DATE: Thursday, May 3, 2012
TIME: 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM
WEATHER: Low to mid-80s, mostly sunny, some wind
WATER CONDITIONS: 0 Units
LOCATIONS FISHED: Norfork River, Mill Dam Eddy to Plunge Pool above the Island below McClellan’s
FLIES USED: Brown Wayne’s Fly, #20 red/silver Zebra Midge, #20 furnace Cockleburr, #14 furnace Cockleburr, #20 Kay’s Grey, #20 Dunn’s Dunn, #16 Elk Hair Caddis
ROD USED: Winston 8’ 6” 5-weight WT JWF
HATCHES: Midges, caddis, crane flies
OTHER: Fished with Bruce. Bruce is a retired structural engineer who I knew in the Mid-South Fly Fishers in Memphis, and with whom I reconnected in church in Mountain Home. We waded upstream to the tail out of the riffle above the island below McClellan’s (and Otter Creek), and began fishing using Wayne’s Fly in combination with a red/silver Zebra midge and both of us caught fish. About 9:30 AM, I saw fish begin to take flies on the surface in the river left riffle, so moved in between the riffles to “experiment” with different patterns. Very shortly thereafter, caddis began emerging, and the fish were keying on them. Bruce reluctantly came over and began catching fish on caddis. I noted a fisher upstream in a float boat catching fish seemingly every cast. I’ve seen only one other person do that in that particular area (Wayne) so I knew this guy had to be a really good fisher. I moved up to the plunge pool and caught several fish on various midge emergers fished dry. Bruce waded upstream as well and began fishing the plunge pool, so I waded downstream to fish the riffle he had vacated. My, oh my, but what a day we had. The guy in the float boat finally floated downstream, and very politely (which seems to be a rare commodity on the river these days). I was eager to strike up a conversation and asked how he was doing, and immediately recognized him as a friend, asked, “Do you know me?” He responded that I looked familiar and I called his name, Donny, and told him mine, then it all clicked, and we conversed for the next 30 minutes. Donny took several of my fly tying seminars at Ozark Anglers and has become an awesome fly tier as well as fly fisher. Bruce and I fished a bit longer, then began wading downstream to our walkout point. He switched to a Wayne’s Fly and Zebra midge and fished the tail out above the island with success, then took a couple of fish along the island. We noted natural streambank protection along the otherwise caving bank. All told, Bruce had over 50 fish on dry flies alone, and at least a dozen more on the Wayne’s fly and Zebra midge combination.
My, oh my, but it was an awesome day with great dry fly fishing and meeting an old friend on the river.