Dally’s Fly Fishing Report: 7-29-16


IT’S perhaps stating the obvious, but its pretty hard to catch a trout without a fly in the water.

Life, the universe and everything often seem to conspire to keep us from the water, even when you live close at hand. The longer the stint between drinks, so to speak, and the urge to fish gets over taken by the the idea that now you deserve something epic, that just going fishing isn’t enough.

Now comes the question “is it worth the effort”,or will it be too hot/cold/windy/sunny/cloudy/will the fish be biting? The real answer is just go fishing, of course.

evening-6I think I could watch the tension draining out of Elizabeth’s shoulders last weekend. E is a good friend of the Levin brother and Bec and myself, but has come to know all the crew over the years. She remains a fishing crazy, a drive all night, sleep in the truck for a few hours fishing type. But motherhood and her own business has kept her busy the past couple of years.

Bec, Gabe and myself got to take her out last weekend _the heat index was ridiculous, but we had all seen enough air conditioners. And it feels so much cooler when you get on the river.

Bec and E caught browns, we roamed the river, and we broke the need to fish.

Sometimes it’s the first step that is the hardest.


Continue reading “Dally’s Fly Fishing Report: 7-29-16”

FREEDOM: A new boat


“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Since I stood on the shores of the Southern Ocean, perhaps a decade old, perhaps not, a spinning rod and chrome slice in hand, watching fish crashing bait to the horizon, a boat meant freedom: the freedom to find out what is out there.

The freedom to reach out beyond the range of my  arm and legs; to fish the other side of the lake, around the next point, off the Shelf, to wander upstream or down, freed from the shackles of our terrestrial world.

Boats were always around in my family, not always but long enough, not always ours my parents were pretty young and just making their way. But it was pretty high on their agenda, my first solid memory was in a tiny rented tin dish. Later my father seemed to either have a newly acquired boat, or looking to acquire another. The “Sunday Drive” family outings, no matter what day of the week they were on always involved an access ramp, a marina or boat shed. I acquired the habit, ask my wife.

Boats weren’t always for fishing, there was a touch of the Water Rat in our habits, just being on the water was often enough. For instance spending a couple of weeks bobbing on the edge of the Southern Ocean watching the attempts to extricate a 250′ catamaran from a reef might have been boring for others. Heading back to an office was harder.

These days I’m luckier: on an average week I get to spend more time in a boat than my truck. Back in April I ordered my 4th boat but my first new craft, built how I wanted in Midway by the Shawnee/Supreme Boat Co.  She’s just what I wanted.

I have friends who speak glowingly of new car smell. We crack a compartment and revel in new boat. Rob and crew at Shawnee indulged my desire to document the build from the mould to the river, thanks for all their work.

I hope you enjoy. Click through for the rest of the images.

The bride at the helm

Continue reading “FREEDOM: A new boat”

X Marks The Rod


THERE was a time I used to say it would take 10 years before you saw real change in a rod series, that the leap from one rod to its replacement generally wasn’t a leap. The leap came in 2 rod cycles, or 8 to 10 years, given the average lifespan of a top shelf rod.

But at Sage Jerry Siem and the design team, which includes materials and manufacturing specialists, continue to excel. Sage’s frontline rods for the last 15 years have been the XP, the Z-Axis, the One: all  pushed boundaries, some where a little confrontational, none were as expected..

I distinctly recall the late Mel Krieger unloading on Jerry at the Fly Tackle Show in Denver the year the Z-Axis was released summing up the feeling of a bunch of XP addicts gathered around him basically saying what the hell have you done to our XP. The XP, though somewhat “woody” in close, was a cannon and for a while was the 5wt distance casting rod, before more specialist sticks (Sage’s TCR) came onto the market.

The Z-Axis would prove itself on the water not the casting pond, being ridiculously fishable, taking all sorts of abuse with aplomb. If the Z was deceptively powerful, the One brought back more obvious grunt.

The X rod takes the best of all of them, rolls them into a superlight, small wall design that is probably the best tight loop, fast rod going. The X is going to rewrite a lot of superlatives in rod design, and the applause is not just coming from dealers like me, there’s a lot more kudos out on the blogosphere for the X compared to the One for instance.

Our first sticks arrive this weeks, in our biggest sellers: 9′ 5wts, 6wts and 8wts. Come along with a little time up your sleeve to cast these sticks: our guide team will be loading them into their boats as well as rods become available this year.

You will notice the difference



Revive Fly Fishing Journal

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IF you are looking for some fly fishing reading to inspire more fishing then check out Revive, an online Fly Fishing Journal.

Some really nice photography here, a video or two, and some well crafted articles: It’s a new one on me I found via the Mountains to Marsh Blog.

Click the image to go straight to the e-mag.


Kamchatka Steelhead Project


For fly fishers, though, the California-sized scimitar of land just west of Alaska is an exotic utopia, where trout feed on rodents and salmon swarm like that old timer tells you they used to do here. But Kamchatka is home to another mysterious population of giant fish, the mere mention of which is enough to pump adrenaline through the veins of an extra-crunchy subculture of devotees, myself among them. In Russian, the fish is called syomga. In English, steelhead.  Ryan Petersen, Yeti Stories


Anytime I hear Felt Soul Media‘s name come up I know its going to be something worth watching, similarly Yeti are backing great film makers and great projects. Beautifully shot and well told, enjoy this one. And if you have time go read Ryan Petersen’s background article. And get your Yeti stuff from Rob and Co at Shawnee Supreme Boats in Midway

Amazing Capture


AMAZING catch by Larry Shackelford, from Fayetteville, of this 25″ brown trout at Bull Shoals last weekend.

Brown trout in this class are a tough catch anytime, even more so when you are trying to manage your own watercraft, harder still when you need to paddle. Awesome job and a gorgeous fish

I was fortunate to catch this 25″ brown on Saturday while kayaking Bull Shoals tailwater on a PT nymph. After a quick measurement and pic the fish was released with a smile.

I would like to join the club! Thanks for your consideration.

Larry Shackelford

The Club Larry was referring to was of course our Two-Foot Club, for captures of White River or Norfork Tailwater brown trout over 24″ on streamers or dry flies. Yep, I was the one that wrote the rules in the first place and didn’t take into account the added merit/degree of difficulty of fish like this from a kayak.

But after pondering it, I thought it unfair to others who had caught 24″ fish on nymphs etc in the past to hand over our 2-foot club sticker _sorry mate.

So in this instance Larry is going to get one of our new Logo DeYoung Arkansas stickers for a great fish.


The Start of Something Good …


Dry Run Creek has been a favorite topic in recent weeks and with great reason, it is the best kid’s fishery in the world. It is a fantastic place to introduce kids to fish and fishing and holds some true monsters.

But before the big fish come beginnings and this photo from Barb and George Nichols, from Missouri captures those beginnings for me.

An uncertain smile from a first time fly fisher, still astounded at what he, or she has a achieved, and a grinning guide. This is Kevin Brandtonies who took Barb and George’s grandson George to Dry Run Creek on June 30

Thanks a bunch all of you