I’ll be honest. When my alarm went off this morning, and I awoke in the dark with rain battering my window and thunder rattling the glass, I was not enthused about having to get up and head to the river. I was certain I would spend the whole day rowing in the rain, hunched over my solemn soggy seat like a shaggy dog reluctantly accepting a bath. The rain stopped just before I launched the boat, and I was relieved for a brief moment before realizing that the river would soon be muddy from runoff. “Just great” I thought to myself as I floated past Tool Creek, which was dumping cappuccino into the river. “I’ve picked the wrong float, and now I’m stuck with chocolate milk the rest of the day, should’ve gone to the damn dam.” Determined to make the best of it, I put on a large yellow streamer and instructed my client, Cary, to fish the seam where the clear water and muddy water combined. Three casts and one fat 20″ brown later, my confidence improved dramatically, and the rest of the float produced steady action from browns in the form of follows, swipes, misses, and hookups. Cary’s skills with a streamer rod improved over the course of the day too, culminating in the long slender fish pictured above. You just never know what’s in store when you put in on the White and start throwing giant flies, but two things to take away from today’s float are 1) keep the faith even when your day starts with a thunderstorm, and 2) don’t fear the mud.
Flows are anywhere from 8,000 to 18,000cfs around the clock, so wade fishing opportunities are limited, but don’t let that discourage you, cause it’s summertime and the trout are a bitin’ regardless of the water level. There are plenty of boat rentals in the area, and our guides are ready, willing, and able to float you to a good time. Drifting Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails, Devil Jigs, Super Sinkers, and other heavily weighted nymphs deep under an indicator will produce steady action from rainbows and the occasional brown or cutthroat. Trail your heavy nymph with a #14 Wotton Super or Whitetail Midge for extra effectiveness. If things get desperate or you find yourself in stained water, go with a brightly colored San Juan and plenty split shot. For the proficient to advanced angler looking to score a big brown, grab your 8weights, sinking lines, and favorite streamers and get out there – mid summer big water is the lesser known streamer season! We have olive Double Deceivers back in stock, Swimming JImmies, Fatheads, and Lynch’s DD’s and DDD’s for a nice erratic action that drives browns crazy. To explore deeper into the abyss, use weighted flies like Dungeons, Cheech’s Leech, and Conrad Sculpins. Hopper fishing is just getting warmed up too, check out our newest additions.
Norfork was offering up some fine wade fishing, but it appears the flow schedule is going to be 1/2 to a full unit for a little while at least. Again, don’t let this bother you – 3,000cfs on the ‘Fork is a gorgeous level for drifting and you will see bigger and better fish biting on the higher water. Sunday Specials, Root Beer Midges, Whitetail Midges, and Hunchback Scuds are the staples, but the occasional appearance of sulfurs or crane flies makes it a good idea to carry Pheasant Tails, Sulfur Nymphs, and other brown to rusty colored nymphs.