Dally’s Fishing Report 4-14-16

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Don with a White River brown on a guide trip with Chad Johnson

It’s amazing to see the variety of behavior exhibited by White River brown trout, in different flows and at different times of year. The same fish that will rocket off a turbulent high water bank in March to annihilate an 8” streamer will gently mouth a #18 midge in a flat shallow pool in May, or more likely spook before your fly ever drifts near him.

Slow, clear water and sunshine is a good combination to SEE  a lot of monster browns, but not necessarily to catch them. Taking a boat ride on the White right now can seem like looking into a crystalline aquarium stocked with giant trout that you aren’t allowed to fish for. When you point out to your fishing customers 5-10lb fish that you’re not even going to stop and try for, well, at some point you just have to stop pointing and move along. You can try of course, but most efforts will be met with the sight of a brown trout arse sprinting away.

The standard behavior of the fish 22” and larger is usually to flee, but there are so many up and comers, the 17” to 21” trout, that can be taken in these conditions with a long, careful, accurate drift……and then some pretty good fish handling skills. So, enjoy the eye candy out there, but don’t let it bug you when the really big ones consistently spook. Focus on the catchable fish and know that eventually all of them will have to eat.

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Captain Ray Henley on Crooked Creek with guide Ben Levin

-Gabe Levin

Read On for the rest of the fishing report

White River:
Minimum flow all day except for a modest release for a few hours in the evening has been the flow pattern – prime conditions for wading. Low water tactics have been the game. Swing buggers and hackles in the riffles and slow drift midges and sowbugs in the pools. Small Olive, Brown, or Black Wooly Buggers are consistent producers, if you prefer the soft hackles try Dally’s Tailwater Soft Hackle in Caddis Green, red or Black, Ron McQuay’s Anna Ks, or Hare’s Ears.
Over on the midge front Root Beer Midges, Redneck Midges, Psycho Mides and small Super Midges, are all strong righ now. You can run a Wotton Sowbugs, Tailwater Sowbig, or Sunday Special ahead of the midges.

Norfork River:
Steady one unit flows provides a safer place for a prop motor if you aren’t experienced in low water on the White. Fishing is steady with deep drifted nymphs and midges like Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Hare’s Ears, Sunday Specials, Super Midges, and Whitetail Midges. Stripping weighted sculpin patterns is a good way to try for a better fish.