Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rockbridge and Norfork 1-24-2012

Jim and I had a outstanding and productive fly fishing trip last Tuesday through Thursday. We hit up Rockbridge the first day, which is a private, middle of nowhere South Missouri trout stream where they charge more to fish but stock much bigger fish. We both caught some fat monsters, both of us catching 2 over 20 inches. I managed to catch my biggest rainbow trout ever down by the bluffs in the upper area; I'm guessing 21 inches and about 6 - 7 pounds. Definitely the fattest fish I've ever caught; couldn't grab the side of the fish in one hand. These fish are more in the shape of footballs. We caught tons of fish in several areas, one above the upper bluffs and the other at the start of the lower bluffs. The best flies tended to be black wooleys, glo balls, and bedspreads. The weather was perfect, at 60 degrees and sunny; water was pretty clear and a little low. 4X tippet was still the size of the day (still broke a few off). Evening meal at the restaurant was awesome as usual.

Then the next day we drove down to the Norfork River in Arkansas, fishing the Handicap access until late afternoon (they had shut off the generators around 9:00, although the water never seemed to go all the way down while we were there). Fishing was really good up by the island, and we slayed them again. Besides a multitude of rainbows, we caught 5 browns and 3 cut-throats between us (I caught the biggest cut I’ve ever caught). Same flies worked well here. No luck in either stream with dries or sow bugs / scuds. Weather here was a little cooler and we fought sprinkles for a few hours, and it seemed to get cooler as the day went on (mostly in the 40s). We stayed at the Comfort Inn in Mountain Home, which has always been nice.

Well after those 2 great days, it didn't bother us too much that the third day was a bust. We decided to risk fishing Taneycomo on Thursday on the way home, as they had been shutting off the water around 10:00 a.m. for several days and the web site predicted the same for this day. After getting there though, they never did shut off generation, so we didn’t fish. We hung around for a while visiting the hatchery, saw the newer fish ladder, watched construction on the new visitor center just above the dam, hit the fly shop, and had a nice meal at Danna's BBQ. Then we headed home.
Here are a few photos below, or for the complete slide show, go to:

Mill at Rockbridge

Jim & rainbow trout

New structure at Handicap, Norfork

Brown at Norfork