Dally’s Fly Fishing Report 12/4/19

Streamer madness…if it ain’t chartreuse what’s the use?

Water Water Water!! Woah, there’s alot of water in the White River system right now. Bull Shoals Lake is more than 13 feet over power pool, which will take months to draw back down, and that means there will be plenty of water to go around come January when streamer madness takes over Cotter, AR. So streamer addicts, rest easy, looks like it’s gonna be a good season.

Spillways are open on both Bull Shoals and Norfork Dams, sending big water down both river corridors – approximately 19,000cfs on White River and 8,000cfs on Norfork. The volume and current speed could potentially further delay the brown trout spawn, but in the meantime the fish should be well fed on any number of food sources ranging from midges and blue winged olives to threadfin shad flushed over the dam to nine inch stocked rainbows.

Chris Walsh Feb 2019. All the high water this year will turn 4lbs into 5lbs!

Spillway water has other interesting side effects besides the opportunity to fish shad patterns. One, the churning turbulence at the foot of the dam stirs up some silt and sediment, staining the river just slightly, which makes for good fishing with large meaty flies like worms or baitfish patterns or streamers. Two, the lake water spilling over the dam carries not just shad but catchable game fish as well such as White Bass, Stripers, Hybrids, Walleye, Largemouth, Smallmouth, etc., adding to the mystery of what might be pulling on the end of your line.

Hard to say how long the spillway release will last – likely not more than a few days – but while it lasts enjoy it for the mysterious boiling cauldron of fish protein that it is.

The view from CJ’s Crooked Hideaway….winter sunset over Rea Valley

Read on for specific fly choices.

White River:

Attractor flies are the go to choice for high water conditions: egg patterns; San Juan worms in pink, red, orange, natural; Cheeto fly; Daphnia Cluster fly. Shad and other baitfish imitations will be strong during spillway release and immediately after their closure: AR Beadhead, Puff Daddy, White Wooly Bugger, Sparkle Minnow in various colors, Wiggle Minnow for surface action, Ice Pick, Lunch Money. Large articulated streamers 5-7inches in length are a good way to target big fish in big water: Dally’s Twerking Minnow and Lap Dancer, CJ’s Sluggo, Schmidt’s Double Deceiver.

Norfork River:

Spillway release is equivalent of two FULL units, so high water tactics apply. Attractor flies are the go to choice for high water conditions: egg patterns; San Juan worms in pink, red, orange, natural; Cheeto fly; Daphnia Cluster fly. Shad and other baitfish imitations will be strong during spillway release and immediately after their closure: AR Beadhead, Puff Daddy, White Wooly Bugger, Sparkle Minnow in various colors, Wiggle Minnow for surface action, Ice Pick, Lunch Money. Large articulated streamers 5-7inches in length are a good way to target big fish in big water: Dally’s Twerking Minnow and Lap Dancer, CJ’s Sluggo, Schmidt’s Double Deceiver.