Southern Council Logo

Announcing the 2014 Fly Fishing Fair Programs

October 3 – 5, 2014

Premium Programs are hands-on instruction with an expert in the topic/skill covered. These programs are offered only on Friday, October 3rd.

Additional casting programs for attendees and continuing education classes for MCCI's and CCI's will be added in the future.

Pre-registration forms will be posted here on August 15th. At that time programs will have been assigned a time and location and pre-registration will begin.

Jason Randall

Jason Randall — Author of 3 books, frequent speaker, contributor to fly fishing magazine publications since 2001, appearing regularly in American Angler since 2010. Jason Randall is a veterinarian certified in fish health and medicine. He lives in Woodstock, Illinois.

Trout Sense

Trout Sense; A Fly Fisher's Guide to What Trout See, Hear and Smell

Stackpole Books/ Headwater Books - To be released in August of 2014

A comprehensive presentation on trout's sensory capabilities, specifically what they see, hear and smell, and how to utilize that information to catch more fish. Ideas to improve fly choice and design enhance presentation and avoid the things that alert and alarm fish are discussed in detail.

The more you know about trout, the more fish you'll catch. This third and final book in Jason Randall's Fly Fisherman's Guide series explains the trout's world for fly fishers who want to know more about their quarry.

Randall sees fly fishing as both a physical and an intellectual pursuit. Like a coach sharing the scouting report on a rival team, Randall gives readers all the details about trout they need to prepare for their next contest on the water.

Randall's approach is both scientific and simple. He uses the latest research to answer common questions like where an angler should stand on the river bank and whether or not to use ultraviolet fly-tying materials.

Trout Sense is a smart, entertaining book that's guaranteed to change how you see trout—by revealing how they see you!

“Jason has done a masterful job of examining the senses of the trout… [His] comments on fly selection and angling tactics, which are riveted solidly to the scientific data, are a must study for all fly rodders.” — Dr. Gary A. Borger, Professor Emeritus, Biology, University of Wisconsin, Marathon County

Feeding Time

Feeding Time; A Fly Fisher's Guide to What, Where and When Trout Eat

Stackpole Books/ Headwater Books August 1, 2013

  • Trout eat a large variety of food items, and diets and feeding behaviors change over time
  • The more you understand about the fish and their ecosystem, the better skilled you will be at determining what fish are eating
  • You can learn to adapt your fishing strategies to trout's routines
  • Secrets for catching larger trout

Moving Waters

Moving Water; A Fly Fisher's Guide to Currents

Stackpole Books/ Headwater Press May 1, 2012

  • The most comprehensive book on how current affects fly fishing, the good and bad of drag, which casts and techniques to use when, and much more
  • Nymph fishing and accounting for variations in current speed at different depths
  • How even small movements of water can change your fly's movement, and what to do about it
  • The effects of turbulence on water temperature and oxygen content
  • How mayflies, stoneflies, and midges are affected by the water in which they live
  • Trout's evolutionary and day-to-day responses to current
  • Fishing drop-offs, midstream obstructions, and sweepers

Jason Randall Programs Jason Randall

Premium Program: Nymph Fishing; Contact Techniques

Stresses two basic goals: maintaining contact with the river bottom where the fish are and maintaining contact with your flies to improve strike detection.  It breaks down the newer European styles of nymph fishing, compares and contrasts methods of strike detection, offering alternatives to the classic "bobber" style strike indicators and stresses the importance of presentation and the need master the tuck cast.  It's a short Powerpoint presentation followed by hands on instruction, with students using their own rods to learn the tuck cast and master the techniques.  This portion of the class is an on-the-water program. Fishing license required or yarn fly only. Bring your rod/reel, waders, etc. 3- 4 hours in length.

