Beyond Banging The Banks: Flymen Blog

Bruce Petray, Chad Johnson and Bill Thorne enjoying some streamer time _ Steve Dally image


BIG FLY streamer fishing, the big fly big rod version, gets labeled as a young person’s game, all brawn and no subtlety, just “banging the banks”

Real streamer fishing is visual, from the dance of the fly to the buttery flash of a “drive-by” and it’s intellectual as you are constantly analyzing the water and structure to find the honey pots. Streamer fishing is mentally and physically challenging, requiring instant decisions and endurance.

Knowing your game, as well as the fishes is way more important than a booming cast and no brains. If you want to streamer fish longer and better here is how.


Late last year I was invited to contribute an article to the Flymen Fishing Co Blog. Since Flymen are the company behind popular tying products like Baitfish Heads,  Skulpin Helmets, shanks and more streamer tactics seemed logical_ Read On Big streamer fly fishing- Beyond banging the banks

The Lovefest: Thank You


Thanks to everyone to came along, helped out, tied flies, carried boxes, retrieved ice, contributed shwag, and enjoyed what is the world’s biggest and best streamer party _ the Streamer Lovefest 2016.

We fed and entertained about 220+ people with high-grade local barbecue, top shelf articulated streamer tying and the premiere of the full length version of our streamer fishing video “Chasing The Donkey”.

Streamer addicts rolled in from Texas and Michigan, Alabama and Illinois, Kansas and Mississippi, to fish the White River and hang for an evening with our tyers and guides.

A huge thanks to the tyers: Kelly Galloup, Chad Johnson, Michael Schmidt, Alex Lafkas, Steve Dally, Brian Wise, Jeff Trigg, Matt Bennett, Chris Franzen and Dave Hosler.

The support from our sponsor was truly awesome: Shawnee/Supreme Boats supplied the food from KTs Smokehouse to feed the masses; Yeti Coolers provided some awesome prizes to help us raise money for our local Trout Unlimited Branch.
We had reps in from Sage & Rio, Simms, Rainy’s Flies, TFO, Umpqua and Howler Bros, and additional schwag help from Rising, Flymen Fishing Co and Montana Fly Co.

Thanks also to all the Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher crew and their family and friends.

Roll on Lovefest 2017


 Photo via, Pat Burke image

Great read by Domenick Swentosky on about finding that trophy brown on a streamer.

Exactly one month ago, I told my Troutbitten friends that I was getting out of the big-fish race car again — that I would get back to where I once belonged (McCartney) and just go fishing instead of looking for the next big one. Why? Well, it’s exhausting. As I mentioned, there aren’t many truly large wild trout in this region, so without a good bit of traveling, there’s not a lot of success. And, when “good” and “successful” fishing starts to be defined only by how big the fish are, I start to get a little twitchy. I simply needed a break from the year-and-a-half that I had mostly dedicated to trophy hunting.

There’s a lot more to this article than the story of the day, the fight and the fish. It encompasses why we fish, how we fish and the real definition of a trophy trout.

Hope you dig it I did _ “Meet Jercules”


Ten Tips to Improve Your Short Game: Itinerant Angler


Image from Zach at Itinerant Angler

 It’s the “short game” of fly-fishing; you may drive for show, but you still have to putt for dough.  It does you no good, after all, to drop a cast exactly where you want it, only to have your fly sail above the fish in the current, all because it couldn’t get down to the proper depth. Zach Mattews: Itinerant Angler.

I stumbled over this post by Zach Matthews on the Itinerant Angler with tips to improve rigging, leaders, tippet, shot: the short game of fly fishing. There is some solid information here and some cool knot tying videos.






Chasing the Donkey“,a window onto the 2015 season for our four streamer guides on the Mecca of Big Flies and huge brown trout: The White River below Bull Shoals in northern Arkansas. CLICK TO SHOP
For the guides: Chad Johnson, Alex Lafkas, Steve Dally and Gabe Levin its 6 weeks of daily pressure to produce the biggest brown trout for their fly fisher’s life. For streamer addicts from across the US a year of planning, hoping, dreaming of connecting with a true White River trophy trout, comes down to the next float, the next cast, the next strip.
Discover why the White River system is the Mecca for big fly brown trout hunters.
A huge thanks to the guides who put up with the cameras, the anglers who toughed out the hunt and gave their all successful or not, the support crew at Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher, also huge thanks to Kelly Galloup and Mike Schmidt for their assistance and inspiration and most of all the salmo trutta of the White River for turning up the heat.
BONUS CONTENT: White River Streamer Tying Videos from Chad Johnson, Steve Dally and Alex Lafkas, filmed and produced by Brian Wise of Fly Fishing The Ozarks and the man behind the most watched streamer video series on the web.

Learn some of our hottest patterns, CJ’s Sluggo and Mega Minnow Dally’s Lap Dancer and Lafkas’ Modern Deceiver & Alex’s tie of Russ Maddin’s Krakken. $19.95


Lovefest 2

THE Days are counting down to January 30 and the annual Streamer Lovefest and there are drift boats, tying kits and rod tubes heading this way from all over the country.

The Lovefest kicks off at 6.30 pm Saturday night with the premiere of our “Chasing The Donkey” DVD. Tying Demonstrations kick off around 7.30pm with some of the best streamer fly tyers in the country showing off their skills including Kelly Galloup, Michael Schmidt, Chad Johnson, Alex Lafkas, Brian Wise, Steve Dally, Jeff Trigg, Dave Hosler and Matt Bennett.

There will be plenty of time to yarn to each tyer too, pick their brains, tell a story or listen to a good one, its what the even is all about.

Get in early Saturday to pick up a ticket for the drawing to win our annual Streamer Lovefest Streamer Box, and one of 2 Yeti Coolers, and you could get a killer “early worm” prize from Yeti.

YETI CoolersThe first 48 ticket buyers (one per purchase) will get either a Yeti Coldster can holder or Lowball cup.

The coveted Streamer Lovefest Box drawing includes at least 1 fly from every tyer on the draw card loaded in an Montana Fly Co Waterproof Fly Box. Yeti have also donated a Tundra 50 and a Hopper 30 as separate major prizes for the drawing.

Shawnee/Supreme Boat company, is our local Yeti Dealer, and one of our major sponsor once again graciously providing the night’s eats from KT’s Smokehouse in Gassville. KT’s brisket, ribs and pulled pork are local favorites for during and after any day on the river.

There is also a bunch of schwag from our other suppliers: Simms, Umpqua, Fishpond, Rainy’s Flies, Sage, RIO, and Flymen Fishing Co.






Chad Johnson Flies: The Sluggo


. Chad Johnson with his new signature Sluggo streamer

IF you follow these pages you probably know how good a tyer & designer our head guide Chad “Mississippi” Johnson is.

An Umpqua fly designer, Johnson has dominated the Best In Show Award for the Baxter Bulletin Fly Tying Competition. And now we are excited to be carrying Chad Johnson Flies: Arkansas tied from premium materials to Chad’s exacting standards.

The first streamer from Chad Johnson Flies is the 7″ Sluggo, a fly that was tied for White River trophy brown trout but has been tested on all manner of predatory fish: bass, stripers and pike. We will be adding a 5″ version closer to smallmouth season.

If you are streamer fishing you need this fly. Check out the action and Johnson’s thoughts on designed the Sluggo in the video below.