Chad Johnson holding a nice brown for a happy customer this week
With June comes the beginning of jungle heat to the Ozarks. Expect high heat, high humidity, and scattered thunderstorms all the time. But what better place could you be when the mercury rises than the cool, clear flowing creeks and rivers of these beautiful hills? Wet wading is one of the greatest joys of summer in my opinion. Shedding those stifling waders and standing knee deep in cold water is about as cool and refreshing as it gets.
Fishing is heating up too. Trout are munching on everything from midges to mayflies to meaty terrestrials. Smallmouth are gobbling up crawdads, minnows, and poppers. It’s hard to go wrong in June – float or wade White River, Norfork River, Buffalo National River, or Crooked Creek. I’ve also heard good reports of early morning bass fishing on Bull Shoals or Norfork Lake.
Dam releases have been holding around minimum flow, and sometimes ramping up to as much as 2,000cfs, but regardless the wading opportunities are everywhere. Fly selection is quite varied this time of year, with a lot of different prey items showing up.
Midges of course are a standard – Ruby, RootBeer, Redneck, and Whitetail midges continue to produce. In the nymphing department, it’s hard to go wrong with Flashback Pheasant Tails #16, or Micro Mayfly nymphs #16-18.
Some sporadic Sulphur Mayfly activity has been witnessed, so not a bad time to try Sulphur Nymphs, yellow or orange soft hackles, and even Parachute Sulphur dries.
Early summer small terrestrials are showing up as well. Now is a great time to drift cricket, beetle, ant, and juvenile hopper patterns. Try Hi-Vis Ants, Hippie Stompers, Fat Alberts, and Charlie Boy hoppers.
One unit continues round the clock, which provides good current for deep drifted nymphs and midges. Super Midges, Whitetail Midges, Hunchback Scuds, Sunday Specials, Pheasant Tails, and Hare’s Ears are all solid choices.
Swinging Buggers, Slump Busters, and other small leechy streamers can entice a solid fish as well.