Limit 12 - Program will be on Friday, October 3rd

advanced Nymphing Strategies for the Three Dimensional River

Based on the first book, ‘Moving Water; A Fly Fisher's Guide to Currents,' with underwater video to illustrate drag while nymph fishing. Actually shows underwater strikes and how to correct and improve nymph presentation to catch more fish.  Covers new European and tight line techniques.   Tied in with a workshop on constructing the ideal nymph leader, either the European styles or the 'tight line' types. Fishing license required or yarn fly only. Bring your rod/reel, waders, etc. 3 hours in length.

Limit 10 - Program will be on Friday, October 3rd

Catch Your Trophy: Get in the Mind of Large Trout

Matching your fishing strategy to the feeding strategy of large trout to catch bigger fish.  Once you understand hypertrophic fish, their default diet and default feeding strategies, they become more predictable.  Based on the second book, 'Feeding Time; A Fly Fisher's Guide to What, Where and When Trout Eat.' 1 hour in length.

No attendance limits. Program will be on Saturday, October 4th

Old School Wet Flies

Covers the often lost art of the many ways to fish with wet flies and soft hackles.  How, when, where and why to fish with this effective technique.  Covers patterns, rigging and fishing techniques.  Do a tying demo of the fly patterns discussed.  1 hour in length.

No attendance limits. Program will be on Saturday, October 4th

Michael Schmidt

Michael SchmidtMike Schmidt is known by all of his friends as a fish junky. Every spare moment not on the water is occupied by some aspect of fly tying to enhance the next trip. He is always thinking about new techniques, fly patterns/applications and fishing locations whether in his car, at work, in the gym or lying in bed. From the time he could walk he was constantly taken out on Lake St Clair, Lake Huron, up Michigan's west coast rivers, and in to the Upper Peninsula in search of the next fish. He did not fly fish at the time but targeted anything with fins, something he still does to this day.

Mike started tying his own flies in college and converted, with near exclusivity, to fly-fishing. For over a decade he has tied commercially for his company located in Dublin Ohio, Anglers Choice Flies ( He does not focus on one particular style of fly but rather is a jack of all trades, tying patterns and refining them to fit whatever the situation may require. Mike ties a large catalogue of standard patterns as well as employing his knowledge of the sport and creativity to come up with new and innovative patterns to fool even the most wary fish.

Throughout the year Mike teaches fly tying and fishing technique at a number of clubs and retail locations around the Midwest. In addition he spends the winter months traveling to present and tie at fly fishing shows around the country. Doing so allows him the opportunity to meet many people involved in this wonderful sport and to teach fly tying to a very diverse audience.

Has been published in Hatches, Northwest Fly Fishers, Eastern Fly Fishers, Fly & more.

  • Contract Tyer and Tying instructor for Mad River Outfitters
  • Signature Tyer for Jag Fly Co./Steelhead Alley Outfitters
  • Performance Flies Pro Staff
  • Clear Cure Goo Pro Staff
  • contributor
  • 2008 Winged Wet Fly Tier of the Year,
  • 2009 Winged Wet Bronze medal,
  • 2009 Wet/Emerger Bronze medal,

Michael Schmidt Programs:

Premium Program: Tying Classic Wet Flies

A "hands-on" tying session for the intermediate to advanced fly tier. The attendees need to bring their vises & tools. Tying materials will be provided. 3 hours in length.

Maximum attendees; 10 Will be offered on Friday, October 3rd

Premium Program: Articulated Action

A "hands-on" tying session for the intermediate to advanced fly tier. A look at tying proven articulated patterns like the Double Deceiver, Voodoo Squatch, Red Rocket and Drunk & Disorderly. The attendees bring their vises & tools. 2 -3 hours in length

Maximum attendees; 10 Will be offered on Friday, October 3rd

Trout Hunting With Meat

A brief history of streamers and how they have progressed, and then goes though gear, reading water, fly selection and action...basically is a good primer course to dial in streamer fishing. 50 minute presentation

Will be offered on Saturday, October 4th

Production Tying Techniques for Everybody

Will highlight different setups, ideas, and techniques from production work that anyone can use to produce more consistent flies at home and faster. 50 minute presentation

Will be offered on Saturday, October 4th

Davy Wotton

Davy WottonDavy Wotton — Fly fishing experience in 40 countries, a world recognized author, instructor, fly tier, and guide since the 1960's, this guy brings some serious background knowledge to the table. A consultant to fly fishing manufacturers and a conservationist responsible for starting organizations dedicated to the improvement of the White River system and federally trout mitigated tailwaters across the U. S.

