We’ve made it a week into November without any seriously bad weather; we’ll see how much longer our luck holds out. Looks like cold rain tonight and tomorrow morning, then clear skies and warming temperatures starting on Friday, with Saturday and Sunday’s afternoon highs reaching into the sixties. It is shaping up to be a beautiful weekend for trout fishing and taking in the fall colors, and potentially the last best weekend to get outside before the winter weather creeps in.
Flows remain high on the White with a baseline of nearly 13,000cfs and periods of flow in the late morning and early afternoon up to 17,000cfs with conduits open. That pretty much rules out wade fishing, and renting a boat should really only be an option if you have significant experience boating in swift water conditions. Hiring one of Dally’s competent guides to show you how to catch fish in big water is the best way to guarantee your fishing trip is a success.
With the lake level still a few feet into flood pool and more rain coming tonight, it’s not likely we’ll see low water again on the White in 2019. If it continues to rain later in November and December, streamer fishermen hoping for high water conditions after the New Year may be in luck. It’s best not to worry about the conditions of the next season, however, since it’s hard enough to predict what’s going to happen next week.
Flies and techniques for fishing deep swift water are doing very well: eggs, worms, and split shot are great standard choices. For something more subtle, Dally’s Tailwater Jig #14 in silver/black is a killer as is Davy Wotton’s Whitetail midge #14 in silver/black or pearl. Large Rubberleg nymphs are still taking good browns at times but not every day. Cone Head Wooly Buggers, Sparkle Minnows, and other small streamers are good twitched around bank structure and accompanying eddies. Tiny fall caddis hatch on sunny afternoons triggering good action on tan Elk Hair dries and Sunday Special nymphs.
Expect a little less than one unit of water, slightly stained in color. Experienced kayakers and pontoon drifters can safely float and stop at various places to try their luck, just mind the presence of a few steep shoals with fast water and ledge rocks. Eggs and worm patterns are producing well, as are pink and/or orange scuds, Ruby and Root Beer midges. Stripping small dark streamers and sculpin patterns in olive or black can be fun.