Jeff Boks with an awesome 28+” hopper brown trout
Jeff Boks is no stranger to the annals of the Journal. Boks has either been on the rod or the camera for quite a few of the most impressive captures out of the shop.
A former Michigan guide, and colleague of Alex Lafkas, who provided out introduction, Boks is now based out of Fayetteville with a real world job which actually allows some weekday fishing time. I’d been awaiting these pics from early last week when Boks his the river with another regular Barry Annalora. Barry’s another who seems to be around when big fish are on the bite, whether its his rod or someone else’s.
Big fish don’t necessarily come every time with these two but having them around, generally means good things are going to happen. And so it did this night with Boks scoring his best every dry fly brown over 28” and Barry picking up a solid 24”.
The fish continued the tremendous run of brown trout out of the shop this year. It really has been the best dry fly hopper bite I’ve experienced. By no means is it easy pickings most days, and its not a numbers game either.
If you are looking for a regularly bent rod there are always rainbows to chase. The last week has been particularly tough going on the higher flows. But there are now more hoppers on the wing with the return of summer weather and once the flood water flush is done we should be back in the game.
One thing is for certain there are tremendous numbers of trophy browns in this river right now.
Barry’s 24” brown
WHITE RIVER: BULL Shoals dam has been running round the clock between 3 and 5 units as the flood water is being generated out. The Lake Forecast predicts flood water will last for another couple of weeks, but we can probably expect an easing of generation during the second week.
Since we haven’t seen a lot of big water this year it handy to recall what wide open looks like with 8 units, significantly higher.The jump in flows has thrown off crazy good hopper bite, but there are still hopper and beetle feeders to be found in tight to the banks and patrolling backwaters and sloughs.
We have the Western Ladies back in stock and these have been good and the killer black Chernobyl Juicy Bug should also be here for the weekend. The Juicy byg has been particularly effective fished underneath the overhanging branches.
On the nymphing front the boys have been finding plenty of rainbows this week taking larger PTs and Jigged Pheasant Tails, ahead of Whitetail Midges in red, black and crystal.
It would also be worth running Hare’s Ears, Jigged Hare’s Ears, Copper Johns and Lightning bugs in these tandem rigs. San Juans are also a good bet in the late afternoon as the big water pushes in around flooded grass beds.
Running streamers on the big water is also a good option, run 5”-6” patterns including Crafty Deceivers, Swimming Jimmies, 6” Double Deceivers.
NORFORK: Norfork Lake is predicted to be out of flood stage by September 10 with the power station running about 80%. Norfork nymphs decently on these flows, just lengthen your leader and add plenty of weight to get your flies down into the slower water along the bottom.
Tandem rigs with PTS, San Juans and midges have been good.