Premium Program: Mastering the Wet Fly

This will be an on-the-water program. Learn some of the skills for fishing wet fly, soft hackles and spiders.

  • Choices for rods, reels and lines. How to build leader systems, casting and presentation techniques.
  • Techniques for upstream dead drift, up and across, across and down with animated fly methods.
  • How to choose the right flies to suit the techniques used.

Class will be 3 – 4 hours in length. Fishing license required or yarn fly only. Bring your rod/reel, waders, etc.. Will be offered on Friday, October 3rd

David Diaz

David DiazDavid Diaz is a Master Certified Casting Instructor from  Birmingham, Alabama.  For over ten years, he has presented casting classes and teaching workshops, Casting in Your Comfort Zone,  Behind the Wizard's Curtain,  Success is the Only Option, On Target, and  The Roadmap for Certain Success   for the FFF South Eastern Council Conclave and the FFF National Fly Fishing Show in Montana and Colorado.  He is the Chairman of the Casting Board of Governors, and he chairs its Continuing Education Committee as well.

Premium Program: Single Hand Spey Casting Moves for Fishing

David Diaz, MCCI, Chairman of the IFFF Casting Board of Governors - Spey casting is not exclusively two-handed, nor does it require specialized tackle. Using conventional trout and bass tackle, participants in this class will learn Spey casting moves that will improve their fishing efficiency by placing the fly longer in the strike zone. Included are the dynamic roll, switch, single- and double Spey, the snake roll, and spiral pick-up. Class conduct is exclusively a hands-on, practical one without technical terms. The goal of the class is to make these Spey moves fluid, irresistible, and permanent. This program is geared toward the beginner to intermediate caster, but not those brand new to the sport. Fishing license is required because the class will be on the water. Bring your rod/reel, waders, etc.. Will be offered on Friday, October 3rd

Chuck Easterling

Premium Program: Improving Your Backcast, the Key to Increasing Your Distance Casting with Chuck Easterling, MCCI, Casting Board of Governors.

Chuck has long been one of the SOC's premier casting instructors. Take this opportunity to unlock the keys to throwing those "boomer casts". Will be offered at 3pm – 5pm Friday, October 3rd

Maryann Townsend

Maryann Townsend has been fishing for over 30 years and has been building fishing rods since 2000. Maryann teaches fly fishing and fly tying at the college level, is an IFFF Certified Casting Instructor and has done fly tying demonstrations for Bass Pro Shop, Feather Craft, FFF Southern Conclave and Ozark Fly Fishers in addition to teaching tying and casting classes for Bass Pro Shop, she is also the owner of MT Custom Outfitters, LLC.

Premium Program: Building your Own Fly Rod with Maryann Townsend Ed.D., CCI

Build Your own fly fishing rod! What a feeling...the satisfaction of catching a fish on a custom rod you made by yourself! There are many options available to rod builders; from the basics to intricate decorative thread wraps and weaving, spinning rods to surf rods, and everything in between. The skills you learn in this class will open the door to building any type of rod you choose including fly rods. Not only will you learn the skills and have your very own work of art to take home.

