It’s said that fortune follows the brave, but when it comes to our Ozark tailwaters fortune goes to the patient and the persistent. Right now its payoff time for the persistant and patient among the waders.
On the White at least there’s been plenty of wading available and plenty of smiling faces around among the wade only afficianados: payoff for a pretty hard run for the last 12 months. (If you recall the summer deluge, started in May, just when the water was ripe for minimum flow).
It really is time to jump on the offerings while it lasts: I daresay generation will increase if the temperature push into the 90s.
We all love to wade, there is an essential freedom and connectedness in being in a river. Watercraft, for me at least, were freedom to go where I couldn’t walk, to reach the fish that others can’t.
There is plenty of that water on the White and Norfork when she is wadeable, not necessarily devoid of people, but way less than you will find at the accesses, which are mostly 6 miles apart.
I was talking to one veteran customer today, a wade fisher, who has never fished beautiful stretches like Shoestring Shoal, or Redbud, or the Rough Hole fishy water less traveled. Islands like Cane Island, the Narrows, Roundhouse and others can be fished safely and easily on all sorts of water flows, from minimum on up with something as simple as a kayak.
Not to mention access to the Buffalo, Crooked Creek and other streams which are really firing right now.
Click onwards for the rest of this week’s fly fishing report
Minimum flow continues most of the daylight hours, offering excellent wade fishing conditions at every access and tons of in-between places if you’ve got personal watercraft. Shallow water nymphing is highly effective with a variety of midges and small nymphs. Try Ruby, Root Beer, and Redneck midges, Sunday Specials, Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails, and Micro Mayfly Nymphs. Swinging a small Wooly Bugger or Dally’s Tailwater Soft Hackle is a hoot as well.
One unit continues, offering a safer place to run prop motors. Deep water nymphing with Whitetail Midges, Trout Crack, Hunchback Scuds, and San Juan Worms is effective. Stripping a weighted sculpin pattern is a great way to prospect for one of the river’s big rainbows, browns, or cutthroats.