Dead Low Water II; A White River Trip Report

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After a long night hanging out with the locals at the house we rented, we were up fairly early the next morning wrestling with the same decision….water flows suck, where are we going to float on Saturday (2012-10-27).  The White River was on its 4th day in a row of zero generation, and was representing a traveling wade fisherman’s wet dream.  However, I have traded those low water wet dreams in for hopes of 4,000CFS or larger flows, but I digress.  As we kicked back in the morning, it was apparent everyone had different ideas about where to fish.

Dan, Paul, and Jim had decided to tow their Hyde drift boat up to Lake Taneycomo to fish some higher flows, while Corey Dodson decided to stick close to the house and wade fished the Narrows area and Wildcat Shoals on the White, Ray Reidy and Jeff House decided to try their luck on the Norfork with the promise of the possibility of some midday increased flows (their gamble paid off and they were rewarded with full generation for a few hours), and Craig Peterson, Dan Ritter, and I decided to head in to Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher shop for a shuttle from Cotter access to Rim Shoals (on dead low water).  If anything, we had all the White River tailwaters covered.

The fishing from Cotter to Rim Shoals was pretty solid.  We continued rolling dinks in the boat with ease on various nymph, eggs, worms, and midges throughout the river.  We put in and rowed up to the railroad bridge above the Cotter ramp and spent entirely too much time fishing around the bridge and dock near the campground.  Fish were caught, but we should have pushed on quicker.  We ended up banging the bank with streamers from Cotter down to the top of Round House and picked up several fish (dinks) on a Cinnamon Colored Bottom’s Up near the Spring Branch.  And this fly continued to be the ticket for the rest of the day.

The most interesting part of the day was floating through Round House Shoals.  The river at dead low is still a learning experience, and this was the first time I rowed this section of river.  Round House Shoals is just super sexy water and the low water brought out all the wader fisherman.  It is amazing to me that they all flock to the river-right side of the island instead of fishing the fast pocket water on river-left (which coincidentally is also the boat channel we had to row / walk the boat through).  The Hyde G4 bottom took a beating again today as we pinballed our way down some of the skinnier slots and when we hopped out to walk it through some of the super skinny stuff.

We ended up pulling off the river around 5pm or so and headed back to the rental house.  Surprisingly, the guys that ran to Taneycomo had just beat us back to the house and had the BBQ pit going for a night filled with more beer, brats, and good bullshit.  Corey got back from his wade fishing trip, and Ray and Jeff headed back after floating the Norfork and the conversations all confirmed that the fishing was still the same…..no big fish and lots of dinks.

With little promise for a change on Sunday morning, the conversation after dinner turned to where to fish on Sunday morning.  It didn’t take long for consensus to be met, and on Sunday morning we would head out early for redemption on the Spring River.

More to follow.

–Matt Tucker

 

 

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