White River

Best guide trip ever

Posted by John Berry on May 30th, 2013
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Last week I booked a half day guide trip with Steve Stickman and his wife, Becky, regular clients from Oklahoma, who have become friends over the years. I am always apprehensive about half day trips because, in a full day of fishing, the morning or the afternoon is going to be better than the rest of the day. I always want the best for my clients and I am never sure if the portion of the day that they choose, will be the best for fishing.

I picked them up, where they were staying, at Rim Shoals and we trailered my river boat over to Wildcat Shoals. They wanted to fish some different water and we had never fished there together. It was a glorious day. Though it had rained the day before, the water was clear and the Corps of Engineers were running the rough equivalent of two full generators. It was sunny with a light wind and warm temperatures.

I rigged their rods with a double fly nymph rig with a pink San Juan worm on the top and a bead head prince nymph on the bottom. I launched my boat and we motored down to the shoals and we began fishing. It didn’t take long, before we were into trout. Becky has a slight edge on the score but both did well. We caught some really nice rainbows. As we were drifting mid morning, we saw a bald eagle hit the surface and grab a good sized trout not twenty feet from us. It was the closest that I have ever been to an eagle in my life and the scene was awe inspiring. We stood there and watched the magnificent bird swim away with the fish in his talons. It all happened so fast that there was no chance for us to get a photo.

It was about lunch time, when Becky asked if we were going to go all day or just a half day. I responded that I had only planned for a half day and had not brought lunch. They were having so much fun that they didn’t want the day to end. Steve suggested that we go to KT’s barbeque and that he would buy. I jumped all over that. As a former Memphian, I am a serious barbequed rib fan and KT’s does a fine job.

We did another couple of drifts and picked up a few more trout. I then motored my way back to the ramp and put the boat back on the trailer. We drove to lunch and parked so that we didn’t block anyone in. I relished my ribs and everyone else enjoyed their lunch. I mentioned the peanut butter pie and there was quite a bit of interest in it. Steve got three pieces to go.

We drove to Rim Shoals and I dropped Steve and Becky at their cabin so that they could put the pie in the refrigerator and drop off some excess gear. I went on the Rim Shoals ramp and launched my river boat. Steve and Becky walked over and we began fishing. It was slow at the top of the Catch and Release section and we began working our way downstream. In fact, was slow going until; we got out of the Catch and Release section.

We finally began picking up some fish. In fact, we began doing well. We took at least one fish on every drift and we occasionally picked up two or three. Steve had a bit of an edge in the afternoon. We fished until about 4:30 PM and ended the day with around thirty trout. We made our way back up stream to the ramp and put the boat back on the trailer. I drove over to their cabin and we unloaded their gear.

We made our way to the back deck of the cabin overlooking the river. We sat on comfortable chairs and enjoyed the scenery as we consumed our peanut butter pie and a couple of cold Heinekens. It was a fitting ending to a great day, the best half day guide trip ever.

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