Hada On The Creeks

Mekenzie Hada getting all kissy lips _ Duane Hada

RECEIVED a batch of nice pics fro our Ozark Creeks, from Duane Hada. The creeks are coming into awesome shape right now after the rains of May.

Book a trip with Duane or any of our smallie guides, Ben & Gabe Levin and Chad “Mississippi Johnson, for wade trips canoe or Buffalo drift boat trips.

Katelyn Barton with a sweet smallie on a trip with Duane

Katelyn’s brother Kyle also got some smallie love

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SUMMER time is long days, cold water releases, good friends, dogs, drift boats and river jons, fishing hoppers and streamers and White River brown trout.

Stealing moments of awesomeness whenever you can: before work or after, share the fun bring a friend, remember the river is always cooler.

Book your awesome moments now.

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Happy Hour For Flies FRIDAY


OUR impromptu SAGE, RIO & REDINGTON demo day is gathering some serious momentum, so we have decided to throw open another cool deal for all those coming along.

From 4pm to 5pm we will be having a 15% off HAPPY HOUR on all flies, from our monster streamers to the tiniest of midge pupa. Don’t be late. We also have some very cool new closeout sales on Redington waders and boots for men and women, plus deep discounts on Sage Click Reels technical bags and packs; caps and limited rods.

The Sage, Rio and Redington crew, Darin and Steve will be setting up their awesome trailer so you can cast any rod, check out lines and discuss the new offerings for 2016

We will also be having snacks and drinks available. A great way to kick off your weekend

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JUMP on these great deals on these discontinued Sage reels, rods, boat bags and Redington waders and boots.

The sale on Click Reels, TXL-F rods, technical waist packs and Redington mens Palix wader and boots and women’s Willow wader and boots kicks off with our Demo Day Friday afternoon when we will have the Sage, Rio and Redington team in town. We will have snacks and drinks available and get to cast, pat or checkout the range.

Darin and Steve will also be talking about the new additions to the Sage Range which are coming in the secod half of the year, plus the existing models. The guys will be setting up their trailer and tent out the front of the store on Friday around 2pm and staying through 6pm.

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Not So Humble Pheasant Tail


.YOU probably have more of these in your fly collection than you realize, sitting there unappreciated and overlooked like a pack of ramen noodles at the back of the cupboard are your Pheasant Tails

We live in a world dominated by midge pupa and buggers but even when its time comes fancier flies with eyeballs and elbows tend to come out of the fly boxes first. Familiarity it seems breeds contempt.

The Pheasant Tail, and its cousin the Hare’s Ear, are the definition of standards _ certainly these are the only two nymphs common, or famous, enough to have their own listings on Wikipedia.

Normally  at this time of year I’d be kicking myself for not having started tying summer pheasant tails sooner. But the vagaries of weather and water for a second year in a row have kept the Sulphurs off the water through June.

If there is a lonelier gig than being one mayfly who is days early for the emergence, I don’t want it. Imagine spending your whole life waiting for one day of beauty, grace and romance and no one else turns up for the party.

But I digress _ the late winters and cool springs of this year and last have pushed the mayflies back into July. The upside is we are still dry fly fishing to caddis in June, particularly on the low water we are getting right now.

Pheasant Tails have become my summer mayfly bug, though perhaps I’ve become too much of a creature of habit, there are more uses for those buddy fibres than just a mayfly imitation..

The PT was devised by Frank Sawyer MBE, an English River Keeper to match mayflies on the chalkstreams of Southern England, and came to prominence after the publication of Sawyer’s Nymphs and the Trout in 1958. The Sawyer PT  twisted pheasant tail fibers around one copper wire, for durability, flash and weight, and its skinny profile matched a lot of mayfly patterns.  You can see Sawyer tying his nymph on this video.

Sawyer’s original, which still can be deadly, also spawned a myriad of copies. What became the standard US version, used lead under the thorax, a peacock herl thorax, and legs (or wings) for a chestier profile.  A strip of flashabou and a dot of epoxy and you have the flashbacks. Brass then tungsten beads came along.

But the essence of Sawyer’s design remains. Tie his version on a shortshank, or even scud, hook in small sizes and they can serve very well as a midge pupa. Diverge a little further and the Pheasant Tail soft hackle is more than serviceable, though less popular than say a Hare’s Ear.

Add a hot spot collar in flouro orange to a regular PT or try tying Egan’s Frenchie. The possibilities are endless, which is why those long Phesant Tail feather remain one of my favorite materials. But equally its way too easy to pass them over until summer.

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So Much Water _ The Summer Issue


THE NEW issue of So Much Water is now online, featuring a interview with our own Chad “Mississippi” Johnson on fly design.

