Beautiful weather, fall colors, mild and stable flows, and hungry trout are all on the menu for those lucky enough to be visiting the White River during this crazy election week. Thank goodness, trout do not concern themselves with the perils of voting or counting votes. Instead they are currently busy feeding on various midges, caddis, and mayflies emerging from the river bottom, and they can be caught equally well by Republicans and Democrats. Certainly there are areas of the fly fishing world that intersect with politics, like fisheries management, regulations, land use, access, etc., but the act of fishing itself, of casting a fly rod and catching trout, rests on no platform but the place where the angler stands.
USACE is currently experiencing difficulty publishing data on turbine release from Bull Shoals Dam; however, the tailwater elevation data column is operational, and that is as good a measurement as any to determine the amount of water being released. The White has been flowing pretty stable around the clock between 452ft and 453ft above sea level. To put that in perspective, minimum flow on the White is around 450ft above sea level, so currently the river is running 2 to 3 feet higher than minimum, which is fairly light flow.
A variety of nymphs size 14-16 are working well, from midges to caddis to mayflies. DW Whitetail midges and Super midges are killer. Dally’s Tailwater Jigs, Rainbow Warriors, Lightning Bugs, and red or silver Copper Johns are all producing well. Notice all these nymphs are flashy, with a color preference leaning towards silver and red. Sunday Specials and other small tan caddis pupae are sufficient when fall caddis are popping, usually in the afternoons/evenings. On warm afternoons small terrestrial dries like Evan’s Baby Foam and Fat Alberts #10-12 are viable. E/C Caddis tan #14-16 are great fished in slow current seams along the river margins.