Steve Dally's White River Fly Fishing Guide Service

Posts tagged “trophy brown trout

Low Water Floating Fun

You will forgive me not shaving

ITS seriously nice to be back on the White River on low flows, and happily I’ve had a few days playing on the water with some good friends.

Bull Shoals Dam is back down below below flood stage for the first time in a few years and we are getting some lower overnight flows, and the odd night with no generation, the latter situation should become more common as August moves on. And the fishing has been pretty good, with some nice browns coming to hand.

Its also been very nice to be back in the driver’s seat of a drift boat for a few days running, with some of the old tricks coming back. We will definately be doing more trips out of the Clackacraft in the right conditions, everyone has enjoyed it immensely.

Drift boats are quiet (and to some proper fly fishing vessels) and definately nice to run on the low flows. The downside is you get one shot at the fish on your path downstream since they pretty much are a one way vessel. The Supreme River Boat is very efficient for honing into fishing, and allows you to cover way more river. They are both great tools for a specific job, being able to offer both types of craft means more ways to give y’all a great day on the river.

The Clacka At Repose

But back to the fishing. The fish number have been silly good on relatively simple low water rigs, just two flies, no split shot and smallish indicators or a big foam ant to suspend them. Its pretty easy to catch a bunch of fish, and we have managed some better fish, the number of double hookups has been crazy.

Paul Kauerz celebrates his 30th anniversary with a dry fly cuttie

Its actually warm enough to wet wade, though the first 10 minutes, and any deep hole after that will have you huffing and puffing a bit, its actually nicer than stiffling in your waders.

Out on the river with good friends

It really is a great time to be here. Just bring plenty of sunscreen, a big broad brimmed hat and a sense of adventure. We have the boat stocked with plenty of cool water, staying hydrated is a serious issue _ and we also have a spot for an icecream or a cold candy bar on the way down stream.

Familiar scenery from a different perspective


Been A While Coming

Robert Hime and one very nice brown

Robert Hime and one very nice brown

ROBERT Hime was seriously due for a nice brown. So yesterday’s early start paid off with this nice 20″ brown, which fell to a Whitlock Deep Shad, fished on 25′ of Rio T-11 tungsten sinking line.

I started fishing with Robert several years ago on Beaver _ his son Mason has been in Coach Hunt’s fly fishing club at Fayetteville High and had inspired Robert to pick up the lond wand too. He subsequently joined me over here for a couple of trips, including a memorable tangle with a seriously big brown at CaneIsland on high water last year.

So we went early and banged the banks yesterday looking for a big fish, we had some shots and swipes and a bunch of follows, plus several smaller fish, but it was finally Robert’s Day

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…)

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.