Hungry Hopper Eater


Haven’t seen our buds Lee & James for a while now, then this email landed, and one long lean brown trout fro the White. Next time your in the shop pick up your 24” sticker for Casey and the boat sticker for your drifter.


My buddy Casey Hughes, who was with Larry Anderson last week, pulled a good one out of the White on Saturday. Took a black foam hopper. We had great fishing on smaller streamers and hoppers. Hopper action picked up later in the day with the heavier flows. Had 5 fish 17″er’s or better, along with a bunch of rainbows. Here are a couple of pics of the best one. The cooler is 25″across, puts the fish at a little over 24″. I didn’t know if you guys were still handing out the 2 footer stickers or not. Sorry for cutting Casey’s head off in the pic. We were trying to get the fish back in as soon as possible.

Our buddy James Buie was in Colorado and missed out on a great trip.

Hope all is well,

Lee Reddmann

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Credit for the Net Man

Teresa and the Fish

Hi Steve,

Have enjoyed all the posts lately of folks catching great fish on the White.  I thought I would submit something different – tales of netting, as opposed to catching fish.  This after my wife Teresa credited me with being “a halfway competent net man.”

Two days ago I netted a very nice brown on the upper White.  It was fairly straightforward.  We were in the boat, the fish was attached to a Chernobyl Ant on 3X, and the river was gentle.  I also had the luxury of a Fishpond Nomad long-handled boat net, purchased at Dally’s.  The fish was in good condition and fought very well, but it was no match for the Nomad.

Twenty-four hours later, it was whole different ballgame.  We were wade fishing on the Norfork.  I had only a too-small $20 net attached to the back of my vest.  The target was quite a bit larger than the previous day’s fish, was chunky enough to border on being called a Toad, and looked like it might or might not fit into my puny net.  It was also attached to 12 feet of leader ending in 6X and a black midge, so the fish was very ill-behaved.

  After the fish took a tour of a substantial section of the Norfork but little actual progress was made, I was instructed to “just wade in deep and net the fish.”  Being half-competent, I knew this would likely end in disaster, and so refused the offer. 

I did offer some soft-spoken advice on what angle of pressure might lead the fish into a certain shallow gravel area where I could net it.  I feel this piece of advice was critical, but there was some minor disagreement on that.  Eventually the fish was tired enough for me to get within a few feet of it, but this just made the drag sing again.  And again.  We had long ago passed the point where, if anything went wrong, it was my fault. 

The pressure was now all on the net man.  I got the big female on the second attempt and she did fit in the net – barely.  My thanks go out to whoever invented the anti-shake feature in modern cameras.  It’s the only reason the net man got a decent photo of this fish.

Kurt Sleighter

Teresa, the first fish and the Net

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Duane’s Big Striper

I guess if you can’t catch ‘em, paint ‘em! Our local watercolor master Duane Hada has been striper fishing a bit recently, catching some nice ones, and finding the inspiration for this beauty, which is currently on display in the shop. Come see it for pricing. If you would like a watercolor replica of your own trophy fish, come talk to us and we’ll put you in touch with Duane.

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Dally’s Fly Fishing Report _ 8/14/14

Joe Koehly and Ben Levin with a friend. I guess they’re smiling – hard to tell through all the facial hair.

In many ways being a fishing guide is like being an entertainer – you want your clients to have a good time regardless of how the fishing goes. Every once in a while though, you get some clients that have the entertainment part covered. Bobby Gregory, his sons Adam and Paul, and sons-in-law Joe and Brandon fished with us for three days straight, and kept us laughing the whole time. I swear the hooting and hollering going on up and down the river was spooking fish. Y’all hurry back now hear?

The other guys caught fish too, Joe’s just the best looking of the bunch – hard to believe I know.

White River:

Things are quite literally looking up on the White. Hopefully I won’t have to stuff my foot in my mouth for saying this, but based on the frequency of pictures and reports coming in, I’d say we are on the cusp of peak hopper season. Up until now the hopper bite has been decent, but spotty, perhaps due to the mild summer we’ve had so far, but there’ so many factors involved, who knows why really. Wade fishing the shoals on lower flows with a hopper dropper rig is quite effective. Use Copper Johns, Hare’s Ear Nymphs, and Sunday Specials as droppers. Make sure your hopper is buoyant enough to hold your dropper up through the riffles – Fat Alberts and Western Ladies are sturdy, battle tested ships. If you have the opportunity to jump in a boat and bomb the banks on high water, you’d be crazy not to do it. Just check out Bill’s blog post for proof.

