Taking advantage of some Norfork low water to get into some caddis action
Rain, rain all around, but surprisingly the lakes are in pretty decent shape, the White has been rocking and there’s been a little dry fly low water action on the Norfork when the sun pops out.
Marc Poulos and I took a crew of four Georgia fly fishers to the Fork yesterday for some low water entertainment, figuring we would get in ahead of the higher flows. And while the midge fishing was very good, the burst of dry fly activity after lunch was particularly fun. Zach, above scored his best ever fish, the 18” rainbow above on a tailwater soft hackle hanging underneath an EC caddis. The better fish ate the dropper but just as we were getting some better eats on the dry we lost the sun and the hatch, such is life.
The White has been rocking as well, with the Levin brothers reporting they have been banging fish from Rim Shoals to Gastons.
Now with all the rain we had last weekend, stifled the highest flows this week, with the Buffalo, Crooked Creek and more tributaries downstream running high and hard, and dirty. If you plan on floating Norfork, there Confluence takeout is a lot closer to the road than normal.
But I jumped on the Lakes Forecast to look at the Whole system to check on the state of the flood waters being held back. Beaver will be at 40% of its (small) flood pool Sunday, Table Rock is running spillgates to supplement releases after two generators failed but had 97% of flood pool open.
Bull Shoals is 6’ into flood pool or at 14%, so in reality, without another deluge coming we are at pretty normal spring position. And now onto the rest of this week’s fly fishing report:
WHITE RIVER: There has been some big water around the past couple of weeks during the day, but thankfully some lower flows overnight which makes for some nice easy fishing, without going to the deep nymphing rigs.
On the lower flows, Princes, Ruby Midges, Sunday Specials and Whitetails Midges have been the gotos.
The water can get pretty trashy as it climbs, so stay ahead of the rise and keep moving downstream or jump back up to the clean water.
Eggs and worms have been working well in the dirty water, and there is a good shot at a streamer fish early and late.
The windows of low flows appear to be shrinking but if you can find some low water through the warmer part of the day then you are in for a treat.
Midge fishing with Ruby Midges, Rainbow Warriors, Whitetails and the like is extremely productive, with some nice browns turning up and Marc putting Zach’s father onto a very good Norfork slam with an 18” brown.
Take along some Caddis pupa, hotwire princes Psycho Princes and tailwater soft hackles plus a handful of Elk Hairs or E/C caddis. Carring a few sulphurs or Parachute Cranefly patterns will also be worthwhile