FEBRUARY is here and as always it brings a bunch of old friends back into town for the “season opener” when the Bull Shoals C&R zone comes reopens.
And while there were a few grumbles from wade only fly fishers over the opener being conducted with high water, though not by those in the 20-odd boats up at Bull Shoals. But with Bull Shoals Lake now back at power pool, there’s a good chance for some low water this weekend.
The high temps had most of us despairing of the likelihood of a shad kill, like we mentioned last week, but o over on Norfork Monday there were shad all over and fish taking them off the top. While its probably not a true kill, in the sense of a weather driven temperature shock, it doesn’t really matter much when the food is on offer.
Smarter pundits are suggesting that the high water year has both Bull Shoal and Norfork lake chock full of shad and the once we are seeing flushed through the generation are mere happenstance.
At the end of the day we don’t mind either WAY, as long as the fish are eating.
WHITE RIVER: Heavy rain last week put an extra foot into Bull Shoals Lake, which was met with increased generation out of Bull Shoals Lake .
But tonight the water level was back down at the top of power pool and tomorrow’s water forecast is scaled back from the pattern of the last 7 days. So the portents are good for some low flows or wadeable water this weekend.
Eggs and worms have been king for the drifters over the past week fished deep under Thingamabobbers. Fish over and around flooded grass beds under these conditions. San Juans are a winter staple no matter the flows and even if we get some wading this weekend its definitely worth having some of these in the box.
Low water will also up the way for the midges sowbugs and soft hackles. Davy Wotton Whitetails in red and gray Sowbugs have kicked butt under lower to zero flows.
For the streamer fishers, olive, tan, white yellow and black have all been good.
NORFORK: There have been a bunch of shad coming through under extended period of generation since last week’s rains. The shad are small, maybe an inch long, or at least the one’s I was floating alongside on Monday, but they are still firing up the fish.
It was probably some of the best top water shad action I have seen, but you would probably be more effective drifting heavier shad patterns like out Hippy Chick Shad or other patterns. Try white Zoo Cougars, crease flies and Todd’s Wiggle Minnow on the surface.
San Juans have been doing extremely well on the ‘Fork, so have smaller midges like Camel Midges, Ruby Midge and Primrose and Pearl Midges