White River

White River Jigfest 2014

Posted by Phil Lilley on December 15th, 2014
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For the second year in a row, a group of OAF anglers gathered on the White River for a weekend of fellowship, good food and lots of trout fishing.  Here are some of the report and fish pics:

Posted by Ham-

Last year was so great that I was a little worried that this year would feel a little flat. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Despite Quillback and Hoglaw having to miss the shindig, it was an amazing time.

Despite erratic water releases and wildly unreliable reporting of those water releases, we managed to catch a lot of fish and some really good quality fish. I’m hoping that everyone will chime in with their trip details and their opinions on the food.

Friday, I pushed Bret to take Cody and I Up to White Hole. We would have high water and clouds and I hoped he would get that big brown he’d been thinking about. He had a big one take a look at a jerk bait right after we started, but I caught the only brown that day and it was healthy, but not large.

We caught em, but not great. Things improved as water fell from >10000 to min flow. There was a period where the bite was really good, but at min flow the fish moved or shut down and our bite died.

Cody and I decided to relocate to Cotter. The highest water would be gone, but we would still have flow and a little while to fish. good move. We whacked em. Cody (Got Muddy) was a rock star with a little crank bait. Oddly enough, I stuck with a jig. I ended up with 55. The boat caught way over 100. 150 ish?

Saturday, predictions for minimal amounts of water being released pushed us down river to fish the water we knew we would have even if they shut down BSL completely due to maintenance work. It was good and bad. It was a slow morning for almost everyone except for Little Red Fisherman. He flat wore out the Brown trout on a Megabass Yardstick Jr., but that’s his story to tell. We had Lane with us who is Terrierman’s grandson and quite the outdoors man at 19. He did very well despite having like 40 feet of line on his spinning reel. Shame on me for noticing that at 4 PM. If I had be given a little head’s up, I would have re-spooled him. I have enough mono to circle the globe. I was low man on the totem pole stuck at the front of the boat. I did get a beautiful chub with my first cast of the day, but I was sitting at a very unimpressive 17 fish at 1430, but we moved down river to another few spots I knew. The sunshine broke out finally and maybe that helped, because we found the fish. I finished with 79. We had three triples and lots of doubles. We all caught really nice Browns. We all also caught nice Smallies. lane caught our only Cutty. We had eight different species for the day. Bret caught a misplaced Largemouth Bass. Boat must have gotten real close to 200 fish.


The two other boats relocated further up river after a slow morning and they got well in the afternoon. Look for those reports.

The food and fellowship both Friday and Saturday nights was outstanding. Kudos to all involved. Cody’s chicken quarters that he did with his Redneck Magic cooker were so good. the fish that Phil provided from Alaska was devoured with gusto. the deer loin was awesome. I’ve been missing out. Hey Griz, Cowboy Caviar is so good. Why am I just now learning of it? Salad and cake and pie, Oh my. Drinks where BYOB or in my BYOB Diet Coke. Bret was BYOIBC, but others celebrated a little harder.

The accommodations at Riley’s Station are excellent. I live 25 minutes away, but even I am considering gathering a crew up and staying there. I would strongly recommend them if you are looking to rent accommodations on the river. I prefer the lower river and you are mere minutes from some awesome water.

I enjoyed getting to meet SinO3, Lane, and Bob. I enjoyed spending time with everybody. You guys are a hoot. It’s awesome to be amongst such fine men and such fine fishermen. I opted not to fish this morning and it’s just as well. My wife is under the weather and I would have had to cancel this morning. Griz I owe you a trip. I hate that I didn’t get to fish with you. FTR, Les was the only guy that entertained the idea of yakking with me. I know I could have crushed them from my Tarpon 120. we will make the yak thing happen sometime.

Posted by Littleredfisherman:


I just want to reiterate what Ham posted so well here.  I had a great time with all these guys, got to fish and share experiences through fellowship this weekend, great group of guys!

