North Fork Of The White River: My Turn.

2011-12-18pic002(Edited)(Resized)After the day Craig had on 12-17-2011 in his first float down the North Fork of the White River, things were looking up for our Sunday morning float on 12-18-2011.  We were up early, a little foggy from the beers the night before, but the biscuits were in the oven and the eggs were on the stove.  We were packed up and waiting on breakfast and Brian Wise, who was going to join us on our float as well on Sunday.

After the success we had on Saturday, we had arranged for a shuttle from ROLF to Blair Bridge again and after a quick bite and loading up the car, we headed down to the field and dropped the boat in.  Brian took the sticks first, as he wanted to see how my new boat handled….which meant that I got to fish for a bit.

Streamers were the order of the day, and I was throwing a 200grain sink tip along with an articulated Bully Streamer tied by Florida Guide, Brad Karczewski, at  The first fish of the day, was coincidentally my first fish out of my new boat, and it was approaching the 20″ mark, but just not quite there once we measured it.  Still a nice brown by anyone’s standards on the NFOW and it set the tone for our quick float.

We picked up the occasional fish the rest of the way throwing big flies, but no more big fish to speak of.  It was a good trip though as Brian, Craig, and I shared many laughs and stories as we floated the 3 miles or so to Blair Bridge.  All in all it was a great way to finish up the weekend.  We shot lots of photos and Brian shot some video (you can see some footage from this weekend in his 2011 Fall Fly Fishing Video), and the new boat is everything that I had hoped it would be.  Until next time.

–Matt Tucker

North Fork of the White River: Who Needs A Tailwater…..

2011-12-17pic022(Edited)(Resized)A few weekends ago on the North Fork of the White River, was a trip that won’t soon be forgotten.  Craig Peterson and I headed south to River of Life Farm on Friday (12/16/11) to the Tree Top Loft cabin we had rented for the weekend as a base camp for the maiden voyage of my recently upgraded drift boat (i traded up from the old Hyde high side, to a 2010 Hyde LowPro XL with all the trimmings).  We didn’t get in until late, and we still needed to arrange a shuttle with Myron McKee before hitting the river, so we decided to enjoy the weekend and not rush out to the water, no matter how much the urge strikes us….the fish will always be there; or so we thought.

We were up around 7am on Saturday and quickly to work loading the boat as breakfast cooked on the stove (Hasbrowns, and Biscuits & Sausage Gravy).  After breakfast we headed down the hill to arrange for our shuttle and dropped the boat in.  Brian Wise couldn’t fish with us on Saturday, so we were on our own for the day.  It has been awhile since Craig and I were in the boat together, and it was a good time as usual.

We floated from ROLF to Blair Bridge Access.  Sometimes, as a fisherman, you are lucky enough to go on one of those trips.  This was the maiden voyage of the new boat, and on the first cast on the first drift, Craig hooks up with a nice brown over 20″.  What a way to start off the drift.  We continued to throw big nasty streamers the entire drift (except for those instances we got out and wade fished, then a nymph rig was our standard set-up).  There isn’t a whole lot more to say about this trip, that the photos can’t say.  This particular float was filled with several firsts:  the first fish caught in the new boat, Craig’s first wild rainbow, Craig’s first fish over 20″, and Craig’s biggest brown trout today (coincidentally, not his first over 20″ this trip).  It was a crazy good day, and one that the North Fork of the White River will give up from time to time if you believe Brian Wise……..and as the photos indicate, he was right.  We were off the water by 4pm and back at the cabin by 5pm and awaiting the arrival of Brian & Jenny Wise for dinner and drinks.  A few night caps later and countless stories we were lights out and awaiting our drift on Sunday….another day filled with firsts.

–Matt Tucker

Dry Run Creek Trip Report: Better Late Than Never

2011-11-19pic003(Edited)(Resized)The holiday break often affords me with time to catch up on some past trip reports.  The 2011 Christmas Holiday was much the same, and in keeping with that tradition I will wind back to a trip Hannah and I took on November 19, 2011 to Dry Run Creek.  These trips to Arkansas are something that I will always remember, so often than not it is the trip that we actually remember more than the fishing, and this trip was no different.

