White River: Conclave
Went to Arkansas a few days after fishing the Driftless, to chase more trout. Had a great time in March and couldn't wait to get back. I again went down with the Free State Fly Fishing Club for the Southern Council Fly Fishing Federation's Conclave. Overall it was a great trip but the fishing was mediocre due to the damn at Bull Shoals running lots of water. During my last trip they were running no generations for the majority of the time which allowed us to wade anywhere in the river and really target specific structural points. This trip the lowest they dropped the water was to 2 generations with as high as 6. This meant the water was several feet higher and with a very swift current which made wading from most points all but impossible. In preparation for this higher water I brought down my Kayak, but had difficulty going upstream anytime the water was flowing over 3 generations. In addition I went with a fellow club member, Rick, in his drift boat and floated from Wild Cat to Cotter on the White. This allowed us to fish lots of water over several hours and by far was the fishing highlight of the trip. Overall I caught only nine trout, all smallish rainbows, but the camaraderie and time spent conversing with club member still made this trip more the than worth it.
Water was several feet higher than earlier this year, making wadding possible only on the very edges of the river.
My home for four nights. Great view of the river!
When the water was running above 3 generations I could only keep the Kayak on the edges.
First trout, and only trout of the first day. Rainbow on an Orange Wooly Bugger.
Early morning allowed club members to wade before higher water levels were released.
Getting ready to depart for the drift boat float. Wild Cat Access on White River.
Zim with a nice Rainbow from the Drift Boat, Black Wooly Bugger.
Rick and Zim in the Drift Boat. Rick did a wonderful job getting us in position to cast into excellent structure.
Rainbow from Driftboat, Black Wooly Bugger.
View from the Porch at Copper Johns
Eerie Morning view on the river.
Big Mike Wading outside Copper Johns
The last day afforded only 2 generations which provided the best full day of wading. Black Wooly Buggers were hot, which meant with my 4 weight I had to open up my loops considerable to cast.