Author Archives: ozarkflyfisherjournal

Jason Randall Class Rocked

Jason giving some on water instruction _ pics Jo Randall

Had some great reports from our Jason Randall Advanced Nymphing class last weekend, with the crew enjoying the presentation and on-water instruction.

A big thanks to Jason for leading the class and Gabe for helping out.


Hey Steve,

Thanks for the opportunity to help with your educational efforts. It was fun. Gabe did a great job.

Here’s some of the photos Jo took during the class. Feel free to use them as you see fit. I think everyone had a good time and it was a productive class.

Best, Jason


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Dally’s Fly Fishing Report _ 4/17/15

Charlie caught this 22″ brown on his first drift of the day fishing with Ben Levin

If you were out on the White River over the past few days you might have noticed an old familiar guide face you haven’t seen in a while – that is if you can recognize him under the beard. Ben Levin is back after a season spent working at Chilean Patagonia’s Martin Pescador. It seems he carried some big trout mojo back to the Northern Hemisphere with him, because the first fish in his boat on his first day back on the White was the fine brown creature pictured above. Being the caring younger brother that I am, I asked him how he was doing halfway through his first day back, unaware yet of the fish his client caught and a little excited at the chance to give advice to the guy that taught me how to fish. Then he showed me the photo, and I just had to walk away, after calling him a wily rascal of course. [I was there, that was not the quote as I recall it…. Editor]

It’s been fun trying to fill the guide gap while Ben was gone, but it’s even better to have him back.

DC Flynt caught this slab of a rainbow fishing with Brock Dixon.

Continue reading

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Lower Buffalo River Sneak Peak!

Your campsite, day 2.

The crew at Dally’s has been hustling around getting all ready and set for our Lower Buffalo River overnight floats coming up in May. Part of the team spent a beautiful spring Sunday making a scouting run of the Lower Buffalo, assessing the river’s condition and mapping the best camp sites and fishiest holes. The Buffalo is a running swift and cold currently, but the fish are hungry enough, and water levels could not be on a better track to be in prime condition come May. In between the hurries of scouting 24 river miles in a single day, Guides Gabe Levin, Chad Johnson, and Camp Chef Abe managed to test a few choice bends of the lower river, and were rewarded with fast action from fat, hard fighting smallmouth and panfish. The scenery of the Buffalo River in Spring is easily as impressive as the fishing itself. Brightly blossoming redbuds and dogwoods clinging to steep hollows and bluffs, eagles, turkey, otters, and scores of other critters are all welcome distractions that add the “wow” factor to perhaps the most enjoyable water in the Ozarks.

Native Ozark smallies on top – you betcha!

A well planned wilderness adventure.

There are four precious spots remaining for the May 19-21 float. Folks you don’t have to travel continental distance to enjoy fishing and sightseeing of National Park type quality. We’ve got plenty right here in our backyard, and we’ve got a fun group of guys who are excited to share it with you. If you’re the kind of fly fisher who enjoys a fishing trip for the places it takes you and the memories it creates, this trip will be an instant favorite. Check out the trip brochure Buffalo Brochure 15 then call Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher 870-435-6166 to reserve your spot before it’s gone!

Chad works a picturesque run for smallies

Longear heaven

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There’s Only One Kelly Galloup

KG on the White in February


Back in the day if you were throwing streamers in the holy water (fly water) people would talk shit about you, like you were hiding a …king can of worms in your vest. You would walk by these little groups and they would treat you like the cheerleaders treated the campus slut, and for good reason…We were the ones getting all the real action _ Kelly Galloup’s State of the Union in Hip To The Strip

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Lovefest Report from SCOF


THE lastest issue of Southern Culture on the Fly ie-mag s up online and carries a great report on the mag’s first visit to the Streamer Lovefest.

There are some killer images _ you may spot yourself in there if you were part of the 180-odd who came along, and an amusing tale from the head honcho himself Dave Grossman _ and yeh he got the shop name a tich wrong. I blame it on the after party.

