EVEN for an sun-crazed Aussie this week has been a warm one. “It’s hot enough to boil a monkey’s bum, Bruce” for the Monty Python fans.
Wednesday was the fourth hottest day on record for the area hitting 112F, but you’ll be pleased to know the temperature will plummet back under 100F today and through the weekend, after this week its going to feel nice.
But heck if you were going to be outdoors there wasn’t anywhere better to be than the rivers. We had several of the guide crew on the water, and they were going through ice and water at a hectic rate, keeping their customers cool and catching fish.
Apparently the fish liked it too as the guys were smacking fish in varied conditions. Davy Wotton sent us this report from Tuesday (when it was “only” 108F) with Brady Gail nailing 6 browns up to 25″ at Bull Shoals plus a mess of rainbows. To give you an idea of how good it was Davy didn’t even bother mention the heat _ my Welsh mate isn’t a big fan of 100F days, and not afraid of expressing his disdain when the heat gets up, but Tuesday not a word.
Another great day on the river, this young man nailed 6 Browns between 18 and 25, not to mention the 34 Bows at BSD _ DW
Kevin Brandtonies had Brady and his brother on Monday, downstream at Rim, fishing the lower overnight flows and reported the fishing was pretty good on rainbows, a nice way to introduce the pair to White River nymphing with regular style rigs before the big water pushed in. Chad had a father-son, combo for 2 days earlier this week, and sat on the lower flows most of the day, by the time the temperature started climbing way over 100f Tuesday the guys decided they had caught enough fish and jumped into one of Chad’s boat access only swimming holes on the lower Buffalo.
Of course this week was the first of the White River Chapter of Trout Unlimited’s Stream Explorer Summer Camp’s and from my couple of visits over to the Norfork National Fish Hatchery the kids had a great time. My youngest Lynsey and four of Jim and Brenda’s grandkids certainly did tying flies, dissecting trout, and floating Dry Run and all sorts of cool stuff. The second camp is on next week I’m told there are still spots available (click here if you want to book). But if you have a few days to volunteer some help, you couldn’t pick a better project.
Seeing the sheer joy and enthusiasm from these kids will put a spring in your step for days. Bill Thorne, who moonlights as our indefatigable but outgoing TU prez, has been giggling all week over the antics. Monday and Wednesday afternoon are the busy times when more volunteers will be needed to help the kids on the fishing sessions, do yourself a favor and jump in. (I’m going to try and extricate myself from shop duties one afternoon, but we have a monster and long-awaited project underway Monday, you are going to hear a lot more about).
Now onto the rest of Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher fly fishing report for the White River and Norfork Tailwater:
WHITE RIVER: THE White has been in fine fettle with the low overnight flows of around a unit for six hours or so following by the bigwater around midmorning is offering plenty of variety on the river. Our fly fishing guides have been working different sections of river according to the fly fishers they have in their boats and their preferences.
Some have been picking up the lower flows from Cotter down to Shipp’s Ferry, and staying on the lower flows where midge pupa have been whacking fish. “Normal” low flow rigs are the order of the day, smallish indicators and either split shot or a heavier lead fly like a hare’s Ear, heavy Sowbug or Copper John’s. Black and silver midges have been particularly good as the dropper fly.
Davy’s Silver and Black Super Midges has been one favorite getting plenty of watertime, but Whitetail Midges in Black and Red have also been good.
Bull Shoals Dam on the high flows is a way different style of fishing with loon leaders 12″ and longer, heavy shot, and bigger flies. Davy’s new highwater scud pattern is doing extremely well. This pattern has the right amount of subtle flash to grab a trout’s attention on these bright days, and a great profile. I wouldn’t be afraid of usind a Davy’s Sowbug trailing behind. The Davy’s Prism Worms are also a solid choice for fishing the big water.
Articulated streamers on the higher flows are also very productive white Krakens, natural Dungeon’s and yellow Fatheads are all doing well.
NORFORK: The Princess of Tailwaters has been fishing well, early and drawing plenty of waders. But just when the water will kick in has been varying widely, so keep your eyes peeling and have your escape route planned in case your caught on the hop.
Midge pupa, and soft hackles have been productive. RonMcQuay’s Anna Ks are particularly good in Black and the new Purple. The midge selection is much wider, black and silver midges either in the standard version have been good, Davy’s Super Midges have been popular as has David Knowles’ Tungsten Ruby Midge.
Bill Thorne has also been fishing tan versions of McLellan’s Hunchback scud to great effect. You can also fish this fly with a light midge dropper, like a Johnny Flash, Clint’s Emerger or a Jujubee Midge.