Scott's Outdoor Blog

Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend on the White River

Another weekend trip down to Northern Arkansas is in the books.  The plan was to take the kayaks down there and float the Buffalo River.  I've always heard good things about the Buffalo and have been wanting to give it a shot.  But with low water forecast on the White and North Fork for the first time in months, the Buffalo would have to wait.  Rachel and I skated out early from work on Friday afternoon, and after five hours of driving we pulled down the dusty rock road to Rim Shoals resort where a "camper cabin" awaited us.

Under normal circumstances we would be unloading a tent and sleeping bags from the back of the Carp Ride about now, but this weekend we were meeting up with some friends who were in another cabin at Rim.  This way we could walk over to their place in the evenings and enjoy gourmet cooking and a maintenance-free campfire.  The campfire crowd didn't retreat to their respective sleeping quarters until half after midnight, which made watching the morning sunrise an unlikely event.

Saturday morning we had the kayaks unloaded at the Cotter Access just before 10 a.m..  The weather couldn't have been better as we pushed off the rocks, beginning our kayak's maiden voyage on the White.
The water was incredibly clear, and we were able to witness thousands of fleeing fish as we floated downstream.  The highlight of Saturday wasn't even the fishing, it was floating right over a whale of a blue cat lounging in what was left of his "hole" somewhere between Cotter and Rim.  That fish honestly had to be in the 80 lb range, but he had no interest in my caddis-green soft hackle.  We the first couple miles just enjoying the float.  I'm sure there were fish to be caught, but we were holding out for more interesting water.  Our first stop was the island at Roundhouse, and a few fish were landed along the way.

Back on the water we floated over the shoals to another long stretch of wide, flat water, where we enjoyed our first 'yak lunch, and I played a bit with my new GoPro camera.  In the future I plan on doing a lot more with this thing, but I hadn't taken enough time to familiarize myself with it's 2 buttons yet to mess with it much Saturday. 

It wasn't long until we were down to the Rim Shoals C&R area.  We stopped and fished the upper shoals, then floated past our cabin down to the firsts island where we beached the boats and enjoyed a couple more hours of fishing.

We'd had our fill of fishing for the day, and camp was only a few hundred yards of upstream paddling away.  It was a perfect Ozark evening for popping open a Busch Light and watching the sun go down.  A feast of dry-aged steak kabobs, smoked rainbow trout, along with mussels in a creamy tomato and vodka reduction awaited us.  It really doesn't get much better than that.

Another late night around the fire made for another late-start to the morning.  I'd wanted to head over to the North Fork and float from Quarry Park down to the Handicap Access, but with the drive back to KC ahead of us, we left the kayaks on the rail rack and walked in at the Ackerman Access.  It took awhile to figure the fish out, but finally a #18 orange scud started bringing fish to hand.

This was the first time in the 6 years of going to the area that we lucked out with low water on both the White and North Fork ALL WEEKEND!  The weather was fantastic, and although we didn't catch a fish over 16", most of these fish put up an insane fight for their size.  We'll definitely be going back sooner than later!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Unplanned Detour

It's hard to fish when you can't find Toto.  I found the weather this past weekend more prone to sight-seeing than fly-fishing.