Today was the second day of the 2017 SowBug Roundup here in Mountain Home, Arkansas. www.sowbugroundup.org. I arrived about 1pm, with my cousin and novice fly fisherman Jim Fleming in tow. The event, set up in a large building on the Baxter County fairgrounds, held true to its roots by featuring literally dozens of outstanding fly tyers showing their skills. A highlight for me was Mark Crawford’s presentation on fishing the Spring River. A local boy and self described hillbilly, Mark is a 14 year veteran of fly fishing the Spring. He offered great insights into the types of fish in the river, flies and techniques for catching them, and discussed the potential for active management to transform the Spring into a world class trout fishery. springriverfliesandguides.com
I was also privileged to visit with a White River legend, John Berry, of Berry Brother’s Guide Service. www.berrybrothersguides.com John also manages Dale Fulton’s Blue Ribbon Fly Shop. Mr. Crause, also with Berry Brothers, tied me a gorgeous sow bug, and Minnesotan (how did he even find Mountain Home?) Scott Nordby flychucker.blogspot.com tied an intriguing red “Sunny Chumb” for me. I visited with Tom Hoskins of HoskinsNets.com who offers beautiful hand made nets in a variety of woods, shapes, and sizes.
The event is so well organized, there are drawings and silent auctions, seminars, and of course, continual fly tying demonstrations. Sowbug Roundup runs one more day, from 9-5, and tomorrow I’m looking forward to meeting Dave Whitlock, seeing more flies tied, and attending at least a couple of seminars. There’s still time to get here!