White River (Mountain Home, Arkansas) — July 12, 2004

Fly Rod & Reel Trout Bum Tournament Check-In # 4

What a day!! But I’ll start here at the end of this day first. About two hours ago we finished fishing streamers for big fish on the White River. Once we had cell phone coverage, Matt checked his messages and he had a message from John Wilson and he said he would like to guide us tonight and tomorrow, but only had this one day to do it if we could make it. Do any of you know who John Wilson is???!!! Well, let’s put it this way, John just drove back from the ESPN Great Outdoor Games, where he placed fourth (that’s a controversy we may tell a little about later on….). This man is one of the best fly fishers in the country. What do you think our answer was!!! Duhhhh!!! He offered for us to stay at his cabin in the area with him for a couple hours of rest before we head out for night fishing and then fishing into the early afternoon tomorrow. Done DEAL!!!

Well, we told him that we needed to get our report to you all first tonight, so he had an idea for us and said to follow him. We buzzed around a number of back roads and stopped at a farm where a man and woman were putting the last shoe on one of their horses. I looked over at their truck and on it was “Blue Ribbon Flies”. Yes indeed, we stopped at Mr. & Mrs. Dale Fulton’s farm to get the keys to Dale Fulton’s Lodge so that we could write this report to you all and send it in using their internet access. And yes, I mean the same Fulton’s were partners of the shop by the same name in West Yellowstone. I don’t know what you all think, but I thought this was pretty cool. SO, since we are trying to hurriedly get a little rest to nymph for HUGE fish in a few hours, I will just give you the highlights of today for now and fill in the details later. I thought we just had to tell you all about this though for now.

We were up at 5:00 and heading to Rim Shoals access of the White River near Mountain Home, AR. We needed fuel and stopped at a few places to try to bum fuel and finally came across the owner of a few Exxon stations down here that not only gave us the fuel we needed for the truck, but also sent us down the road to his next station to get whatever we wanted for breakfast. Next we met our guide Scott Branyon as Rim Shoals access and had a heck of a morning fishing streamers on the White River while they were running 4 generators. WHAT A BLAST. I basically don’t (didn’t) like streamer fishing before, but I think I was converted today. I also think I was converted today from a fast action rod to a slow action rod. Anyone have a 7 wt Thomas & Thomas rod they aren’t using anymore?? Nudge nudge wink wink!!!

After fishing the morning, we had to be at Rim Shoals Fly Shop & Dock to take a call for us to help host Outdoors With Tommy Garner, an Ozark radio show, that Matt had setup last week. I was exhausted from my first day ever stripping large streamers and picking up a sinking tip line. I fell asleep in the boat on our trip back up river. The dog in one of the pictures is “Dock” and he lives at the shop. After a quick rest from the interview, we headed back to the water for some fishing for BIG fish. They had now turned on all 8 generators and the water was moving!! That coupled with our lack of sleep and the near 100 degree heat all day basically kicked our butts!!!! It was a GREAT day though.

So basically that was our day. How was all of yours???!!! I better go for now. It’s 8:15 pm. We have fish to chase again in a few hours after we get a much needed shower, tie up some secret flies that John said we will need for tomorrow and try to get a couple hours of rest. OH, only 14 fish today maybe, but we were on a quest for BIG fish and we still had a GREAT day. Man did I learn a lot from Scott. We’ll catch up with you all a bit later.

P. S. We’ve only spent $97 of our original $500 thus far and I think we’re taking the duct tape back.


Tight Lines,

Matt & Brent (written by Brent)


Here is the update (written by Matt)


McClane promised to fill you in on the drift boat trip we had with Scott Branyan (www.ozarkflyflinger.com) on Monday, July 12. Well, it is 10:42pm on 07-14-04 and we are just now getting back to updating the report. A lot has happened since this trip, but we will fill you in on this in later trips. What can we say about fishing with Scott Branyan on a bummed guided fly fishing trip on the White River. It was a hard day of fishing, with great results. We met Scott at Rim Shoals public access at about 9:00am, after running an hour or so late. We spent that hour bumming gas, and getting a late start in Branson – but we called Scott and told him and everything was on the up and up.

When we arrived, the Bull Shoals dam was releasing 8 generators worth of water, and that water rise was soon to hit the area of the White River that we were fishing. Unfortunately, when you are fishing a tailwater you must keep track of when the water will be rising and falling. Especially if you ware wade fishing. Scott informed us that we would be fishing streamers and sink-tip fly lines all day due to the water generation.

I was fishing with my new Temple Fork TiCR 9’-0” 7wt, and Brent was fishing with one of Scott’s Thomas & Thomas 9’-0” 7wts. As McClane has said, he fell in love with the slower action of the T&T rod, and in fishing streamers all day. It was a hard morning of fishing, with a few fish caught (mainly by McClane).

We were back at Rim Shoals Fly Shop at 12:30, as McClane and I were to be on a Southern Missouri / Arkansas radio show at 1:00pm. What I thought would be a simple 10 minute radio interview, ended up being a one hour spot on the radio with McClane and I taking turns on the phone. We plugged several people that were helping us out along the way, and those that are going to be helping us out further along down the road and told the listeners to meet us on the Spring River to help wrap up our trout odyssey on 07-18-04.

After we finished the interview and sucked up a ton of air conditioning (the temperatures reached a blistering 97 degrees with heat indexes well into the 100’s), we headed back out on the river for more streamer fishing out of Scott’s hand built wooden drift boat. The boat is as stable of a fishing platform as there is, and Scott handles it with ease. It was a pleasure to fish from. We finished up the day at Rim Shoals Public Access around 5:00pm, took some photos and said some goodbyes and we were on our way, or so we thought. You can read the July 13, 2004 to hear about our other adventures.