Fall, the Fly Fishing Fair and Simms

New season Simms in stock.

Left:  Kinetic Jacket; WS Flap Cap; Guide Mid Top; Cascade Soft Shell Pant. Right: Flexfit Snap Back Hat; Fall Run Jacket; Rivershed Sweater 1/4 Zip; Big Sky Belt; Story Work Pant.


THESE grey damp days have a taste of fall about them, and with the Fly Fishing Fair in the offing we have been loading up with cooler weather gear, new rods and fly tying materials.

The revamped Fly Fishing Fair, held from October 3 through 5 is going to be a fun event, with a revamped scheduled and entertainment. Click for the Schedule. You might enjoy the live music and fun on Friday night; sign up for the Mike Schmidt streamer class, who provides many of our killer streamer patterns, a wet fly class with Davy Wotton.

Chad Johnson is doing a redfish class; Ben Levin teaching about Ozarks Smallmouth; and I’m doing a class on how to “find and feed” trout in rivers. Check the programs here

You’ll be digging the new Simms gear for both men and women: the women’s Fall Run Jacket is going to be killer, just like the men’s version has been: ultralight weight and very warm. The Primaloft One insulation, unlike down retains insulating properties even when you do something odd like dunk your arm netting that big fish.

The new Kinetic Jacket, features Primaloft Gold insulation in the core areas for heat retention and stretchy Polartec WindPro is a very “fishy piece”, seeming designed for those tough cold streamer days when you are making cast after a cast for a big fish.

We also have 3 very cool, very techy “sweaters” that have been attracting a lot of attention the Guide Pro, Guide Core and Rivershed 1/4 Zip; some quickdrying jean cut khakis in the Story Work Pant; and the very cool soft shell Cascade Pant in stock. Plus there are new waterproof boat bags; new waterproof waist packs and much more. Check out some of our new range of Simms here.

We have the new Sage SALT and ACCEL rods in stock; the new Waterworks Lamson Reels are in transit; and the new Rio low-stretch lines have been leaping off the shelves.

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Redbud Shoal Aerial

IF YOU need a little relaxation this afternoon you could do a lot worse than dial this video up on HD, stick some headphones on and lose yourself in the flowing waters of the White River.

Thanks to David Dressler for the video, pretty awesome.

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Dally’s Fly Fishing Report _ 9/17/14

Ben Levin guided David Johnson to this spectacular 25.5″ September hopper eater. Notice the low light conditions.

When it comes to the end of the “season” for a certain type of fly, experienced guides will tell you – “it ain’t over till it’s over.” Take for instance, the end of summer and terrestrial fishing. Ben Levin would be the first to tell you that foam hoppers can continue to pull big fish well into autumn, and all our other guides are also having some success recently on hopper outings, when conditions allow for it. Yeah it’s still summer technically, but the cool overcast days that feel more like autumn seem to be the best brown trout days lately. Looking back through the photos over the years, it seems those willing to stick with hoppers a little longer can find toothy critters willing to rise to the foam well after temperatures start dropping and most anglers are thinking about egg patterns. Point is, forget the calendar and fish what works until the fish quit bitin’ it!

Randy Graves with a sleek, midge caught brown, fishing with Ben Levin. Again, notice the low light.

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Dally’s Fly Fishing Report _ 9-12-14

Summer on the White _ Sara Thomas image


  IT SEEMS, for the next week at least that the brutal heat of summer is done. The long range forecasts are showing a few days in the mid80s but that will be the extent of it, which for most folks means some pretty nice fishing weather _ and probably some extended wading water.

It was a shock this morning to have to dig out a jacket, not just for the drizzle but for the cooler temperatures. The weekend ahead is looking particularly good, marking the shift for the fall weather trend, which should continue into October, according to the accuweather.com extended forecast.

Now I’m going to bet the house on the forecast but the next month is looking sweet, not too cold and not too hot, a trend which will lessen the need for 24/7 air conditioning. And in general less power demand means less electricity generation, and hence more low flows and wadeable water on the Norfork and White.

So its time to drag the waders out and make sure any holes are patched, or sent off to Simms for repairs, as they will become much more important in the coming weeks. Find your baselayer or fleece, check over your jackets, all the stuff you have had hidden away for months.

And now onto the rest of the fishing report this week:

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Davy Wotton Winged Wet Hare’s Ear/March Brown




A winged wet Hare’s Ear as traditional and elegant a fish catcher as you will find.

Winged wet flies date back the early 19th Century UK, a time when the vice was considered a subversive influence, bamboo hadn’t really taken over from wood, and a light trout rod might be 12’ long. While other conventions of the time, buckled to progress the winged wets remain.

Wet fly master and White River guide Davy Wotton demonstrates his winged wet technique on this classic pattern.

“The winged wet hares ear is one of the old traditional classics that will catch trout in any water they can be found. It’s particularly good during the caddis season and when water conditions are warm and trout active to all manner of food sources.”

