Steve Dally's White River Fly Fishing Guide Service

The Dry Fly Bonanza Continues

First trout on a sulphur for the season

TWO DAYS off I I went to play again _ yep house chores abandoned, the White was low and sulphurs were on the wing _ call it research. Tuesday I ducked out with Jeff Hearn and spent the day at Rim, today I grabbed a couple of hours further upstream, dry fly only.

There was a pretty good sulphur emergence for a couple of hours and the fish keyed onto them pretty quickly. But with this hatch only a few days old the bigger fish are still holding deep and feeding subsurface. After the sulphurs faded there was a short but heavy Rhyco hatch _ yeh I’d left the caddis box at the house. But with thunderstorms dumping heavy rain in Eastern Arkansas daily there looks to be some great chances for dry fly fishing over the next week. Get in fast so you don’t miss out.

Fishing Carter Brooksher at Rim on Sunday had show how close the sulphurs were to breaking wide open, and it also gave us a good look at some tiny caddis, which looking tanning at a distance in the right light but up close had the slate-gray wings and green bellies of the Brachycentrus. There were still a few Rhycophilia still coming off as well. Carter had landed a bunch of fish on my Skippy Nymph (a botched attempt to tie the Skip Nymph on a 6 word description alone which has proved itself in several sulphur hatches). Incidentally for those not of Australian descent Skippy was a long ago childrens TV program featuring a grey kangaroo _ Lassie with a pouch and gumleaves you might say.

 I’d changed the wingcase material on a whim and it seemed to be working, so I wanted to test it myself, plus work on some wet fly techniques while we were drifting. If we found some sulphurs coming off all the better.It pretty much all worked out. Jeff scored a bunch on his Czech nymphs, the Skippy nymph worked, and I picked up the top fish on a dry late in the day after a pretty cool thunderstorm.

Jeff Hearn's gorgeous Rim Shoals Brown Trout

The wet fly thing was extremely productive, seriously I was blown away, though my techniques were rudimentary at best, but I learnt a bunch.  My Welsh friend Davy Wotton, the master of wet fly techniques in this country, has indicated its worth many  times. But I guess I wasn’t a believer.

 I’ve used soft hackles myself for a bunch of years, and worked up my own series of favorites, the Tailwater Soft Hackles, which due to circumstance are primarily used in midge hatches wading . This winter I’ve been dabbling with some heavier versions for dead drifting on higher flows, hence the name Dead Drift Soft Hackles. I’ve also been working on some new colors to fish the spring caddis and summer sulphur hatches.

When Jeff abandons the Czech nymphs and starts coming through his fly boxes for wets, you know you are onto something. Its going to be a lot of fun bring on these flies, and techniques into a new way to fish, which doesn’t involve staring at a bobber.

Come along for the ride.

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