Dally’s Fly Fishing Report: 11-26-15

Rainy’s Flies sales rep Stephen Seaton with a PB brown from the White, Saturday _ Steve Dally image


IN the mythology of fly fishing alongside perfect drifts is the notion of clockwork hatches, those mythical events which hatch, in the same riffle on the same day year after year.

If you have ever done any serious travel to fish you will understand the vagaries of nature and travelling to find it: Less pastoral simplicity, more gothic surreal, lurching from crisis to crisis in an ongoing black comedy with you as the punchline. The seriousness of the crisis at hand is proportional to the amount of time its going to take before you can laugh about it.

For instance, its been almost a quarter of a century and my father still isn’t laughing about the day we both failed to put the plugs back in his 21’ sportfisher, the discovery only made well offshore _ and I was the one sent under the boat.

I’ve also flown to Wyoming in a heatwave, arrived a week too early for the Hex in Michigan and a week too late in Idaho, been rained out in Colorado and got snowed on in mid-summer in Australia. It doesn’t matter where you travel, you end up earning the perfect days.

Now the vagaries of power generation & flood control add another factor into the mix on our tailwaters. From July to October we had big water to dump the monsoons of early summer and waders grouching about a lack of water. Now we have swung the other way with the streamer guys looking for some flow.

The trick to traveling and fishing is handling the days which aren’t perfect _ making the most of the borderline days, when a warm fire is calling, or the water is high or dirty or lower than you would really like.

Our Rainy’s rep Stephen Seaton is on a mission for a really good streamer brown, so much so he ran down to the Little Red for a day Friday to fish some flow when our tailwaters were down. Saturday’s forecast, 3000 cfs, 15 mph winds and cold, was far from perfect.

A handful of smaller weigthed streamers, a slow sinking line and we found a 22” + female, and a handful of rainbows. The fishing was slower, more painstaking, and if we had stripped faster would could have whacked a bunch of bows.

A hot ham and cheese sandwhich served up at White Hole and a can of Dale’s capped off a great day. No condition’s weren’t perfect but you are always better off fishing.

Happy Thanksgiving


The release

Continue reading “Dally’s Fly Fishing Report: 11-26-15”

Stay Tuned ………

Ben Levin in frame at the vise yesterday

It’s like herding kittens …. Funky, Fishy, ADD and OCD kittens.

Getting Wise, Johnson, Levin and myself in the one room for a few hours to film some tying videos is something of a project. But we are back under the lamps getting a winter tan in order to drum up something entertaining and informative … ok entertaining for you this winter.

There will be twerking flies, dancing flies, hippy chicks, and “that minner thang”. We can even promise some stuff with no names. Ben Levin was first up yesterday, getting heckled heavily, since he is heading to Chile again for the winter.

I have one of two new streamer patterns in the can, and once Johnson gets back from Louisiana we’ll be chaining him to the chair _ videos coming soon.  Brian Wise, our tying video maestro is playing with some new ideas we have going forward. Hope you find them all fun

If you haven’t discovered our White River Tying Video series check these out.

Loneliest Mayfly _ Davy Wotton

Is there anything more unluckey than a mayfly with its dates wrong _ image by T-Bird



Here  is a good one for the journal.

Crazy as it may seem this lone Hex emerged as we were fishing today just above Buffalo shoals.. it was in the 40s out there.  This bug has its calendar mixed up.

Generally we see them late June onwards for a few weeks.

Tbird took the picture for me, after l fetched it home.


5 reasons to stay a fair-weather angler: Franzen Blogs

Mekenzie Hada not afraid of a little rain

CHRIS FRANZEN giving 5 good reasons on the Flymen Blog  why y’all should stay off the river on those bad weather days. There might be some sarcasm involved here:  You might recall the young fella will fish through anything.



IT’S BACK ON AGAIN _ and the 2015 Streamer Season was hard to top but we are trying.

We have scheduled tying classes with both Kelly Galloup and Mike Schmidt, our ever popular streamer technique class, and of course the kickoff party without equal_ the 2016 STREAMER LOVEFEST.

Water level in the lakes are nice and high, promising plenty of water come January and February and there are some sensation fish in the river. Three browns pushing or over 10 pounds for 2015 with our guides is pretty sensational doing.

So here is the schedule:



The ideal means of figuring out this streamer game. Half a day with classroom session in the morning and an afternoon in a driftboat, putting the lessons into practice.

The morning session details the why’s and how’s of locating and catching trophy brown trout on big streamers. Feeding habits, equipment choice, fly selection will all be covered. There will be an hour break around 11.30am for students to have lunch and prepare for the water session.