There’s also a nice price from Terry Beeson on bobbers and a road trip report from Jeff Trigg on the southern musky tournament in Tennessee. Click for the link

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Dad on DePuys

Miles and Richard on De Puys Spring Creek

EVERYONE fished in my family, my mother and sister as keen as any, but it was my father Richard that led us there, and sowed the seeds that would lead me on this voyage to far lands and foreign fish.

One of my earliest recollections remains, perhaps as a four or five year-old, fishing in the Mersey River from a rental “tin dish” and catching something, probably a mullet. Growing up we would spend weeks every year on the coasts, fishing from a variety of boats, mainly for the tastiest of species not the gamefish.

Eating your catch, especially the delicious flathead species, was part of the experience, and my old man and his mate Barry evolved an extremely efficient system for catching, cleaning and  preserving the haul for the table. . But I always felt fishing was secondary, to my father a means of spending more time boating. That it was really the freedom of being afloat he was after.

It was that efficiency that ultimately got to me, knowing what, where and how you were going to catch every day. There were raised eyebrows at a host of experiments, live bait for trophies, jerk baits big and small, light line, but that was perhaps the start of the search which ended up in fly fishing.

So I’ve never really known whether the Old Man liked fly fishing on our brief forays in this country. Sure we had a good time but we have always had the best of times doing odd stuff together _ did I mention he had a fetish for combing country dumps for useful stuff, like rope, abandoned sails and other oddments before recycling killed it _ often stuff which involved getting wet or muddy or fixing something which broke or breaking something previously fixed.

Dad’s had a total of may be 6 hours fly fishing under his belt when Miles and I took him to DePuys Spring Creek. De Puys Spring Creek isn’t the normal spot you would take a relative newcomer to the fly rod, but there wasn’t a lot of choices around, given the state of run-off in southern Montana.

This is one of those fancy private Western spring creeks, full of picky bug-eating trout well-educated in the wiles of fly fishers. Magnates and Presidents, rock stars and trout bums, all equal in the eyes of the trout, have been left scratching their heads pondering the contrariness of pursuing trout on the fly.

Miles Nolte, was our edge if you like, you have met him here before: teacher, author, long time western guide and angling columnist for Gray’s Sporting Journal, and now an outfitter: Swallowtail Fly Fishing. Seriously look him up if you are in the area.

It was my first holiday in a decade and it wasn’t supposed to be a fishing trip. A visit to the Rockies in summer and it wasn’t to be a fishing trip. WTH I hear you say?

Last Stand MemorialNo this was the second and last summer my father, Richard, and stepmother Trish, would be touring the US in their motorhome. And on our suggestion, well you really can’t visit the US for any length of time without hitting the Yellowstone region fly fisher or not.

We had driven through epic scenery, alongside epic rivers, flowing high and muddy in epic proportions. Run-off, nature’s annual spillways releases as the snowpack melts, plus a seriously wet spring out west, had most waters the color of strong milk coffee. The west looked weird, from the Kansas prairie to the sagebrush plains of Wyoming everything was uncommonly green, and festooned with wildflowers.

So we did quite a few things I’d not done, but wanted to, in past trips when fishing was the thing: like visiting the Little Big Horn Memorial, take the time, walk the trails, listen to the excellent talks by the rangers. Yellowstone was phenomenal as always, and it was good to catch up with Kelly Galloup and his crew over at the Slide Inn and the guys at Tim Wade’s shop in Cody.

But until that second last morning we really hadn’t had the opportunity to mess around as we always had done. But this wasn’t to be the easy trout or Arkansas, plus the natural hazards of tall grass banks, trees and more. Of course these provoked plenty of Aussie cuss words but nothing that probably hasn’t been said here before.

I’ll put it down to Miles’ inspired fly choice, our mutual instruction, and finally the wise decision to leave him to his own devices for a couple of minutes and bugger me, Richard was tight to a nice little brown trout, before Miles and I were finally rigged.

We all caught fish, and Dad grew relaxed enough we all fished separately, though coming back to him to change flies adjust rigging as the bite changed. .

Not long before he was due to leave, having some maintenance he wanted to get done on the motor home, I heard a shout and looked up in time to see a line ripping through the water and the cartwheeling belly of a seriously solid fish, comprehensively better than anything Miles I or would hook for the day.

A fish which would have beaten any of us without experience, soft hands and a fair slice of luck. I was half expecting some disappointment, perhaps some recriminations, having been so close to a real trophy fish,

Yet all I was hearing was, perhaps with some amazement, that he had spotted, the fish cast to it until it ate and then hooked it. The loss of the fish barely came into the equation. There was even a grin.

