Dally’s Fly Fishing Report _ 8/29/14

Zach Spaulding’s big ol’ hopper brown. Mick Spaulding pic.

I wish I could have been there to see the look on Mick’s face when he netted this brown for his son, Zach. A laid back flatbrimmer type, Zach no doubt kept his cool through the event, but I’m certain Mick had to be approaching hyperventilation. Check out Mick’s blog post  for the full story on the 12 year old’s 24″ capture – I believe a sticker is due.

If you haven’t noticed, there are ALOT of people out there throwing hoppers down the banks of the White River right now – to the extent that the browns are probably starting to whisper to each other, “Hey, buddy, don’t eat that piece of foam with rubber legs, it’s not worth it.” Yeah, it’s our own fault for advertising the hell out of it, but business is business and fishing is fishing – you got to make hay while the sun shines ya know? Obviously there are still some pigs out there willing to eat if you’re in the right place at the right time, the proof’s in the pictures, but this weekend there are going to be fishermen in every place all the time. I’m not being cynical or whiny, just pointing out that pressure is a real factor when targeting big, smart fish, so be kind to other fishermen, patient with the fish, and enjoy yourselves. Happy hunting y’all.

Jerrod’s thick shouldered hopper brown. Steve Dally pic.

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Color of Browns: August 2014 Edition

Recovery _ Steve Dally pic

SALMO TRUTTA, the brown trout, in all its glory from the White River system. We have been seeing plenty, big and small. Here’s a little tribute to our spotted quarry. There’s more to be had…..





Finz _ Steve Dally pic


Hopper eating Brown caught by Patrick Gilbert _ Austen Salomen pic uploaded to our app

Chrome sided streamer fish _ Steve Dally pic

Cotter Brown caught by Austen Salomone _ Patrick Gilbert pic sent to our App


Chance Maxville fish and pic up loaded to app

Jerrod Thomas Wildcat brown

Jerrod Thomas. Wildcat hopper brown _ Steve Dally pic

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Hot For Big Smallies _ Duane Hada Report

Big Smallmouth for Duane Hada in the heat this week

Too Hot?? Don’t tell that to Duane Hada. Many people don’t realize some of the best smallmouth of the year is right now!!

The water is low and clear, most of the fish are caught sightfishing with a Hada craw or taken from the surface on a large hopper. I threw some large grasshoppers into a pool yesterday and they were quickly taken.

Many cold springs keeps the water and fish active. Floating is out of the question unless you are into long drags. Take lots of water and be prepared for a long walk, but its’s worth it.

Sight fishing is very challenging and will build your skills, these are tough smart old fish.

You want to pack a fly box with Creek Crawlers and Near Nuff Crawdads; some large foam hoppers in natural colors, Boogle Bug poppers in white or yellow. I also found lots of mature Helgrammite nymphs this week so add some Big Nasties and McKees Rubberlegs.

The Hada influence: Tadd Fore learning fast

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GEOBASS: Botswana

The latest instalment from the crew: Thad, Brian, Jay and Chris in deepest Africa, and I’ve been awaiting this one. Bec and I spent a couple of night in their company in Florida this summer, and the tales were epic, so were the hangovers. Stay tuned for the next episode: Black Bass in PNG.





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White River – After Action Report 8/21 & 8/22

Lyle with a great way to close out the trip … Larry Anderson pics

Some great images and a report from Larry Anderson, after he brought a crew in to hit the White River with our guides.



My group had a great time fishing with the Levin Bros and Mississippi Chad this past Thursday and Friday and I wanted to share a brief after action report.

Thursday morning the hopper dropper bite was good, when we met for a shore lunch all 3 boats reported landing 30-35 fish that morning.

Several peeps in my crew reported catching rainbows, browns and the Snake River Cutthroats all before noon on Thursday.

Larry, the brown and the hat

Later that afternoon I landed a 20” brown….. both the fish and the Stetson were successfully released into the river unharmed – lol.

Friday morning was a solid start at Rim Shoals, since we were lodging there and it was a bloody Mary morning….. when Chad called and said to meet at Rim for the morning float that was a welcome decision!

Late Friday afternoon Clint Auten from Irving Texas, landed a 20” brown on a hopper with an exciting fight.

