Sunny skies and warm afternoons have made for some very pleasant fishing weather recently, though it can be tough to coax a big brown out of hiding when it’s beautiful outside. A fair enough number of good fish have been showing up nonetheless, through patience and persistence on the part of the angler and guide. Looks like more pleasant weather is on the menu for the weekend, then the bottom is going to drop out of the thermometer next week, which is bound to mix things up around here, potentially for the better.
As of yesterday, we are now seeing stable flow on the White just over 11,000cfs, as opposed to the dramatic up and down release pattern common last week and into the start of this week. Today’s release schedule is also calling for stable flow just over 11,000cfs, which is a really nice manageable water level for rowing and fishing. Stability is nearly always preferable because the fish get more comfortable and predictable in their habits and also because it allows angling pressure to disperse throughout the river system rather than piling up top of one another trying to be in the right places at the right times while the water is rising and falling.
With the super cold weather arriving next week, it’s possible that we will again see big spikes in flow on frozen mornings, and it’s also possible that a great many shad will die in Bull Shoals and Norfork Lakes, potentially triggering the famed “shad kill” event. It’s not necessarily as simple and predictable as – super cold weather equals shad kill – but it could be. It would be wise before this week’s end to stock up on your shad patterns (Todd’s Wiggle Minnow, Meat Whistle, AR Beadhead, Jig Sparkle Yummy, Crystal Bugger Jig, Puff Daddy) and tying materials (white and grey marabou, craft fur, chenille, hackle), as these items tend to become scarce after a shad kill event.
Favorite streamers this week include Dally’s Twerking Minnow, Galloup’s Bangtail, Johnson’s Sluggo, Lafkas’ Super Cougar, and Schmidt’s Double Deceiver. Playing a smaller streamer game has been effective for maintaining some fishy action when big flies aren’t getting any love – try Mini Bangtails, Mini Dungeons, Micro Changers, and Sparkle Minnows. Indicator fishing is also extremely effective along slow current seams with attractor style nymphs such as Lightning Bug Jigs, Dally’s Tailwater Jigs, Rainbow Warriors, and Devil Jigs.