The beauty of our Brown trout _ Ben Levin image
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
One of the oddities of our little world of fly fishing is you can spend hours, or in fact days, travelling to incredibly beautiful places and then spend all your time watching a small piece of foam, length of fly line or bubble.
Even our quarry, the reason for such devout intensity, is often sent back with barely a second glance. Ben’s photo of a brown trout gill plate he caught and released this week stuck in my head like one of those songs you will keep humming all day _ thankfully one worth listening too.
The pursuit of basketball scores, trophy trout or even just that next fish can sometimes overshadow the glory of the moment, the instant of between a take and the thump of a hooked fish, the play of water around your legs, the grace and skill of an osprey and the mysteries of life under the gravel we walk on.
By the calendar we are already in fall, and the cooler mornings certainly say its around the corner, though the afternoons still carry a touch of summer. There’s some fine reasons fall is one of the most popular times to visit our Rivers like the cooling temperatures and the fall change of colors along the banks, and the spectacular colors of the trout.
The fishing has been, and will continue to be very good, with the mild temperatures and plenty of wading, and some nice floating conditions. The next major shift will come when temperatures drop down into the 30s.
So enjoy fall, you’ll hang some fish but don’t forget to look around a little too.
And now onto the rest of this week’s Fly Fishing Report for the White River and Norfork Tailwater.
The whole thing _ Ben Levin image
WHITE RIVER: Temperatures are moderating and the flows are falling in line as air conditioning power demand drops. We haven’t had a lot of true minimum flow (650 cfs) this week but there have been daily periods of flows under a unit of water which can offer decent wading opportunities and fine floating.
At the time of writing I’m looking at a window of 10 hours of less than half a unit of water (1600 cfs or less) which is pretty good water for Bull Shoals, Roundhouse and Lower Rim. We have been hearing good reports on both browns and rainbows this week from both wade and boat fishing.
Midge patterns have been the hot ticket of late Wotton Whitetails and Super Midges, particularly black and silver combinations. Ruby Midges have also been strong as have harvester midges. Under cloudy or foggy conditions run Camel Midges and Harvester Midges. Sunny conditions drag out Rainbow Warriors and Wotton Crystal Whitetails.
Soft hackles run astern of midge pupa, including Hare’s Ears, Tailwater Soft Hackles and Anna K’s are also productive, particularly on the lower flows. On the lower flows you can still work a hopper pattern as an indicator. Run Chernobyl Ants, Buddy Hoppers and Charlie Boys in tan or pink.
NORFORK: The ‘Fork is getting plenty of attention, particularly during the morning hours of minimum flow. The siphon system, seems to be adding a jolt of much needed oxygenation to the lower flows which has the fish perkier than normal. But with the authorities still fine tuning the operation there have been the odd day without the siphon’s flow _ and a fair bit of grumbling about significantly worse fishing particularly immediately below the Dam.
But when the siphon has been running the fishing has been very strong. And we are getting reports of a myriad of flies working _ depending it seems, on your personal tastes.
Scud and sowbug fishers are scoring well, using Hunchback Scuds in Tan, Tan UV or Copper in 14 and 16s, and Kaufman Scuds. Wotton Sowbugs and Tailwater Sowbugs are equally effective. Trout Crack and Clint’s Sunday Special have also been producing.
The midges fishers are fishing Wotton Whitetails, black Zebra Midges, Ruby Midges and Camel Midges. Tungsten Rainbow Warriors are also very productive on bright days.
Don’t head to the Fork without a goodly selection of soft hackles including Anna Ks, Tailwater Soft Hackles and more standard patterns. Carrying some midge dries: Parachute Adams, Morgan’s Para Midge etc can also provide plenty of entertainment.