Family Fishing in the Ozarks

So this past weekend my daughter and I did some fishing while we were at the Sowbug Roundup in Mountain Home Arkansas. When we arrived both the White river and the Norfork were releasing water so both rivers were high and not very wadeable. It was looking like that was going to be the case for the entire weekend.

I decided that I would take Callie to Dry Run Creek to catch her first trout on a fly. Dry Run Creek is a creek fed by the outflow of the Norfork National Fish Hatchery.

Norfork fish hatchery
Outflow from the hatchery

It’s nutrient rich waters allow the trout to grow large. It is a catch and release area only fishable by kids under 16 and the disabled, so the fishing is good. It makes me wish I was 15 again!

With such a great fishery it didn’t take long and she was catching fish.

Dry Run Creek rainbow
Callie’s first trout on a fly.

Dry Run Creek
She was having a great time!

We caught a few dead drifting a sow bug pattern, but most of them would hit it at the end of the drift when it would start swinging up.

Dry run creek rainbow trout
This one hit on the swing and almost blew the rod out of her hands!

She was ready for a bigger fish so we moved further upstream and found a good size trout for her to cast to. It took a few tries to get a good drift, but she finally hooked him. She was excited but did well fighting it.

He's been eating well!
He’s been eating well!

After a few more smaller fish she decided that was enough and we headed out so I could do some fishing. We stopped by the hatchery on the way out so she could see where the fish she was catching come from. I also gave her my opinion on wild vs hatchery fish, but well keep that between us.

Norfork Hatchery
Feeding them pellets!

We headed over to the Norfork river because there was no generation in the afternoon so it would be wadeable.

Norfork River
It was busy too!

I observed from a deck above the river for a short time and I could see some fish moving around but no one was catching anything. I had to give it a try anyways. After about an hour of trying everything I could think of I gave up and headed out fishless.

She was gloating on who caught fish today.
She was gloating on who caught fish today.

I got up early sunday morning and just had to give the fishing one more try. I was in luck and the White river had dropped overnight. I didn’t have much time so I decided to fish near Cotter access.

white river trout fishing
Cotter Access on the White River.

It was cold out and the fishing was slow, but as soon as the sun hit the water I started seeing some activity. The first fish was a little brown on a swung Tailwater soft hackle fly.

White River brown trout
White River brown trout

It wasn’t the fish I was hoping for but it’s better than nothing. I was able to catch a couple more rainbows before it was time to go home.

white river arkansas trout
Not the monster I was hoping for but still fun!

Overall it was a great weekend and I really enjoyed seeing my girl catch those fish! She is growing up fast and I hope she keeps on learning to fish and loving the outdoors!


2 thoughts on “Family Fishing in the Ozarks

  1. Well done Callie, I can still remember my first trout and that was over 35 years ago now!! looks like you got some competition there Don!!!

    1. Yes she outfishes me almost everytime we go!

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