White River

Hoppers on the White River

Posted by Phil Lilley on July 20th, 2012
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Linc and I drove down to the White River today for some hopper tossing. And the fish liked them!! We got away early–8:00 am!! Arrived at Steve Dally’s place just before 10 am. Had some questions about flies, where to fish and needed to get a shuttle. Steve helped us out with all 3.

We bought an assortment of hoppers from Steve and started out to the dam access. Called John Berry on the way and got some more advice. He and Lori were on their way to Branson of all places!! It is Lori’s birthday and they were going to do some shopping and dining in the big city!

Arrived at the powerhouse side of the river at the dam to launch my Shawnee river jon and found the ramp was a bit too shallow. They were running 25 mw or a 1/2 unit at the time so note to self: Use the Rivercliff ramp from now on. Our destination was Wildcat Shoal access.

We drifted out of the trophy area without wetting a line–it took us that long to rig out lines. We had an assortment of hoppers: Rainy’s Hi-Viz Pink Grand Hopper was the best of the day, catching more trout than any other pattern, #10. Ross’ Repeat Offender – Tan #8 was another good one as well as Dorman’s Insect Brown/Orange Hot Rod Hopper #8 (all Rainy’s Flies). We used 1x tippet.

They increased the flow mid day to 65 mw which pulled junk off the bottom of the river and from the banks but it cleared after an hour and fishing got better.

We fish the bluff sides mostly but did hit some grassy shallow banks too. Didn’t find any certain pattern where they were holding – caught them on the banks and as far as 15 feet off the banks.

Our first fish came close to Newland’s and the next come from across from Gaston’s. Both were nice browns from 20 to 23 inches. Heads were big but bodies were thin. Good fighters though. The rest of the browns on down river were fatter and in better shape, just not as long.

Thunderstorm hit about 6 pm. Rained for 20 minutes, then the fog set in. Pretty much killed the hopper fishing… that and they dropped the flow and level about 2 feet. But it was a great day. We brought 14 browns and 8 rainbows to the boat and about the same number of misses and pullouts… all on hoppers.

First brown.

Second brown

Third brown

Fish on!

One of Linc’s browns.

Pink Hopper


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