Streamer brown trout with Dally’s guide Gabe Levin this week
Ahh, springtime in the Ozarks, the redbuds and dogwoods are blooming, turkeys are gobbling, fields are greening up… and the lakes are rising.
With the lakes just up into flood pool we are seeing fairly steady flows on our tail waters. Don’t fret; the fishing is still really good this time of year.
This is not a high water event as we had in 2008 or 2011; these are normal spring flows that we have missed during the past couple of dry years. Bull Shoals is scheduled to crest by the end of next week with close to 80% of flood pool capacity still available.
Wade fish is hard to find but operating a river boat or rowing a drifter in higher water is actually easier than dodging rocks in low flows. What I’m trying to say is don’t let spring keep you from enjoying our trout water. Just adapt to the conditions and enjoy.
For you streamer addicts, this is some of the best water we have had this year, minus the ice in your guides and frozen fingers. Deceivers, Double D’s, the Cactus Woolies and Conrad Sculpin have all been productive this week, as well as many others in our vast streamer collection.
Nymphing in higher water is basically the same as low water just with longer leaders more weight and larger flies. A weighted nymph pattern like a Prince nymph or a Clint’s Sunday Special trailed by a Bead Head Midge has produced well this week as has our “Spaghetti and Meatball” combination, (egg and a worm).
Spring signs like the “Blooming” Dogwoods also signal the start of great temperate bass fishing. Chasing White Bass and Hybrids with a fly as they move up into the creek arms of the lakes is great fun. Clouser minnow patterns in various colors will usually do the trick. Don’t forget our Temperate Bass Class with Bill Butts on April 18th. He will cover everything from history, biology, and reproduction to location and gear. There are still a few spots left so give us a call and reserve a spot or come by the shop. We’ll be glad to go over rigging techniques and get you set up with the terminal tackle and flies you need to enjoy fishing this great time of year.