I'm heading to Arkansas tomorrow to chase after disappointment once again. The draw this time of year is the "shad kill." Basically something happens in the reservoirs and a bunch of shad die off in the spring and float to the surface. The currents eventually bring masses of shad to the outlets of these reservoirs where they get sucked down through the dam, through the turbines, and into the tailwaters below. When this happens, the fish get off the midges and scuds and onto big white flies - things like white zonkers, buggers, and even white poppers.
The thing that we always hope for is that this coincides with a time when the power company decides to generate at the dam. If they generate for long enough, the river flows stay up enough to get the fish moving around in conjunction with bringing enough of the shad through to get them looking for the ground up chunks of dead fish! They never seem to generate when I'm there so the fishing is usually characterized as catching oodles of small rainbows (10-14") using some pretty technical nymphing techniques.
We fish a lot of small tungsten nymphs under a stick on indicator about 2-4 feet up from the fly. It's mostly sight fishing - so it still works out to be pretty fun. BUT, I'm hoping for high water and dead things floating down the river!
I'll be primarily fishing around Bull Shoals dam on the White River around Mountain Home, Arkansas. We always have a great time anyway and it will be good to see my uncles and a bunch of friends I only see every other year or so.
So, I'm working in the shop today tidying up loose ends - which there are a ton of - and trying to get all my crap in order. Packing lots of photo gear and going to fish with the new Access rods for a few days - I'll shoot out a review of these when I get back too. They sure seem pretty nice for the price at this point. Also, I sent out an e-mail newsletter last night, here's a link to that . And don't forget that you need a 2011 license to fish now! And portions of the upper Madison are now closed until the 3rd Saturday in May.