As many of you know, we are in a transition between two of our most sought after fishing times in the year- summertime hopper fishing and winter streamer fishing. Even though we are not targeting our infamous White River Browns, we are however having fun chasing the other sport fish our river has to offer- Rainbows. As you may have seen in last weeks article, we have been catching some phenomenal, hard fighting rainbows.
In preparation for our upcoming streamer season, we recently received a huge streamer order from Mike Schmidt. Flies included: Double Deceivers, Viking Midge’s, Drunk & Disorderly’s, and our newest addition- Mini Viking Midge’s! The store has been accumulating numerous new types of streamers over the past few months, so when streamer season does roll around, we will have full streamer bins and happy customers.
With that, let’s talk about what’s been working.
With the recent closing of the catch and release area below Bull Shoals Dam, guides and fishermen alike who normally fish in that area, seek other areas to fish downstream. While the no fishing zone stretches from the Dam down to the wing dike at the Bull Shoals White River State Park trout dock, there is a second “seasonal” Catch-and-Release Area that stretches from the wing dike down to the downstream boundary of the park. This second area is not only open during the spawn, but is also strictly Catch-and-Release. Any browns caught in this area must be released immediately, as their presence is most likely a direct result of the spawn.
If you are looking for a potential place to wade fish, try going to either the Narrows, Three Chutes, Roundhouse Shoals, or Rim Shoals. While there are other places to wade fish on the river, these are the safest and most accessible.
Currently, nymphing is still the go to method on the White. With flows ranging from one to three units, fishing midges, jig patterns, and eggs under an indicator is accounting for the most success. Rootbeer and Ruby midges, pheasant tails, and a variety of jigs including Devil Jigs, Hare’s Ear Jigs, and Steve’s Tailwater Jigs.
The Norfork continues to be off color due to all the organic matter that ended up in the lake this past April. In addition to its stained appearance there is a slight sulfur odor due to the lake’s Fall turnover. Low dissolved oxygen levels are at least partially to blame for the lower catch rates that we’re currently seeing, but based on recent reports, the catch rates seem to be improving. One report included catching good numbers of both rainbows and browns on caddis dries.
With that said, there’s still good numbers of fish to be caught. When nymph fishing, be sure to run bright colors under an indicator. The best combo’s are either egg patterns or San Juan Worms ahead of a scud or sowbug pattern. Also, don’t rule out a Ruby or Rootbeer midge as well as a Tailwater Jig.