Beautiful weather, low clear water, hungry trout, bald eagles and osprey, rutting bucks, scratching turkeys – we are truly blessed here on the White River with an outdoorsman’s paradise. Clients over the past week have been delighted by comfortable temperatures, abundant sunshine, fat colorful rainbows, and wildlife sightings. Let us not take these things for granted, or forget that our backyard provides the kind of outdoor experience coveted by vacationers all over the country. It’s worth taking care of.
Brown trout can be seen spawning in shallow gravel runs this time of year. In decades past, the spawn was considered the best time to target brown trout, as they are vulnerable when stationed near their redds. Today, most guides leave spawning browns alone, understanding that a successful trout life cycle is most important to improving the catch quality over time, and that stressing spawning fish isn’t the most sporting experience.
Nevertheless, the spawn does kick off a killer bite on egg patterns, especially just below the shallow spawning areas where cannibalistic rainbows eagerly await stray eggs.
Flows between 2,500cfs and 3,000cfs are fairly consistent, lasting until afternoon at least, and often all day. These flows provide some wade fishing opportunities at inside bends and gravel bars, shoals, and islands, but a river boat, drift boat, or personal watercraft will open up the whole river for you. A number of techniques are working well. On warm sunny days you can still get a terrestrial bite going with patterns like Fat Alberts and Western Ladies, and you can broaden the search with a nymph dropper such as a Devil Jig, Copper John, or Pheasant Tail. An egg-midge combo works as well, with a weighted egg fly in orange or peach followed by a Wotton Super or Whitetail midge in black or red. Finally, small streamers like Woolies, Slump Busters, Sparkle Minnows, and Lunch Moneys can be a fun way to search with strips, twitches, and a little swing.
Flows have been a little up and down, ranging between minimum flow and a half unit or about 1,500cfs. Wade fishing opportunities are ample, though the half unit can be a little swift in places. Drift boats and personal watercraft are a good way to get down the river too – just watch out for the ledge drops in the catch and release area. Nymphing is good with eggs, worms, midges (Ruby, Root Beer, Super midge), and Hunchback scuds. Increase the weight and depth when fishing deeper or faster water. Slump Busters, Cone Head Woolies, and other small weighted streamers stripped slowly over the bottom can effectively cover ground as well.