With spring break almost over, the crowds will be thinning out soon and Arkansas’ youth will be heading back to school still smiling about the fun they had fly fishing for trout with the guides at Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher. It was fun to interact with all the kids and young adults and to witness their excitement coming into the shop to prepare for their fishing excursions, many of them first timers. Hopefully, their first fly fishing experiences will leave them curious and ready to learn more on their way to joining the next generation of anglers and water stewards.
It was a real treat for me to take Ryan Riley and his daughter, Madilyn (8 yrs. old) of Rogers to Dry Run Creek for an afternoon of fun. A little quiet and shy at first, Madilyn was soon giddy with excitement once she had her little pink boots in the water and began roll casting 15 feet to a pool full of fat trout. She caught her first through her sixteenth trout in short time, and was equally excited to turn over rocks and look at sowbugs – a future conservationist in the making!
Water, water, and more water! The entire White River reservoir system is still full and trying to make room for more rain to come, so now is a great time to hone your high water nymphing skills. Step up the size of your indicators, lengthen your leaders, add more lead, use tungsten nymphs, etc. Size 16 midges, scuds/sowbugs, and Sunday Specials trailed behind bright attractors like eggs and San Juan worms work well in heavy or trashy flows, and some good browns are still coming on weighted streamers like olive/black Dungeons, Boogieman, and other sculpin-like streamers. Periods of minimum flow at night have produced some good wade fishing windows in the daytime using various Prince nymphs and midges. Follow the window downriver to favorite spots like Roundhouse, Rim Shoals, and Buffalo Shoals. Once this large volume of water works its way through the reservoir system, we can start to expect more minimum flow, wade fishing, and caddis activity.
Generation has been running fairly steady during daytime hours at one unit, which fishes well using eggs and worms as attractors with Sunday Specials, Wotton Whitetail midges, or Hunchback scuds trailing behind. Small white, black, or yellow streamers are also producing some quality browns and rainbows. Occasionally flows have been reduced to minimum around midday for a couple hours, offering a brief window of good wade fishing using scuds, midges, soft hackles and wooly buggers.
Interesting side note: The stomachs of rainbows kept from the Quarry Park area have been full of Daphnia recently. What’s Daphnia? Good question, I had to look it up myself. It’s a tiny aquatic crustacean that lives in our reservoirs and occasionally comes through the turbines, providing a feast for the trout that is difficult to imitate, and can produce tough fishing conditions when trout become gorged on them. For a more detailed description, go to the Wiki article on Daphnia, and check out this link for pictures and a possible idea for an imitation.