Lyle Bellows from Gainesville, Texas and I finally had our turn in the boat with Chad and we decided to target the big boys on the streamer bite,  Lyle skillfully cast streamers in every imaginable fishy looking spot for a solid 4 hours….just as we were about to run out of daylight Lyle landed our 3rd 20” brown of the trip on a Sex Dungeon.

Awesome trip, Great Guides, we will be back for bigger Browns soon!

Best Regards,


Clint and his hopper brown

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Duane Hada White River Riverscape Class _ October 11


THE Calls and requests had been mounting up so in answer to public demand we are hosting a Duane Hada White River Riverscape Class on October 11.

Here’s a chance for you to capture a fly fishing scene of your favorite stretch of the river in watercolor, under the tutelage of the incomparable Duane Hada.

Duane’s classes have been enormously popular and we have watched a bunch of smiling pupils wandering out the door with trout and river scenes over the years.

Bring your own materials from the list over the jump or you can purchase the materials you need through Duane for $17.

Call the shop on 870 435 6166 to secure your spot. Since places are limited this is a no refund class, but we will hold a waiting list in case there are any late vacancies.

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“On A Fly You Tied ……”

THERE’S  a natural progression for the fly fisher, despite all the initial protestations that of “not having enough patience, clumsy fingers et al”. Sooner or later, and for better or worse, one will end up behind a vise, thread bobbin and scissors at the ready. For many catching fish on flies they designed and tied is the ultimate.

When the raw and impressionable Gabriel Levin fell into the clutches of the misbegotten and semi-functional family who staff this place, there was a pretty good chance he was going to be lashed down to a vise. Indeed despite the peer pressure he has taken to tying like a my black lab on a pound of bacon and like everything else proving a remarkably quick study.

Still I was impressed at the fly he handed me, when I climbed into his brother Ben’s river boat last week, for a quick dash on the river _ a neat little black hopper, a tweak on the sought after Morrish Hopper. Generously Ben put me in the downhill seat and it didn’t take long to claim a 20” brown out in front of Gabe _ on his fly (pictured above).

The young fella was practically jumping up and down I’d hooked one on his fly. We changed up and Ben grabbed the 9’6” 6wt Sage One I was using for a test, and of course Gabe’s fly stayed on the tippet. Until the inevitable happened, with a nice eat just above Wildcat. Ben’s usually a smooth beggar in everything he does, but on this fish, for some reason unknown to us all, set from his toes on the eat, and line leader and all came firing back at the boat. Everything but Gabe’s fly, the one he’d barely fished himself.

Ben and I ended up with the giggles at the plaintive noises coming from the back of the boat. He was the only one who hadn’t touched a fish in our brief jaunt, while we were using & losing his precious new pattern.

So here is the lesson _ “Never tie just one”

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Dally’s Fly Fishing Report _ 8/21/14

27″ White River gator. Steve Dally photo.

Potential. That’s what makes the White River so interesting to fish, especially on high flows. Every time you dunk a fly in this river, it could get snatched up by some beastly creature. It teases the senses, watching a foam hopper floating over the edge of a drop off, or a streamer wagging side to side behind a boulder. When you’re fishing big flies for big fish, it matters little if bites are few, just make another good cast with confidence, and float on your merry way. Sooner or later your fly will be in the right place at the right time, and then…..put on your gator wrasslin boots.

I must extend a big thank you to Steve Dally and Kevin Symes for spending Tuesday evening with me on the White, it was one to remember. Hoppers fished a little slow for us on the big big water but still pulled a couple of nice fish. Switched to 8wt/30ft sink tip/big streamer combo right before dusk – good decision that was. Steve has been in the boat with me with his fancy camera for both of my biggest brown trout captures. I’m just gonna roll with the good fortune, and Steve, when would you like to go again mate?

Kevin’s hopper brown being released into flooded wildflowers. Steve Dally photo

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I’ll Take Lucky Any Day …


Received a message from Jason Cables, from Tx, this morning who scored bigtime through a recent Orvis Helios II Sweepstakes.

To accompany the article Jason used the above pic, fishing with me last summer of his serious hopper brown taken on the White. You can read the full article on the Orvis blog here.

He and his crew will be back in about 10 days _ here’s hoping he’s still got a little luck stashed away for another big White River brown

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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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