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



StickFace: Marlin on the Flats


DO yourself a favor, play this video on the biggest screen you have, you might want headphones if you are at work and enjoy this video on one of the craziest fly fishing experiences in the world: Juvenile Black Marlin on the sand flats of Hervey Bay in Australia.

Joinn saltwater adventure from Jonathan Jones and The Endless Session.

From The Endless Session:

“Juvenile Black Marlin, fresh from the spawning grounds of the Great Barrier Reef, culminate at the Worlds largest sand Island, for a feeding frenzy in a marine biosphere that is Frazer Island. To catch one of these majestic fish is one thing, but to see one get taken on the Fly is spectacular.”

To check out more from The Endless Session, please click here.


Dally’s Fly Fishing Report _ 7/20/16

Guide Chad Johnson with a 24″ slab of butter

Is there any other trout river out there where flows can fluctuate by 20,000cfs or more on a DAILY  basis? Even in a river as wide as the White, that’s a daily rise and fall of nearly 8 feet. For the freestone angler not used to tailwater schedules, this is the equivalent of your stream going from drought conditions to heavy spring runoff conditions and back again, in a matter of hours.

The White’s wild browns, those naturally reproducing in the river, undoubtedly grow accustomed to moving around and changing feeding habits according to the flows, but that doesn’t necessarily make them predictable creatures. The factors determining their level of interest in feeding extend well beyond water volume to include things like temperature, light conditions, barometric pressure, and fishing pressure. The puzzle takes patience and persistence to put together, yet as soon as the pattern starts to materialize and you’ve found feeding browns, the puzzle pieces change shape and scramble themselves again – different flow schedule, different weather pattern, different food source etc.

Just in case that isn’t challenge enough for you, don’t forget that trophy browns might only feed for a short time each day (or night) or sometimes not at all if conditions aren’t right. But that’s the thrill of the chase right? A trophy fish isn’t a trophy fish unless its hard to come by. We play the game when the board is set – when conditions are conducive to good hunting – and when they’re not, we have fun plucking out piles of eager rainbows.

-Gabe Levin

Emil Turner nymphing up quality bows on the Norfork


Continue reading “Dally’s Fly Fishing Report _ 7/20/16”


One Third of the HUGE Icast Floor, way off on the far wall is the fly zone

 I can hear the sound

Of slamming doors and folding chairs
And that’s a sound they’ll never know

Now roll them cases out and lift them amps
Haul them trusses down and get ’em up them ramps
‘Cause when it comes to moving me
You know, you guys are the champs

But when that last guitar’s been packed away
You know that I still want to play
So just make sure you got it all set to go
Before you come for my piano: Jackson Browne, The Load Out

I’m sitting 14 stories above the mayhem of Load Out from ICAST 2016, and Jackson Browne’s melancholy is ringing in my ears, a keyboard, a screen and intermittent wifi connection my cross, rather than breaking down rod samples, tearing down a booth and lugging boxes.

My desk is littered with business cards, scattered notes, catalogues and coozie, a small bottle of gin and a bigger cold brew coffee maker, lime halves and restaurant receipts, and a blonde asleep in the bed: Fear and Loathing in Orlando.

My wife has the best idea, catching up on lost shuteye. Sitting here trying to make a little sense of the mayhem of the last four days is akin to making sense of a tornado in its immediate passing. At best you are glimpsing snapshots, a leaf here and there, so here is my Orlando Photo Essay, to quote the good Doctor: “For Good or Ill”.

1 _ We fly fishers might consider ourselves the pointy end of the fishing pyramid, but the base of the triangle is enormous. The IFTD was alloted a wafer thin section of the Show, with the conventional tackle aisle stretching on foreever. The image above is just a third of the floor space. In the interests of journalistic research I wanted to spend some time looking around “over there”, but to be honest I don’t walk that far anymore without a fish at the other end. The lesson if we want to execute any change to improve fisheries we have to bring them with us, the numbers convey enormous clout.

There was a lot to like about the Sage One, but flat out the new replacement the Sage X is going to probably appeal to more people. This is a ridiculously easy casting rod, with a lot more going for it at normal fishing ranges. The One at times almost had too much grunt.

We will have demo examples for casting in the shop on  August 1 and models for sale if not then a couple of days later.

Orvis is going to have some interesting rods for our waters including a one-piece 5wt, ideal if you have a river cabin, and an H2 Covert in trout weights a blacked out stealth version. A $425 10′ 3wt Recon is going to generate some interest as well.

Our friends at TFO will be delivering up the Gary Loomis made Edge rods in an expanded range. I’m really keen to play with the 9′ 5wt fast action Alpha rod.

