Kayaking The Norfork
Over spring break my father and I traveled south to Arkansas to fish the Norfork River. The fishing proved difficult but that is the nature of tailwaters. Constantly fluctuating waters can make fish finicky, other times it seems they will eat anything presented in front of them. This trip proved to be more on the finicky side. That said the important and most rewarding aspect of the trip was being able to spend some quality time with my dad in some beautiful water.
We spent three days in the area. The first we fished the White where my dad honed his casting skills. Water was somewhat high but we both managed a trout despite the conditions.
My father landing the second fly rod trout of his life.
Days two and three we exclusively fished the Norfork. A 4 mile tailwater which feeds into the White. Every morning they were running full capacity and then would shut it off entirely. Falling water is never easy and this trend proved true this trip as well. Despite this fish were caught, with G-Bug's and Zebra midges proving most effective. We kayaked the entire length of the river each day. Stopping at those locations which looked were both wadable and looked promising at holding fish. The river was more crowded than the previous time I fished the Norfork but we were able to still find some good water with plenty of casting room. Having the kayak as transportation definitely helped get to those locations and away from the crowds.
I also threw some bigger streamers, specifically Jeremy Hunt's Peanut Envy. Didn't land any monster browns but pulled a decent Rainbow and surprisingly this meat hungry Brookie.
The fish numbers and size were less than desirable but again the important thing was being able to spend time with my dad and being able to watch him develop as a fly angler. It is those memories which will last a lifetime.