Well for the second time since Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher opened we are having the flood gates opened. The good news is that it is the second time, so we have got a better idea what to expect.
And the actual levels aren’t as high as they could be. From the Corp press release yesterday it looks like they will start opening gates on Bull Shoals Dam on Saturday until they reach 30,000 cfs on Sunday, with generation and gates combined. Norfork gates will open “about January 20” which will see a generation/gates total of 10,000 cfs.
The first big question is what the Corps description of a “prolonged period of time” actually means. The second is of course is what will it do to the fishing?
Based on previous experience once we get through the first few days, when you can expect monster amounts of debris, leaves, branches, sediment and trees, pulled off the banks the fishing should settle.
The middle of the river will have plenty of depth and speed, so it’s the softer edges you will be looking at, even if that means car parks and back yards: no matter if you are on a boat or wading.
Yup I said wading: the flooded grass will draw fish in to mop up the drowned worms, bugs and other food. Wildcat and White Hole car parks sound good: try and stay out of the water and stalk these fish.
Boat fishers will be trying to target a lot of similar areas, to capitalize on what will become a worm feeding frenzy. But we would certainly urge prudence and caution if you take a boat out onto this water level. The rise in water creates new obstacles and extra water speed makes things happen faster.
For the streamer fishers coming to town for the next 6 weeks hold onto your hats as we gather up more information over the next week. And don’t be throwing out all those deer-hair head and foam bugs, in favor of heavy flies, the former could prove invaluable parking lot fishing,.
If you have trips booked please stay in contact with the shop, particularly from the middle of next week on, as we will have a better picture on what is going on, and hopefully some big fish shots. You can never say this is boring