Our newest reel addition Nautilus are selling one thing better delivery. We have really had a great reception to the X reel, though it arrived about 6 months late. The Nautilus crew make awesome reels and I love some of the custom colors _who says black reels are better. But this is a really high grade performance package for under $300 in a 5wt. Come in and check them out.

Traditionalist will love the Orvis Battenkill Disc’s return, under $200 and reel which just looks well Orvis. These will be 2017.

Sage are adding a new color to the very popular 2200 series. These will be in stock as soon as we can get them.

One of the smartest products at the show was this cooler based gear organisation system from Umpqua. With the amount of Yeti coolers around in White River Jon boats these are going to become a familiar item for taking care of all of the little odds and sods you need handy. November arrival

Meeting old friends is one of the best reasons for coming to the show. My wife swears Chris Willen and I were discussing recipies. Somehow I think she is making it up.

That aside we have got some cool stuff in the makings, with some visitors we are planning to introduce y’all too through classes, or the Lovefest. Stay tuned.

I’m old enough to remember when the fly fishing uniform was a cotton vest, and a beige shirt. Not any more. We have been sniffing out some new brands to add to our selection of Simms, Howler Bros and Orvis, partoicularly on the logo front.

We want to keep you dry, cool enough, warm enough, sun protected enough and looking damn good while you are doing it. And you don’t really have to have yellow palm tree on your flat brim cap to catch more fish. But I’m pretty sure it will get you noticed.

FLYMEN Fishing Co has released these double barrel popper heads and dinosaur eye that are ridiculously cool. They are on their way.

Dry Run Creek’s Siren Song

Austin and his last fish from Dry Run Creek _ James Brandenburg image


Those of us lucky enough to guide kids on Dry Run Creek, either our own or other people’s, know its a special place. But I don’t think I’ve read a piece that encapsulates the meaning of our little creek and it’s place in the lives of father’s and their children as well as James Brandenburg’s submission to the Journal this week. Thank you to James and Austin for sharing with us

Read it and enjoy _ Steve


Hi all,

Wanted to send you a report on our wonderful final trip to Dry Run Creek on 7/13 with my son Austin.  He turns 16 on Friday, so we were lucky to squeeze in one last trip before the big day.

As the sun drooped low on the horizon, the residents of the Quarry Park campground, and other heat asylum seekers, slowly disappeared, leaving the creek to just Austin and I.  It was well past our normal supper time, and Austin was starting to realize how hungry he was, as most teenage boys will do.  But the pull of the stream, and what he knew was his final trip, kept him fishing.

Having the run of the place, we worked our way well upstream, picking up fish with varying success depending on how the light hit the water and how he cast.  Instruction continued to the very end, as each pool presented a chance to reinforce a past lesson learned about line control, or shadows, or presentation.  We finally hit our stopping point and agreed it was time to go.

As we walked back downstream, we came back to a spot where he had hooked several nice fish after I had reminded him how to high stick.  We decided to make a few last casts there, to see if we could get one last fish.  First cast, he landed a small, spunky rainbow.  Nice, but not exactly what we had in mind.  Second cast, a much larger rainbow.  It fought hard and would have made a great closing memory.  However, in the process of removing the hook, the fish went wild and slipped our grasp, with nary a photo taken.  Tempting fate, I said, “How about you try for one more?”  We must have been thinking the same thing, though, because it took no convincing from me.

Third cast, the float paused, and Austin expertly raised the rod tip.  Everything stopped for a split second, as the fish didn’t yet know he was hooked.  But soon it was evident that this was the fish we were looking for.  All the coaching through all the years of visiting Dry Run, was either going to pay off in spades, or Austin would get one final lesson in the will of the fish.

He fought it well, and despite a less than stellar net job, we landed Austin’s final fish at Dry Run.  The measure net put him somewhere around 22 inches I think, but the value of this trophy wasn’t in the size.  It was in the split second, blinding white flash where a teenage boy and his dad share a rare moment of mutual pride.

Dry Run Creek is a magical place.  The stream can only be where it is, and yet it seems to rise out of its banks and seep into your soul.  It has its very own Siren Song.  For this father, it is a place where I have found the best of what I have to give.  I’ve never caught a fish there, never even made a cast except with the hand of a youngster under my own.  The sign says Dry Run is for anglers under 16 only.  But I think it’s for their fathers, too, if they are willing to surrender to the song.

I’m sad to see this chapter of Austin’s life close, but I’m so glad for the lessons of this place, for him and for me.  And I’m also glad that I have two younger sons who still get to fish there.

Thanks to all of you at Dally’s who nurture and nourish this great resource.

James Brandenburg