The second day of this White River trip, we were supposed to head north and fish the North Fork of the White River but because of the rain on Thursday, the river had blown out and was unfishable so after the bite we had on the White yesterday we opted to float it again in the wind. It was blowing hard by the time we crossed the dam, as the flag on top of the dam was blowing upstream and being held steady….I was in for a day of exercise behind the oars.
We put the drift boat in at the golf course boat ramp near the Dam and floated to White Hole. We got a later start then normal, opting to sleep in and enjoy breakfast, so after self-shuttling we didn’t get on the river until about 10am. The fishing was as good today as it was on Thursday with the majority of fish picked up in the catch & release section and through the section that flows through Bull Shoals State Park. We picked up most fish along the bank on a Glo Bugg Egg or a Tungsten B.H. San Juan Worm under a Thimgamabobber indicator (I am a HUGE fan of the Thingamabobber as an indicator when conditions will allow it, as it can detect the subtlest of strikes and is very easy to adjust).
We broke for lunch at the bottom of Cane Island and I rowed us upstream to an island that provides decent fishing on high generation (although since my last trip to the back of the island, the water had definitely changed). It is a great place for lunch, as it got us out of the wind and we enjoyed the lunch of champions — oberlie summer sausage, monteray jack cheese, and wheat thins, chased with some New Belgium Brewing Co. brews. We just finished up lunch with the rain started up again.
With the “dink” bite being consistent, Craig opted to throw my rod rigged with a sink-tip and threw an assortment of Sex Dungeons and was rewarded with a HUGE follow and strike on a white Sex Dungeon by the biggest rainbow I have seen on the White River (the fish was FAT) but he raised the rod tip instead of strip setting and the fish was gone. Oh well, it was pretty cool to see a fish that large take a run at your fly.
As we were floating and banging the bank with streamers, fishing river left just up from White Hole Resort, I had the boat positioned about 40ft off of the bank as we floated downstream. Out of nowhere, we were cutoff from the bank by a guy in a private white river jon boat. The guy had the whole river, yet chose to cut us off from the bank and throw a huge wake in the process. I was shocked, but had enough sense to show him his IQ and call him a “Tool” which made me feel better, but all I got was a huge “stink eye” from this guy. As someone that runs a boat on the river, you always need to be aware of boat ettique on any water system. This guy had the entire river to use, yet he chose the 40ft we were fishing. Bad form, plain and simple. What also was amusing was that he followed me to the boat ramp, but when he saw the three of us actually stand up in the boat and get out to secure everything he jetted. I row a drift boat, and when I come up on boats anchored I will use my fingers to point and ask which side the guide / fisherman wants me to float by on and will row accordingly, a little courtesy goes along way on the river and this guy showed absolutely none.
We finished up the float and ended back at the Wishes & Fishes fly shop in Bull Shoals, where owner / guide Jim Traylor was shedding his waders from his guide trip today with another gentleman from St. Louis. His client had a helluva day and picked up a very nice cutthroat of about 4lbs or so as well as a couple of other nice fish. We were just stopping by to say hello, but ended up catching up with fly-fishing guide Ron Yarborough as well as Mark Lavelle. Ron Yarborough is just a genuinely helluva nice guy and a character to say the least, definitely a good guy to have on the river. Mark Lavelle, is another fine fisherman that spends more time down there than most I know, judging by the photos he uploads to his Facebook account. Needless to say several beers were drank, and by the time I crawled into bed around 12:30am I knew I was in for one helluva hangover. On a brighter note, the D200 and the new lens rocks.
More to follow from Day 3 of our trip, once I get time to run through the photos.