The White River system is different and not just for the crazy fog we have been seeing for the last month, nor the vagaries of generation patterns.
It doesn’t matter which of the two tailwaters you are fishing, their ability to turn you from a normal well adjusted fly fisher into a panting, trembling humiliated wreck might be unsurpassed in the Lower 48. Hero to Zero in a heartbeat.
If you have fished here once, or often, you may know the feeling, it only takes on more cast, which is part of the issue. So you are wading, or drifting, happily catching regular fish, whichever species . You have it dialled, this fly fishing gig is pretty good huh?
Then you run across the other type of fish, one of the predators tempted by your midge snack on his nose. Your rod bends deep, throbbing to a different beat, you heartrate rockets while you mind and hands try to catch up.
I’m not sure which is worse lipping out on weight, or hooking up long enough to really understand what you lost, either way I’d suggest the landing rate of these fish is fairly low. In part it’s the size and power of our brown trout, and the light 5x or 6x tippet, multiplied by shock awe and panic.
Good knots, soft hands help to control those first few lunges, and the mental calmness not to lose the plot all help. But to know how to land one of these fish you probably have to lose a few first.
Which is why Foster McDonald’s fish with Jason Loyd (pic below) is so exceptional.
But it only takes one more cast, and it could be you.
WHITE RIVER: The River has cleaned up nicely after last weekend, which also coincided with a shift in generation pattern _ during the week at least.
We are starting to see some low generation in the morning hours instead of minimum flow. But 2000 to 2500 cfs offers some good wading, if not the type where you wade across the whole river.
Midges and mayfly nymph combos remain productive, just adjust your indicator and weight set up to account for the increase in flow. Wotton Midges, Ruby Midges Rainbow Warriors are ahead of the pack, particularly when paired with Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Lightning Bugs, Super Sinkers and Micro Mayflies.
Small streamers are also whacking fish for waders on the lower water, whether its buggers, sparkle minnows, articulated patterns like IcePicks, or single hook flies like the Lunch Money and sculpins.
Hopper addicts are looking for the bump in morning water to kickstart a hopper bite, it’s definately an improvement.
NORFORK: Is in pretty decent shape with some solid fish through the middle of the river. You just have to get there.
Midge patterns behind attractor have been strong, try soft hackles during low water