Weather and water conditions are finally lining up right for good caddis fishing on the White, and the action has been hot lately. Tuesday’s guide trip saw an epic bite on Prince Nymphs that kept me so busy unhooking rainbows I could hardly row the boat. It was comical really, not to take anything away from Dan and Cynthia from Iowa – they fished well in 25-30mph wind gusts and laughed through it all, but it seemed at times that just putting the flies anywhere in the water was all that was necessary. No matter how well my day goes though, big brother Ben always seems to one-up me, as you can see from the photo above, but I suppose it will be better for me in the long run to work under guides that set the bar high.
Chasing the lowest flows possible has been the name of the game for consistent fish catching whether nymphing or pitching dries. Low water seems to warm up a little faster in the sun, triggering good caddis hatches and voracious trout feeding activity. Dead drifting #14-16 Prince Nymphs, Green Copper Johns, and various caddis pupa is killer. Swinging green colored soft hackles or drifting Elk Hairs and E/C Caddis dries are also good options, especially on minimum flow if you are lucky enough to get it. If high water is all that’s available to you, go big or go home. Try San Juans in red or pink or large, #10-12 Princes and Pheasant Tails.
Again, low water is best for warmer water temps and more bug activity. Caddis and midges have been coming off with some consistency, and there have been a few hatches of crane flies as well. Try Sunday Specials, Green Copper Johns, various scuds and sowbugs, and midges as well. Sight fishing the catch and release area with little caddis or crane fly dries is really fun if you can get there on low water. We are running low on crane flies here at the shop but sulphur parachutes are a nice substitute. If you’re stuck in higher flows, worms, eggs, Sunday Specials and Green Copper Johns will catch you some fish, and as always, never underestimate the power of the great Wooly Bugger.
Extra Top Secret Bonus Fishing Report
The creek arms of Bull Shoals and Norfork Lake have been hospitable to fly fishermen as of late. Check out the pics below to see all the cool fish you might catch. If you’ve never tried springtime lake fishing you’re missing out on some hard fighting action. Come see us at the shop and we’ll help you with gear.