Paul Zagorski and the fish
WHAT A WEEK it has been: a great party; great friends; some big fish in tough conditions and then along came Paul Zagorski and the “Wampus Beast”.
Paul, from Ohio, had fished with our mate on the North Fork of The White, Brian Wise, who urged his to head north to Michigan and fish with Alex Lafkas. On one of those trips, Alex convinces Paul a winter trip down to fish the White with him and the NFOTW with Brian would be a good idea.
Paul was on fire with Brian landing a trophy brown within 20 yards of the ramp and more would come over the weekend. Then he joined Alex and less than a mile from the takeout, at the end of a hard day, banged this 29” 11-pound brute.
I think Paul put it best on his Facebook post:
So a little while ago my friend Brian Wise told me I needed to fish with a guy named Alex Lafkas. This dude has taught me everything I kno about the. brown. trout. He has put up with me from from tailing loops to tree trouts. I owe a lot to this guy. Last night we caught the wampus beast down here on the white river in Arkansas. 29″ and 11lbs. It was something that ill probably never see again in my life and I’m glad I got to share that experience with a good friend and mentor. I just wanted to thank him and everyone else that I fly fish with. This is dedicated to you guys and I appreciate everything _ Paul”
If that wasn’t enough 75 yards later they popped another 2-footer _ put in the water time and you can earn the great days
Gabe Levin put a two-footer in the boat on Monday, I rowed Barry Annalora to one just under the 24” mark and Lafkas guided two guys to a 25” fish on Wednesday. There are a whole lot of casting and rowing and plain damn hard work between the good fish but this is the White River system and the fish are there.
We are also seeing plenty of fish in the 16” to 20” mark, Mississippi Johnson has been banging them with his fly fishers on a new sculpin pattern he tied at the Lovefest. And I reckon all three of us are looking over our shoulder wondering when Johnson is going to join the party and how big that fish is going to be.