As far as the fishing goes, Ham covered it well.  I’ll talk about my Brown bite yesterday, it was pretty hot for awhile.  I had mainly thrown jigs the day before and the first hour of so of Saturday,  we got to a good stretch of water just full of big rocks, wood, and moderate but now to fast flow.  So I had a one of my Megabass tied on my baitcast from a Smallmouth trip that didn’t happen last week.  I pick it up, and on the second cast, got nailed by a feisty 16 incher.  Needless to say I got pumped up a bit, so kept at it, Lane (Terriermans grandson) can attest for me as he saw it to, but a monster, and I mean a dandy Brown swiped by the bait, missed it and just stared it down, I lightly twitched again, and he took it, but I had such a good look at all this, I think I pulled to quick, and missed it.  By now my heart was pumping.  We preceded down the bank, and about 5 minutes later I hooked and landed the my biggest fish of the trip, a 20 incher!  In about an hour I had landed 8 or so browns from 15 to 20 inches on the jerkbait.  We went up to drift it again, on this drift, Lane managed to land two good one with his gold headed olive and ginger zig jig, and Ham landed a nice fat chunk of a brown and a Smallie!!   I didn’t keep count, but I caught 10 or 12 browns plus several that Ham and Lane landed on the jigs, that made me a happy camper, I was wanting a nice brown, and got my wish!

I have to give props to Ham, to putting us on the fish, his knowledge of White river is inpressive.  I also have to mention his “called shot”.  We went to one of his “spots” and he said somebody will catch a smallie, on his first cast he caught a Dandy of a smallie, that thing just bulldogged him all the way to the boat.  I had the best spot in the boat most of the Saturday as I drove the boat, but he still managed 79 fish from the front, a fishing machine.  Lane did well to, plus he caught the only Cuttthroat in my boat all weekend!   Day one was fun to with Ham and Cody (Gotmuddy)..  We didn’t have the brown action of Saturday, but we caught a ton of trout, and hammered them at Cotter when we made that move to follow the water!

Enjoyed the weekend, and meeting some new folks, Snagged in outlet (Pete)  Mike Worley, Griz (Les), and Terriermans friend Bob, he was a hoot!  Lane is a fine young man, and did great for his first experience jig fishing!  Look forward to it again next year!

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Posted by Terrierman:

Bob, Lane and I fished Rim Shoals Friday.  Had a good day, mostly rainbows, I think Bob had three browns.  Lane and I both caught a couple of cutthroats each.  I’d guess we had maybe 150 fish that day for the boat.  It was running minimum flow when we got on the river and then that big water that Ham and the boys fished at White Hole earlier in the day made it to Rim.  River got a little trashy then and the bite slowed quite a bit.  We were doing best on 1/8 gold head olive/ginger zig jigs.  Actually those produced best for us all weekend. 

Saturday was a tale of two spots.  Red’s landing was really slow for Bob and I we had four fish at noon.  So we decided to make a move.  Les and Cody were heading to Norfork as they had been generating all morning.  We decided to go there too.  Of course, we got to Norfork just in time for generation to go to zero.  Decided to go to Buffalo City and make our way up to Buffalo Shoal which turned out to be the best decision I’ve made in a long time.  We made our way as far up the shoal as we could and it was on.  Fish every cast for the first three or four drifts.  Quality rainbows, a nice brown that was maybe 18″ and the smallie in the picture Griz posted above.  Probably boated 100 fish in about two hours there.  Just an awesome afternoon.  Water level was very nice and the sun came out, which I also think made a huge difference.  Again, fishing 1/8 gold head olive/ginger zig jigs.  The Brown and the Smallie both ate the jig.  Catching that smallmouth in that heavy water was a real blast, I have to say.  My highlight of the trip, at least from the fish catching standpoint.


Sunday water was way low.  Lane, Bob and I went to Rim Shoals again and made our way up to a spot that did us good on Friday.  We were catching them pretty good, Lane definitely had the hot hand.  Caught rainbows, Cutthroats and Cuttbows.  Left about noon to head on home, tired and very happy.

So overall, just a great fishing trip.  But I have to say the fellowship of this trip is really the bottom line best part.  Just good people top to bottom, a ton of knowledge, shared willingly.  Good food from some good cooks too.  Really enjoyed seeing the folks from last year and meeting new to me and now friends, SIO3 and Mr. Griz Wilson.  Didn’t get to spend much time with Phil or Duane but they are great folks too.  Phil was nice enough to leave us another side of sockeye salmon and a deer loin.  Phil, they did not go to waste, there was not a shred left.

Brett, thanks for a great fish fry.  Everyone, thanks for having us, for putting up with grumpy old men and can’t wait for the next one.

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