I am writing this report more than a month after the trip, as I was waiting for the new OzarkChronicles web site update. The trip started off with Craig Peterson and I leaving for the Norfork River around 12pm on Thursday, October 21. We got down to the Ramada Inn in Mountain Home, Arkansas just in enough time to give John Wilson (www.flyfishingarkansas.com) a call and inquire about the fishing and a place to watch the Cardinals vs. Astros NLCS game 7. We ended up at the BackForty Bar & Grill and watched the Cards to victory while enjoying a great burger and some cold beers. We headed back to the hotel room in preparation of David Stinnett driving in from Lewisville, Texas. David showed up about 11pm and after quickly unpacking and checking the generation on the Norfork, we opted to do some night fishing at Quarry Park.
We got to the river around 11:30pm and suited up, and headed towards the river. Not being on the river for 30 minutes, the horn started blowing and the water came up. During the rising water, David hooked up with his biggest brown trout to date of about 16″. As we were standing around the boat ramp waiting to make a decision, another angler made his way up to us. It was Troy Miller, an internet acquaintance from John Wilson’s message board. We talked like we were old pals for at least an hour, during which the water came back down. We all decided to fish a little more (even though falling water normally means no fish), and I gave the riffles in front of Dry Run Creek a try. I was rewarded with a nice 21″ brown trout, which made my trip and was the reason I came down. About 3:30pm we all met back up at the truck and decided to head back to the hotel room and get some sleep, since it was a long day.
On Friday, we rose about 10am to find that the water had been running for some time that morning and after a quick conversation with John Wilson it was decided that they were probably going to run it all day. We ate breakfast at the Country Kettle, and then decided to check out the fly shop and then go check out the White River dam area (since I have never seen that water). We walked around for a bit, and it was crowded, but there was some wadeable water on 3 generators so we decided to suite up and fish the area around the trout dock in the State Park. After about 2 hours of fishing, I found a nice incline on which to take an afternoon siesta.
After a shower, we met up with John Wilson for some drinks at the BackForty bar until about 11:30pm on Friday night. The only good that came of that night, other than the great conversation and friends getting together and telling lies was that the other guys learned how to say “Put it on Tucker’s tab.” All in all it was a great time, no matter what the bar tab.
They ran water all day on Friday and were still running water when we got back to the hotel room from the bar, and we made the decision to head over to the Spring River in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas to ensure that we got some fishing done. The Spring River diddn’t disappoint, and on Saturday we caught over 80 fish between the 3 of us (Craig caught over 40). We fished out the river for an hour on Sunday and then headed home. I am forgetting a lot about the Spring River, but it has definitely become a great standby in place of the tailwaters if they are running water. There is talk that we may head to Wisconsin to chase steelhead and lake run browns instead of doing Arkansas in October (due to water generation), we will see………..