A bit late getting this one out, but I went to Northern Arkansas a couple of weeks ago to fish the White and Norfork rivers. I've always wanted to check these out as they are known for having some hugies in them that are caught occassionally. My uncles go there every year with their club in KC, so this year I met up with them for some Arkansas fishing. My dad was there too, which was nice.
The rivers are like this...they fluctuate by feet and 1000's of CFS in a matter of minutes becuase of generators. The result is that you have to pay more attention to the generating schedule than the bugs, water temps, and general stream ecology/trout behavior BS. So, it was a bit different, even more than I expected.
The area is really beautiful, the water looked great, and the people are nice. The fish are mostly hatchery fish, you can tell this by the nubs where the pectoral fins should be. I don't have a good feel about the fishing there as it was my first time and they were in a drought so they werent' really generating. In low water, we nymphed with a samll weighted fly about 1-1.5 feet under about a third of a white palsa on 6X. It worked.
The best part of the trip for me was spending time with the old man on a river. Growing up, dad and I fished all over east Texas for bass in our Ranger boat (coincidentally originated in Flippin, Arkansas). I rememeber wanting to catch more fish than dad fishing some stupid lure that shouldn't work because he said it wouldn't. What I hold close to me today anout those days is the fact that those were the days when I began to understand life. I turned 35 a month ago and realized that I was 16 when my dad was 35. It's funny how life sneaks up on you and suddenly, like Mark Twain said, my dad got a lot smarter as I grew older.
As I walked across the White with my dad a couple of weeks ago, the sensation came across me that this really is what matters. I wanted a shot at a big fish, but I what I got was a reminder of how lucky I am to have had the privelidge of having such an amazing father. A 20 pounder woiuld have been nice, but a couple of days with dad on a river made me appreciate the opportunity rather than the catch.