The weather has been beautiful and mild for the most part, much to the enjoyment of the many visitors here to fish and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. It seems to be a popular time of year for ‘bring the whole family’ style of vacations and other multi-generational fly fishing adventures.
Low, clear water on the Bull Shoals Tailwater over the last few days has offered some productive and fun fishing for rainbows, and some challenging sight fishing for spooky brown trout. There are sparse hatches of caddis continuing simultaneous alongside sparse hatches of sulfur mayflies, and with all manner of midges coming off throughout the day, there are almost always enough insects in the water to keep some fish feeding.
A wide variety of bead head nymphs have been effective, from Super Midges and Ruby Midges to Pheasant Tails and Hare’s Ears to Tailwater Jigs and Copper Johns. Swinging Wotton’s Emergent Caddis or Juicer or Dally’s Tailwater Soft Hackle over slow moving water can draw some aggressive strikes. E/C caddis in tan #14-16 is a great dry fly to prospect slow current edges with because the tan version of a caddis dry fly effectively bridges the gap during this caddis to mayfly transition.
There have been plenty of wade fishing opportunities over the past week. In addition to Bull Shoals Tailwater, Norfork Tailwater has been shut down until 1 to 2pm, offering several hours of great fishing with Ruby and Root Beer midges, small Pheasant Tail nymphs and Frenchies, small Hare’s Ear nymphs and Sunday Specials.
#18-20 Parachute style dries are also fun to play with on the Norfork’s many shallow pools and riffles.
Crooked Creek is also getting wadable and has been giving up some nice smallmouth and Ozark Bass on Hada’s Clouser and Creek Crawler, plus Whitlock’s Near Nuff Crawdad, and occasionally white poppers.
The forecast looks clear through the weekend, and like it’s the start of summer. Partially cloudy, hot, and humid – great for wet wading in an Ozark stream.