Because of the wind, the people, and general consensus of happiness fly-fishing away from other people on the White River (thanks to the help of Jimmy “T” Traylor of FlyFishArkansas.com) we had pretty successfully avoided the masses at the base of the dam.
However, a trip to Arkansas with low water and not at least witnessing the behemoths that lurk in the C&R waters below the dam is like going to a strip club in East St. Louis and not getting a lap dance. It simply must be done. When in Rome, you do romans….right?
So with that, we packed up early from Gaston’s White River Resort and checked out and took the 5 minute drive up to the base of the dam. Jimmy “T” Traylor had booked a trip for today on the last minute, so he was off picking up his “sport” for a day of fishing. As is the standard fair, the parking lot was crowded with license plates from all over. I promise I did my best to put up with all the people, really I did…….but in the end I just couldn’t fish with 30 other people……the shallow stillwater of the base of the dam was calling.
You see, this is where I should’ve walked over to Brent Hinds (who was riding back to St. Louis with me, and told him I was heading up stream….with the Durango) but that would be too easy (besides he was in the throngs of all the people at Hellen Keller hole).
So off I went. I was surprised to find out that I was only the second car at the top, and the other guy was still rigging up. So I hopped out of the rig, grabbed my rod, and walked the trail down to the stillwater. Fishing at the base of the dam isn’t easy, at times it isn’t hard either, but if the sun comes out and there is no wind…..it can be damn tough fishing in this 18″ section of completely still bathwater.
Today was a good day though. A #18 trout crack under a very small amount of yarn kept the fish interested in the 2 or so hours that I fished up here. This section of water I have found is best fished by essentially standing still and letting the fish cruise to you. It worked today, once I got near one of the many depressions in the stream bottom.
I also had the pleasure of running into Mick Spaulding on the river again this morning. We essentially fished across from each other and really had the time to catch up as we were midge fishing to feeding trout, stopping our conversation only to land a fish. Mick is in the process of developing a fly-fishing related web site that I can’t wait to see.
In the end it was a good day on the water. Lots of fish caught but no pigs. It will give me a reason to head back down there for sure.