Components included in this class, that you will get to keep:

  • One Fly Rod IM6 graphite blank (2pc) high-strength low-weight rod
  • One Fly Rod Handle Assembly (Guide kit and tip top - reel seat/grip – butt cap)
  • One Rod wrapping station (yours to keep at the end of the class)

Instructor will supply enough winding thread, epoxy, tools and other supplies to use during class to complete your rod. This will be held on 8am – 5pm on Friday, October 3rd

Introduction to Fly Tying with Maryann Townsend Ed.D., CCI

Have you ever wanted to learn to tie your own flies in a non-intimidating atmosphere, but did not have the equipment or know where to start? In this course you will cover the basics of fly tying. We will also discuss the different types of flies and when and where to use them. The fee for this course covers the cost of basic supplies and tying equipment including a vise for you to take home to continue to expand your new talent of tying your own flies.

Fly Casting for Beginners – Ladies Only – Maryann Townsend Ed.D., CCI

Come and improve your casting skills in a relaxed atmosphere. Class will be offered on Saturday and Sunday. FREE

Intermediate Fly Casting – Ladies Only – MaryAnn Townsend Ed.D., CCI

Ladies come enjoy a class where you can learn specialized casts, such as a Reach Cast, Tuck Cast, and others. Unlock the key to consistent tight loops, accuracy and distance. Class will be offered 9am – 10:30am Sunday. FREE

Steve Dally

Steve DallySteve Dally was raised on Australia's island state of Tasmania, in Aussie fly fishing terms the equivalent of being raised in Montana. But he'll tell you he squandered his youth in the salt, surfing, diving, and fishing for all manner of species including tunas. Finally convinced in his late 20s to grasp a fly rod, an obsession was born. He cut his teeth on the challenging wild brown trout and rainbows of Tasmania's wilderness lakes and streams before moving to the US in December 2000.

The experience in tackling North American conditions was invaluable as he fished the mayfly hatches of the Henry's Fork, Firehole and Au Sable, caddis hatches on the Big Wood, chuck and ducked beads on the Kenai, stripped streamers on the Beaverhead, splatted hoppers on Silver Creek, found himself tied to 40lb King Salmon on the Ayakulik, and roosterfish and snook in Mexico. His articles and photographs have appeared in several Australian publications and websites, and he remains a masthead columnist and regular contributor on tactics, destinations and fly tying with Australia and New Zealand's premier fly fishing magazine FlyLife.

Despite a serious and extensive fly fishing resume, Steve's laid-back Aussie accent and attitude, sense of humor and self-deprecating wit are appreciated by beginners and experienced fly fishers alike. His mantra is that fly fishing is meant to be fun whether you are catching the biggest fish of your life, tangling around the rod tip and everything in between.

Steve is now an owner of Dally's Ozark Fly Fisher.

Find'em and Feed'em – Trout Behavior - Steve Dally

Locating feeding fish is the essence of every type of fishing. Our preferred quarry trout may live in a myriad of different environments but they follow the same set of rules no matter where you are fishing. This program looks at common factors in how, why, when and where of trout feeding behavior, with particular reference to the White River system tailwaters. 50 minute presentation. FREE

Ben Levin

Ben LevinBen Levin was born and raised in Arkansas on the headwaters of the Mulberry River, and started chasing fish, crawdads, tadpoles, turtles, snakes, and all other manner of creatures in creeks and puddles since he was old enough to walk. He has been catching trout and smallmouth bass on fly rod in the Ozarks since age eleven. Having spent most of his childhood exploring every nook and cranny of Ozark creeks, rivers, tailwaters, and reservoirs, Ben has a special passion for his home waters. He has been guiding fly-fishermen on the White River system since age fifteen. You will find Ben doing both smallmouth and trout trips, whether it's in a canoe on the creeks, or his jon boat or drift boat on the tailwaters.

Between college semesters, Ben spent four seasons working and guiding for South Fork Outfitters on the Snake River, and Mike Lawson's Henry's Fork Anglers on the Henry's Fork in Idaho, one of the most famous and challenging dry fly rivers in the west. He has also traveled all over the Rockies, fishing in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. He was a member of the US Youth Fly-fishing Team in '98 and '99, and competed in Ireland and Wales.

