5:45am a boat roared up to pick up clients from the cabin below ours. That earned an eff you. As you’re reading that, draw out the yooooooouuu for a bit and add the foreign bed groans. The bird tweeting outside the window near my pillow also got called a few choice words. We slept in a bit, or at least tried. Breakfast and some putzing around camp were the order of the early morning. The boats were up and down the river near the cabin. I forgot it was the weekend and the boats on the water multiply like wet gremlins. When you realize you’re part of that last sentence a light bulb pops.
We tossed on the waders and loaded the boats. Another day of minimum flows so we weren’t exactly eager but there was hope and hope is what keeps us all moving forward to the next fish. Not long after launching Robert stuck a trucker on a streamer. Wooooohooooo a real live fish! I got on the bow and skunked out. We switched out every so often, though thinking back I feel like I fished more than him and feel kind of bad about that. The boat traffic was insane for an Indiana boy like me. I could tell it was grating on me every time a motor was started downstream for the guides and clients to run back up to float back down. Those constant jets up and down. Man that makes you twitchy. Makes me wonder how the fish felt. I’m not hating on them in the least but dammit that looks like the most incredibly boring way you can possibly fish. Half the cats looked bored watching bobbers or whatever kind of worm drowning was going on. Give me a big streamer, sink line, and let my people go. I broke my favorite rod at some point in the day. That rod, a 9’6″ Ross Essence had been through the ringer with me. It should have been broken many times over but it kept on trucking along, trip after trip.
This trip did it in with a broken tip section. I was snagged on the bottom when it happened. It was probably my fault that it happened, both bottom snag and rod break. I rolled up my sleeves, reached down into the cold ass water, and grabbed the tip section and popped the tippet. I brought the section up and stared at it dumbly. Broken. Shit. So what does an idiot like me do? He numbly drops it completely forgetting that he’d popped the fly off and there was nothing stopping what was left of the tip section from disappearing into the White River like a moron’s sacrifice. The search is now on for a new 7 weight rod. 9’6″ or 10′. Ten would be preferred.
We stopped for lunch and watched the guides with clients doing their thing for a bit. It’s an efficient operation they have going on down there but on that day we didn’t see much of an action from their camps. The rest of the float was pretty uneventful. We took out, cleaned up a bit, and headed over to Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher for the 2015 Streamer Lovefest.
Let me preface the rest of this by saying this. Have you ever walked into a fly shop and just gone, “Wow! These dudes are doing it right.” When I first walked into Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher in Cotter, Arkansas those were the first words out of my mouth. It’s a huge fly shop. HUGE. The most impressive part was that it didn’t feel crowded and it didn’t feel like they were trying to fill empty space. It’s a big shop but it felt good. Well lit, clean, and organized.
The tying started and the folks lined up to get some pig, coleslaw, and baked beans. The food was incredible. Matt Tucker and his crew can cook a mean pig. The sides can make or break it and in this case it was one where you wanted thirds and fourth helpings.
There was a raffle and a few lucky winners took home some nice swag. The amount of people who showed up to this was way more than I expected. I didn’t know what I should expect but it was awesome to be blown away by the attendance. The crew at Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher have it going on and run that event like a well oiled machine.
As folks made their way home or to wherever they’d sleep that night, the crew I was with was planning something that could either be awesome or terrible. Part 3 will finish this trip up on Friday morning.