White River (Bull Shoals Tailwater) — Quick Drift and Out

We decided not to set the alarm on Sunday morning and opted for a lazy morning packing and perhaps a short float on the river – but things don’t always go as planned as we began waking up one by one beginning at 5:30am.  By 7am the phone rang and it was JimmyT – the savior to the coffee drinkers (Brent and Tim) – offering to pick up some coffee and drop it by.


After the coffee was drank, the boat and Durango were packed up, and everyone was generally ready to take off – we headed to Gaston’s Lodge for breakfast.  This might be the most undiscovered breakfast on the water – it was very good, and not too expensive.  It definitely will be a place we head to in the future when we are in search of morning fuel.


I had envisioned being on the road by 11am on the way back to St. Louis (we had a lot of work to do with drying out the boat and gear from getting soaked on Saturday) but by the time we had finished breakfast and checked out of Patrick’s it was 10:15am and we still hadn’t fished.  Jimmy had offered us the use of a boat for a short trip in the morning, so after a quick discussion we headed down to the boat ramp and picked up the boat to do a couple of quick drifts before heading out.

To make a long story short, McClane was on fire as usual and was picking up fish with ease on his two-fly nymph rig from Saturday as well as an elk hair caddis pattern fished in a slow pool.  Tim was running the boat for us, and I actually got a chance to fish – where I failed miserably (only landing one fish….not sure who really should be credited with the fish me or Tim), but we were on a schedule and headed back to the boat ramp by 11:45am.


The drive home was mainly uneventful, and I did verify that I do in fact drive slower at night than I do during the daylight hours as the trip home went considerably quicker.  The evening was filled with opening up fly boxes, boat storage boxes, and the general drying out of gear.  Lots of lessons were learned on this trip, and I can’t wait to apply them on my next float down the river.


–Matt Tucker

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