The White has been erratically up and down on weekdays and usually more stable on weekends. It’s hard to predict what sort of conditions to prepare for, so it’s best to be prepared for all of them. Streamer fishing is popular this time of year and the post spawn streamer bite normally starts to pick up about now, but keep in mind everything is dependent on current conditions. Up and down flows and periods of low flow can certainly require adjustments and alternative methods to stay on the fish.
Count on big pushes in flow on cold weekday mornings, up to 18,000cfs and above. The schedule for today shows a big pulse from dawn until 9am, and then flows tapering back quickly by late morning. Large pulses of high flow should be fished aggressively whether you’re using indicators or streamer fishing. Drift dead something meaty like Mega Worms, or baitfish patterns like Meat Whistles, Flesh Flies, AR Beadheads. If you prefer something more challenging, aggressively strip full profile streamers like Big Johnsons, Lovechild Sculpins, BFH Twerking Minnows, and Dungeons.
Water levels are usually more moderate later in the day. Moderate flow can be fished effectively with egg-nymph combos. 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.
Some recent afternoons the White has dropped periodically all the way down to minimum flow, requiring subtle presentations mid-river to wary trout with Root Beer and Camel midges, Psycho midges, or DW Super midges. Today’s schedule shows minimum flow starting around noon and lasting the rest of the day. That means good wade fishing opportunities in the afternoon.
Who knows what will happen with the water over the weekend, but there are ways to catch fish regardless, and the weather looks promising. Low winds are forecasted all weekend, which is a plus. Looks like partial sunshine Friday and Saturday, becoming overcast on Sunday – fishing could get really good late in the weekend.
Norfork tailwater has been up and down as well, but has been offering wade fishing opportunities some afternoons once the morning push has receded. 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.