OT: Day 4 at the Two River Fly Shop

I am finding out the Memorial Day holiday in the fly shop is slow. I am tying flies and filling the bins.

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Surprising! I guess the real fishermen know when to avoid the water, huh? :grin:

I have always thought the best time to fish was Monday or Tuesday. The tourists (what I call weekend folks) are all gone and you have the river to yourself.

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How’s the water release from Bull Shoals? When I was out at the property yesterday, the lake had to have been up 25 or 30 feet from the rain.

They have been running lower flows. Not minimum flow, but two or three units (sometimes 4 or 5 in the late afternoon) for much of the day. The idea is that the farmers have had time to get in their crops in east Arkansas (the delta area) and even with the high rain totals this spring, they have let the five major impoundments fill up. That’s Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals, Norfork and Greers Ferry. Generally, when June 1 hits, they don’t worry about the farmers anymore. They will turn it loose and if they flood, they can use their crop insurance. I’m not saying that’s exactly the way it works, but it sure seems like it’s been that way of late.

The fishing on the White River below Bull Shoals (for 10 miles) has been incredible this spring. The caddis hatch has been epic. It’s still going on. It’s been an incredible time for the fly fishers and not as good for bait fishing. The brown trout are completely focused on the caddis hatch. They generally feed sub surface where the pupa and nymphs are prolific.

I’m a wade fisher so I have not been out too much. My April and May were extremely stressful and hectic as I closed up my time with the magazine. I condensed what would normally be 7-8 weeks of work into 3-4 weeks because it had to be done before my retirement.

Yes, I did call it retirement. I had no thought of doing anything with Hog + despite what some thought went down. And I still am not fulltime with anything. I won’t go to games and will not over load myself with work at any point in the fall. I should have a 3-day weekend off every week and plan to take off 3-4 complete weeks. I have never had weekends off in the fall in the last 50 years. Think about that. Everyone else enjoys fall. It’s been a grind for me my entire life. Work is work.

I’m coming up on two trips in June and another week when I have guests. So I don’t expect I’ll work more than 4-5 days in June as far as writing.

I am hopeful that when low water returns in the fall (or the hopper fishing hits), that I will be able to fish quite a bit. Until then, my fishing will be out of state (Colorado and Wyoming) or I’ll play golf.


Fall fishing with beautiful days will be good, even if the bite is slow.

Not fishing, but I finally found a driving range in Wilmington open to the public and went out there to hit a big holiday bucket of balls. Went up through my irons from PW to 4, then went over to the chipping green and worked on sand shots and lob wedges, then putted for a while, then went back to the tee and pulled out the big gun for about 15 balls.

Given the heat index of 95, should have gone out earlier. Definitely worked up a sweat. Standing in a fly fishing stream sounds pretty good right now, even if I never got a nibble (which is a reasonable prediction).

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Hit balls at the practice range with Sarah after 10 hours at the fly shop. She amazes me. She had not hit a ball in 14 years. She has a natural full swing. She took my driver and cranked a few at 225 - into the wind. I was about 30 yards longer with my best. Her 7 irons were about 130. I tweaked her stance and grip (that last made her uncomfortable but I insisted there is only one grip) to get her square to the target.

Her swing is long. She turns her shoulders and has a lot of power. I wish I could do that.

We have not done this in years, but we like to play a 2-person scramble. She plays the lady tees. I am still at the whites for two more years. But we threaten par. If she hits her drives solid then we will be close to the green and hit the par fives in two. Fun. I’m going to get her some lessons this summer with Todd Dunnaway at Paradise Valley for chipping and putting and sand play. She should play more golf.


I think what I really needed was the practice from the bunker. The couple of times I played this year, I could not get out of the sand properly. I either chunked it or bladed it over the green. Still did that a few times yesterday but also hit some decent bunker shots. So there’s hope, but it will need work.

Clay, you may remember 20 years ago I talked to you about a Scottish golf trip. I’ve got that bug again. But I’ve definitely got to fix my bunker play before that happens, or just resort to the hand mashie. Got to save up a lot of money too, but the golf needs to improve.

At what age do you move up a tee box. I’m 67 and finally moved up from whites, not a ton of difference but on a couple of holes it helps. Takes driver out of your hands on a couple of holes.

Clay finally broke down and went to the driving range about a week ago for the first time in 3 and 1/2 years best I can remember of not playing. Pretty much like I’ve never even played LOL I knew it would be. Really ugly with the wedges and the driver not too bad with the irons to be totally honest. I think driver was the worst my back is really tight shoulder feels great was not a problem.

I went back today hit the irons well, driver still got lots of work to do, just a lot of club to try to keep on track for me right now. I went over to the green off to the side and threw down several balls and tried to chip a little bit and that’s obviously got a lot of work to do too but I am getting the itch to get back out there and practice and eventually get out to the course,some of my old buddies have been wanting me to come out there, and I finally gave it and said okay I’ll give it a shot and I will probably get back on the course in a couple more weeks of practice.


It will come back Billy. I promise. You will adjust to flexibility issues.

Our club says move up from white to senior tees at 70. I got two years to go.

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Yeah I will work my game back into form the more I practice and the flexibility I think it will come back some as well and if I start stretching a little bit that will also help. Yeah I’m not going to play to where it’s not any fun…I don’t mind admitting I can’t hit it near as far as I used to could.

My daughter in law is playing golf some with my son in Kansas City. They both called us Sunday night to give us some “good news”…my wife thought they were telling us they were pregnant! But turned out she made 2 pars on 9 holes. She’s a former softball player and Michael’s working on her swing, trying to get her left foot stable from softball so she gets on left side better. But man has she got some swing speed and power for a lady! I bought her some golf shoes for Christmas and told her no more sandals or girly flip flops when she plays. I’ve got her a lesson waiting with Sam Burns’ instructor at Squire Creek when she comes home next time, so she’s trying to get better. Short game needs help, but all of us need that!
All of us are amazed at her speed and length when she hits one pure.

The thing that gets me is that now and then I make a soft fluid shoulder turn (rare for sure) and a wedge or 9 iron jumps and I’m 15 yards deeper than I want. Can’t count on it though.

Athletic muscles and strong legs in golf is money. An athletic female will hit it a long way. Sarah was almost giddy when she caught some right with my PXG driver. And she really liked the Mizuno 19 degree. The shorter length of that club was easier for her.

We will have a fun night at Top Golf soon. It’s a Christmas gift card that is burning a hole in my wallet.

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Yeah that’s the thing that will get you in trouble on the golf course on the days that you’re a little more flexible you might find your distances are not right. I guess that’s what we do when we get a little bit older we trade the good for the bad LOL.

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