Saturday, January 14, 2017

White River Return

First of the week, I'm loading up the fishing car and pointing it toward the Ozarks for a few days of chasing trout in the White River region. It's a bit of a haul -- 11 or 12 hours -- but a very familiar route. There's no practical flying option to the region, so I almost always drive, and I'm sure I've driven there at least 20 times. Predictably good fishing and very good services for anglers make this area a chosen destination for many media events, and it's somewhere I gladly drive to on my own because the fishing is outstanding and simply because I like the rivers, the people and the culture.

I fished the White last year around this time with a team of guides headed up by Donald Cranor, who I'm fishing with next week, but conditions were radically different. Last year's weather was classic January. Next week, highs are forecast to be in the mid-60s. We also had flood conditions last year, with eight spill gates at Bull Shoals Dam running around the clock, forcing some innovative drifting tactics. This year it's more likely to be unusually low for the season, based on what they have been doing with the water and on the mild forecast, so I'm guessing we might be casting Rebel Tracdown Minnows.

I don't actually know whether we'll fish the White, the Norfork or both from the boat, but I'm certain Donald will pick the best section for conditions. I'm also to plan a little fishing on my own the day I get to town and the morning before I start toward home, so I'd be surprised if I don't spend a little time on both rivers (plus maybe the Spring River, along the way).

What I do know is that I'm look forward to getting back to the White River area and catching some trout! I don't leave for a couple of days, but my gear is already gathered and ready to toss in the car.

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