Trip Report: Giant Arkansas Brown Trout on a Meaty Mouse Pattern


Written by: Phil Monahan

Tommy Lynch in AR

We all know that monsters come out after midnight, and this “super donkey”
brown trout smacked a White Belly Mouse on the surface.

photo courtesy Tommy Lynch

[Editor's Note: Tommy Lynch, owner of The Fish Whisperer Guide Service hosts a trip to Arkansas’ White River once a year, and he recently sent us these photos and report.]

We head south from Michigan in search of trout that are of a different age and size — true “super donkeys”! But after the worst drought in three decades, the streamer game on the White wasn’t producing the way we are accustomed to, and we were forced to adapt. So we went to “The Dark Side” with some trusty Michigan patterns, including Lynch’s White Belly Mouse. (Here’s a recipe for tying your own.)

Tommy Lynch in AR

Lynch’s White Belly Mouse is not designed to catch average brown trout. Only the big,
aggressive ones are going to take on this meaty offering.

photo courtesy Tommy Lynch

Though you need a bit of a screw loose to fish the night shift in February, it can pay off, as you can see from these pictures. This fish was taken on the surface at midnight with a White Belly Mouse. Tied just a bit larger to accommodate the oversized predators the White RIver can host, the fly tempted this 30-inch-plus brown trout that weighed about 11 pounds. When the fish took the fly is sounded like someone had thrown an dog in the water just in front of me. I stripped up and felt a head shake that tested the blue 8-weight’s backbone, and then the beast proceeded to trash the calm of the midnight water’s surface. The battle took a little longer average, and guide Alex Lafkas and my friend Bob Hinds managed to trek some pretty tough river bottom to meet me for victory in the time it took to tame the toad!

Tommy Lynch in AR

Huge browns are generally nocturnal, so you’ve got to go over to the “Dark Side” to catch them.

photo courtesy Tommy Lynch

No other place that I have seen boasts such a population of amazing stream browns, as they are allowed to grow and feed all year thanks to the unnatural dynamics created by Bull Shoals Dam! High in color and character, each large male evolves into its own predatory instinct to better suit its preferred prey. To catch one of these donkeys on the surface, with a huge mouse pattern, is an incredible experience.

Share this with your friends:






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>