Epic Streamer Fishing Monday
I’m not sure how long it has been since my friend and fellow guide Marc Poulos and I fished together, but its been a while. I’d met Marc my first summer in Arkansas and we both ended up here on the White working for the Mountain River Fly Shop, indeed he played a fair role in getting me here.
We are very different characters, he’s a little more intense, and particular about things, I’m more laid back, lets work with whats at hand. Both of us have fished all over the country, but funnily enough few of the same places. The conversation is always interesting and wide roaming.
I’d rung Marc a couple of times of late when we had a seat in a boat for a streamer float, but usually he begged off with chores that needed to be done on the iffy days. Ive been fishing every window I could at this time of year, and hang the conditions. Well Monday our schedules aligned, the cloudy overcast conditions we both liked were spot on and Marco had selected the float we would do in his riverboat, trying to time the expected water rise.
The first hole was a blank but the fish above came half a mile from our put-in a gorgeous humpbacked male that ate the “Super Bunny” a double hooked, heavy eyed Double Bunny variant that I’m having increasing success with. I’ll try to get a video or tutorial up shortly.
Marco tied on a Sex Dungeon, I assummed the oars in his Boulder Drift Boat and it really was only a mile and he banged this nice 20+” female. The gray skies and low light had the browns on the bite, tight into the banks.
As we rowed under the Cotter Bridge I banged the fish of the trip, which stopped the bunny dead. I’m not so good at estimating size, it was hefty but Marco called it at 25″. The water’s quite fast there and both hands on the sticks are required. I had the fish in a nettable position twice, but I couldn’t get to the net and Marc couldn’t let go of the oars. No problem this bloke was behaving reasonably, until Marc did dive to pass me the net and he did a big headshake and popped my 25lb braid tippet. I think Marc was more horrified at the loss than I was. But some pics would have been nice.
Marc had next stint and I still have a vivid picture of a 24″ fishing coming out hard from the bank grabbing the fly and stopping, one big headshake and he through the hooks. He was banged several more times but they weren’t grabbign the Dungeon’s as well.
I switched to yellow and an absolute shark beat me for speed, I was watching as the fish rose on a settling fly and I still didn’t have ime to stripset. But both of us will remember the final fish of the day for a long time.
Id made a long cast to a deepish slot close to the bank and looked downstream while I waited for the fly to settle. Its really handy to know what good spots are coming up 2-3 or 4 casts ahead. I hate missing good slots because Im stripping my fly through dead water.
At this point I heard an explosion of water from roughly the direct the fly has been in. I’ve been in that position too many times dry fly fishing not to set on instinct, and the fish was on.
The spray was still falling and Marc Poulos, on the oars, was exclaiming “he slammed it, there was spray 2′ high.’ You set on the sound didn’t you?” We both expected a mid-teens brown not this gorgeous 23″ fish, to be holed up that shallow, but you just never know when your timing is right on the White River.
Note: STREAMER fishing should be good on the higher flows though June. If you can, time your trip for inclement weather for best results. Give me a call or email and we can go chase some true White River trophies.