A 25” White River brown trout returning home _ Steve Dally pic
I’M TYPING this week’s report from sunny St Louis, where earlier this evening I spoke to the Ozark Fly Fisher’s Club. St Louis has a strong fly fishing contingent, is home to a couple of excellent shops, and 3 clubs.
On an August Thursday night 74 people turned up _ a tribute to the passion these folks have since they walked through the siren like call of frying chicken wings at a fundraiser event in the same venue. Anyway during the course of the evening I did a straw poll of those who had fished the White (probably 85% of the room) and those who had fished dry flies down here.
The latter result could have been counted on the fingers of the proverbial one armed chappie. Call it my little Tasmanian crusade if you like _ to spread the word on how good the dry fly opportunities can be here on the White and Norfork.
I remember being rebuffed a time or two when I first arrived in the Ozarks by veterans who quickly herded me over to a bobber and a nymph. Like most addicts the dry fly afflicted tend to find each other, enabling I think is the modern term. Clint Wilkinson opened my eyes to boat based terrestrials, and Hank Wilson broadened it. George Peters of course has been championing the #26 Parachute Adams as a cure-all for bobber boredom and midge hatches.
Gradually this subversive little subculture is making inroads _ its helped markedly that the quality of the dry fly hatches and fishing has been on a dramatic rise. The Cranefly hatch on Norfork this year was almost perfect, just enough and not too many,for weeks it seemed. The White River Caddis was remarkable, and the hopper fishing is jaw droppingly good.
And these are just the highlights _ there are more opportunities than you think _ especially if you are willing to forgo the pursuit of golf scores of rainbows for the pleasure of fishing rising to a well proportioned dry fly dressing.
Of course it doesn’t matter how or even why you fly fish _ just that you have fun doing it.
And its dang good fun out there right now.
WHITE RIVER: I was going to be writing that we had settled into a pattern of wadeable minimum flow through the mornings with a bigger rise of 4 units of better in the afternoon. But of course there is a small spanner in that with the Corp bumping up more water after midnight _ it may just be a glitch.
But Bull Shoals Lake crests today 8 feet over the new conservation pool its nor really enough to expect a dramatic flushing of the flood water but my crystal ball got washed away in the last flood.
Midges are coming back strong on the White after their normal sway was sundered by a demand for mayfly profiles in recent weeks. Fish Whitetails, Super Midges, Rainbow Warriors on the bright days, and Ive always done well on Fox Squirrels and Hare’s Ears at this time of year.
The hopper bite is still remarkable, fish the bigger pink hoppers, black hoppers or attractors like Chernobyls. But we have had good reports on smaller patterns too like the Charlie Boy hoppers and Moshpit hoppers in yellow over the last week. Add some to your box.