Lady anglers are kicking butt on the White River. Female participation in outdoor recreation has been on the rise for years, and fly fishing is one of the faster growing pursuits among women in the outdoors. This week it seemed like half the boats on the water had at least one female on board. Increasing diversity in the traditionally male dominated fly fishing scene brings positive growth to the sport by adding perspective and wisdom to the efforts that drive economic growth and work on conservation issues related to outdoor recreation. Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher is proud to help spread the love of fly fishing among women.
The summer brown trout bite is starting to heat up, and there are multiple ways of catching them. The sulfur mayfly hatch continues, especially in the late afternoon and early evening, when browns can be found feeding on emergers along the margins of the river. Fly choice depends on water level, which has been all over the place lately, creating the need for a selection of flies of various weights. In low water conditions, non bead head Pheasant Tails and Sulfur Nymphs as well as Tailwater Soft Hackles in orange are perfect for achieving subtle presentations. In moderate flows, try Micro Mayfly Nymphs and BH Humpback Nymphs. In high water conditions, Super Sinkers and Jigged Pheasant Tails are great for getting down fast. For targeting rising fish regardless of flows, look to Parachute Sulfurs, Film Critics, and Silverman’s Stacker.
The morning hours prior to the sun getting high and bright overhead are a great time to try and take a brown on a terrestrial dry fly. Beetles, hoppers, crickets, ants, cicadas are all getting active in the vegetation along the banks of the river, and when they end up in the water they are tasty food for hungry browns. Fat Alberts, Western Ladies, Wiley’s Ant, and Juicy Bugs are time tested favorites and a great starting selection for summer. Late in the afternoon is also a good time to try these flies in the shade under the overhanging trees along the banks.
Fishing large rubber leg nymphs in shadowed waters and close to bank structure is a great way to prospect the river when the sun is high overhead and there are no insects hatching or fish rising. Jig Stones, Sexi Stones, and other stonefly imitations are good in shades of brown, black, or olive. In low water conditions, many of the fish move away from banks and take refuge in the deeper water around mid-river drop-offs, ledges, and rock piles. Rubber leg nymphs and mayfly nymphs can be highly effective in low flow when fished mid-river away from the banks.