I think he really got why we do this thing  _ which was as much entertainment for me as if he has scored the trophy.

What could be better than that.

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Simms Closeout Sale

Starts tomorrow.





Guide Jacket: Black Olive


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Guide Jacket: Black Olive 3XL-4xl


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Contender Jacket Catch Camo


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Hyalite Rain Shell: Bright Red


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Waderwick Core Crew Neck: Navy

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Big Sky L/S Shirt: Citron Plaid

M; L; XL

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Guide Core Top: Charcoal


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Coldweather L/S Shirt: Dark Shadow Plaid


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Coldweather L/S Shirt: Boulder Plaid


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Coldweather L/S Shirt: Olive Plaid


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Windstopper Flap Cap Loden


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Windstopper Flap Cap Cutthroat


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Visor Beanie Boulder


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Visor Beanie Navy


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Coldweather Pant Dark Elkhorn


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Dally’s Fly Fishing Report _ 6-19-15

Ben Levin with an afternoon streamer brown _ Gabe Levin pic

I’VE BEEN mulling over what you would call four guides in a boat: a gaggle perhaps, certainly not a congregation: a mob was likely but a cluster seemed more appropriate.

When someone describe the decision making process in Chad’s Shawnee this week as akin to the Senate it was only half in jest. It wasn’t that we caught browns with Johnson, Levin The Younger, the rep’s rep and former guide Frank Smethurst and myself it was that we caught them in spite of that assemblage.

The rotating helmsman was being offered sufficient contrary advice that it became policy, in the shallows to ignore the peanut gallery and only listen to the owner of the boat lest we end up high and dry. Things got worse when we switched to streamers on the higher flows instead of better as one rod was now free from the task of fishing and instead could devote their attention to full time heckling.

In summary if our boat could score amidst the threat of Tropical Storm Bill then y’all probably would have done way better.

Funnily enough TS Bill hasn’t been too bad right here, though our neighbours to the west and north have been deluged. There has been wadeable water most days on Norfork, and low flows in the morning on the White.

The upstream dams are pumping water hard but Bull Shoals is still utilising its huge storage capacity to limit flood effects down stream.

With the rain expected to break for the weekend, and similar flows expected it looks like this is going to be an exceptional time to get on the water.

See you out there.


And now for the rest of this week’s fishing report


Mississippi Johnson, Tucker and a White River brown this week _ Gabe Levin image

Continue reading

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Becca with her first Colorado stream brown


FOR all the trips Bec and I have taken to Colorado over the years, we have never got off the plain.

To be honest since the last time we did the long drive to Denver for a Fly Tackle Dealer’s show, she threatened divorce if I repeated the process, I though my chances were pretty slim of ever getting up into the Rockies.

But with the end of our holiday in sight, a creek beckoning and a window to catch up with our mate Chris Franzen and another mutual bud Lando, who are guiding in Wyoming at the Old Baldy Club. Story of the day was Becca settling in to some serious creek fishing and becoming the hot rod of the day, finishing with 3 nice browns once she got the guys to go off and do their own thing.

I’ll say s size 8 leech in the ear isn’t all that painful, at least until the forward cast, but we did give her some more room after I got myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. The trout ate dry flies and streamers if you got it right, and not it you didn’t the company was entertaining as usual and even the plague of mosquitos which haunts this place couldn’t dampen the fun.

Hope you enjoy the pics.



Continue reading

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“Big River All The Way” _ Chad Johnson Report

Gage and Chad on the “Big River”


I had Gene Henry and his grandson, Gage, the last couple of days of fishing. Mr. Gene brings Gage up for summer vacation every year and we have a ball fishing Dry Run Creek in the a.m. on the first day with some very nice fish being caught and released. In the afternoon, we went to the White River, where Gene was able to fish with us and Gage done so well on the “Adult River” he decided for the next day it was “Big River” all the way. No more time for the “kid’s creek”. He wanted to fish on the “Adult River” and that he did. Here are a couple of pics with Gage and his first 2 browns on the “Adult River”. What a great time fishing, skipping rocks and looking for aquatic bugs…..it was all good.

Thanks for the Work Gene & Gage…See you soon. Mississippi Johnson

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Figuring the Sex of a Trout: Gink & Gasoline

Now This Is A Kype _ White River male brown trout


Lets talk about sex!

Over the years, I’ve found that the majority of my clients have a hard time determining whether a trout they catch is a male or female _ Kent Klewein

Nice piece from Kent Klewein at Gink and Gasoline on how to tell the differences between male and female trout. Click for the link

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