Mason and George Brannon booked two days with me through Dally’s shop and got treated to a rapid-fire tour of the best of our trout tailwaters.
The two fished everything from Bull Shoals to Rim Shoals, Norfork as well, and caught fish everywhere they went. Mason brought along a fine camera to document the fun and his own brand of fly rods, supplied by his business, Riverstone Outfitters.
A super slow 4wt proved perfect for enjoying the subtleties of midge fishing, while a meaty 5wt turned over big foam dries aimed at fast water seams. It was a solid introduction to Arkansas trout fishing, and included a slam to boot!
Minimum flow is over for now. Morning flows have been between 3,000-5,000cfs, and much higher in the afternoons. Projected flows for tomorrow morning are around 7,000cfs, so it would appear that high water techniques are going to be the game this weekend. That’s great news for boat anglers though, and the summer terrestrial bite is just heating up. Hungry browns and rainbows have been slurping down big foam flies such as Fat Alberts, Western Ladies, and Wiley’s Ants. Deep water nymphing is productive too with heavy selections like Devil Jigs, Jigged Pheasant Tails, Hare and Coppers, and large #14 midge patterns. Fishing split shot and good old San Juan Worms will always catch fish as well. When the water is really raging in the evenings, fishing big streamers like Double Deceivers and Sluggos on heavy sinking lines can pull up a biggun!
Steady flows of one unit makes for productive drift fishing with egg and worm patterns, mayfly nymphs patterns like Pheasant Tails and Micro Mayflies, and various midges like Rubies, Root Beers, and Wotton Super midges. Foam dries and hopper-dropper rigs will pull fish out of the fast riffles and runs, and small weighted streamers like Slump Busters are deadly when slow stripped through the deep pools.