Heavy rains last weekend sent a ton of water down the White River, leading to some intermittent periods of minimum flow below Bull Shoals Dam, so the past few days of fishing have been performed under highly volatile conditions of rising and falling water, with some stained runoff mixed in. Nevertheless, the fish have to eat, and Dally’s guide team has been consistently putting browns in the net.
Now conditions are starting to stabilize: flows are settling into a very manageable pattern of 10,000-16,000cfs, and tributaries are rapidly falling and clearing. Weather looks favorable for a brown trout bite heading towards the weekend, with cloudy skies Thursday and Friday, partially sunny Saturday and Sunday. Early next week it’s going to get clear and cold, so make sure you’re prepared with quality Simms thermal gear.
Stripping big streamers is of course all the rage this time of year, and Dally’s is freshly stocked with well tested local patterns like CJ’s Sluggo and Big Johnson, Dally’s Lap Dancer, Tiny Dancer, and Twerking Minnow, and Lafkas’ Modern Deceiver, White River Deceiver, and Super Cougar. When fish are not willing to chase, or if your skillset is not strong with an 8wt and a six inch fly, don’t be too proud to dredge an egg. Anglers of any skill level can have steady action and opportunities at Big browns with a simple floating line, indicator, split shot, and egg or worm pattern.
Wade fishermen can find solace on the Norfork in the afternoons, which are getting longer every week. Flows are down to minimum starting about 1pm, and easy access can be had at Quarry Park and Ackerman. Use an egg or worm pattern as an attractor, and add a Root Beer midge, Psycho midge, DW Whitetail midge, or Hunchback scud.