We started this trip, late on a Friday night after rolling out of St. Louis and were in Mountain Home by 11pm or so.  Up early and off to the stream, we found ourselves to be the only ones there for the first hour or two.  It was a magical hour or two as well.  Hannah is really starting to come in to her own with fishing, we will next work on tying on the flies and knots, but from hook set to release, it is all her.  She caught and released numerous fish, including a really nice Cutthroat.

The entire Wise Family (Brian Wise, Jenny Wise, Parker Wise, and Carter Wise) caught up with us on the stream around 9am or so and we continued to catch up as the kids fished.  It is nice to have another adult/kid combo on trips as sometimes Hannah will get bored with fishing with me and it is fun to swap around and fish with another youngster.  Today was no different, and Hannah quickly jumped at the opportunity to fish with Brian and Parker with me.

Parker is a little fly fishing stud.  The kid can fish and is intent on fishing. The kids fished for a few more hours with many more fish brought to hand and released.  The kids were getting tired and Hannah and I were going to break for lunch and drive back to St. Louis that afternoon, so we headed towards Mountain Home and had a nice lunch with the Wise family and were on our way back to St. Louis by 3pm or so.  It was another satisfying trip.  Lots of photos were taken, and Hannah even made an appearance in Brian Wise’s 2011 Fall Fly Fishing Video.

But as with the more recent Dry Run Creek trip reports, it wouldn’t be a report without Hannah’s version:

Fishing Story November 18/19,11

By:  Hannah Tucker

Me and my dad left are house about 4:45. We were on the road for fifteen minutes and my dad almost hit a deer. But luckily we did not hit the deer.  It was like a miracle. I thought we were going to hit it .My dad put on the brakes and we made it .He said ‘If we had hit that deer, our fishing trip would have ended and we would have to call uncle Dan to pick us up, and trust me I did not want that to happen.  We kept on driving I fell asleep. When I woke up dad said’ what do you want for dinner?  I said I don’t care.  Dad said the same thing. So we went to Arby’s. We went through the drive through and got back on the road. I was about to go to sleep when we were listening to Jonny Cash.  We got to Ramada Inn and I was so tired.  I got in my p-jays and fell onto the bed. I couldn’t sleep at first because dad had the TV on. He finally turned off the TV.  When I woke up I got dressed and we went down to the lobby to get WESTERN SIZZLIN coupons. We went to eat and they did not have the buffet.  Dad asked the one of the staff and she said they were not open to the public.  So me and dad left and went to a different place.  Once we left that place we went to Dry Run Creek. We got on are waders and boots.  We got down to the creek and started  fishing.  I caught some small fish, mostly browns.  My dad was looking through his fly box  and wanted to do  something new.  He put on a yellow Sally.  And I caught a 23 inch cut throat.  It had the most beautiful orange stripes on the bottom of its mouth. Me and my dad went back to the car to take off our jackets.  Went back down to the stream to fish and it was like catch ,unhook, release, catch, unhook, release over and over.  I just kept catching fish.  Brian, Jenny, Parker, and Carter came to fish with us too.  We switched off so that Parker went with my dad and I went with Parker’s dad.  Brian couldn’t believe that the yellow sally was that good.  I kept catching fish.  The total of all the fish I had caught  so far was 36.  Is that awesome or what?  We went up the stream again and spotted a big brown.  It was huge. I fished to it, but sadly it was not eating.  I  fished to some more fish and my lucky hook  got stuck in the tree.  So I could not put it on my hook Keeper thingy migiger.  I fished a little bit more.  We walked back down the creek. We saw a fish with a eel thing on it. My dad told me to catch it so that he could  take that eal thing off.  Sadly I did not catch it.  We went back to the car and got in our regular clothes and went to lunch with Brian, Jenny, Parker, and Carter.  After that we went home.  The End.

It is funny the things that she remembers and the things that I have forgotten on these trips; such as the deer, the lamprey eel, or the breakfast.  Oh to be young again.  Until next time.

–Matt Tucker