Trout Bum of the Week VII: Jamie Rouse

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Arkansas guide Jamie Rouse (right) with a true tailwater hog.
photo courtesy Jamie Rouse


Jamie Rouse discovered in college that he wasn’t cut out for a “real world” job, so he embarked on a guiding career that took him from Arkansas to Alaska and back again. Over the years, he has learned how to “pursue a wide variety of species in a wide variety of water conditions for a wide variety of anglers.” This knowledge has helped him build Jamie Rouse Fly Fishing Adventures into one of the most respected guide services on the big Arkansas tailwaters: the Little Red, the White, and the Norfork.

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Yeah, you’d be smiling, too, if you’d just landed a bruiser like this.
photo courtesy Jamie Rouse


We asked Jamie a series of questions about his favorite sport, and here are his replies:

When did you start fly fishing? I started fly fishing as a young pup. I was fortunate to grow up in a very outdoor-oriented family. My grandparents were very skilled with the fly rod and passed it on to me.

What’s your favorite water? Mystery River. There is a river not far from home that is teeming with life–lots of big beautiful trout, big ugly bugs, and NO PEOPLE. This is a river that most people don’t realize has trout in it. I am very careful of whom I take there. Since discovering it, it has become my sanctuary. I hold services there as often as I can.

What’s your favorite fly rod quarry? $15,000 10-pound Koi. Don’t get caught. You may have to pursue these under the cover of darkness.

Most your most memorable fly-fishing moment? Filming a buddy tarpon fishing in Mexico. It must have been 130 degrees. The 25-year-old blue indoor outdoor carpet from the equally-as-old panga was sticking to our sweat-covered legs. Finally, on camera, the beautiful, silver maiden eats my buddy’s fly. At this point, the fish continues her charge towards the boat and makes an unforgettable leap right over the panga.

Most your most forgettable fly-fishing moment? While redfishing on the Texas coast with some buddies, I was dropped off to wade about a mile of flat where I was supposed to meet back with an anchored boat. What they didn’t tell me (on purpose I might add), was that I would need to swim across four 20-foot-deep 30-foot-wide creek channels to get there. (I have a slight shark phobia, maybe paranoia. I am convinced that they are out to get me. It is justifiable, but that is another story.)

What do you love most about fly fishing? Simplicity and rawness. No banjo minnows, if you know what I mean.

What’s your favorite piece of gear? My 20-year-old Stanley thermos. It keeps my coffee hot.

What’s your next dream destination? I don’t know if it’s a destination, but it’s the place I go in my mind when I want to think about fishing. It is an untapped fishery with fish that haven’t been molested by man. Sometimes when I am there, there are palm trees. Other times, there are mountains and cold water streams.

Remember: Leave a comment below, and you could win a Jackson Cowboy Shirt from our new Trout Bum Collection. We’ll pick a new winner at random on Thursday, May 26!

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