Cotter is a busy place this week with tiers, vendors, spring breakers, and locals alike checking out the fun at Sowbug Roundup. The fishing has been a roller coaster ride as well with heavy rain muddying the river briefly and generation varying from minimum flow to 18,000cfs sometimes in the same day. But nevertheless there have been windows of good fishing for those not discouraged by the highly variable conditions. For those unwilling to brave rain or high water, there is plenty to see and enjoy at Sowbug and tons of new inventory to check out at Dally’s shop.
I HAD some nice correspondence this week with Brent Phillips fro Denver, CO, after his first visit to the White last weekend.
He and a buddy did pretty dang well on buggers, midges and caddis dries. Thanks for the report guys
Just wanted to say thanks for the great info and flies in the shop this past weekend. Absolutely loved my first time on the White and Norfork, thanks to yall.
My friend and I fished Wildcat on Thursday night and black buggers were the ticket for rainbows. During the day at the narrows on Friday we got into the most fish with black buggers as well.
Saturday at rim shoals we fished wooly buggers and did well, then hit the caddis hatch in the afternoon and probably caught close to 50 fish on the dries. Sunday we hit the Norfolk and caught some rainbows nymphing root beer midges.
But hooked into the pictured fish with a 18 parachute Adams as fish were sipping midges off the top. Pictured fish was 22 inch
The Friends of the Norfork National Fish Hatchery will be holding their annual General Membership Meeting on Friday, April 3, at El Chico’s Restaurant. Social Hour will start at 6:00pm and the General Membership Meeting will begin at 7:00 pm. The public is welcome with a Dutch Treat Dinner from a selected menu including Grilled Shrimp at a cost of $15 per person.
Our guest speaker for the evening will be AR First District Representative, Congressman Rick Crawford. Congressman Crawford will be addressing the long term federal funding of the Norfork NFH and the other Mitigation Fish Hatcheries. Congressman Crawford will address the legislation effort and the process this legislation will need to follow to be passed by Congress.
In attendance will be representatives from Senator John Boozman’s office, AR Congressman John Payton, County Judge Mickey Pendergrass and hatchery managers from Greers Ferry and Mammoth Spring NFH.
The Friends Group will hold their election of officers and will review their accomplishments for this past year and announce the projects and events that are on tap for the coming year. If you are a supporter of the Friends of the Norfork NFH or are interested in the status of the hatchery, you need to attend and be informed.
The Friends of the Norfork NFH are looking forward to an exciting evening with a lot of news and invite the public to come and help us celebrate.
We really dig these new nets from Rising: Big hoops, solid aluminum frames, cool colors. Check them out at the Sowbug Roundup
THE GATHERING is underway with tiers, vendors, and visitors flocking in for the 2015 Sowbug Roundup.
We have been gearing the store up for the influx, with a bunch of new season arrivals, and new stuff for the store.
We will be having a bigger than normal booth for the show stacked with the new stuff, and a very cool show special fly box deal. The guys will also be happy to discuss our new Buffalo River drift Boat floats and the season ahead.
Bill will also be demonstrating the Titan Rod Vault transport system for fully rigged rods on Saturday.
Out at the Cotter location you will find a packed store and some killer sales items from some of the biggest names in fly fishing.
Orvis Recon Rods: Come along and cast the 10’ 5wt, 9’5wt and 8wt we have in stock. Ultra-light mid-priced rod offers plenty of value $425. We also have Orvis glass in stock, ask to cast these.
We are calling this tool “the answer”. We have been inundated with queries from people asking after the Ty-Rite fly holder tools, which appeared to have gone by the wayside.
So here comes Dally’s Fly Grabber, its light, holds even small flies very well, can double as a knot tying tool and is orange so if you drop it you can find it.
Even better its cheap at $4.50 a pop.
The original Tacky Fly Box was the hit of last year’s Fly Fishing Fair. Now grab hold of the smaller $20 Tacky Day Pack.
This box features the same great silicone pad to hold flies in a convenient pocket size.
Montana Fly Company’s new line of River Steel tools have taken our fancy. Solid, utilitarian at a good price: scissor pliers, spring creek clamps and mitten scissors plus a solid pair of nippers.
If you like your nippers a little fancy, try the Thirsty Nippers, with rubber thumb pads and a bottle opener.
Simms Vapor boots have been enormously popular among all our customers so we are expecting our women customers to truly dig the version sized for women’s feet.
Light, durable and very comfortable these boots are more akin to a light hiker than a wading boot.
We are also starting to receive supplies of the new 2015 Freestone waders in limited sizes, now they have been freed from the Los Angeles Wharves. Limited sizes so far but check them out.
Howler Bros. Gaucho Snapshirts have become the coolest shirts to wear on and off the river over the last 6 months. We have the new season designs, plus a new run of the ever popular Howler Monkey hats, t-shirts and more.
THE OZARK fly fishing experience you have been waiting for.
We are super excited to unveil an exceptional and exclusive opportunity for a multi-day float on the Lower Buffalo Scenic River: 25 miles of wilderness: no roads, phones, “facilities” or crowds.