A cool fog shot submitted by the Gregory group.

Norfork River:

I finally got the chance to do a little wade fishing at Ackerman access yesterday, and was catching a few on Hunchback scuds and Ruby midges, but when I switched to a Root Beer midge, I couldn’t keep the fish off. I was also having some fun with a #24 Parachute Adams (George Peters would be proud) before the water came up a full 4 hours prior to expected release and sent everybody marching back to the truck. I’m not sure what fishing the high flows on the Norfork would be like right now, but I’m sure Sunday Specials and midges would do great, and it would be interesting to see what would happen with hoppers and streamers.

Chad spotting and stalking (and representing) from the captain’s chair.

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“Woo Pig” Brownie _ Hoppers with Bill Thorne

Mr Bill, photo bombing Seth and that fish _ Mick Spaulding pic


Every once in a while, on the White River, all things fishing seem to line up as they should. Just for starters, we get a day of low humidity and temps in the low 80’s, in August no less. The day after a “super moon”, then we have a perfect push of water scheduled to flow, the cooler is full of our favorite beverages, and we have a young guy on his first drift boat trip…you see where I’m going with this?

Summer time flows can be unpredictable but when we get some good flows during the heat of the day the hopper fishing can really turn on. Needless to say Mick, Seth and I were pretty excited to see the favorable conditions.

Bill and a hopper brown of his own

The day didn’t disappoint as the brown trout were hitting a properly presented bug. I caught a couple really nice fish in that 22’-23’ range, hooked a couple more and lost a brute of a “head shaking” male right at the boat, but the high light of the trip was the beauty that Seth caught.

You see, Mick and I had been schooling him the whole trip about the timing of the hook set on these hopper fish, you know the old “God save the Queen” thing. I even suggested “Woo Pig Sooie” might be a more appropriate saying since Seth is a student at U of A.

He must have been paying attention because finally with about an hour left in the float Seth hooked and landed his first “hopper brown” without a hitch…he was jazzed needless to say, after a couple quick photos (including a nice photo bomb by yours truly) and a successful release, I think his words were “my knees are still shaking”. Enjoy the photos.

Bill Thorne

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FishSkull Fly Tester

WE THOUGHT it would be cool to have one of the new FishSkull Fly Tester tanks in the shop to show off the actions of some of our flies. Our initial thought too was that tiers might also like to test out new patterns.

It’s been a hit: We have had guys, gals and kids hanging out by the tank “try another one, Mr Bill”.

Then I made a discovery: this thing is the fly fisher’s Lava Lamp.

Seriously it’s the best tool for procrastinating away an afternoon otherwise spent on the “honey-do list” I know of. You can rack up 4 or five flies and watch them wiggle & work for hours. Tweak the pump flow, adjust your tippet length. Hours of entertainment and you can honestly say “honey I’m not watching television”.

Kick back in the couch, listen to the burbling flow and trance inducing dance of the flies and you will be snoring like a baby. Thank me later.

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Browns on Streamers

Larry Anderson with a White River streamer brown

Larry Anderson, from Texas sent me a few pics from last weekend including this nice streamer brown taken on the White.

In his message Larry told me he’d been having issues posting pics to our Phone App. It seems that the patchy cell phone service around the river, and the size of files a lot of camera phones are producing these days, it will take a while to load. Wifi seems to work much better.

But check out the rest of Larry’s report


I got a few great pictures at The White this weekend, tried to post but it’s unsuccessful. Love the app! I referred to it lot for flow info all weekend.

that’s me with the 21″ Brown caught on a streamer that my partner in crime had tied and named …. “The Concockshun”

Feel free to post the pix, I never did get the App to work for me, I’m most likely electronically challenged.

