IT really didn’t take long for spring to let loose. All it took was some rain and one day in the 80s.
Buds are popping out all over the river banks, the redbuds are in full bloom and yesterday we spotted our first dogwood of the season.
White bass are moving up the creeks to spawn, bald eagles feeding chicks in the nest, and fly fishers pondering their options. Gusty winds and pollen mean its a smart play to get into your allergy medication before a trip. The tailwaters are tall and cold, courtesy of this past winter, but there are still some big and solid fish coming to the net every week
The lakes are up into flood pool, about 25% of pool filled, with the Corp anticipating some 3 weeks to empty pool on each lake without additional heavy rains
The White is about 11′ into it’s massive flood storage, triggering some big flows this week around the clock, up over 18,000 cfs at the time of writing. It’s not inconceivable that the big flows could move any remnant dead shad down Bull Shoals Lake and through the dam.
But it seemed through the early part of the week at least the shad bite had slowed. Mega Worms and deep shad patterns are still pulling a few quality fish. But for more consistent action look to spaghetti and meat balls rigs with larger san juans, blobs and cheetos. Rig these on a Neva Quit butt section and add split shot.
For variety you can switch in a midge imitator, like a Davy Wotton Super Midge, a Dally’s Tailwater Jig or a Sunday Special trailing the egg or worm.
The big flows also have opened the doors back on the streamer game. Drag out your fast sink lines and tie on a Dally’s Twerking Minnow or Tiny Dancer, Johnson’s Sluggo or Lafkas Modern Deceiver, and get to work.
And keep your eyes open for any sudden drops in generation, with the weather warming this will be a sure bet to fire off a blizzard caddis hatch. Be prepared
Over on Norfork, the dam is releasing hard at about 80% capacity or 5900 cfs. The Corp is scheduling to have Norfork Lake out of flood stage by April 21.
Deep nymphing with blobs and Sunday Specials, Tailwater Jigs or San Juan Worms has been a reliable fish producer on the Fork. You can also go and pitch weighted streamers like Dungeons, Circus Peanuts and the like,