Steve Dally's White River Fly Fishing Guide Service

Take Whatever the Fishing Gods Deliver

Chris Heppel and a great White River Brown

Chris Heppel and a great White River Brown

Something about a note I’d written to a flyfisher about a future trip on Saturday night leapt to mind as I stood at the front door Sunday morning, geared up a ready to head out. The forecast had been cold temperature but SNOW  wasn’t mentioned. I started laughing and called Bec who was up putting the finishing touches to my preparations (a hot delivered chilli and cornbread lunch). It couldn’t have been better, I was tempted to call the fly fishers I was heading to meet, Chris and Dick, but I’d let them enjoy the anticipation too.
Dick Wittenberg and his early morning brown

Dick Wittenberg and his early morning brown

That Saturday night note had included a line about being flexible and “taking what the (fishing gods) would serve up” rather than fretting over water levels and fishing conditions. The White River tailwaters are so changeable, according to generation, the weather is variable and the fishing will be what it will be influenced by other factors.
Anyone have a snow shovel

Anyone have a snow shovel?

Snow certainly wasn’t in my plans when I packed Saturday night, but there was an inch of snow piled in the bottom, and on the seats.  The drive to Bull Shoals was scenic, but I was expecting the the cold temperatures and snow to encourage a shad kill, the event we were hoping for. The adrenaline helped fuel the task of cleanign out the Supreme. But it never pays to get too carried away, stay flexible.

The boys enjoying the snow

The boys enjoying the snow

Chris and Dick took it in their stride, though thanks to fellow guide Ron Yarborough who had a spare jacket in Chris’ size, Chris’s very nice Simms G3 Jacket on a hanger in Memphis. We were fishing the usual shad styles deep, mixed with some surface dabbling.

Dick scored the first brown of the day a nice 18″ fish. Chris lost a really big bow then 2 drift later scored a nice ‘bow. It asn;’t as consistentan earlier trip Id taken but it was respectable with enough quality fish to keep everyone on their toes. The guys did well I think we only missed 2 of the morning’s tally of takes, and one nice double.

Chris firstbig bow

Chris' first big bow in falling snow


The fishing slowed as more boats arrived around lunchtime through the early afternoon, with boats driving all over the river. But as the traffic began heading home around 3 the fishing picked up, as did the weather. Chris really had the hot hand, in contrast to the morning innings, picking up some nice fish and finally this brown which looks better than its taped 21″





3 responses

  1. It’s great to see some of these pictures. They remind me of my last fly fishing guided tour where I was able to catch some really nice trout. It surprised even myself how lucky I was. Granted, maybe the guides knew exactly when and where to go so I was almost guar teed at least some chances at some good fish, but it still felt amazing when I caught some of the bigger fish.

    February 23, 2009 at 3:37 pm

  2. You should come for a visit. In all the waters Ive fished across the US nothing compares to the White in terms of numbers or size of fish in the Lower 48, its just behind Alaska.

    Wait till you see the new reports.

    February 25, 2009 at 8:09 pm

  3. priscilla

    Who are those HOT guys?

    June 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm

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