See y’all on 8/21 & 8/22 we’ve got 3 boats booked with y’all

Larry Anderson

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A Fly Fishing Life Ahead _ Chad Johnson Report


Hello Fly heads….. This s the time of year we get a lot of father/son or daughter & grandparents/grandkids coming to fish with us before school starts back. I had the opportunity to guide Gene Henry & his grandson-Gage for the 2nd time this year and the fishing was great; better than that it was nice to see an 8 year old enjoying spending time with his granddad. Gage was some fly fisherman, man I tell you, at 8 years old he listened very well. I noticed he was starting to get distracted so I stopped; we went for a nice swim and skipped a few rocks; He was back to fishing. Really good day-fishing, people & fun. Thanks Mr. Gene Henry for the work.

Chad Johnson

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Davy Wotton’s SLF Trans Caddis _ White River Fly Tying Video Series

IF there has ever been one fly that has had some White River mystery, a little secretive allure, its been Davy Wotton’s Caddis. A killer pattern that for a long time was fairly seldom seen. We ran classes over several years with Davy teaching this pattern and it was one of the best attended.

Now Davy has been gracious enough to allow us to film this pattern. For most fly fishers this lethal pattern is a nymph either as a Hare’s Ear or in Caddis Green but it truly come alive fished as a team of wet flies. And in the video to come over the next couple of weeks Davy will show you how to tie the other two members of his caddis season team.

Now if you want to learn how to fish them correctly, call us to book a trip with this international wet fly legend: and seriously allow plenty of lead time.

Thanks to Brian and Jenni from Fly Fishing The Ozarks for another awesome video. You can watch our entire White River Fly Tying Video Series here


SLF Trans caddis.

Bead head optional.  2mm for hook sizes 12/14
Wing..Swiss straw or Raffine natural color straw
Hackles. Brown partridge//hen pheasant neck or spangled hen hackle dark
Body.. options include,, hares ear//SLF Standard dubbings.. Olive, cream
,tan,orange, SLF Whitlock number 1
Head..Hares ear.


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Backcountry _ North Island NZ Trailer

Nick Reygaert has been mentioned plenty of times here. You could while away an afternoon watching trailers of his Gin-Clear Media films we have hosted here.

Stick on some headphones, ignore the funny Kiwi accents and just lose yourself for a while


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White River Butter _ The Georgia Crew

Love that White River Butter

Apparently I have one of those mystery inboxes where I just keep finding stuff a week or so after it turned up.

Had a sweet email from Brian Shinall (that’s Brian holding all the fish) about the latest trip with his Georgia crew. Looks like it was an awesome time.


It was good seeing you on the river.  Sorry I did not run into at the shop. 

Fishing was pretty good for us last week.  Several fish caught in the 17”-18” with one that hit 20” and one that hit 22”. 

You just can’t beat fishing the Hopper/Dropper.  Lots of rainbows on the dropper and swinging small streamers. 

Hopper bite was decent.  Had some fish eating the Hopper in the feeding lanes and seams out from the banks.  As always great river and a great time.  See you again soon.  Stay in touch.   

Brian Shinall

Good time selfie

Continue reading

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Big Tailwater Stripes



WHEN these photos arrived on my new phone last Friday, I almost dropped it in the river.

It was a little hard to see, but I was scanning the background to see where the heck these fish were caught. The faces I knew, Zach North and Tanner Riley, floated with me last year to learn the principles about streamer fishing. Conditions weren’t great but Zach popped a nice brown and the guys had a good time.

Next time I saw them in Cotter was with Tanner’s drift boat and the guys were out there on the big water working hard. Apparently they put the lessons to good use.



We have been trying to figure out the big stripes on the lower part of the Illinois for two years. Taking advice from all these guys that use live bait and conventional tackle. Saying the big ones are in the deep holes down deep and yada yada.

We’re out one day catching little fish and they started moving a bunch of water out of the dam. So we decided we were going to try what you had taught us about big browns on the White and see if maybe these big stripes do the same thing.

I’ll be damned if they don’t do the exact same thing! You can go out there with a streamer and throw up in the little pockets, eddies and any little slack water and there is monsters all the way down that sucker!

The big one is 37″ and just over 25lbs. The others are all between 13 and 15lbs
We would love for you to come down some time and go out with us. I know you’re a busy man but it would be worth it!



I’m IN!

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