Steve Dally's White River Fly Fishing Guide Service

guided flyfishing

Spring Creeking in Missouri

Brians Big Bow

Bryan's Big Bow

Bruce, Bryan and Pete were on a short leave pass, from Bryan’s 10th anniversary celebration, so meeting the guys across the border meant more fishing time and less driving. (more…)


Big Brown in the Fog

Joeys hard work paid off

Joey's hard work paid off

GETTING on the water, opening the throttle and getting a cool breeze going was bliss after the day Joey Pucket and I had had. We almost would have been happy simply riding around but we wanted a fish or two, preferably brown and preferably big. (more…)


New Name and Logo

 

I have been through a succession of logos over the years I have been in this game, and have been searching for the right name. Its funny for all the professional PR, marketing consultancies and emplyment I’ve had I still procrastinate over my own stuff.

Part of it is that Aussie bush thing of not blowing your own trumpet, but it means things like logos and business cards get pushed to the back

. But I needed to get this done for Reel-Aid, a benefit concert in Memphis you will be hearing a lot more about.

Anyway let me know what you think.


The Two Rons

Ron Weindorf and a nice Bull Shoals Bow

Ron Weindorf and a nice Bull Shoals Bow

Sunday June 7 _ The two Ron’s Ron C. and Ron W. couldn’t have timed a trip on the White better. Low water was guaranteed from 5am to midday to allow the Casting For Recovery program to go ahead.
Last year, I was able to sneak in some relatively uncrowded fishing on these conditions but this year the word was out.
Ron C into a fish

Ron C into a fish

So I got the guys to the shop early and we headed for the Dew Eddy to Cane Island stretch, or as its often known Newland’s Hole, using the boat to access the Marion County bank. Fish were rising early, probably taking midge emergers but also some of the sulphur duns which were beginning to show even by 8am. (more…)

Speaking In Kansas City

IT’S back to Kansas City next week, when I return to the Heart of America Fly Fishers for a presentation on The White River _ Better Than Ever?

(more…)


The Rain Has Gone.

 

Rainy Day Brown

Rainy Day Brown

 THIS Entry deserves a little musical accompaniment. Jeff Hearn mightn’t have said exactly that the rain was gone, but that was his intent. I think he was keen to fish.

(more…)


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


Nigh On Two Feet Of Brown

Steve with Dicks 23+ brown

Steve with Dick's 23+" brown

The White River has been on fire and Richard Ruesenberg and his college buddy Jim Aylsworth timed it just right. Nine browns to 23″ and a bunch of big ‘bows to 20″ all on the back of one of the heaviest shad kills in many years.
Whos a Happy Chappy _ Dick Reusenberg after landing his biggest trout in 14 years

Who's a Happy Chappy _ Dick Reusenberg after landing his biggest trout in 14 years

In fact the shad kill was so heavy last weekend fishing was shut down from the Dam to below Rim Shoals. Monday and Tuesday we had lower flows and lighter shad kills. The fishing was very good on Monday Dick picking up an 18 1/2″ brown topping his previous largest fish on a fly rod. Less than an hour later Dick was tight to a 21″ brown. Two personal bests in a day.
 
Dicks 21 Bull Shoals Brown

Dick's 21" Bull Shoals Brown

Jim wasn’t missing out either with a nice brown of his own around 17″ followed up on Tuesday with a great 18 1/2″ brown. Jim was also absolutely buried by an unseen monster brown (by behaviour and attitude) underneath an infamous deadfall in the middle of the river. That was a fish we wanted bad.

 

Jim with a beautiful White River brown. Look at those spots

Jim with a beautiful White River brown. Look at those spots

The boys also banged a bunch of pig rainbows over the two days. Some of these fish were just round, bellies distended, stuffed full of shad. Dick, a dry fly addict like myself, actually caught a couple on top, big solid takes. But basically we were fishing deep, under Thingamabobbers. Jig patterns, John Barr’s Meat Whistle, and Zonkers did the trick.

Yesterday was a different story as we started at the Dam but were blown off the water by a massive shad kill. At first the fish were on the bite, and we were looking for even better fish. But the sheer volume of shad left our flies unmolested by the trout. We could have run downstream early in the “hatch” to stay ahead of the shad “plague”. But we were banking on a reduction in flow and shad like had been the pattern on the previous days. So we pulled out and trailered down stream.

One of 5 last afternoon browns for Dick

One of 5 last afternoon browns for Dick

This was where Dick’s hot hand paid off, finishing with 5 browns for the afternoon, the best that 23″ beast which had everyone fooled as a log. This fish  was so strong and so tough it was incredible. It literally would not come off the bottom.

The Beast

The Beast

Some truly great memories and great company guys. Come back again.


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.


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

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 


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…)


King Salmon on Kodiak Island

40lb+ Kodiak King

40lb+ Kodiak King

I’ve started adding some of my articles from my travels across the US. I’ve been lucky enough to fish in some fantastic places and meet some great people. Its an interesting exercise going back to these pieces and digging out some old pics.

This piece followed my 2002 trip to Kodiak Island in search of the Kings of the Pacific Salmon. One article was published in Flylife Magazine but like any hack I wanted more space, to tell more of the story. This was it.

Hope you enjoy the Kings of Kodiak too.


Hello world!

White River Brown Trout Released

White River Brown Trout Released

Gday, I’m Steve Dally and welcome to my personal blog for my fly fishing guide service on the White River, and Norfork Tailwater.

As you can see SplashesWithFishes is still under construction, I’m pulling together content to try and knock this into shape and give you a reason to come back. You might also be interested in my first WordPress Blog, the Mountain River Journal, which has become one of the WordPress’ Top 50 fastest growing English language blogs.

So what can you expect. First and foremost, honest and regular fishing reports from the White River, Norfork Tailwater, plus Ozark waters we fish on, and from other places too. We are building our pages on what our rivers are like to fish and the general techniques. We are planning articles on tips and tricks, some rod and reel stuff as you would expect from a gear head, plus a fair dose of humor.

We will also be drawning in archived articles  from my various other writing outlets, Flylife Magazine, the Mountain River Journal Blog and some older writings from my travels across the US. Other than that we fully expect like the Journal and the Dam Store Report this corner of the fly fishing world to evolve and take on a life of its own.

We hope firstly you are informed, second that you are entertained, and thirdly hope it piques your interest to take book a trip on the White or Norfork River.

Welcome to the journey.

Steve