If you want more of Davy’s tying or wet fly fishing skills check out his DVDS, or book a trip (870 435 6166)

Our thanks to Davy for the demonstration Brian and Jenni Wise Fly Fishing the Ozarks http://flyfishingtheozarks.com/ for the video production



Tail.  Few fibers of hen pheasant hackle or tan hen hackle. Or 3 strands of bronze mallard.
Body: Hares ear dubbing or SLF Whitlock number 1 Red Fox thorax.
Rib: Fine flat gold tinsel.
Wing. Either rooster ring neck pheasant or hen pheasant secondary wing quills.
Hackle: Hen pheasant neck or Brown partridge or tan/brown hen pheasant hackle

Video produced by Brian Wise: Fly Fishing the Ozarks http://flyfishingtheozarks.com/
in conjunction with Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher, Cotter Arkansas. http://theozarkflyfisher.com

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Now That’s A Carp


Nice note from Thomas Fletcher and a pic of this hefty Crooked Creek Carp after he and his father spent a day on the water with Duane Hada.

Love that small water fun, thanks guys


On July 23, 2014 my Dad and I went with Duane Hada as our guide to some remote spots along Crooked Creek. It was a great day!! We fished all day and caught smallmouth, Ozark bass, bluegill and a GIANT CARP!! I always learn so much and bring in great fish with Mr. Hada! The day with him was certainly one of the highlights of my summer _ Thomas Fletcher

If anyone want a day of fun on the creek with Duane call us on 870 435 6166

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A River Evening _ Photo Essay

White River gold


Madison, Ben and Gabe Levin





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Gabe Levin looking ahead to fall with Simms new Coldweather Shirt; Story Work Pants, and Buy Local Trucker, plus the new waterproof medium Boat Bag.


IT’s really too damn hot to think about fall clothing right now, but given the way this year has been running it could be just around the corner, like those chilly October’s I recall when I first got to Arkansas.

Gabe did take some convincing to climb into some of the new gear we really dig in today’s 95 degree heat, but promise him some icecream and anything is possible. But Simms do really have some cool stuff for staying warm in the chilly days of fall and the depths of winter. You can check over some of the new stuff which has already landed here and we will have some more stuff coming in time for the Fly Fishing Fair.

The Story Work pants have already been heading out, some for weekend wear, some for work and even some for school _ these are a light jean with a great look _ a jean cut khaki is about as close as we can estimate. The Coldweather Shirt and Pants have proven themselves for a couple of seasons now.

We really dig the new color in the men’s Fall Run Jacket, and especially the introduction of the women’s Fall Run Jacket _ these things are awesome, warm light and as much at home on the river or sitting in the bleachers for a football game.

The new boat bags, have some awesome design, the Kinetic Jacket at $250 is an awesome deal, a waterproof jacket for wading or boat fishing and a sleek design you can wear anywhere.

And there is more to come.




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Dally’s Fly Fishing Report _ 9/4/14

Tom stuck this rotund 26″ brown fishing a hopper with Marc Poulos.

The end of summer draweth nigh, but many an evening of hopper fishing remains. In normal years July and August are our hottest months and usually hold the best hopper fishing, but this summer has been a little mild, with only a couple weeks so far of brain melting heat. It’s anyone’s guess as to how that will affect the rest of hopper season, but generally we continue to catch nice fish on terrestrials well into autumn. Only a couple years ago Ben Levin had a client catch a 28″ brown on a hopper in October – they’re wearing jackets in the photo! My only concern is that I’m just not seeing the numbers of mature grasshoppers out there that I see in normal summers. But then again, browns are opportunistic predators when eyeing a potential meal, and may not give a hoot how many naturals they’ve encountered or whether it’s still hopper “season.” I suppose the sensible thing to do would be to forget the calendar and keep fishing hoppers until they ain’t workin’ no mo’.

Susan with a beautiful 20″ White River bow she caught fishing with Marc Poulos.

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New Davy Wotton Whitetail Midges

Redhead Whitetail Midges: Black at left and Hare’s Ear, middle and right

DAVY WOTTON’s Whitetail Midges have been one of the hottest performers on our tailwaters since we started putting Davy’s patterns in our bins back in ‘06.

These flies are consistently good. Now we have a couple of new versions, the RedHead Whitetails in Hare’s Ear and Black, in both 14s and 16s currently. Read Davy’s August report for more details on this productive pattern. Shop here.

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Traveling West

Received these photos from my partner Jim Dugan earlier this week, from their annual sojourn out west, where he and Brenda got to spend some time hanging out and fishing with Derek and Janelle De Young.

Where to next ? _ it’s a fair bet it will involve trout and bamboo ….


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FFTO Short Strikes Video Series _ Dry Run Creek

CHECK out the first instalment of Brian Wise’s “Short Strikes” video series, with some awesome footage of Dry Run Creek.

I have been throwing around the idea of starting a web series for around a year. Never knowing where to start, how to wrap my head around it, and just general questions I had put it off for a while.  But after a little bit of looking through some footage (ok, LOADS of footage) that I had been sitting on for a while, and a couple of good fishing trips….I decided it was time to start putting this thing together.

I’m really looking forward to see where this is going.


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