Fly Fishing 3 Rivers in 3 Days – North Fork of the White, White River & Taneycomo

From the Field – by Randall Barron

I had the opportunity over the weekend to take a few days and fish with Jeremy Hunt and Tom Rogers.  I’ve known and fished with Jeremy for several years now but only had the opportunity to meet Tom during this trip.  Between the two of them, I spent three days getting an education in humility and maybe added a few tricks to the bag too.

We spent the first day floating the North Fork of the White River from Blair to Dawt Mill.  The water is really low right now so it made it a little tougher of a bite than normal.  Jeremy had done really well streamer fishing the past four days so we dedicated ourselves to the thundersticks and Kelly Galloup patterns.  The combination of the incoming front and the fact that the fish had been hit pretty hard for the better part of a week kept us to only three browns in the 16-18 inch range, all landed by Tom, along with a half-dozen or so spotted bass and a few chubs, all on articulated streamers.  I’m sure my performance didn’t help the situation any either, but by the midway point the rust was pretty much shaken off.

We slept in Saturday because Jeremy had a tying class that afternoon and the bite on Taney hasn’t really picked up until late morning to mid-day recently now that the water is generally off.  Tom and I decided to fish the boat ramp to KOA to avoid the crowds and capitalize on the midge bite.  It didn’t take long for the bead head midges to start fooling the recently stocked Neosho hatchery rainbows.  Not too long after we started, Tom hooked into a nicely colored, thick rainbow in the neighborhood of 18 inches.  After taking a few pictures I turned around to find that I had a three inch sculpin attached to my fly.  A couple more shots of my trophy and we were back to it.

Conditions were tough on Taneycomo all day but we caught enough fish to keep us interested, finally giving in to hunger sometime around 5:00.  Toward the end of the day, Tom started fishing dry flies in a way that I’ve never seen before.  He can create explosive topwater takes that remind me of bass fishing with a popper.  I won’t get into the details of his technique but I will strongly suggest seeing it first-hand.

We finished the weekend on Sunday with a trip down to Rim Shoals on the White.  Jeremy had a trip so Tom and I waded.  The shoals were pretty crowded so we fished the often ignored water above them until they cleared out.  Jeremy followed a similar pattern in his drift boat, but with much better success.  His clients claimed a triple-digit day and he confirmed later.  The main advantage they had was the boat: their drifts could go for days and they could fish water we couldn’t get to.

When the shoals cleared out around mid-day Tom and I had them to ourselves but couldn’t make anything happen.  Toward mid-afternoon, Tom started hooking up on the miracle fly and ended up bringing in two nice browns.  I didn’t fare so well and found myself at the butt of some good-spirited humor when it was all said and done in the parking lot that evening.

In all I had as much fun as I’ve had in a long time.  I got to see old friends, meet new ones, and catch a trout, not to mention that I fished three rivers in three days which isn’t an opportunity that manifests itself very often.  The ghosts of good days past also decided to collect their dues.  It happens like that sometimes and there just isn’t anything you can do but enjoy yourself and remember that if it was always easy it’d just be plain boring.



~ by troutdoctor101 on February 22, 2011.

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