The weather is hot and the water is high, but the summertime trout fishing is starting to shape up into fine form. The smiling faces and quality trout pictured here are a testament to the caliber of fishery that is the White in summer. Terrestrial dry flies are catching some big browns, especially early in the morning and late in the evening. Hot patterns include Evan’s Baby Foam, Wiley’s Ant, Psycho Ant, Gould’s Western Lady in tan, and Fat Alberts in black.
When the sun gets high and the fog burns off, switch to nymphing tactics and try a Jigged Girdle Bug or Rubberleg Jig close to bank structure and dropoffs. To increase productivity, add a #14-16 dropper in the form of a Tailwater Jig, DW Super Midge, Devil Jig, Frenchie, or Pheasant Tail. Alternatively, back off the banks a little more and fish deep with San Juan worms in red, pink, or natural.
The high volume of water coming down the White creates a lot of swirling eddy water along certain banks especially where large boulders come into play. The conflicting currents in these areas are difficult places to execute a perfect dead drift either with the dry fly or the nymph, so consider employing streamer tactics in these areas. Rubberleg Wooly Buggers, Galloup’s Dungeon and Mini Dungeon, and other buggy looking critters are perfect choices to twitch across eddies and seams. Or, swing for the fences and send the big profile streamers out there to hunt: Dally’s Twerking Minnow, CJ’s Big Johnson, and Lafkas’s Modern Deceiver are all proven hunters of big fish.
Norfork is running two units swift, deep, and clear. Fishing is very streaky but can be great for short periods with FM Blobs, Cheetos, and large egg patterns trailed by DW Whitetail Midges, Hunchback Scuds, and Tailwater Jigs. Girdle Bugs and Rubberleg Wooly Buggers also take quality fish on the ‘Fork in summer heat.
Don’t overlook the consistent and easy fun of casting small poppers, Wooly Buggers, and crayfish patterns for spunky panfish in the clear shallows of Crooked Creek and Buffalo National River.