Friday, September 7, 2012

Arkansas Trout Schemes

Any time my travel path swings close to the Ozarks, it's a pretty safe bet that at least a little trout fishing will fall into my plans. Next week is no different, and some plans are already in place. Nathaniel will spend an afternoon plying the trout-loaded waters of Dry Run Creek, and we'll spend a day together on the White chasing brown trout with veteran guide Donald Cranor.

I don't get to wet a line at Dry Run, a youth-only trout stream and an absolute Arkansas treasure. I just walk behind Nathaniel with a camera in my hand and gawk at all the trout. I don't mind. It's fun watching him catch so many nice fish, and I always get a bunch of great photos. And if we need a change of scenery at any point, the upper Norfork tailwater (where I can fish) is only footsteps from the Dry Run access. I'm also really looking forward spending a day on the White with Donald. He is one of the best fishermen on the river, and I have not been in his boat for several years.

Now I just need to figure out  whether I can realistically squeeze any other trout adventures into the same stop. If the water will low, maybe a little night fishing below Norfork or Bull Shoals Dam? Both the White and the Norfork yield jumbo browns on summer nights. Major considerations -- beyond water levels -- are exactly when we leave home and the need to sleep some at the front end of an 8-day trip that involves a 2,000 or so miles of driving.

By this time next week, Nataniel and I will be settled in Kansas at a music festival, which is actually our primary destination and the reason for the trip, and whatever we accomplished with the trout will be all memories. We won't have to live long on just the memories, though, because we're stopping to do more Arkansas fishing on the way home!

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