Established as a National Park and our first National River in 1972, the Buffalo is undeniably one of the Ozarks’ and the US’ most treasured natural resources. This is a rare opportunity for the fly fisher to experience the Ozark wilderness: soaring limestone bluffs, green valleys, birdsong, unpressured fishing for native Smallmouth Bass and the unhurried pace of the river.
We have been granted the first license under new NPS regulations for overnight and day drift boat trips on the Buffalo River. Due to river conditions we expect the multi-day floats will be limited to 2 or 3 a season, and ensuring our impact on this pristine wilderness is also limited.
We have 5 spots available for a 3 day, 2 night float on May 19, 20 & 21. The package includes accommodation on the night of May 18 and May 21 at Rim Shoals.
Our guides, Chad Johnson, Gabe & Ben Levin, will float you safely down the river and show you the best water and techniques all from the stable and spacious platform of a drift boat, while our commissary service will ensure you enjoy fine meals and a comfortable camping experience, without the workload.
Arrive at the prepared camp at the end of a day’s float, to a campfire, comfortable tents (twin share) and exceptional meals. Watch a campfire under the stars, a misty river with your morning coffee set to the soundtrack of the River through a riffle
This is not your average fishing trip, this is a chance to enjoy Arkansas’ most beloved river the way it’s meant to be enjoyed – in comfort and in no hurry.
Click the link to download our PDF brochure. For even more details call the shop on 870 435 6166 on
Scott Kennedy sent this image in of a Mississippi hybrid on a Michael Schmidt 8” Double Deceiver “left over” from a streamer trip, including a 23”plus brown, on the White with Steve. Once the streamer game is in your blood ……
Great White River rainbow pic from low water this week _ Bill Thorne image
The White has cleared up significantly and is back to fishing in fine form after runoff from recent spring soakers had the river looking like a mocha latte there for a few days. Downstream of Rim Shoals though there may continue to be cloudy water coming out of Crooked Creek for several more days, and below Buffalo River likely a week. Caddis hatches have been seen downstream of Cotter on sunny days, though there are not quite enough bugs yet to bring the packs of browns to the surface that we all are so anxious to see. With more beautiful sunny weather on its way, it can’t be long now. Dally’s has all the flies and materials you need to get your dry fly game going this spring – come in and stock up so you’re ready when the first brown snouts start breaking the surface! Continue reading
Cord McClure and a big’un
This was an oops from last week. Somehow I missed Cord’s report in my Inbox and with a thumper brown in tow.
Fine work gentlemen and there is a 24-Foot blub sticker awaiting your next trip
I wanted to send you a report from a trip to the river with Richard Newberry this past weekend. Plenty of stocker rainbows kept us busy in the minimum flows on Saturday and Sunday and gave us a chance to get comfortable with Richard’s new Hyde drift boat. We got a couple of hours of good flow Monday morning and took advantage of it with two good streamer browns. Richard’s was just shy of 20” and mine was right at the 25” mark. Nathanael helped us out with colors and patterns. We hated to lose him from Oklahoma but he’ll make a great addition to your shop!
Richard Newberry and his brown
Sandra Mullins with her 23” rainbow from the Norfork this week
SPRING has sprung with a vengeance.
I know there will be caddis popping this afternoon, we have been seeing them this week on the sunny days. Roundhouse, Rim and down hill should be alive and there’s a similar forecast tomorrow and plenty of low water on the White, apart from a 3 hour push from 7 to 10.
Dowwnstream early then duck back up top or over to Norfork for the afternoon. Plenty of choices, and looking good for the Sowbug Roundup next week. Of course if you know the Ozarks in Spring, you will also know it pays to bring a rainjacket.
We have been dry for a lot of the winter and the lakes in the chain were getting down in power pool, but the last few weeks are topping the lakes back up, which is good news for later this summer. Norfork is a couple of feet from the top of power pool with the North Fork of the White running hard.
The 3 lakes on the White proper are also running with the tributaries to Bull Shoals Lake in Missouri I was crossing yesterday are high and running hard. But there is still a goodly amount of power pool, both Bull Shoals and Table Rock have 10% of power pool free and Beaver even more.
Right now the lake are soaking up the combined snowmelt & rainfall runoff while the White transports the waters from the unregulated tributaries downstream. Too much power generation could mean flood issues so there’s likely to remain some good wadeable water for a bit.
Now for the rest of this week’s report
I think I went to bed last night with a grin like a kid on Christmas Eve.
YouTube was still processing, and so was I, would I still dig this trailer I’d spent a couple of weeks putting together. If that seems like a while there was some interruptions, and the loss of about 3 hours of editing one night, but also just simply sifting through 200Gigs of raw footage takes a bit.
But I wanted to thank a bunch of people for their help in getting here: all the fly fishers who allowed us to roll on their fishing adventure of the year, especially on the raw silliness after landing a big’un. The other guides: Chad Johnson, Alex Lafkas and Gabe Levin who were trying to figure out if rowing me around with a load of gear and not flinging a rod was going to be worthwhile.
I also wanted to thank the Fly Shop crew: Jim & Brenda Bill, Faye, Nate and Tiff for covering my butt this season, and finally the stars of the show, Salmo Trutta, for showing up at the right times and behaving nicely for the camera.
Oh and we ain’t done yet.