It’s pretty exciting to see 50 degrees forecasted for this weekend. After the deluge of winter weather we’ve experienced for the past two weeks, we’re all pining for some spring. Nevertheless, some big brawny browns continue to answer the call for those of us willing to suffer some cold fingers. I’m not sure whether to call it steadfast determination or call it stupidity, but when big fish are biting, the crew at Dally’s tends not to balk at the proposition of fishing through hellish conditions. As they say, “Where there’s a will there’s a way,” and as long as the client maintains the all important “whatever it takes” attitude when gunning for monster browns, the guide will soldier up to the challenge. Fill your pockets with hand warmers, pack the thermos of hot coffee, throw in the propane heater, sled the drift boat down the ramp if you have to – you won’t catch them on the couch.
Shad kills have come out of the turbines a few mornings recently, making shad flies effective in the first few miles of tailwater below the dam. Some favorites include Wiggle Minnows, white Zonkers, Puff Daddy’s, and good old white Wooly Buggers. Large streamers in natural colors are also still producing big browns on the highest flows available. Low flows are yielding good numbers of bows and the occasional brown on Ruby Midges, Super midges, Zebra midges, and small white Wooly Buggers. Some areas of the river may be stained from considerable rain fall and snowmelt, making brightly colored San Juan worms a good choice for an attractor. Check out the new tungsten beaded worm patterns we just got in from MFC.
Shad flies and smaller streamers have also been effective on the Norfork on high flows and on the right days. It’s hard to know which day will be the right day. On low flows little bugs are still the surest bet – #16-18 scuds, Ruby midges, Root Beer midges, Trout Crack are all heavily relied upon. Soft hackles are a good choice when trout are midging high in the water column, as they often do on sunny afternoons.