Wayne and I left for Mountain Home and this years Sowbug about 7 am on Thursday and had an uneventful ride down. At the roundup we enjoyed watching several tyers, saw some new and interesting patterns and some of the same patterns that are always present. Checked into the motel and then went to Fred's Catfish house for their catfish and green tomato relish. Ate too much.
Friday morning we went to the North Fork river and fished at and just above the handicapped access. As usual, I used my soft hackles and, not as usual, caught some fish...mostly small rainbow and one that I identified as a cutthroat, but is possibly a cutbow.
Wayne wasn't quite as lucky, but did land his first ever brown trout. In the afternoon we went back to the Sowbug and saw some very good tying. Also, we ran into more old friends, both tyers and viewers like us. In the evening we went to the campgrounds below Bull Shoals to check out the area for fishing Saturday afternoon. That was followed by a very good supper at Gastons. Pricey, but very good. I even ordered a piece of Blueberry pie to take back to the room. Ummmmm, good
Saturday we started out at the sowbug. I spent a lot of time with the Springfield area tyers. Kevin talked about how good the fishing had been that morning just below the Norfork Dam, so later that afternoon we headed there instead of to the White. I did fairly well with Wayne not as fortunate, but he managed his second brown while I didn't get any on the trip. Pizza at the Pizza House.
Sunday we finally made it to the White. We fished a short distance down stream from the dam. Fishing was slow. I only had four strikes all morning, all on soft hackles. We saw several flyfishers and few fish. All of my first three strikes were very hard. The line coming straight out of the water and then snap, the fish and my flies were gone. I guess I'm a slow learner, because I finally put on a heavier tippet, from 6x to 5x. My fourth and final hit was just as hard, but the tippet held. I got to play the fish for a short time and then had a long distance release...skunked for the day. Everyone we talked to said they also had a tough time. We decided to head for home after a very nice weekend.
One note, the upper White were we fished was covered with a whitish, cottony looking algae...didymo or snot rock. I did not notice it being particularly slippery, but I was cautious where I was stepping and avoided the larger rocks. One younger fisherman did take a spill just downstream from me. His comment was "I didn't see that coming".