Since graduating in 2005 from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with an honors degree in English, Ben has been guiding full time here in Arkansas on our local waters. He lives on Crooked Creek, our famous smallmouth fishery and major tributary of the White, where he fishes, writes, takes pictures, hunts critters, and spends time with his chocolate lab, Soco.

 He's also a heck of a fly tier and supplies local fly shops with several custom smallmouth patterns.

Smallmouth Across the Ozarks – Ben Levin

This 50 minute presentation will include details on when, where, and how to catch smallmouth bass on flyrod across the Ozarks, with particular emphasis on Crooked Creek and the Buffalo. It will also cover food and flies, special techniques, and conservation. Class will be held Sunday, October 5th - FREE

Wayne E and Catherine Moore Youth Conclave

ConclaveOpen to children under the age of 16. If your child is under the age of 10, we require that you accompany him to this activity. Fly tying and casting instruction will be at the Fairgrounds in the morning. Lunch is provided at the fairgrounds. Each child must bring a hat, sun screen, and sunglasses.  Saturday, October 4th


Chad Johnson

Chad JohnsonIf there is a common thread among our friends meeting Chad is "that is one fishy dude". There might be a puddle with something fishy swimming in it, and Chad's going to work out how to get it to eat a fly.

Chad was born in Mississippi in 1973. He spent the next 32 years in Crystal Springs. he grew up fishing for Catfish, Bass, & Blue Gill with his Dad but never with the passion that he has found in fly fishing.

Chad came to the White River area for the first time in 2000 and caught four fish in four days. That's all it took to get him hooked and he begin making as many trips as possible to fish the area. Sometimes getting sidetracked fly fishing for redfish on the coast but was always drawn back to our local waters.

In 2006 Chad decided trips was just not enough, he sold his house, left his business and moved to the White River to pursue his career in fly fishing. He deems this as the best choice he's ever made. Not long after making the move he joined his new fly fishing family at Dally's Ozark Fly Fisher in Cotter AR.

Chad enjoys his job to the fullest, from taking the kids to Dry Run creek and teaching them the fun of fly fishing to taking a client out for a fun day in his Drift boat. It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or seasoned fisherman. Chad knows where to go and what to use on a daily basis. He doesn't just like to fly fish, he lives to fly fish and spends as much time as possible on our local waters.

Chad is an Umpqua Fly Designer.

Do it yourself Red Fishing - Chad Johnson

This presentation will cover things such as:

  • Safely Navigating through the Marsh
  • Where Red Fish live
  • Tips & Techniques to catch Red Fish
  • Fly Selection

Class will be held Sunday, October 5th – FREE

Lori Sloas

Lori SloasLori is one of a handful of female fly-fishing guides in the United States. Lori has an extensive background in counseling and corporate training that gives her a unique perspective that she uses in leading her popular ladies fly-fishing classes. Lori is an intuitive instructor who quickly brings her students to ease. A natural caster, Lori brings intensity to the stream that produces fish for clients in the most adverse conditions. A lifelong angler she now devotes her efforts to fly-fishing, teaching as well as designing fly- fishing programs.

She is a popular instructor that has presented seminars for the Federation of Fly Fishers, the Ducks Unlimited Great Outdoors Festival, the Sowbug Round Up, Becoming an Outdoors Woman, Casting for Recovery, Fly Fishing Clubs and corporate groups throughout the region. Lori was Outreach Chair at the Federation of Fly Fishers Southern Council Conclave in 2005. She is a member of the North Arkansas Fly Fishers, the Damsel Fly Fishers and is a life member of the Mid South Fly Fishers and the Federation of Fly Fishers. She was the Federation of Fly Fishers Southern Council's Woman of the Year in 2006. Most recently she was featured on the television show, Adventure Guides, on the Versus network (previously known as OLN).

