Monday, November 3, 2014

River Pirates and Butterballs - Little Red River

Anytime I need to be in Central AR, I'm sure to schedule a day to visit the LRR.  Wouldn't you know it, my nephew was born earlier in the week so I was in the area....a plan was hatched, or something like that.  As such, I made the drive to Heber Springs on Sunday morning. And, sunrise came an hour earlier thanks to Daylight Savings!!  It was a chilly start to the morning, 36 degrees, and I didn't have waders (left my old one's at home-they leak).  No wet wading today, and forgot my hand warmers.  Both, I immediately regretted and have been corrected as of Monday morning.

I started at the Swinging Bridge access and pointed the cuda upriver.  The first 3 hours (2 miles) were a bore.  No fish, no takes, lots of teeth chattering and...did I already say NO FISH!!!  Not even a bow.  I tried everything...buggers, small streamers, swinging wets, san juan's...all fruitless.  I arrived at good look'n shoal and tied on a nymph.  Placed it next to a downed tree in calm water, expecting it to take a few seconds to get down...I scanned the tree for a shadow.  When I looked back I saw my indicator flying about 2 feet through the water.  I set and had ~18inch brown on for about 2 seconds.  I lost him as he came to the surface to tease me for my rookie mistake.  Losing that fish really hurt.  All I could think about was how bad the day sucked.

Thought about calling it but decided to drag the cuda (w/o getting wet) over the shoal and break for lunch.  When I got over the shoal, I looked back and saw a birds nest of leader, nymph, indicator all wrapped around the tip of my TFO...SWEET!!!  Thought about going home again...but decided, to re-set and re-tie.  The next event shows how the morning was for me...I can't make this up.  While eating my Egg Mc'Muffin, a guy in a boat drags down the shoal.  The owner says, "watch out he'll get all up in your S@!T"...confused, I look'd back to see his dog trying to steal my lunch.  I still think it was an ambush.  I got a good laugh from it and we had a good conversation.  So no hard feelings, you river pirates!!  From that point on the fishing got crazy good.

Fly of choice
The clouds got thick and the wind started to blow.  I've heard it said many times...less than ideal conditions = great trout fish'n conditions.  It was true on Sunday, the Browns showed up in force and they made me forget about how bad the morning was.

Look at that coloring!!  Sorry for the orientation - operator error.  

Stopped count'n after 15 butterballs (and 1 bow) all in about 2 hours of fish'n after lunch.

The bite went away when the sun came back out.  As bad as the morning was the afternoon was equally splendid.  I didn't want to leave but I had a 3 hour drive ahead of me.  So I made my way back to my truck being sure to avoid them river pirates.  It was a great start to November, got to meet my newest nephew and catch some fish.

Ended up replacing my old waders with a set of Orvis Silver Sonic Convertible waders. I think they'll be great for kayaking/paddling b/c of the convertible top.  Review at a later date.


  1. Really nice....this is a great time of year to fish our Ozark tailwaters for sure. Love the colors on those browns , I'd have been happy with just one or two of those fish but it looks like you really had a fantastic day!

    1. Thx. It was fantastic. It'll keep a smile on my face for a month or more! Like you, catching 1 or 2 browns makes a trip. The colors were much better in person...I need to invest in a quality camera. The camera phone works but the quality isn't great.