Steve Dally's White River Fly Fishing Guide Service

fly fishing

On The White with Shu

Last month had a long awited chance to fish with my mate Jim Shulin from TFO. The plan was for Jim to fish some streamers on high water in the hope of hitting some pigs.
Of course as always with fishing the best laid plans need last minute alterations, as generation was slashed. We went for it anyway and managed a couple of nice fish, the best this 21″ brown picked up late in the afternoon on a cold and windy day.
I picked up a smaller fish up top in the morning. But then Jim went to work in photoshop, with some very cool effects.
I had to post them
Thanks mate.

Too Much Fun To Be Called Work

Fitzs gorgeous brown

Fitz's gorgeous brown _ click for larger

ANOTHER 2 days on the shad bite and despite the cold weather (19F start Monday) we had a hoot.  Fitz and Jim from Tx were another pair of old college buds in my boat second week in a row. They were part of a big group of college friends who fish together and who south out my mate Jimmy Traylor to put together 5 boats.

Fishing was a little slower than it had been on higher flows but Fitz caught this nice brown to lead the big fish pool on Day 1. If my arms had been 2″ longer we might have found Jim’s brown was even bigger, It looked 20-21″ as it rolled off the hook and swam home.

Daves Brown

Dave's Brown

Day 2 Fitz swapped seats with Dave and did Dave have a hot hand. 4 fish on the first drift was the start and he kept whacking fish all day. Several 17″ and 18″ rainbows and smaller browns. Jim then pulled a ghetto-blaster and ipod and we had tunes. Jimmy Buffet, Willie and Toby Keith, U2, James Taylor. Not part of my normal guiding regime but it was a lot of fun. Funnily enough the fish size went up as. Thanks to Jimmy for inviting me along and to Jim, Fitz and Dave _ guys a great time. In Jim’s honor you get the music

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

The Marks’ Rewards

Juniors sweet brown

Junior's sweet brown _ Mark Williams pic

THE Icestorm aside this has been a pretty mild winter. But when Mark Williams, snr and jnr, came to the White I don’t think the temperature got above 30F the whole time. But the pair were hardcore, fishing hard and deserving the rewards, like Jnrs really nice brown 22″ above.
Another big bow for Mark Snr

Another big 'bow for Mark Snr

It would have been nice to get Mark 1 into a nice brown 2 but sometimes that is the way the cookie crumbles, Jnr got the other nice brown. The water level was going up and down like a newlywed’s nightie, which had the fish switching feeding zones multiple times during a day. Instead Snr had to “settle” for a several 19-20″ rainbows. He had a knack for getting this better fish, which sadly aren’t all that common in the river these days.
Mark William and a fat bow

Mark William and a fat 'bow

A few weeks’s later received a nice note from the guys along with these pictures. We seriously had a lot of fun despite a couple of rare mishaps. They treated it all with good grace, forbearance under tough conditions, and it was a great two days
Winter light on a rainbow. Love this pic from Jnr

Winter light on a rainbow. Love this pic from Jnr

I just want to say that we really enjoyed our time with you and hope we have an opportunity for another visit.  I’ve given your contact details only to those I felt could handle high adventure.  Fishing with you is not for the meek and mild.  You really are a “man’s man” guide.Again, we both thank you…and your wife… for the great hospitality and memories…especially two… we will always keep.

 Hope your 2009 season keeps you afloat.

Mark & Mark Jr.


Another brown for Jnr

Another brown for Jnr

Thanks guys I’d fish with y’all anytime.

Back at the Dam

Nice to be back at the Dam

Nice to be back at the Dam

Spent some time on the White on Low water. Good times with good buddies, and some very nice fish, and most times without the crowds. Read the report Low Water and Shad on the Mountain River Journal.

