Dally’s Fly Fishing Report _ 11/5/15

Larry Pitts enjoying the fall colors and great fishing on the Norfork with Chad Johnson. Steve Dally photo.

Beautiful weather, low flows, and willing trout are the highlights of the week. Mornings can be foggy and chilly, sometimes in the 40s, and afternoons can sometimes climb into the 70s, but generally daytime temps average in the 50s and 60s throughout November. Water releases are fluctuating between a half unit and one to two units. This means ample wading opportunities throughout the river system, and dependable wading most if not all day in the lower shoals like Roundhouse, Rim, and Buffalo Shoals. These are excellent flows for personal watercraft as well, allowing access to in-between places, lesser known shoals, and even mid-river humps.

Easy, highly productive nymphing for rainbows is usually the most dependable fishing in fall, making it an ideal time of year for beginning fly fishers, families, kids, or those who like steady action and beautiful scenery. Guide boats have been having fun putting up big numbers of fish, even with first time fly fishers. However, the White River system holds so many browns that a few are always catchable even though most are changing their hangouts and habits according to the fall spawn.

-Gabe Levin

Lauren Hildreth catches her first trout on a fly rod, on a beautiful afternoon, on an empty stretch of river, on a dry fly!

White River:

With the water down and the fish concentrated in main runs and pools, the easiest way to bring a bunch of fish to hand is to drift two flies under an indicator. A heavy tungsten beaded nymph makes a good lead fly for weight – try Devil Jigs, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, and Copper Johns. Use a midge or crustacean dropper to double your effectiveness – try Ruby and Root Beer midges, Super and Whitetail midges, Zebra midges, Wotton sowbugs, and Tailwater sowbugs. A terrestrial bite is still possible early in morning, late in the evening, or during an overcast day. Rainbows and potentially a big brown will munch Fat Alberts, Western Ladies, and Chernobyl style dries. Small streamers like Slump Busters, Sparkle Minnows, and traditional olive woolies in bead head or cone head varieties will also pull quite a few fish.

Travis caught this fat brown on his first fly fishing trip, lower White River, guide Gabe Levin

Norfork River:

Water flows are usually off during the day and on in the late afternoon, but exceptions to the schedule are always possible, so enjoy your wade fishing but keep an eye on the water. Flows are stained from lake turnover effect, so an attractor such as an egg or worm is very effective at calling attention to your second offering, which should be a midge or scud preferably. Try Whitetail and Super midges, Root Beer midges, and dark colored scuds. For selective fish in slow water, a simple scud fished naturally as possible (no split shot, no attractor, small indicator) is hard to beat.