Dave Wiseman with another nice streamer brown fishing with Steve this week
TODAY felt as familiar as an old pair of jeans and a sweater for the first day of fall.
Bull Shoals Dam was delivering some nice relatively consistent flows and it was back to the type of fishing I had to learn my first couple of years guiding on the White in earnest. Ten-foot rods, big bobbers and a spaghetti and meatballs rig, open out your loop and go into the teeth of the big water and just fish.
Of course back in ‘08 and 09 it was about all we had day after day so you either learned the lessons or didn’t survive. It won’t last that long this year.
Sure it doesn’t have the finesse of the caddis hatch and dry fly fishing, or the traditions of soft hackles or the thrills of hardcore streamer fishing. But you get out on the river, where it is truly beautiful right now, we picked up 30 hard fighting and fat rainbows to about 17” and a lot of fun along the way.
And if you are a serious nympher, then the larger palette on which our indicator fishing is drawn in these flows is a great learning tool for small water and lighter flies _ you can’t cheat in this water, its probably more technical than spring creek fishing.
It sure beats sitting in a cabin watching the water flow past. The best way to get into this is with one of our guides to show you how, run the boat, deal with the inevitable tangles and adjust to the changing flows.
But if you are comfortable running a boat in this water (and there is less stuff to hit courtesy of the extra depth) then you can fish this as well.
- Having 1 fisherman and 1 boat driver will get you more fish than 2 rods and 1/2 a boat driver.
- Long 2 stage leaders work better than a tapered leader.
- Match your weight to your bobber
- Cast open loops.
- dead drift and mend
- set on anything
- cleaner the water the more natural the fly
And now onto the rest of the fly fishing report for the White River and Norfork Tailwater this week.
Jim Robertson on the big water at Rim
WHITE RIVER: You can probably expect a little easing in the flows through the weekend, particularly if East Arkansas and south east Missouri get blasted by the latest rain. But we are going to have water for a couple of weeks at least.
There are plenty of caddis popping downstream of Cotter at least and some warm days and slightly lower flows can still produce some hectic action. A Prince or Caddis Pupa ahead of a Whitetail Midge or Ruby Midge is a great way to wait on the fish on those lower flows we have been seeing after midnight.
You can find these flows Cotter downstream, though be prepared to change fast as the big water pushes in late morning or early afternoon.
If you are desperate to toss a caddis dry look for places (current lines, quiet eddies or sloughs) where the bugs with be gathered up and concentrated. Its not dead yet.
Streamers have been pretty decent, the hard part is judging the flows and fish low light periods. Deceivers and Triple Ds have been drawing fish. On the bigger water look for flies with some weight to get a fast drop