But its still worth a read. Click the image to go to the magazine

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Get Rebates on Redington Waders


BUY a pair of Redington Siren, Willow or Palix River waders from Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher and get a $50 or $25 Visa Cash Card rebate from Redington.

This is an awesome deal on these great entry level men’s and women’s waders.


  1. Purchase any of our qualifying Redington wader models between April 1, 2015 and September 11, 2015
  2. Download our WADER REBATE FORM
  3. Send in the completed rebate form along with the proof of purchase before September 25, 2015

$50 VISA CARD: SonicDry Fly, SonicDry Wader, SonicDry Pant, Sonic-Pro Stocking Foot Wader, Siren Wader-Kate or Siren Wader-Marylin

$25 VISA CARD: Palix , Crosswater, or Willow River Wader

Promotion dates: 4/1/15 – 9/11/15. Submission must be postmarked by 9/25/15. Offer valid in the U.S. and Canada. This rebate cannot be combined with any other offers from Far Bank. Void where prohibited by law. Non compliant requests will be eliminated without response. Offer good while supplies last.

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Spring Photo Essay _ Caddis & More


TOOK the wife and the dog and a macro lens for a Sunday drive, hoping to find some signs of spring: caddis and dogwoods.

A pleasant Sunday around the river if not exactly on it. The bugs are around, any steadying of the flows and it will be on like Donkey Kong.


Someone had a blast


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Jerry Siem: Match Rod to Fly Size for Best Performance | Field & Stream

Interesting article here from Kirk Deeter, on a conversation with Sage rod designer Jerry Siem,  who was making the point that rod size is best related to fly size not the fish size.

But the leap, by Deeter and those commenting was that this required you to buy more rods _ is really a leap too far and in the wrong direction.

For most of us our first rod is a basic entry level 9′ 5wt, a choice which will handle most normal fly fishing tasks. Depending how acquisitory a person.  the next question is usually another rod: either a better 5wt or a more fun rod. Which is what Jerry was pointing out.

If you want another rod: figure out what job you want it for, and the flies you are going to use, rather than buying a rod for bigger fish or one which you simply might like. I confess to having a couple of fun rod purchases which don’t come out of the tube very often at all.

And its not like you need a rod for every size fly from a #32 to  4/0. As I said that 5wt is the best choice for most trout tasks, though out at the edges, very small flies or very heavy ones, there may be better tools for the job. But’s only when you start wanting to push the envelop in technique that you need another weight rod.

Six weights are generally the tool of choice for smallmouth, but you can get a lot done with a 5. It’s when you need longer casts with heavy crawdads or bigger poppers that you will come up short.  It’s the same with trout: you can cast size 4 hoppers with a 5wt, but you will do it easier with a 6wt.

So you might think a 7wt is about right which is a smart call when building a rod collection for different tasks. Sevens are the quiet achiever of the fly rod world, over shadowed by its bigger cousin the 8wt.

I confess to being addicted to 8wts. For years I fished an 8wt and a 6wt for everything from trout in the Rockies, salmon and trout in Alaska, to roosters in Baja and Bass in Arkansas. In hindsight though a 5wt was probably a better choice, but the 8wt can do so many things.

An 8wt will handle big wind resistant freshwater poppers, for bass or salmon, and all the Clousers and mid size baitfish patterns you need for inshore salt, and the sinking lines and big trout streamers we fish on the White. And an 8wt can still fish those #6 or #8 buggers and Zoo Cougars, and cast them a lot further than your 6wt.


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Dally’s Fly Fishing Report 4-9-15

Dave Wiseman with another nice streamer brown fishing with Steve this week

TODAY felt as familiar as an old pair of jeans and a sweater for the first day of fall.

Bull Shoals Dam was delivering some nice relatively consistent flows and it was back to the type of fishing I had to learn my first couple of years guiding on the White in earnest. Ten-foot rods, big bobbers and a spaghetti and meatballs rig, open out your loop and go into the teeth of the big water and just fish.

