Sunday, August 25, 2013

Holy Cow and BIG Browns

Holy Cow, I was able to finally make my first meeting of the Ozark Fly Fishers this last Thursday and boy was it ever a shock. I come from the small Roubidoux Fly Fishers Association from rural Waynesville, MO with a standing membership of 8 to 12 people. Attending to a summer with 60-70 people during a summer meeting night was quite a difference.

The Ozark Fly Fishers is a wonderful club. I have been a member for several years. Not because I was able to join the meetings, but more to help them accomplish some of the things they do. They are able to use their large size to perform some wonderful conservations and education projects. They are large enough that their Stream Team has adopted multiple streams for trash clean up and water quality monitoring. They have teamed up with the National Forest Service to create the Mill Creek Watershed Coalition, a project slated to make Missouri’s premier trout stream even better.

At the meeting was able to attend the guest speaker was Steve Dally from Dally’s Flyshop in Cotter, Arkansas. Steve has made a name for him self as a guide who specializes in large brown trout on the White and Norfork river in northern Arkansas. If you have even seen Steve tie, he creates some of the coolest articulated streamers…all about the size of your fist…and all designed to land those large eight to ten pound brown trout that he specializes in.

I was all psyched. Steve’s presentation was a large reason that I made the meeting. I was expecting to see BIG streamers catching BIG fish. Imagine my surprise when the first slide of Steve’s presentation pops up and there is a really BIG recently landed ten pound trout from the White River…with a size 12 dry fly in his mouth.  The greatest thing about fly-fishing is that you are constantly learning something new. Steve’s presentation discussed how the White River has begun to change over the last few years into a really good dry fly stream. And as expected he showed us some wonderful photography of those really BIG fish he is know for.

So what did I learn from going to this meeting. 1) There is power in numbers, even if you are not able to attend meetings, join a club or organization that supports fly fishing. The Federation of Fly Fishers, Trout Unlimited, or Conservation Federation of Missouri are just a few clubs to consider. 2) Never assume you know how to fish a river using only past experience. Many people who like to dry fly fish never went to the White River…It was just not know as a dry fly stream. They may want to reconsider. 3) There are some monster fish in the White River in Arkansas. Can you imagine a eight pound brown hitting a size 12 elk hair caddis?

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