Doings of Late

Don NewtonDon Newton Senior MemberPosts: 431 Senior Member
Evacuated Springfield, IL on July 12 after coming to some unpleasant conclusions about a woman I loved and drove down to Heber Springs, AR.

Checked into the Quality Inn for four night. I began fly fishing the Little Red on July 13 (my late Father's birthday). Hit JFK Park first day, with little success, even on Ozark Angler guide sowbugs. Noticed a lot of bait fishing and trout harvesting activity, unchecked by DNR enforcement. Moseyed down to Cow Shoals only to be skunked in the mid-July sun. My son,Jack, sent me a post from Vacation Rental By Owner, Thanks to a cancellation I latched onto a fully equipped cabin, central HVAC for 6 nights at $650 + returnable deposit.


Trilda and Jim NcNeil kept my deposit for my return engagement, November 11 - 17, brown trout season, big brown trout! Monday morning after I checked out of the motel, dropped by the Ozark angler to be warmly welcomed by Dan Hudgins. Arranged a guide trip with George Born for Wednesday, 18 July. Chatted some three hours with the gang. Some clown brought up "Obamacare", and the fight was on. You never heard such hollering, yelling, huffing and puffing - but the three other guys were outnumbered by me and my rapier-like wit. Oh, the name-calling woulda made Mom force us each to bite on a cake of Ivory soap! Ended up laughing our heads off.

Called Teresa M., MD, to come up from North Little RockTuesday night. Teresa is a trusted friend of 27 years. She did after a stretch of 3 night shifts in the ER of the VA hospital. She crashed on her bed at 11:00PM; I crashed on mine at 11:30. Somehow we made it to our rendezvous with George Born at the flyshop at 05:56 (ohshitfiftysix Army time). George gave Teresa some preliminary instructions with the fly rod. He forced a Sage OO, 3-pc 7ft. flyrod into my hand and we were off to da River. Launched at Pangburn Access. Motored upstream to catch the forward edge and top of the crest of the water release. Not a strike. Soooo we motored further up stream from Pangburn. And, lo, I cast that sweet OO Sage, now equipped with a furled leader (constructed of tyeing thread), 6X tippet and George's special variant of the guide sowbug. Strike indicator went down, up came the first trout of the day! Then that little witch, Teresa caught the next two trout of the day ... and it went downhill from there. Dr. M. outfished me 7 to 1. Loved it!

One tired MD and her first trout.

We got off the River around 2:00-ish after a wonderful float. Teresa left for her home and work around 4:00-ish. Don't think floating for six hours is Dr. M's cup of tea. I know she enjoyed the fishing and, especially, the scenery and wildlife, flowers and the beauty of the River. She looks at the world with an artists eye - Teresa is an accomplished artist. So, too, is our guide, George Born. And a gentleman, a joy to fish with and a superb and patient teacher. He is a sailor, too.

On my last day at the cabin, George called to invite me to go sailing with him on Greers Ferry Lake, for about two hours. Well, it turned into one of the most enjoyable afternoon-into early evenings of my life. His lovely wife, Carol, prepared a nice lunch for us and we hit the water aboard S/V ABBI 2.

383_850x565_.jpg Here we come off a 50 degree tack followed closely by George's sailing instructor, George Yurbur aboard S/V Scessior. Carol Born is in the we're-gonna-die-mode. I'm on the bow with my Nikon D90 strap around my neck. The whole time on the bow, I maintained a 3-point contact with the vessel: Feet firmly planted on the deck (most of the time!) and arm or hand wrapped around the sail cable. On one tack, I lost footing on my left and came within a cable of going overboard. Much bruised by that. I think I spent about 3 wonderful hours on the bow. Earlier, we came off of one tack to be greeted by standing ovation from a group of younger folks on a party barge. A drop-dead-gorgeous blonde in an orange bikini caught my eye and other parts. Lordy, I did not have my camera ready!

The weather my entire stay was HOT - highs ranged from 102 to 108 degrees. Bank thermometer registered 112 one afternoon. But it seemed to be a dry hot. I sweltered when ever I was not wet-wading the River (warmish water) or not in da cabin.

