Friday, April 2, 2010

Make the Best of It.

When I thought about fishing the Ark today, I imaged a dark, cloudy day, occasionally spitting snow and about 1:00 or so the BWOs would come off and the fish would rise to them in the clear, low water.  Well  today was not quite what I had imaged.  After a few days of warm weather, some of the lower elevation snow was melting and made it's way to the river.  While it was slowly dropping and clearing, it definitely  was not how I had hoped it would be.  The day started clear and cold.  The wind was blowing as it always does this time of year.  The water was higher and off color and the fishing was a bit harder than usual.   After about an hour of fishing I had a terrible thought.  Could a skunk be coming?  I haven't been skunked since leaving the Rio Grande in New Mexico where on any given day it could happen, but on the Arkansas?  Really? I realized this is possible but not for me.  I have invested way too much time in this passion and since this was not the Rio Grande, I didn't have to worry.  The fish would come.  Soon the first fish and second fish were found in a usual spot and on a usual fly, the cream caddis larva.  With the weather hot and cold, snow and bright sunshine, the fishing was still slow.   I kept telling myself to throw on a woolly bugger, as I love to fish them in this type of water and in these conditions.  When I did, it was pretty intense.  Follows right to the rod tip and then they were gone.  I knew I would see lots of fish this way and also assumed I could hook up with 1 out of 4 or 5 follows and I did.  The rest of the day was spent this way all the while I was waiting for the BWOs to start emerging.  I saw about a handful and that was it.  The sun would come out after a few minutes and the bugs would disappear along with the clouds.  I didn't see a single rise all day long and after a good day on the water and some testing of new patterns, I called it a day and headed home.  Some days, no matter how bad, are just plain better than sitting in front of a computer at work.    
Love the old cars in the canyon.  Do they ever move them?
First fish on the bugger.
Lots of these in the water.  
Pretty little things.  
Although I see these the most, I still throw a cream colored one and they eat it.  Hmm, I wonder if they would eat an olive one????
About a size 14
There were only a few of these out today.  I didn't see a single rise today.  
Caddis are out, but not many.
Testing out a new hopper pattern.  It floated well but it needs to be tweaked a bit before summer.
This is a cool pattern that I want to use more on this river.  It's a Jeremy's Arizona Prince.
I eventually hooked up with a few of these.
 Currently my favorite fly on the Ark. My cream caddis larva.


  1. What part of the Ark did you fish? The "cream" caddis larva sure looks green in the picture. Looks like a dubbed thorax, the body looks like midge lace or aobut a receipe?

  2. Really like those Baetis nymphs. They are elegant. Have you tried the Juanaddis yet for floatability?

  3. Can't ever go wrong with a black bugger,during spring time with high off colored water,Swing one like a stellie fly with a smaller nymph tied onto the hook bend.

  4. Jim,

    I did tie it on and floated it for a while. I think it is going to work just fine. When it got pulled under, it popped back up just like a cork. More testing to be done.

    Take a look at an earlier posting that I did for the chartreuse and cream colored caddis. The recipe is listed. The cream color loses a bit of color in the photos, but they are cream.
    Thanks guys.

  5. David,

    The black bugger is one fly I never want to be without. Not only does it work, but it makes fishing a real treat by being able to see fish roll on them or to chase them down and at the last second grab it. Lots of fun!