Fly-fisher lands giant Yellowstone cutthroat trout; rare catch confirmed
What an exciting (and exhausting) time it is to be an angler in the Ozarks. Whether it’s getting up early to catch a white bass or hybrid, or staying out late on an evening caddis bite, good fishing tends to leave your spirits high and your energy low. The last three days I’ve fished three different bodies of water for three different species. This time of year all fisheries are firing!
Tailwater trout are gorging on caddis and midges, flows are relatively stable and clear, and fly fishermen are showing a lot of smiling faces. Warm weather and sunshine combined with lowish water has brought on peak caddis activity. There’s not a better time of year to wet a line.
Temperate bass (whites and hybrids) are spawning full throttle, and can be found wherever larger tributaries enter Bull Shoals and Norfork Lake. A floating line and Clouser Minnow can be all you need when the bass are up shallow in the back of a lake arm, or in the shoals above the lake, but often the largest whites and hybrids are caught in deep water near the creek mouth, on sink tip lines and various minnow flies.
Smallmouth bass creeks like Buffalo and Crooked are heating up as well. Some bass are bedding or defending newly hatched fry, and others have already moved off the nest to hunt crawdads and minnows. Water levels are low and clear, offering perfect conditions for wade fishing and floating a canoe or kayak, if you don’t mind a bump here and there.
STREAMER fishing in the big water right has garnered plenty of attention on our waterways. But streamer fishing the riffles on low flows is less well known adventure on the White River system, whether you are wading or fishing from a watercraft.
Get acquainted with the tactics via this George Daniel piece in Fly Fisherman magazine.
Take a few minutes and settle into this tribute to writer and fly fisher, the late Jim Harrison in Men’s Journal, from guide and “verb jockey” Callan Wink.
I don’t think Jim Harrison ever got skunked in my boat. One working eye or not, the man could fish. That being said, Jim was the consummate poet. Often I’d look back at him and his fly would be trailing way off behind the boat and he’d be concentrating on something on the bank or flying over head, birds never failed to derail his attention. Pretty girls floating on inner-tubes, as well.
Nobody needs an $800 rod for fly fishing. Even for the hardcore angler, that sum would be better spent on a couple of casting lessons or guided trips, to say nothing of college tuitions and 401(k)s.
But the Orvis Helios 2 is a magic wand of sorts, a wisp of carbon-fiber that excels at two things:
-Deftly delivering a glorified piece of pocket lint through 60 yards of wind.
-Making a person forget the definition of “need.” Kyle Stock for Bloomberg.com
THE name is unfamiliar, the technology new, but there is something about an unpainted fly rod blank that says Gary Loomis.
It’s almost 20 years since Gary sold off G. Loomis to Shimano, after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and while he never really went away, after winning that battle, the new Edge rods are all his.
TFO, with whom Gary had been working in recent years, is handling all the distribution & warranty work out of their Dallas HQ, so it was an easy addition to our lineup.
So far it is a soft launch easing back into the fly rod market with three “freshwater” actions and 3 for the salt, all made in Gary’s Washington factory.
The saltwater Beta series sticks, or for around here the 6 wt and 8wt would make sweet streamer rods, are what I remember most about the ’90s Loomis sticks, power and speed, but very modern in the hand. There are all 4-piece 9-footers, with a killer ALPS reel seat, with a 10wt to go alongside the two lighter rods.
The Edge Alphas after build for the fresh with an 8’6″ 4wt alongside a 9 for 5wt and 9 for 6wt with a much more laid back casting stroke.
Efficiency is the buzzword with these rods, allowing the graphite to work without hindrance, no paint, no scrim. The recovery rate, (the speed at which the graphite returns to straight) is awesome, as is the dampening, which on the Alpha took me some getting used to. The recovery rate kept telling me to push the rod harder, rather than take a more mellow approach with this moderate action. Chad was intune with the Alphas straight away. I had a more natural affinity for the power of the Betas.
These rods are seriously worth a cast.
Check out the Edge rods here, then swing by the shop.
KV getting his permit on
We had a couple of images land in the nerve center in the last week, one from Belize the other from the wilds of Arlington, featuring Dally’s logo hats.
Kevin Vincent was hiding behind this Caribbean permit, while Lee Johnston sent us the image below of The Hat in Rangers stadium.
Thanks guys … and we’ll take more too.