Two Glorious Days On The White River

Let’s get started!

After spending three days in Little Rock Arkansas attending the annual Outdoor Writers Association Of America conference Dave Zumbaugh and I headed north for Mountain Home and the fabulous White river.

Headquartered at Riley’s Station where the Buffalo River meets the White, Miles’ son Gavin drove us up to Rim Shoal. Dave and I stayed out of the way while Miles and Gavin launched the battered 20’ johnboat.  With Dave and I safely aboard we motored upstream through heavy fog to Redbud Shoal, then started our drift back downstream throwing two-fly rigs…and catching trout.

When we had drifted through a particularly productive piece of water Miles would fire up the 9.9 hp Mercury and take us back upstream so we could drift it again…and again…and again until it stopped producing and we moved on downstream to the next hot spot.

We fished through the popular Rim Shoal area, on down through Lower Rim Shoal, catching and releasing 11’ to 16” rainbows with an occasional cutthroat or brown in the mix. Dave and I both playing a trout at the same time and keeping Miles busy with the net became almost commonplace.

The afternoon fishing was cut short about 2:30 when a violent electrical storm sent us grabbing for rain jackets. Our race downstream was briefly interrupted when the cowling blew off Miles’ outboard motor. After a few unsuccessful circles trying to find it we gave up and hauled ass for the safety of Riley’s Station.

Fishing in the fog

Hot flies of the day were red San Juan worms tied on jig heads by the Riley’s twelve-year-old daughter Jalen, orange egg patterns and #16 zebra midges. And they proved just as effective the next day.

Dave fighting the big one

This little White River cutthroat fell for an orange egg pattern

Dave displays his rainbow trout tattoo

One of many “Twofers”.

 

Even Geezers can catch fish on the White.

We had hoped to spend Day Two between Buffalo Shoal and Riley’s Station but the storm that had driven us off the water yesterday had turned Crooked Creek into a torrent of mud so once again we put in at Rim Shoal and immediately started boating and releasing trout. Looking for shade anyplace we could find it we pulled to shore at mid-day and once again enjoyed one of Miles’ (or maybe Michelle’s) gourmet lunches.

Somehow during our downstream float, happily bouncing off rocks and catching trout, Miles discovered the entire lower unit of the Merc was missing. This didn’t mean we were dead in the water but it did mean less power. So Dave and I continued to catch fish while Miles deftly maneuvered the big johnboat around rocks to avoid further damage. When we reached Crooked Creek and the inflow of muddy water we stowed the rods  and, tired but happy,  limped on down to Riley’s Station.

It’s always fun to spend a day on the river with outfitter/philosopher Miles Riley. This was Dave’s maiden voyage on the White. He’s already scheming to go back and I hope I can tag along. Meanwhile if you’d like to catch a mess of trout, see some beautiful Arkansas scenery or just relax in a nice, quiet cabin, check out Miles and Michelle’s website www.rileysstation.com. They’ll be looking for you!

 

 

This way to Riley’s Station

Mile’s and some old geezer.

Miles & Dave. Lunch break

The old man and the river

All but three photos by Dave Zumbaugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing On the White River

Long time, no blog. Apologies to my loyal followers …both of you.

Another fun two days on the White River with outfitter and philosopher Miles Riley. No huge wall-hangers but enough action…mostly rainbows… to keep the days interesting.

White River Beach

The first morning Riley’s son Gavin drove us to Rim Shoal where Raleigh Eggers and I stayed out of the way while Miles launched hi battered johnboat and we motored upstream toward Redbud shoal in dense fog, picking up a trout or two along the way. Floating back downstream, fishing was uncharacteristically slow through Rim shoal and lower Rim but picked up as the fog lifted. We finished the day in Riley’s home water. The bite had slacked off considerably but Raleigh and I were too pooped to care. Besides, a cold drink and a hot shower were beckoning.

White River Brown

Next morning, after a false start due to lightening, we motored from Riley’s Station upstream to buffalo shoal where we spent the entire day boating and releasing eleven to fourteen inch rainbows, most of which took a #16 sow bug imitation tied by Miles and Michelle’s 11-year-old daughter Jalen.

Lunch on the White River

After drinks in Raleigh’s “party room” at the Mountain Home Days Inn we headed for nearby Colton’s Steak House where we ate both nights. After dinner we retired to our separate rooms (Raleigh snores something awful) to rest up for the five hour drive back to Kansas City next day.

Want some beautiful Arkansas scenery with a mess of trout thrown in? Check out Miles and Michelle’s website at RileyStation.com. or email Miles at info@rileysstation.com.

The White-hot White River

Two days on the White River with outfitter/philosopher Miles Riley is what Arkansas trout fishing is all about.

We put in Wednesday morning at Rim Shoal and floated down past Shoestring Shoal to Riley’s Station where the Buffalo River meets the White, catching rainbows and a few cutthroats all the way. I don’t count fish but we must have boated and released at least two dozen.

Tandem rigs with pink San Juan worms, #20 bead head Prince nymphs, (pardon me…the nymph formerly known as Prince), or black #18 zebra midges worked all morning.

We found some shade and ate our shore lunch (‘cause we shore were hungry), then continued down river. The fish didn’t mind the 90-degree midday heat and the bite stayed good all afternoon. We called it quits at 4PM while I still had enough energy to drive back to Mountain Home.

Next day we motored upstream past  towering bluffs on the left and stopped at Buffalo Shoal where we stayed all day. With action like this, why leave? We added something new to the arsenal: a midge developed by Steve Hegstrom called a Scarlett O’Hare. With this and the San Juan worm  I proceeded to boat and release about 40 or 50 rainbows and cutts. The Hegstrom nymph was getting pretty ragged by mid afternoon so we traded it for a little gray bead head scud – Miles just called it his Guide fly – and continued to catch trout including several measuring between fifteen and seventeen inches.

On one cast I hooked and landed a cutt and a rainbow, one on each fly. Then several casts later it happened again but this time one fish threw the hook before being netted.

It’s hard to beat trout fishing like this. If you want to go, contact Miles or Michelle at http://www.rileysstation.com .

 

Bluffs along the White River

Located just upstream from the confluence of the White and Buffalo rivers in northern Arkansas, these majestic bluffs never cease to amaze me as I boat with guide Miles Riley up toward Buffalo Shoals for some excellent trout fishing. As I look up I used to imagine an Indian standing up there with a bow and arrows looking down on a wagon train passing below. Now I imagine a redneck standing up there with an AK-47 guarding his meth lab. Seriously, if you like beautiful Arkansas scenery and good trout and smallmouth bass fishing check out Riley’s Station. http://rileysstation.com .

Two days on Arkansas’ White River

Two days on Arkansas’ White river with outfitter Miles Riley of Riley’s Station is like two days in trout fishing heaven. On a recent two-day float I caught Lots of rainbows, one brown and a couple of cutthroats. No monsters but fast and furious  action and no crowds. To top it all off we saw two bald eagles and several ospreys.

 

If you want to go, check out the Riley’s Station website http://www.rileysstation.com .