Fishing has been pretty solid the past week despite the up and down in flows and extra runoff from scattered showers. Flows are looking more stable as of today, on the White at least, which is running at around 17,000cfs and projected to hold steady today. Norfork is projected to flow steady at one unit, but what we’re seeing in real time is actually 2,700cfs (most of a unit) running from early morning to early evening, and minimum flow late evening through the night. With sunlight not fading until 7:30pm, wade fishermen could potentially capitalize on low water for a couple hours at Quarry Park in the evenings, if this pattern continues.
A number of techniques are catching fish right now. Dead drifting baitfish patterns like AR Beadheads, Sparkle Minnows, Meat Whistles is still a reliable way to target larger trout – even though this winter’s shad kill was not prolific, hungry trout find it difficult to resist a well presented dead minnow imitation. As the weather warms, we’re starting to see more insect activity in the form of midge hatches, and caddis won’t be far behind. Now is a great time to start tying on weighted midges and nymphs (DW Whitetail and Super midges, Dally’s Tailwater Jig, Iron Lotus, Prince Nymphs) and caddis pupa imitations (Nick’s Fat Cadass, Caddistrophic Pupa, Dally’s Mother’s Day Caddis Jig). In high water conditions, a good way to get these smaller flies noticed is to fish them behind a larger brighter fly such as one of the baitfish patterns listed above or a good ole fashioned San Juan worm. If you’re patient, skilled, and determined, streamer fishing is also still producing big browns here and there, on both weighted patterns like Dally’s BFH Twerking Minnow, Lafkas’ Lovechild Sculpin, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon and more buoyant patterns like Dally’s Tiny Dancer, CJ’s 5″ Sluggo, and Lafkas’ Super Cougar.
If you try to sneak in a couple evening hours on the Norfork on low water, try standards like Root Beer midges, Hunchback Scuds, Tailwater Sowbugs, Dally’s Tailwater Soft Hackle, Anna K’s, and olive or black Wooly Buggers.