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Phil Lilley
Phil Lilley

2015 Jigfest Reports

Bill and I just got home from our White River trip. Yes, we came home early because Bill has a guide trip in the morning.  But we fished all day yesterday and this morning.

We started at the Norfork Tailwater ramp at 8 am.  We met Brad Smith, fishing guide for that area.  Brad helped us the past couple of years at our Healing Waters event and invited us to fish.

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We launched and headed to the dam.  They were running water, lake level at 378.5 feet.  I was throwing a 3/32nd oz sculpin jig and Bill had an egg fly/San Juan Worm combo under a float 8 feet deep.  I caught a couple small rainbows right off the bat.  Bill - nothing.

The water was brown like Taney's was a few weeks ago.   We floated on down with some success.  We drifted down to McClelland's and boated back up.  Caught a crappie at the line and another small rainbow.  We drifted down past the handicap access this time before deciding to calling it.  Caught a few small rainbows but it just wasn't worth staying.  We thought the White would produce better so pulled out and headed to Norfork.

We stopped and grabbed a bite to eat at Heidi's Ugly Cakes & Sandwich Shops.  Nice place, good food and great gal - Heidi!  Definitely a place to visit if you're in the area.

Headed to Rim Shoals on the White.  Water was cleaner and better color.  We started at the ramp and drifted down throwing 3/2nd oz jigs.  Colors used:  sculpin/ginger, brown/orange. ginger and white.  Caught fish on most colors but they were scattered.  We drifted down to the mouth of Crooked Creek and boated back up.  This time we drifted a new route and off the point of an island on a gravel drop, I saw a rainbow swipe my jig.  Cool!!  It was a nice one.  But Bill hooked one at the same time and Brad went to help him net his fish.  When he turned and saw what I had he exclaimed, "That a nice rainbow for the White!"

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It was broad and colored like a male rainbow getting close to spawn.  Measured 18-inches according to my Photarium.

We ended the day with maybe 24 trout between us, including a pretty cutthroat Bill caught.  Great day, good company on an awesome river!

Back at the lodge, guys started coming in from fishing and arriving for the weekend's trip.  We stayed at Riley's Station outside Buffalo City on the White.  We ate, watched a great football game and sent to bed.

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This morning, Bill and I headed to Wildcat Shoals access to meet Brad.  We put the boat in at 9 am and yes it was still chilly!  The breeze was moving the fog up river again but the sun quickly warmed everything up.

We both threw a jig this time and we switched to a heavier weight because the water was running much harder than yesterday.  There was quite a bit of debry in the river too - weeds, leaves and sticks washed in the lake from the edges and rising water.  We drifted down and worked the bank and caught a few trout - one real pretty 13 inch brown came it.

We headed back up and past Wildcat, on to the Narrows and tried our luck up there.  Bill put on his float and fly jig.  Neither of us had another bite.

We packed up at noon and headed back.  Don't know why the trout were as fussy as they were... but that's fishing.  I bet the guys tear them up tomorrow!

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