Caught trout all up and down the River. Favorite place is a hole on the left side below Cow Shoals. Gin clear water, sight fishing or casting above the mats of algae and submerged plants. Mostly 'bows and some gorgeous brown trout. Wet waded the Cow and Libby shoals. George told me that Libby wasn't producing. Jack and I did quite well at Libby on #10 black w____y b_____s cast around/above structure and retrieved slowly. I soloed to Libby to try a variant of an Appalachian pattern (the name escapes me - old age, I s'pose). Standard strike indicator setup produced nothing. So I cast sans indicator, let the fly drift on its own and picked up trout on the swing. They struck shortly after the swing ended and the fly rose, perhaps, a little in the water column.

Left Heber Springs the next day and to be a guest in Teresa's home for a while. Jack took me out to his favorite fishing spot on the Little Maumelle River. At his suggestion, I had purchased a pair of Danner snake boots, lightweight. Glad I did. We fished along the bottom land, riparian, in some pretty snakey places with tall grass next the River bank. Air temperature was around 103 (been as high as 112 in North Little Rock). Had a rare rainstorm the night before. The water, normally clear, was muddied up. I caught nothing. Jack caught a gar and two very handsome largemouth bass.



Met a gentleman, Steve Harter from Grayson, GA at the Ozark Angler in Little Rock. He'd never fished the Little Red. Retired submariner with arthritis, he couldn't wade. Sooo we booked a trip with Tom Hawthorne for Thursday, 2 August. Awoke at oheffhundred to arrive at ohdayumhundred only to have the trip cancelled by vivid cloud-to-ground lightning.

The sky above The Ozark Angler in Heber Springs. 045_2_900x720_.jpg Rebooked for Wednesday, 8 August.

Well, Darling Daughter, Miss Suzanne Newton, and I camped out in at the Quality Inn Saturday night, 4 August, watched the Olympics too long, hit the beds and awoke at 04:45 to shower and to breakfast on a microwave egg concoction that I hope never to encounter again. George gave Suzy some preliminaries and we were on the River at 06:45. Suzy got the first hit; I caught the first 'bow; Suzy caught the next three fish and, as beforenwith ladies in my life, the little witch outfished me! Oh the smack talk was unbelievable, for George, that is. I'm used to my youngins. Nice to have grown, mature children who can dish it out and take it. Real love, that! George shook his head in amusement, mostly at my expense, "I'm just a spectator, not a witness." Darling Daughter is a hoot!



I regret that I do not have many pictures of my float with Steve Harter and Tom Hawthorne on a stretch of the Little Red that I would never have thought to fish. Basically we fished structure and microstructure on the River banks and bottom. Think wide River, slow water.

At exactly 8:32 I received a text message from my twin brother, Ron. He was in the Emergency Room with extremely low blood pressure and suspected congestive heart failure. Tom suggested that we could head back to the shop - no, because no one knows exactly what is going on in Owensboro, KY ER. At 1:00, sister-in-law, Vicki, called to report that Ron was in Intensive Care Unit. We finished out the float. I missed some good fish because my mind was elsewhere. I do hope to redo that float with Tom maybe next summer.

That night, Jack's main squeeze, Courtney, prepared dinner for Jack, Suzy and me. I told them about Uncle Ron. Next morning I bee-lined to the hospital in Owensboro to find Ron out of ICU and mostly alert and wondering what hit him. The upshot was a reaction to a newly-prescribed diuretic which drained him so much that his blood volume dropped. Blood pressure crashed and his heart was pumping overtime to try to catch up. He developed mild septicemia from a skin infection. Evidence suggests cytomegalovirus. Fortunately he was on antibiotic for sinus infection and that kept the blood infection at bay. It was a perfect storm of pathology that brought Ron Newton to within hours of death. He was in hospital for 6 days, being on the other end of medical care. Ron will go back to his office and clinic to practice general medicine to walk-ins and now regular patients. He delivered 9077 babies in Owensboro, three of which I was accused of delivering during my two week stay. He is now in a sort of emeritus status in the medical community, quite ready to help in deliveries if needed, and surgeries on an emergency basis. But for the observations of two nurses, a call to another physician, Ron would not have made it. He now continues to be the good physician, back at "work" this Tuesday.

