Wade fishing opportunities are still here to capitalize on over the Holiday period, but the pattern of up and down flow right now is not very stable, so it’s important to not schedule your entry and exit from the river based on what you see on the SWPA projection, but rather on your own observation of your surroundings.
If you get in the water soon after the flow has dropped (because you might only have a short window of opportunity) and pay close and regular attention to the water line on the bank while you fish, while not straying too far from your exit or too far across midstream, you can have a safe and effective wade fishing session on a fairly regular basis right now.
Don’t forget we will be closed on Christmas Day but open up on Saturday morning at 7.30am
Periods of low water are best fished with light weight strike indicators like the stick on variety, and an assortment of small nymphs, midges, and crustaceans. Modestly weighted Hare’s Ear nymphs, Silver Copper Johns, and Micro Mayfly nymphs are great, especially on those mild and cloudy days when small Blue Winged Olives might hatch. Ruby, Root Beer, Redneck, Psycho midge, and DW Super midges should cover the midge bases.
Dally’s Tailwater Jig and Wotton’s Whitetail Midge, with their shiny, segmented little bodies and their subtle little tails, look conveniently like both a midge and a mayfly nymph, and are consequently strong choices nearly all the time. Perhaps a little bias is present there for our locally designed fly patterns but oh well. Try the #16 or #18 sizes in low flow.
Hunchback Scuds, DW Sowbugs, and Tailwater Sowbugs should be deadly. If all else fails, swing Dally’s Tailwater Soft Hackle or D Wotton’s Juicer across moving water.
Periods of high flow provide opportunities to chuck some meat. Try indicator fishing with large egg and worm patterns like the Blob or the Mega Worm, or dead baitfish imitations like Meat Whistle, AR Beadhead, or Flesh Flies. If you’re a streamer junkie, aggressively strip Modern Deceivers, Twerking Minnows, Big Johnsons, and Bangtails.
If the flow is moderate, not high and swift but not low and slow, try slinging smaller streamers with varying retrieves and sink rates until you get some aggressive strikes. Mini Dungeons, CJ’s Mega Minnow, Sparkle Minnow, Chocklett’s Micro Changer, and Kraft’s Kreelex are all fun to search with.