So the other night, I was flipping through the latest edition of Shooting Sportsman, when I came across an article titled “It’s not all about the shooting.”
The author emphasizes the importance of not basing the success of your hunting trip solely on how many birds you saw and/or shot, but rather the overall experience of the trip. For example- what other unique and interesting things did you on your trip?
At this time of year the river is quieter, fewer motor boats and less people, and the banks come alive with the sights and sounds of fall. There’s been more than one party out in the past few weeks watching a doe swim the river at high speed, with a buck hot on her heels.
There’s a well known eagle pair, who we have been watching relocate their nest, from the Baxter to the Marion County banks, stick by stick by stick. We even found out from our mate Mick, that the new abode is going to be the envy of the neighbourhood with some serious plush, courtesy of the stuffing from the cushions on his outside settee.
Fishing is not all about how many fish you catch; it’s about the time you get to enjoy away from the chaos of life. It doesn’t matter if we are chasing quail with a shorthair, or brown trout with a fly rod, we should not look at the success of the trip as how many birds or fish we got, but instead how much fun we had while doing it.
With that said, let’s talk about what’s been working.
We have been seeing flows from 3,000-14,000 cfs with cold morning bouncing up electricity demand and hence the flows.
Even with the big bumpers there have been wadeable windows on the warmer afternoons. Smart waders could find minimum flow up river on Wednesday, today yu might have been wading 3000 cfs. Nymph fisherman can expect to continue to have good success fishing midges (ruby, rootbeer, & rainbow in size 18), the Wotton Midge series, devil jigs (red and copper in sizes 14 & 16), pheasant tails (in sizes 14, 16, & 18). Adding a Y2K, glo bug or san juan as an attractor is a solid bet
As flows get higher, streamers such as olive wooly buggers and small baitfish are working very well. When flows begin to limit us to only boat fishing, smaller 6” streamers like Schmidt’s Double Deceivers and Dally’s Twerkin’ Minnows and larger streamers like CJ’s Sluggo and Galloup’s Triple Dungeon will be highly productive.
There has been very little wadeable water on the colder days, but with the little we have had, nymph fisherman have been doing well with midges (root beer and black & purple zebra in sizes 16 & 18), pheasant tails (size 16 & 18), and hunchback scuds (size 16 & 18).
Try fishing a little more colorful nymph beneath an attractor pattern (like an egg or San Juan worm). That little bit of extra flash has seemed to grabbed the fish’s attention.
But keep your eyes open, Norfork was off this afternoon as the day warmed.