The Smithermans returned to us recently to unleash their three kids upon the trout of Dry Run Creek. This being my second year in a row to guide these fine kids, it has been pretty cool to watch them mature and progress as young fly anglers. Dad John Smitherman sent us these kind words after reflecting upon the outing:
We had another fabulous trip with Gabe. The kids (Grace, Alex and Will) all had a great time. It was a little bittersweet in that this was my oldest son’s (Will) last time on the creek. He turns 16 in February. Will and I have been coming over since he was about 8 and have a lot of fond memories of fishing there. He has learned so much in that time and is now pretty self-sufficient as an angler. I told him one of the last steps in that progression is to learn to how to rig everything (leader, tippet, weight, indicator) and how to tie all of the knots. He had that all figured out this past week. So it’s a little sad, but frees up some time for me!
Gabe did such a great job with Alex and Grace. Gabe’s demeanor is perfect for dealing with kids, and they quickly felt at ease with him and learned a lot very quickly. Last year Grace caught 16 or 18 fish in 3 days. This year, she caught 20 the first day with Gabe. I would say about the same for Alex. Gabe has a lot of patience and understands how to work with kids and make it fun. We have been to Disney this and year St. George Island, but this ranks right up there with our favorite vacations. The Ozarks are a special place and it’s nice to get away from the rat race in the city for a few days.
All photos courtesy of John and Ruth Smitherman. Read on for info on current conditions on White and Norfork Rivers.
Flows are pretty variable but the most consistent fishing numbers wise is on the lowest water available, usually about a half unit. Some days the half unit remains constant all day, some days it spikes up to two, three, or even 4 units. The best fly setups usually involve a heavy lead fly such as a tungsten Pheasant Tail, Devil Jig, Hare’s Ear, or other mayfly nymph followed by a smaller midge or sowbug offering. Ruby Midges, Super Midges, and Whitetail Midges are all great as are Wotton Sowbugs. Wooly Buggers, Slump Busters, Sparkle Minnows, and other small streamers are also highly effective on a drift, swing, and twitch retrieve.
Flows could be anywhere from minimum to nearly two units any given day. The best wade fishing is obviously on the low flows drifting little midges like Ruby, Root Beer, or Whitetail midges, as well as small olive or grey Hunchback Scuds. Micro Mayfly nymphs and other petite nymphs can be effective too. On higher flows, run the same flies behind an attractor such as an egg fly or San Juan worm to get noticed. Be sure to add length and weight to get down as well.