Phil and Melvin Wamock spent a day this week with me trying to round up as many trout as possible on the Norfork. It was an attempt to repeat an incredible day last fall when we roped in a bunch of 16-18″ fish. All rodeo metaphors aside, this party is becoming somewhat of an annual event, and one that I will look forward to every fall.
Though not quite as productive as last year’s trip, this trip still yielded a pile of trout, and a handful of fish in the 16-18″ slot. Pictured in this post are two members of the impressive tribe of Norfork Cutthroats, and we caught a Bonneville to boot! A fat football rainbow snapped Phil’s tippet, which was amusing for all including Phil after a few choice words. Some kick a#% bologna sandwiches from Heidi’s rounded out a pretty good day of fun with some pretty good ole boys.
YepYepYepYepYep!!! (inside joke, sorry had to)
Morning dam releases are hovering between 2,500cfs and 5,000cfs, sometimes going as low as minimum, while afternoon releases could range from 5,000-15,000cfs. In other words things are a little unpredictable right now with the changing temperatures and electricity demands. The moderate flows between 2,500cfs and 5,000cfs seem to be the most productive, yielding high numbers of fish using both nymphing and light streamer techniques. Heavy jigged nymphs like the CDC Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear, and Devil Jig provide a compact fast sinking fly to get down in the strong currents, and to sink a smaller offering like a Ruby Midge or Wotton Super Midge down to the right level. Small streamers like Cone Head Woolies, Slump Busters, and Lunch Moneys on a short sink tip or even just a floating line can pull lots of nice fish out pockets, eddies, and drop-offs.
Minimum flow until noon or later is the normal schedule for now. Good wade fishing in the morning can be had in the shoals where the water is more oxygenated. An egg pattern or San Juan Worm makes a nice colorful attractor in the stained water to help the fish find a more subtle offering like a Root Beer Midge, Hunchback Scud, or a Hare’s Ear soft hackle. A half unit or more in the afternoon is best fished with more of the same, only a little deeper and heavier. Try a Jigged CDC Pheasant Tail, Tungsten Sunday Special, or other heavy nymph to catch fish and help sink your egg or worm attractor.