Looking Forward: Caddis Hatch

     Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Fly Fish Arkansas Web Site.

       The last week of March and into April is big fish time on the White River. This is when our caddis hatch is hot and heavy. To most fly fishers a caddis hatch conjures up the excitement of dry fly fishing. Admittedly fishing on the surface is a ton of fun. However; for every caddis taken on the top many many more are being taken below the surface. Especially the brown trout and that is a good reason to nymph fish the White River at this time.
       Fishing this caddis hatch is best done from a boat to cover more territory. Generally two tungsten beaded flies are used on 5x tippet with a small indicator on rocky bottoms where the caddis like to hang out. Little or no generation is preferable and much more productive.  Jim will know where to find these areas and how to fish them. Generally the two weeks in the middle of April are the best times and avoiding crowded weekends will increase the odds of catching better fish.  It also helps if there is some sunshine and not much wind.  The afternoons can sometimes be better but sometimes the hatch gets pretty intense and it is your flies competing for the thousands of real caddis.  Then it is time to go to another area of the river.

Jim has been guiding on the White River Since November of 1995.  This website first appeared in 1998.  All images and text are may be used with written permission.   If you would like to book a fly fishing trip please also see our policies:  http://flyfisharkansas.com/guided-trips 





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Celebrating 20 Years on the Web and The Shad Kill Question~Dale Fulton Passes

This website was created 20 years ago this year.  It started out as a static site with with very little information.  Over the years and with help from Mick Spaulding and Matt Tucker the current iteration exist.  I hope you have enjoyed the information over the past 20 years.  This November I will celebrate my 23rd year of guiding.  Thanks to you it is still here.  


What is this you ask?  Jimmy T. when are the shad gonna come through the dam?  

Over the past 22 years this question has become harder to answer.  Twenty two  years ago it was much easier to answer this question.  The White River pretty much got a shad kill like clock work.  Not so much the past 12 years so the answer I’ve been giving of late is this:  “My crystal ball is in the repair shop so I can’t answer that question.  In the past I’ve tried to predict a shad kill.”   I do sort of know this.  Generally the main lake temp needs to be at 41f.  One year the main lake was at 41f from the top all the way to the bottom and we did not get a shad kill. Go figure!!!  

See this article I wrote several years ago  http://flyfisharkansas.com/articles/the-shad-kill-fact-or-fiction

I’d love to see one happen as it is really good for the fish as it provides some great protein for some fast growth.   Not only do the conditions on the lake have to be right (whatever they are) but there also has to be generation.  Generally lots of generation.   

The interest in a shad kill seems to be really high this year given the number of phone calls, e-mails, and folks walking into the shop asking this question.  When I have proof I will post it here.  

The shad kill also used to be easy to fish as there was less pressure and almost no fly fisherman were there to experience this very unique situation.  Over the past 22 years the arsenal of flies I use has grown substantially to include the entire water column.  Many types of flies tied in white or white and gray will work.  Tie them or split shot them to work the entire water column.  

Dale Fulton former owner of Blue Ribbon Fly Shop and the lodge on the White River passed away recently.  What a gem that will be sorely missed by thousands of fishers.  

A Memorial Service for Dale Wilson Fulton of Cotter, Arkansas, will be 1:00 p.m., Friday, February 2, 2018, at the Blue Ribbon Fly Shop, 1343 East 9th Street, Mountain Home, with Reverend Harry Boyd officiating. A Gathering of Family and Friends will immediately follow the Memorial Service
Dale passed away January 25, 2018, in Cotter, Arkansas at the age of 68. He was born February 25, 1949, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the son of Joseph and Ferne Wilson Fulton. After growing up in Fayetteville, Dale made Cotter his home for the last 39 years. He married Ronna Birrell on May 16, 1986, in Cotter, Arkansas and owned and operated Blue Ribbon Flies and Fulton Lodge. He enjoyed fly fishing, sporting clays, making fine furniture, violins and knives. He loved his animals.

Dale is survived by his wife, Ronna Fulton of Cotter, AR; sister, JoAnn (Brian) Peterson of Cedar Creek, MO; nephew, Chris Kopek of Cedar Creek, MO; and father, Joseph Fulton of Fayetteville, AR.

He was preceded in death by his mother.

Memorials may be made to your favorite animal charity.

Arrangements are by Kirby and Family Funeral and Cremation Services.

To book a trip call Jimmy T. at 870-404-8906  I wake up at 4:00 AM and hit the sack at 7:00 PM


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