Spring Creek Escape

Chads Rockbridge Rainbow

Chad's Rockbridge Rainbow

In January, Chad, Tony and myself ran up to Rockbridge in Missouri to check out this private spring creek trout fishery as a potential high water escape. Having heard the tales of the fish size (nothing is stocked under 2pounds) in here were were chafing at the bit, not even 17 degree temperatures and snow, could slow us down.
Read the report and more photos on the Mountain River Journal.
The restaurant is superb! I have already had a few fly fishers jump all over this venue as part of a multi-day trip later in the summer. The terrestrial/ hopper fishing is going to be killer

Fishing with the Dugans

A nice 18 bow for Brenda

A nice 18" bow for Brenda

Perhaps it was recognition of a shared obsession and attitude but I’d wanted to fish Jim and Brenda Dugan for about as long as I’d known them. Jim, when he is in town for their regular visits, is regular as clockwork arriving around the time the doors open for a morning coffee, and a yarn while allowing Brenda some extra sleep.

Jim is a gear head, with a love for fine toys, a serious student of the intricacies of fly fishing and tying, but wrapping it all in a serious sense of fun. If we pondered it together I think we probably both agree this is just a game for big kids. So when Jim and Brenda’ name was drawn in the Marlene Hada Benefit I knew it was going to be a fun day. (more…)

Fall colors and Fat Fish

Skip and a hefty White River Rainbow

Skip and a hefty White River Rainbow

I spent the past 2 days on the White River, and contrary to reports, the fishing was a lot of fun. It was certainly a lot better than I was expecting too, what with the low DO levels and high water temps. Perhaps it was the cool change, perhaps karma, all that really matters is you are having fun. (more…)

Streamer Time

Streamer Eating Brown

Streamer Eating Brown

Little break from guiding what with the Conclave, orders in the shop to do and finally a weekend with the family. I’ve been on the water the past two Monday’s tossing streamers with friends. Its a fun way to fish and there is nothing like watching fish come an monster that fly. (more…)

Tailwater Soft Hackle

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more about “Tailwater Soft Hackle“, posted with vodpod

This fly has been good to me since I started tying it about 5 years ago. It has evolved from something pretty scrappy into quite a pretty fly courtesy of Davy Wotton’s input. Read on for the recipie (more…)

Mary K’s Big Day

MK and a fat bow

MK and a fat 'bow

I don’t know how many times in the first couple of hours Mary K uttered the word’s “i can’t catch these fish”. Well usually people don’t smile that wide when proving themselves wrong. (more…)

“Drift” Trailer, a Confluence Films Production

Bec and I fly out Saturday to Denver for the annual industry “bum struggle” _ thank my father for the colorful Aussie colloquialism _ the Fly Fishing Retailer show.

Sorry to those who I had to put off this weekend but I’m back on deck Thursday. I’ll be checking emails and so on, hopefully even blogging some posts, but between Flylife and Mountain River duties, its a hectic few days, tantalisingly close to all the new stuff you want to try out, and a big hunk of great water I’ve never fished.

One of those events we will be attending is the premier of our mate Jim Klug’s latest venture _ he’s a bit like Davy Wotton only bigger, both of them have done just about everything possible in the industry.
Anyway I digress, Drift looks to be a fantastic movie and the premiere should be a lot of fun.
Might have to wear my fancy fishing shirt that night

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Memories of Alaska


Thats my mate on the left, serious rainbow too

That's my mate on the left, serious rainbow too

In fact 7 years ago this morning, I was lying in bed in Stacy’s former cabin remembering just how many fish I’d caught the day before, when there was a knock at the door. The cabin had the only TV and we were woken with the news that an aircraft had struck the World Trade Centre. (more…)

Low Water on The White

Low water and the fish are fat and sassy

Low water and the fish are fat and sassy

Well we have had a week of low water now courtesy of Gustav’s downpour and its been serious fun. Sorry to say we can’t predict how much long its going to continue but if you can take a personal day, a sickie however you can hit it tomorrow. (more…)

Marty’s Day Out

Ant eating rainbow

Ant eating rainbow

Marty wins the 2008 smart decision away to take a personal day and head to the White just in time for low water and sensational fishing. (more…)

Catch This


Our man at SA Eric Kraimer sent us this link. Very cool new e-magazine, some great pics, the scroll through feature a bit unwieldy for me, perhaps I should let one of my teenagers turn the pages. Great photography tho from Brian O’Keefe

Check it out.