With exceptions a major, personal disappointment and the biggest scare of my life, my doings have been really rewarding, enjoyable and comforting - downright relaxing and fun, in spite of the wear and tear on my body.

118_750x1000_.jpg 'Nuff said.


  • Don NewtonDon Newton Senior Member Posts: 431 Senior Member
    Friday night, John McCloskey, friend, brother and fly fishing guide,called to advise me that the Chattahoochee River would be in great shape for fishing. He suggested that we meet up at the unheard-of hour of 09:00! Can you believe that, nine-o'clock in the morning? Well, the water was dropping from generation from da Dam at Buford. We fished fairly high water and caught trout. Now the big deal is my top-secret BLUE/silver ribbed copper John variant - I wanted for a long time to fish my concoction on the deep channels of Abbotts Bridge section of da HOOCH. That fly, #12, produced a couple few bunches of 'bows! I missed many strikes early on. Hung and LDRed two giants, all on my 4wt Superfine. We shore-lunched in the boat, motored upstream to catch a bunch more with my 1wt Superfine. John tied on his special puplish fly with a #22 and later #20 zebra midge. I love that zebra midge! Fatigue set in and we called it a day around 3:50PM. Slept well last night. Hopper season on the Chattahoochee is on its way. Excited about that trip I am!
  • Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior Member Posts: 3,918 Senior Member
    terrific post, Don. Much more information packed than the 6 a.m. text messages that I've come to expect from you. ;-)

    I'll even forgive its fishing-related content, here on the off topic board.
  • FishTXFishTX Super Moderator Posts: 8,074 Senior Member
    I'll even forgive its fishing-related content, here on the off topic board.
    It's the best post in off topic in a long time.

    Great story, Don.
    "We have to find someone who can not only fly this plane, but who didn't have fish for dinner."

    Crooow:This music would work better with women in bikinis shaking all over the place. I guess that's true of any music really.
  • swizzswizz Senior Member Posts: 2,560 Senior Member
    Fantastic post Don, I really enjoyed that read and pics.
    So SICK of visiting "The Lodge" and seeing a page full of Mittens and Obama threads. Really, really, really gets old.
    Posts like this and Scott's pictorials keep me coming back.... most everything else is political garbage and boy's-club inside-joke crap here anymore. I get the jokes and all, it's just very passe now.
    Thank you!!!! Good stuff.
    All of your Trout are belong to me.
  • yataheyyatahey Senior Member Posts: 5,605 Senior Member
    Passe Riot.....

    Great post Don.
    "When the goin gets weird, the weird turn pro." Hunter S. Thompson
  • swizzswizz Senior Member Posts: 2,560 Senior Member
    yatahey wrote: »
    Passe Riot.....

    Great post Don.
    You are the disease... not the cure.
    All of your Trout are belong to me.
  • creekguycreekguy Senior Member Posts: 3,914 Senior Member
    Loved the post.
    I had a 5:30 am date a week ago friday with a guide a friend arranged for. We ended up on Tarryall Creek In South Park, on private water, supposed to be great. Three fishers; never got a strike all day. Guide was very apologetic. But i'm used to being skunked in late August, even if its for 150 smackers. BWO's are on deck on the Ark, life will be good.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 10,039 Senior Member
    Nice post, i hope everything settles down for you soon and works out well.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • bakerloobakerloo Banned Posts: 980 Senior Member
    swizz wrote: »
    You are the disease... not the cure.

    Swizz with a walk off home run.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory."
    Aldo Leopold
  • WetdogWetdog Senior Member Posts: 5,149 Senior Member
    great post, thanks. That OO is a sweet rod is it not?
    I find the assault on free thought disturbing,
    I find the willingness to give it up frightening.
  • Don NewtonDon Newton Senior Member Posts: 431 Senior Member
    Wetdog wrote: »
    great post, thanks. That oo is a sweet rod is it not?

    it is, definitely!!

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