Of course back in ‘08 and 09 it was about all we had day after day so you either learned the lessons or didn’t survive. It won’t last that long this year.

Sure it doesn’t have the finesse of the caddis hatch and dry fly fishing, or the traditions of soft hackles or the thrills of hardcore streamer fishing. But you get out on the river, where it is truly beautiful right now, we picked up 30 hard fighting and fat rainbows to about 17” and a lot of fun along the way.

And if you are a serious nympher, then the larger palette on which our indicator fishing is drawn in these flows is a great learning tool for small water and lighter flies _ you can’t cheat in this water, its probably more technical than spring creek fishing.

It sure beats sitting in a cabin watching the water flow past. The best way to get into this is with one of our guides to show you how, run the boat, deal with the inevitable tangles and adjust to the changing flows.

But if you are comfortable running a boat in this water (and there is less stuff to hit courtesy of the extra depth) then you can fish this as well.

  • Having 1 fisherman and 1 boat driver will get you more fish than 2 rods and 1/2 a boat driver.
  • Long 2 stage leaders work better than a tapered leader.
  • Match your weight to your bobber
  • Cast open loops.
  • dead drift and mend
  • set on anything
  • cleaner the water the more natural the fly

And now onto the rest of the fly fishing report for the White River and Norfork Tailwater this week.

Jim Robertson on the big water at Rim

Continue reading

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Norfork will be a touch warmer with the Corp of Engineers dumping water off the top of Norfork Lake with one generator offline for maintenance.

As per USACE Facebook Page

“We will begin releasing water from the Norfork Dam spillway at 4 p.m. today.

Channel capacity in the White River currently allows for both hydropower units at Norfork to run around the clock to lower the lake. However, the Corps is making spillway releases while one of the hydropower units is offline for annual maintenance.

Water will be released at 3,000 cubic feet per second through the turbine generator on unit 1 and tainter gates two through six will be open one foot releasing another 3,000 c.f.s.

The total release will be roughly equivalent to what both units at full power could pass or 6,000 c.f.s.

Future rainfall may cause the Corps to adjust releases at Norfork Lake.

Lake elevation forecasts can be found at the Little Rock District water management website:…/repor…/remote/lakfcst.htm.

Please use caution when boating and fishing below the Norfork Dam while the water releases are in effect. Generation, lake elevation, and river levels are available at 870-431-5311.


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From Sowbug Roundup Committee this week:

Bad news / good news.
The only available dates for 2016 for Sowbug were in either February or April.
We chose the April date.
While we were making those changes, we confirmed the next five years! 

Please pass the word to anyone who might not catch this message. A lot of people made reservations at motels and campgrounds based on the dates we had given them. 

The new dates are:
2016 – April 14,15,16
2017 – March 23, 24, 25    
2018 – March 22, 23, 24.   
2019 – March 28, 29, 30
2020 – March 26, 27, 28

If anyone needs local help in changing reservations, would be happy to help.

To contact: E-mail:

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IT is that time of the year again when the stripedy basses start running up the tributaries of the White River lakes.

This is some killer fun with a good looking, hard pulling, fly smacking bundle of silver joy to chase, just checkout our Hillbilly Coho video from last season.

The funky weather with temperatures up and down hasn’t allowed the striped bass, white bass and hybrids to settle into their spawn run quite yet, just some teaser action with the best yet to come.

Next Saturday we have the guru of Ozark temperate bass, Bill Butts, giving a superb, detailed picture of how to chase these species across the Ozarks from Oklahoma to Mississippi and beyond.

You will learn behaviour, feeding patterns, places, flies to tie and the gear to throw them with. You will likely be sitting alongside a couple of our flyshop guys who also want to step up their game. Bill is the real deal on these species and he’s a lot of fun to hang out with as well.

Class Name: Fly Fishing for the Temperate Basses

Class Date: April 18, 2015

Times: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Class Fee: $65

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