Why is he catching fish and I'm not with Lori Sloas How many times have you watched the guy downstream of you pull in one fish after another, while all you were doing was practicing your cast. What's he doing that you aren't? Take an hour, go to Lori's class and learn how to catch fish! A class for novice to early intermediate skills. Class will be held Sunday, October 5th - FREE

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy HuntJeremy Hunt has been one of the White River Basin's most passionate fly fishermen and guides for over the last eleven years, and he is always looking to develop innovative flies and techniques that catch more fish; this reflects his true ingenuity and outside the box mentality. His personal favorite way to fish is with large streamers on the White Rive for brown trout during high water.

Jeremy is also very active in the local and regional fly fishing scene. He has put on several exceptional presentations at the last two Sow Bug Roundup events, and he has also traveled extensively for speaking engagements at Trout Unlimited and Federation of Fly Fishers club meetings around the country. Jeremy is one of the most creative and talented young tiers in the fly fishing world, and he is starting to gain exposure for his unique patterns, along with his personal variations of old standards. Look for Jeremy to be featured in Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine quite a bit over the next year, and he has also been asked to be a host guide for several fly fishing television shows.

He is always willing to donate his time and energy for good conservation causes, as he realizes that without clean rivers and solid habitat, Jeremy would not be able to make a career out of being a full-time guide. Another way that he gives back is by organizing and hosting monthly fly tying classes (for free) at Shepherd of the Hills trout hatchery below Table Rock Dam in Branson, Missouri. His goal in this endeavor is to get more people interested in the sport.

Hopper Fishing on the White River - Jeremy Hunt

Learn the hottest patterns and how to tie them. When to use hoppers, how to present them. Are certain areas of the river better? rod, leaders, pattern size, etc.. Class will be held Sunday, October 5th - FREE

Brian Wise

Wise VideoBrian Wise – Streamers, big ones and all the time, could describe Brian's preferred fly fishing style. This local big streamer guru, videographer, and guide and is a Field Producer for Chasing Waters on the Pursuit Channel. His fly tying and fly fishing videos are quickly making their way to the top of the list of most popular.  Fly Fishing the Ozarks YouTube Channel is the fastest growing channel in the fly fishing genre. If you consider yourself to be "on the edge" you'll like this guy.

Fishing Mike Schmidt's Streamers on Local Waters - Brian Wise

Streamer fanatic Brian Wise looks at when, where and how to get Schmidt's streamer patterns to produce on local waters. Class will be held Sunday, October 5th - FREE

North Fork of the White River, MO....a beginner's guide, with Brian Wise

This freestone river to the north of this area's tailwaters is one of the true gems of the Ozarks.  Boasting the largest population of wild rainbow trout in the Ozarks along with trophy brown trout, it is getting a great reputation for western style fishing, all very close to the Arkansas tailwaters.  Join North Fork River guide Brian Wise as he walks you through access, fishing styles, rigs, fishing tips, and some general good video and photos to go along with the rest of his presentation. Class time to be announced. Free

George Peters

Fishing the Dry Fly on the White River with George Peters

You will be hard pressed to find a more "hardcore" dry fly fisherman than George Peters. This man either fishes with a dry fly or not at all. What's really amazing is he is very successful at it on his home waters of the White River. George has taken a lot of time figuring out how to catch White River trout year round using only dry flies. Come learn his secrets. Class will be held Sunday, October 5th - FREE

Larry Levine and Donnie Hyslip

The Beginners Introductory Fly Casting Class with Larry Levine, CCI and Donnie Hyslip CCI

Come get first class instruction that will help those who have never cast or are just beginning this fun sport! Class will be held Saturday and Sunday, - FREE

Private casting lessons

Private instruction by an IFFF Certified Casting Instructor is available Saturday from 10am – 4pm and Sunday 9am – 1pm. Just drop by the registration desk and make an appointment. FREE