In what will surely be one of the hottest weeks of the summer, with highs in the mid to upper nineties (plus significant humidity) for six days in a row, the fishing has remained outstanding, thanks to an abundant supply of cold oxygen rich water. It’s easy to bemoan the heavy rains of late winter and spring, but their benefit on the fishery is paid back twofold when a full reservoir can release thousands of cubic feet per second all the way through the heat of summer. We’re especially lucky to have such a resilient fishery in a time when so many trout fisheries across the country have too little water, too warm of water, too little oxygen, or too many anglers.
It’s gonna be steaming hot again Friday and Saturday, but thundershowers late Saturday and early Sunday will break the heat wave, sending temperatures back into the eighties next week. As far as flows go, continue to expect 9,000-12,000cfs in the mornings, and up to 19,000cfs in the afternoons.
Brown trout eating terrestrial dry flies is the buzz around town. On flows under 12,000cfs, #8-10 Fat Alberts, Wiley’s Ant, Evan’s Baby Foam, and Psycho Ants are favorites. On bigger volumes of water it is useful to present larger profiles like #6 Fat Alberts, Western Ladies, and Chubby Chernobyls.
Jumbo nymphs like Girdle Bug and Rubberleg Jig are also producing healthy hard fighting brown trout. Nymphing with #14-16 bead head nymphs like Tailwater Jigs, Copper Johns, Frenchies, and Hare’s Ears will produce good numbers of fish.
Large streamers also come into play, especially early in the fog, or late in the big volume. Try Galloup’s Dungeon, Lafkas’ White River Deceiver, CJ’s Big Johnson, or Dally’s Twerking Minnow.
Norfork is running two units most of the daylight hours, and fishing well with attractors like Mega Worms or Blobs, combined with Tailwater Jigs, Super Midges, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, or Frenchies. Stripping smaller streamers like Mini Dungeons and Micro Changers through the many pockets and eddies behind logs and downed trees will produce strikes early and late in the day.
Crooked Creek and Buffalo National River are great places to wet wade, swim, and play with Boogle Bugs and other small poppers.