Noble Gullidge from Tx with a fine White River Brown Trout

THE WHITE River is back in fine fettle, and Norfork Tailwater is giving up some wade fishing. It promises to be a great weekend ahead.

I’ve spent the last 3 days guiding with some regulars from Texas from Rim Shoals to Bull Shoals and the river, our river,s is gorgeous in her spring cloak with the filamentous algae bloom waning and the water clear and clean.

There is plenty on offer for the nymph fisher, and dry fly addicts can find trout eating the caddis off the top in certain zones even on 3 units or better of water, and we suspect, though it wasn’t on our dance card wet fly fishers and streamer chuckers can find fun as well.

Norfork was wadeable this morning and is scheduled to have the same tomorrow. Its been a while.

Both Norfork and the White have been running high and hard since late March, after a deluge around the Sowbug Roundup. It has taken a while but both rivers should be in good shape.

You would be crazy not to get out there.


Charlie Brust, from Maryland found this football at Bull Shoals


WHITE RIVER: THE White is hard to beat at this time of year. Cool mornings, a hint of mist, the emerald green banks, the caddis drifting off the water as the day warms, returning later in the day in a blur to lay their eggs.

The fish are in awesome condition too, obese, round of belly and hungry for more. Jenny Craig would be apoplectic, a huge percentage of these fish have bellies way too big for their length.

Bull Shoals fish have been feeding up on shad flushed live out of the dam, rather than the normal cold weather driven shad kill, and our guide team have been reporting some really solid fish, rainbows out of the norm. So it was good to find a few this week, still taking shad on the rises in flows, and eating Dynamite Worms and Davy Wotton Sowbugs in between.

Down river its caddis all the way. Try Prince Nymphs, Clint’s Sunday Special and Jigged Princes as the lead fly with lighter droppers. Davy’s Translucent SLF Pupa, the Pulsating Caddis, Nitro Caddis, Graphic Caddis, Pyrite Caddis and Sparkle Pupa are all proven winners.

Tailwater Soft Hackles and Hare’s Ears are worthy droppers whether you are fishing dry or wet.. Speaking of dry flies it was pretty cool to find some pockets of dry fly feeders, largely brown trout, and some of fine size in certain corners on the White.

Davy’s Adult Caddis is a fine bet, so are the E/C Caddis, Headlight Caddis or everyday Elk Hair Caddis. More critical is putting the fly in the right spot.

NORFORK: The Princess of Tailwaters is back open to wade traffic after weeks with the flood gates open. We had guides working the Norfork over the past week and they were reporting strong numbers of 17-20” browns eating shad readily.

But this weekend it looks like the midge fly fishers will be back in the game. Ruby Midges, camel Midges, harvester Midges and WD40s will be worth carrying. And don’t forget a collection of Anna K and Tailwater soft hackles.