Last week my family and I went to. Arkansas for a getaway in the "natural state." We brought along our drift boat. On Monday we did our first float from winkley bridge to lobo landing. The first fish of the day was a 3" rainbow caught by me. My dad and I laughed and threw it back in. A few yards downstream I hooked a nice fish on a size 22 black zebra midge that was on 7x Tippett. It was jugs my luck that the fish wrapped itself around a log and broke off.
In the same run, my dad hooked a nice brown and we landed it. With that first brown we realized how healthy the fish in the river are. We continued floating picking up many fish. Just as the first brown, all of the fish were extremely fat. We were also surprised by how strong each fish was. When we would hook a 12-13" rainbow we thought we had a much bigger fish on. Later in the float I switched to a dry dropper with a stimulator/sow bug rig.
I was having descent luck with the stimulator and picking up fish regularly on the sowbug. With this rig I got my first double hook up. It was neat seeing a fish hit the stimulator and setting the hook and seeing two fish on! We caught fish all through the float, but no big ones. It was a 40-50 fish day.
On day two we did the same float. We picked ip fish all the way between put in and takeout. On this float I thought I had finally hooked the big one I was after. I was in the tailout of a small pool when I set the hook. Immediately I felt a big jerk and the fish took drag and ran through the riffle below me. I yelled for my dad to get a net. He did, but it wasn't the big one I thought I had. It was just a nice 16" rainbow. Once again this shows how healthy the fish are! We continued our float with many more fish. Today was much better than yesterday!
The next day we took a day off and went kayaking on the buffalo national fiver. It was such a beautiful place!!
On day 4 we did a different drift. We went from lobo landing to dripping springs which is the section below where we fished. This is where the big fish reports had been. This section is mainly deep slow water where bait fishermen thrive. We focused mainly on the log piles that were at the edge of the river. On this drift, my first cast of the day produced a stocker rainbow. I caught 3 more stickers quick, so we figured it would be a great day! We still hadn't gone more than 100 yards from the ramp. The next fish ended up being the big brown I was looking for! I was drifting my nymphs by the logs like we were doing. The fog was so thick that we could barely see our indicators. I was not sure whereby indicator was, so I decided to richest, but I had a nice surprise at the end of my line. When I hooked this fish he went wild. What surprised me was that when this fish ran, he did not go into the logs I hooked him out of. Instead he ran along them. This was the first trout to take me into my backing! I turned him away from the logs and got him into open water. We couldn't see him because he stayed deep. The first run was the only one. The rest of the fight was a stalemate with many head shakes thrown in. We finally got sight of the fish and continued to tire him out. Once he was ready we scooped him into the net and I had my personal biggest wild brown! He measured 20.5". This day ended up being my day. I caught around 30 this day where my dad maybe got 5. It was just my day! I was in a run that was along trees and caught 13 nice fish in one spot. This wasn't my dads favorite place, so he made the descision to float from winkley to lobo again.
On day five we had another good day. I managed to catch quite a few on an elk hair caddis with a dropper brassie midge. We did well in all of ourspotswe found. There was a father/son bait fishing duo that was at one of our favorite spots. I happened to not get and here while they were watching. When the boy finally caught one, they both kept looking at me and chuckling. I guess it was good to let them have their moment.
When they left we fished the area they were fishing and caught around 10, so I guess if they saw how well we were doing they wouldn't gave assumed we didn't know Mutch. This day we caught a ton of fish but no big ones. It was another 60+ fish day
The next day we went back to the buffalo and tried fly fishing for smallmouth. My dad caught a few smaller bass, but all I could get was sunfish. It was a weekend and was very crowded so it wasn't very easy. This was our last day.
Overall it was a great trip. My dad decided the little red was his new favorite river to drift. Next time we go we are going to stay by the nor fork and white. I will post pictures tonite