Winter precipitation should come to an end sometime today, giving way to partial sunshine over the weekend. A light north breeze will keep the temperature down a bit – mornings in the twenties, afternoons in the forties – but overall pretty average stable winter weather for the Ozarks: not too extreme and good for fishing.
Flows on the White have been remarkably stable over the past couple days, holding steady between 10,000-11,000cfs. It’s normal to see steady release like this any time the lake level is above “power pool,” which the lake currently is by about a tenth of a foot. The precipitation over the past couple days will likely hold the lake level steady for a few more days, so it’s reasonable to expect the continuous water release to hold through the weekend, though it’s notoriously difficult to try and predict water conditions. If the continuous release holds through the weekend, there won’t be any wading opportunities on the White, but the stable water conditions make the fish comfortable and make boating a breeze.
Moderate flow can be fished effectively right now with a long and heavy egg-nymph combo. Use larger indicators, larger egg patterns, split shot if necessary, and favorite local nymphs like Dally’s Tailwater Jig, Wotton’s Super Midge, or the ubiquitous Rainbow Warrior. Small streamers stripped across current and structure are also good in moderate flow situations – try Sparkle Minnows, Mini Dungeons, Kraft’s Kreelex, and Micro Changers. Drift dead baitfish patterns like Meat Whistles, Flesh Flies, AR Beadheads, or aggressively strip full profile streamers like Sluggos, Modern Deceivers, Twerking Minnows, and Bangtails. The recent precipitation might wash out some earthworms from creeks and ditches, making Mega Worms a great choice right now.
Norfork has been up and down in terms of water release, which is still providing some wading opportunities. Wading anglers can take advantage of the low water but at the same time they need to be safe and not count on the water staying low over the weekend. Always rely on your own observations, not the projected water release schedule. Minimum flow is best fished with light weight indicators, modestly weighted egg patterns, and any number of choices for a second fly, from midges to mayfly nymphs to crustaceans. Ruby and Redneck midges, small Copper Johns and Micro Mayfly nymphs, Hunchback Scuds and DW Sowbugs are all strong choices. Swinging Tailwater Soft Hackles, DW Juicer, and small Wooly Buggers across moving water is fun.