Posted by Phil Lilley on July 25th, 2012
Linc and I arrived at Dally’s Fly Shop at 3 p.m. sharp. We were to meet our guide, Marc Poulos to do some more hopper fishing. Linc bought another 3-day license and we were off to Wildcat Shoal access.
Put in and ran up river to the White Hole access and worked the banks from there down. They weren’t running a lot of water–Marc said they were running less than what was scheduled which I think was 65 mw. I’m not use to gauging generation on the White like I am on Taneycomo. It was enough water for us to get above the shoals in his Supreme river jon.
I had on a small, thin hopper pattern Marc had given me, about a size 8. Not sure what Linc was using but it was slow going early. Marc said they were bringing the water up which was a good thing. I did notice that there needs to be a certain amount of water running for there to be enough current on the banks, close to the edge of the bank, before fish move in and start looking for bugs to drop in.
We picked up a few small rainbows to start, a lot of lookers and misses too. The sun was dropping behind the bluff and it got good about 7 p.m.. We found a great bank, one we’d fished last week, with trout holding right on the edge and grass overhanging the water. We plopped our hoppers (I’d changed to the pink Hi Viz Rainy’s hopper I used last week and Linc again was using something Marc gave him), within 12 inches of the bank and wham! the action started.
Linc had 3 or 4 nice 17-20 inch browns to the boat while I had one decent brown and several misses before we knew it. I think we had a couple of doubles but it was hard to keep track–we were too busy fishing. Linc was landing a nice brown and I was thinking about getting the camera when I looked up and saw that where my fly had been, now there was a big ring in the water. Yes I had had a take and yes I was extremely late on the set but the fish was still there. At first sighting, this brown looked very large… and 22-inches is a nice brown! He put up a great fight, took me around a big rock which we had to run above to get unwrapped. Had a big head and good girth, unlike most of the other browns which were fairly skinny.
We finished out the day with more browns but that bank was the highlight of the afternoon. We only ran it once… didn’t want to abuse the run for others who were fishing.
Linc did put it to me, getting me back for last Wednesday’s trip. But he was back next to the guide who’s instruction and netting ability I’m sure made the difference!
Marc talked about catching smallmouth bass on poppers–they’d been fishing Crooked Creek and doing well. He said he wanted to try the lower Buffalo River… sounds like another trip to Arkansas!
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