With school out, June is often family time on the White. For six days in a row now I have guided 10-12 year old kids with an accompanying parent or grandparent. Honestly it’s very enjoyable work. The White is such a perfect place to introduce a youngster to the fun of trout on a fly rod. The abundance of stocked rainbows in the river usually translates to reasonably easy success, which rewards the new comer’s efforts and kindles an interest in pursuing the sport.
Traditionally, Dry Run Creek at the Norfork fish hatchery has been the go-to place to introduce kids to fly fishing, with good reason. Normally Dry Run is full of large fish of less than average intelligence, which can really spoil a kid on their first outing. However, reduced flow coming out of the hatchery and increased fishing pressure have raised the difficulty level significantly on the creek. Perhaps in the future the creek will be restored to its former glory, but personally I believe the White River is a better option for youngsters to have a fun day on the water. The river provides a better diversity of scenery, wildlife sightings, different fishing holes to try, and potentially even the opportunity to swim or play in the shallows.
So if you’re considering taking a child or grandchild on a fly fishing trip, consider hiring a guide out of Dally’s for a boat trip on the White. If the youngster is under 12 years old, perhaps a half day trip would suffice – 4 hours is often more than enough for the limited attention span of a first timer! All of the guides at Dally’s are accustomed to the low pressure, fun first approach to family fishing. Don’t be afraid to introduce your family to the big river and all its adventures.
Read on for specifics on flows and flies.
Flows of one unit or approximately 3,000cfs are steady through the morning hours, providing good fishing for numbers and the occasional brown, mostly by drifting a double nymph rig. A popular rig amongst the guides is to use a #14 jigged nymph such as a jigged Pheasant Tail or Hare’s Ear, Devil Jig in red or copper, or jigged Prince nymph. These flies are compact and heavy, providing a good sink rate while being easier to cast than split shot. As a dropper below the jigged nymph, add a midge of some kind – Wotton Super and Whitetail midges in black/silver/red are strong, as are Ruby and Redneck midges. Large rubber legged nymphs such as Fox Squirrel Nymphs and stonefly imitations are producing fish as well. There is not an abundance of stoneflies in the White, but perhaps the fish see these flies as drowned terrestrials. Who cares. They work. In the afternoon expect an increase in flows, up to 20,000cfs some days. The high water can give up some truly big browns on either large nymphs or streamers – Double Deceivers, Sluggos, DDDs, Twerking Minnows are all go to flies for trophy trout.
Two units continue around the clock. Think deep and heavy nymphing with San Juan worms, rubber legged nymphs, Pheasant Tails, #14 Wotton midges, and #14 Hunchback Scuds. Weighted streamers like BFH Deceivers, Sex Dungeons, Ice Picks, Lovechild Sculpins are all good choices to penetrate the deep swift flows.