'Toad Fly' to go nationwide with fly fishing show

by Donna Lampkin Stephens

The Toad Fly is only eight months old, but in January, the Conway fly fishing business will go nationwide with "Chasing Waters," a fly fishing show, on the Pursuit Channel.

The Pursuit Channel is broadcast into 40 million homes and is part of the basic package for Dish or DirectTV satellite customers.

According to thetoadfly.com, "Chasing Waters" is a journey through 13 rivers and streams in Arkansas, showing opportunities and species available within a day’s drive of most residents of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kansas and Missouri.

Tim Bull of Dardanelle, owner of The Toad Fly, said he and his employees were trying to film a commercial, "driving around literally trying to find a good water flow to fish in," when they came up with the idea for the show.

They connected with Heath Graham of Southface Media Group to create a trailer.

Chasing Waters Trailer from SouthFace Media Group Inc. on Vimeo.

Days later, Bull said, the Pursuit Channel contacted them about a contract for the 2014 series.

"The whole thing has steamrolled on us," Bull said.

Besides Bull and Graham, other Toad Fly staff (head guide Chris Morris of Little Rock and guides Jordan Case and Paul Hoelscher of Conway) are also involved in the project.

Bull described the show’s concept as "short clips" of short trips that anyone can take on a budget.

"All of us have a little time we can go and do stuff, and that’s what we’re trying to capitalize on," he said. "Anybody can take short trips, and we cover where to stay, eating possibilities, scenery."

Reviews of new gear, as well as fishing and tying tips are also planned.

Filming has begun, and although all the details of the shooting schedule aren’t final yet, Bull said some of the featured streams would include the White, North Fork, Little Red (upper and lower), Fourche La Fave, Buffalo and Arkansas rivers.

"We’ve got several small creeks we’ll hit and showcase that fly fishing is not just about trout," he said. "In Arkansas, we live in a big playground for fishing, and most of us don’t realize how good we have it."

He said he was working with Conway Corporation officials to add the Pursuit Channel to its cable system.

"And we just found out one of the local stations is wanting information on picking it up and carrying it locally," he said of the show. "It’s so early, I don’t feel comfortable saying which one, but it would be statewide."

Bull said plans were to release some short webisodes in addition to the television shows.

For more information, visit thetoadfly.com, Chasing Waters on Facebook or call The Toad Fly at 501.499.6914.

"We’ve bought the domain name for the website for Chasing Waters, but everything has been going so fast we haven’t had time to get it up yet," Bull said.