Well two of our crew, Steve Dally and Ben Levin, are galavanting off down south in Florida trying to catch a tarpon or some silly little fish like that. What poor souls. In just a week’s time, half of the crew will be trucking north to the wilds of Wisconsin, pining for the tug of a heavy smallmouth on a light fly pole. It’s a fly fishing experience other than trout that we’re after, simply for a change of flavor. Guiding the same 30 miles of river week after week, month after month – a change of scenery and change in target species is necessary every now and again to reset and refocus.
Because we spend so much time guiding on the White, we don’t always worry about what kind of fishing we’ll be missing at home while we’re away. In case you were wondering, we are not taking a break in July because the local trout fishing suffers at that time. We simply just have to take a break and catch a fish for ourselves, something other than a trout.
The irony of the situation is that we’re driving away from one of the best trout rivers in the nation, just as the summer terrestrial bite is warming up, and we will wave and smile at the trucks with boats driving towards Arkansas, to the White River, to scratch their own itch. For many folks who make the White River and Dally’s a regular destination, trout fishing is their escape. Some come from the big cities and need a dose of quiet and slow. Some come from the flatlands where there is no clear water and certainly no trout. All come to get away from their own daily grind and bend a pole.
Read on for specifics on flows and flies:
Expect one unit or approximately 3,000cfs during the morning hours. This water is producing well with nymphs and midges, as we’re still seeing some sporadic hatches of both tan caddis and sulfur mayflies and some heavy midge clouds. Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear, and Micro Mayfly nymphs are all strong choices, and excellent to pair with a Redneck Midge or one of Wotton’s Super or Whitetail midge series. Expect the water to start coming up by noon, and reaching as high as 15,000cfs by 2pm. The high water really puts the terrestrial game into play as the waters start climbing the banks, washing bugs into the river and providing bank habitat for hungry browns. Try a variety of large leggy patterns in black, pink, purple (Fat Albert, Juicy Bug, Western Lady, Wiley’s Ant).
Minimum flow for the morning hours is providing a wade fisherman’s oasis for at least half the day, with excellent access at Ackerman. Some caddis and sulfurs continue to hatch in a few spots, along with the consistent midge activity and abundant crustaceans. Try Sunday Specials, Graphic Caddis in tan, Micro Mayfly nymph brown, Root Beer midge, Parachute Sulfur, E/C Caddis in tan, Dally’s Tailwater Soft Hackle in orange. Look for the water to rise by early afternoon, and either plan your escape or plan to fish from a boat in the afternoon.