Hopefully anglers on the White and Norfork Rivers this week understand just how lucky they are. Lucky to be spending time on a thriving fishery during a time of great uncertainty for iconic fisheries suffering from drought, and lucky to get a week of temperatures in the eighties in August, in the South. More than one early morning boat ride this week could have been described as “chilly.” Temperatures will start inching back towards the nineties over the coming weekend, which is more normal for August, and the heat should bring with it more stellar dry fly action.
Not much has changed in terms of flow on the White: it’s still high early, and then higher still late in the day, and the big water is giving up some big fish. Trigger Belly Foam, Evan’s Baby Foam, and J’s Mudfoot are the hot terrestrial dry flies this week. Fish them alone and tight to the banks to hunt browns, or back out to slow current seams and drop a #16 Tailwater Jig hopper-dropper style for some productive fishing. Hare’s Ears, Pheasant Tails, and Frenchies are also highly productive summer nymphs. Big browns can also be taken by fishing Girdle Bugs or Rubberleg Jigs deep and heavy.
Norfork is pumping two units and fishing great with attractors like Blobs, Cheetos, Mega Worms rigged deep and heavy with split shot, and trailed by Hare’s Ear nymphs, Sunday Specials, or Whitetail Midges. It’s long, heavy, nasty rig to tangle with but it’s highly effective. Conehead Wooly Buggers, Sparkle Minnows, Mini Dungeons, and Micro Changers are fun when stripped across the swirling eddies and pockets behind rocks and logs.