For decades Cuba, locked away behind the US embargo, had a certain mystique among saltwater and bass fly fishers.
Every so often, a report would dribble back, from a fly fisher or two who had taken the “alternative” route. With the easing of restrictions, you can expect to see more of this.
From Art Webb:
“Cuba and the United States are separated by a mere 90 miles. But beyond a physical divide defined by distance, Cuba and the U.S. are separated by time. Six decades, to be exact. In many ways, growth and development in Cuba stopped the minute the U.S. embargo began. Cuba’s culture, its architecture and yes, its fishing, too — exist as if untouched by the passage of six decades. Come join Melissa and Art Webb as they experience a country like none other in this hemisphere.”
To check out more from Art Webb, please click here.
Cotter Trout Festival kicks off tonight, our annual celebration of all things trouty here in the “Trout Capital USA”.
Tonight’s kick-off party will feature Gypsy Jazz and an “Old Fashioned White River Shore Lunch” in Big Spring Park.
Tomorrow’s events will also center on Big Spring Park with live music most of the day, the “All About Trout Parade” at 9 am, a classic car show, fly casting and fly tying demos and much more Click here for more details.
Warm weather and low water is turning the White River into a springtime paradise for fly fishermen. Caddis activity is peaking, midge activity is steady, and the flows are as low and clear as we’ve seen in months. Minimum flow is projected for tomorrow, May 6, and will likely continue into the weekend. Wade fishermen, dust off those boots and get in the water – there won’t be a better time all year to stand in the river and swing a soft hackle.
Boaters, be extra cautious in minimum flow – most shoals are rocky and tricky to navigate even with jet motors. Wade fishermen may well be standing in the middle of the river. Keep in mind that shoals will “bottleneck” all boat traffic into areas that are also popular to wade. As long as everyone brings patience and gratitude to the river, a good time will be shared by all.
A variety of flies and presentations will catch plenty of trout. A standard nymph – midge rig under an indicator is murderously good. A bead head Caddis Pupae, Prince Nymph, or Copper John trailed by a Ruby, Root Beer, or Redneck Midge is perfect. As long as flows stay low, clear, and not choked with drifting algae, swinging a soft hackle or small Wooly Bugger is deadly as well. Try Dally’s Tailwater Soft Hackle in Caddis Green, or a #14-16 Flashabou Beadhead Wooly Bugger. Dry fly opportunities are present wherever you see rising fish, and most can be fooled with either an E/C, Hi-Tie, or Lawson Caddis dry #14-18
One unit has flowed steady over the past 24hours and is projected all day tomorrow. Normally the Norfork is the wade fisherman’s sanctuary, but the situation is reversed now with the White down to minimum while the Norfork flows. One unit will provide a safer place to run prop motors, especially for visitors not familiar with the river bottom. Fish deep nymph rigs with San Juan Worms, Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns, and Sunday Specials trailed by Wotton Super Midges and Whitetail Midges. A sculpin pattern or larger Beadhead Wooly Bugger stripped through deeper holes can produce a larger fish.
THAT’S one heck of a nice striped bass caught by Steve Jones this morning out on Beaver Lake on fly.
Indeed Steve picked up the RIO Striper line from us back in December to do dual duty on the lake and on the White River tailwaters.
According to Steve’s son Jake (read our piece on Jake and his 10-pound brown from December here) this was Steve’s first striper on fly, and one of five he hooked this morning. Beaver is a huge lake withe plenty of opportunity to get yourself where the fish aren’t _I speak from experience here _ but Steve’s walleye trolling has put him in touch with the movements of stripers and the bait they live on in the lake.
Through the remainder of May, if you buy 2 spools of the new Orvis SuperStrong Plus tippet from us you will get a third spool free. Mix and match tippet x ratings.
Orvis says the SuperStrong Plus has the highest wet knotted strength on the market.
“Meet the ideal all-around freshwater leader material. The knotted strength of SuperStrong™ is higher than any other nylon material, meaning when that big brown chomps on your hopper, you can finish the fight without fear of breakage”
The deal runs until midnight May 31. We also have some closeout specials on the old school Super Strong.
Art, “Gypsy-Jazz” music by Cutthroat Trout Band and “Old-Fashioned White River Shore Lunch” menu for dinner, Friday night.
Two 4 oz. American Catfish Filets, hush Puppies, fried potatoes, corn on the cob, apple cobbler, appetizers and beverages too. 4:30 ‘til dark – Pavilion in Big Spring Park. Friday, May 6 – $15.
Purchase tickets at Natural State Fly Shop (across from White Sands Café), Cotter Trout Dock, Ozark Mountain Trading Company, Warrior Café, in downtown Cotter, Dally’s Ozark Fly Shop, First Security Bank in Gassville, Century 21 in Mountain Home, and Duane Hada’s Rivertown Gallery on 62 West.