The afternoon is spent in drift boats on the White River, learning how to handle heavy rods (7wt or 8wt) with sinking lines, presentation techniques. There will also be some “classroom time” on the river. Don’t think of this as a fishing trip, but a class to get you ready for a guide trip.



9.30-4.30 $110 8 people max. This is a class best for advanced tyers.

A full day with the Godfather of Modern Streamers, learning his latest patterns and techniques. Kelly is always super-informative and loves sharing knowledge. He remains at the forefront of streamer design, with a host of new patterns being released this season. Take the class stay ahead of the game.

Bring your own vice, light and tools. Materials included.




9am-12pm ‘6/7 Weight Articulation’  $50. Max 8 people. Advanced techniques

1pm-4pm ‘8/9 Weight Articulation’ $50.  Max 8 people. Advanced techniques

Michael Schmidt is the hottest production streamer tyer in the country. We are constantly amazed at his consistency and technique churning through our orders. Schmidty knows his way around an articulated fly. Learn to tie some of his best patterns and how to tie them right time after time.

The 6/7 Weight Articulation will include smaller patterns the Red Rocket and Meal Ticket.  The  8/9 Articulation class will include the Double Deceiver, Voodoo Squatch, Junk Yard Dog, and potentially a demo of the Drunk and Disorderly DDD.

JANUARY 30: 6.30 pm



A celebration of big flies, big rods, drift boats and of course BIG brown trout. Tyers including Galloup, Schmidt, Johnson, Lafkas, Wise, Dally, Trigg, Chausse.

We will have representation & giveaways from Sage, Rio, Simms, Rainy’s Flies, Umpqua Feather Merchants, Montana Fly Company, Flymen Co and more.



Never one’s to rest on a good idea Fishpond have stepped up on the Sushi Roll fly storage device, introducing bigger smaller and smarter.

We have dug these for carrying small streamers and in particular small mouth patterns. Our big White River streamers are a little tall for this design, but with the smaller stuff they are awesome.

Two new sizes, one large and one smaller joined the original Sushi Roll. The small one is easy enough to slip into any pocket which would take a big C+F style hard box.

All the rolls now come with a partch of loop cloth in each corner, and four hook squares, each with adhesive backs. Stick the hook squares on your cooler, boat gunwale, canoe, where ever you want to lock the Sushi Roll out flat to use all day. At the take out simplybreak the velcro free and roll it up. Awesome.

Make a great CHristmas stocking stuff too.

Dally’s Fly Fishing Report: 11-19-15

Joey with a fat Norfork bow

Today I got the pleasure of working the Norfork with local artist and guide Duane Hada. It’s a nostalgic experience working with Duane, as he was instrumental in getting my older brother Ben started in fly fishing, and a few years down the road, me as well. Duane and my brother once built a rod for me as a Christmas gift back when my waders were twice as long as I was tall. It was a short, limber 6wt that flexed beautifully under the weight of longears and little smallmouth. Duane taught me to double haul with it when I was nine. This is all just to say that working professionally with the same guys that taught me how to fish as a kid is pretty cool.

Paul explores a back channel with Duane

Even more cool is the backwoods culture shock that we were able to produce for our Californian customers, who were not expecting to find so few people and such willing fish, and such great scenery all in the same place. These San Francisco boys have been around the block, fished some of the finest rivers in the world, but I think the simple beauty and productiveness of Arkansas waters gave them a pleasant surprise. Nothing out of the ordinary for us locals, just another round of pleasant November sunshine, bald eagles, sparkling riffles, mossy rocks and logs, and many hungry trout.

lunch at old Mcllelans

-Gabe Levin

White River:

Recent rains have muddied the river below Crooked Creek (just downstream of Rim Shoals catch and release area), but that should clear up in a couple days and meanwhile everything upstream is fishing great. Expect a half unit with a 2-4hr pulse of high water in the morning. Avoid the pulse for best wading opportunities and most consistent fishing conditions. Drifting bead head nymphs and midges under an indicator is the most productive method but almost any approach be it dry fly, streamer, or soft hackle will catch fish. Micro Mayfly Nymphs, Copper Johns, Super Midges, Whitetail Midges, and Ruby Midges are perfect. Egg patterns and San Juan worms also make great attractors. Olive Wooly Buggers, Slump Busters, and Sparkle Minnows fished on the swing and twitch are a fun and effective way to bend your rod.

Norfork River:

Flows are usually cut to minimum by 9 or 10am, providing ample time for wade fishermen, canoes, kayaks, and drift boats to get on the water. Hunchback Scuds, Wotton Sowbugs, Root Beer Midges, and little Zebra Midges are great in the slow pools and shallow riffles. Expect heavy midge activity in the warm afternoons, and perhaps try swinging soft hackles if fish start bulging the surface. Little black Wooly Buggers are also a great choice for any part of the river, any time of day.