Guide "Crazy" Mike Neher
Location: White River, Arkansas
Credentials: Guiding on the White River since he was 15, Mike Neher has a reputation for putting clients on brown trout tipping the scales over the 20-pound mark.
Number of years guiding: 34
Contact: (870) 453-8502; crazymikefishing.com
Favorite Spinner: Bluefox Classic Vibrax
Weight: 3/16 oz.
Details: “It doesn’t take a lot of effort to get the blade on a Vibrax turning. That makes it easier to work effectively on a slow retrieve, and, in turn, helps you keep the lure near the bottom. The closer you can get a spinner to the fish the better, especially in clear water. White River trout aren’t going to rise or chase the lure a mile, so a slow, steady retrieve just off the bottom gets it done.”
Favorite Spoon: Thomas Buoyant Spoon
Weight: 1/6 oz.
Details: “Thomas spoons have a nice, slow flutter without a lot of spin. That flutter really attracts the trout. Stop by any resort along the White River and I promise they sell these spoons. Like spinners, I always fish spoons very slowly really close to the bottom. Because these particular spoons have such a natural flutter, it pays to just let them fall now and again.”
Favorite Jig: P.J.’s Marabou Jig
Weight: 3/32 oz.
Details: “P.J.’s jigs are standard in this area. Because the marabou is tied all the way up to the head with no chenille between, the jigs have a ripple action from head to tail. You can’t jig a P.J. too aggressively. You don’t want it rising at an angle towards the boat, but that’s not easy when you’re drifting. What we do is jig with a slack line so the jig jumps straight up and down. The trout either grab it as it falls, or we actually see them hit it.”
Smithwick Rattlin' Rouge
Favorite Hardbait: Smithwick Rattlin’ Rogue
Color: Chrome/Blue Back/Orange Belly
Size: 4 ½-inch
Weight: 1/3 oz.
Details: “The favorite food of a big brown trout is a little rainbow trout, and this jerkbait in this color matches them perfectly. Large trout want a big meal. To be successful with this lure, you always have to keep it moving. If you stop, the fish will look at it and figure out it’s fake. Maintain an erractic twitch to keep the lure rolling and flashing.”