are gone and what a hot summer it has been, not that it messed up the fishing, mainly due to the fact we have seen high water levels that kept the rivers in good shape.

Despite the heat it has been an incredible summer for the 13 year cicada emergence, and an amazing number of hoppers in abundance that has kept the fish active on the surface, hence many trophy Browns have been caught fishing hopper rigs.

Once again we also see the benefits of the 24 in. size regulation for Brown trout. I have seen days out there when my customers have caught as many as 21 Browns in one single day of fishing, not to mention numerous numbers of Rainbows and Cutthroat trout. All be it Brook trout are hard to come by at Bull Shoals trophy zone, one of my regular customers did manage the White river grand slam recently.

Naturally the sustained high water has kept the river clean and clear of trash which has been the main reason why we have seen such good nymph and dry fly fishing, the only downside being the access for wade fishing. I am given to understand that once the lake has reached pool we will see low water periods for the White river, which will once again provide some awesome wade fishing options.

AGFC do report that we are seeing low levels of DO both at Norfork and White river, not surprising given the high water levels retained in the lakes and the subsequent level of intake before that water is released into the rivers. At the time of writing AGFC have curtailed stocking at the upper end of both rivers for this reason until the situation improves.

More or less what this means is you may experience little interest of the trout to feed close to the dam zones, in which case you need to fish further downstream.

As we move into fall typical tactics will include, working shore lines for the trophy Browns with streamers, there is still a great opportunity to nail big fish with hoppers and dry /nymph hopper rigs.

Remember that the Browns are on the annual upstream migration at this time, often as not locate one and there will be many others within the same zone.

To be honest this past month there really is no one way to fish, far from it. I have had days when combinations of sowbugs, scuds, white and prism midges,hares ears, ptns, variations of SJ worms and prism worms have nailed ’em good, fish days of between 60 and over 100 have been accounted for.

Other days we have messed around with dries, wet fly and soft hackles. The above should remain same until we see water issues change and the temperature levels fall below the 60s.

Once we do see low water levels then midge fishing will come into its own as will fishing wet fly and soft hackles.

Tight lines all-


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