It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s 3,000 or 30,000 cfs- the White River will always produce quality fish. Granted, the distance between the split shot and the indicator seems to grow significantly in higher flows, but being flexible in how we present a fly can pay off greatly if we are diligent.
Now while high water is not necessarily a nymph fisherman’s best friend, it is however ideal for those wanting to throw streamers, or perhaps terrestrials.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers closed the floodgates on Bull Shoals, resulting in a nearly 17,000 cfs decrease from 29,000 cfs to around 12,000 this morning. Expect flows to rise in the afternoons when its warm, and drop back overnight while this temperature run continues.
This decrease continues to leave the door wide open for a variety of techniques, and if anything, should only increase catch rates, as many fishermen will find these flows more conducive to success.
Certainly running a boat in 12,000 is a lot less daunting to most folks than the 30,000 cfs, the rigs are long but not ridiculous, and the streamer fishing is still good.
With that, lets talk about what’s been working.
As of right now, the only big change on the White should be the length of your leader! Nymph fishermen should continue to see good success fishing a variety of San Juan Worms especially in conjunction with an egg pattern.
There’s been a few reports of brown trout being packed with scuds from some of our local conventional tackle guides. So adding some McLellan’s Hunchback scuds in dark grey, tan, rainbow, or orange would be a wise choice as well.
Wotton’s Whitetail Super Midges can also come into their own on these sort of 3 unit flows we are seeing now
It’s almost time to start testing out the terrestrial box.
The streamer bite will continue to be strong in these higher flows. Try throwing: BFH Double Deceivers, Modern Deceivers, Dally’s Twerkin Minnows, and CJ’s Sluggo’s (try throwing the Sexy Shad color at one of the many warm water species hanging to the left of the dam).
With the Norfork continuing to run two units, nymph fishing with a San Juan/egg combination continues to be a solid choice. Streamer choices include: Lafkas’ Modern Deceiver & Super Cougar, Twerkin Minnows, and Sluggo’s.
But keep looking at the schedule for those little windows of morning minimum flow which should continue if you want some hot wading action.
Crooked Creek is still on the fall, being about 400 cfs higher than typical summer height (around 150 cfs)- making it perfect floating height. Smallmouth fishing has been fantastic, as we have received multiple reports of big smallies being caught. Craft fur clousers, Creek Crawlers, and Boogle Bugs have been working phenomenally in the creek.