It was a pleasure yesterday to put my new Clackacraft Eddy in the White River, with none other than Alex Lafkas and Bill Thorne to grace the seats. The boat is a much needed replacement of my old hand-me-down Clacka Full Profile, a high-bowed tank that brother Ben used to row through the bigger waves of the South Fork of the Snake. Here on the wide, flat White River, the lower sides of the Eddy catch less wind, while the wider stern accommodates a motor with ease, not to mention the possibility of a manly man’s weight in the back seat.
With the sky clearing and warming after several days of cold and low pressure, it should come as no surprise that the float was a bust in terms of big browns landed. But no matter, it’s always fun getting in a boat with Lafkas. Like a good quarterback, he brings a level of intensity to the activity that seems to help everyone around him focus and try harder. This is a guy who just rolled in from the north woods of MI, bleary eyed, highway salt still splattered all over the boat trailer, and his first concern is not where he’s going to sleep, but where he’s going to fish. Alex’s presence is a shot of caffeine to the local crew here, we look forward to his arrival every winter. Alex is here – it’s GO time y’all!!!
Low flows continue to fish well with indicators and various midges. I like to carry an assortment of sizes and colors of Davy Wotton’s Super midges. The Ruby and Root Beer midges have become White River standards as well. Dally’s Tailwater Soft Hackle is fast becoming a local favorite and works well when fish are feeding mid-water column. Winter is probably my favorite time to take an old-school approach and swing some Wooly Buggers. Try bead head buggers with floating lines and thread head buggers with sinking tips or sinking leaders. Now is the time we like to throw big streamers on high flows. It is a difficult technique to learn, and success rates are not anything close to nymphing, but man it sure seems worth it when you get a biggun! If you’re unfamiliar with 8wts, sink tips, and big flies, come check out our inventory at the shop, or call to reserve one of the few remaining slots in our streamer workshops this month.
The usual report here folks. Small dark midges and olive or tan scuds on the low flows, perhaps an egg pattern in the shoals. Bigger egg patterns and midges on high flows. Zoo Cougars, Sex Dungeons, Fat Heads and other such streamers on sink tips against the bank on high flows as well. The new Bellydancer Zonker looks promising too – two heavy tungsten beads strung on heavy mono under the body provide weight that doubles as a rattle in this souped up version of the classic rabbit Zonker.