Jackson Stewart out with buddy, guide Michael Saladin. Header Photo guide Brian Kick with Dennis hopper brown

AHHH, that cold clear water on a 100 degree day, cicadas buzzing and noses poking through a glossy film.

Temperatures should starting winding down out of heat advisory class tomorrow, and through the weekend, with some cloud and scattered rain to bring back more comfortable conditions for the weekend.

Speaking of water, right now the USACE Forecast for Bull Shoals and Norfork Lakes is for the lakes to be out of flood stage on September 13, barring heavy rains in the next month. So its looking good for a fall cool down and some lower flows in October and November.

Given the way our other hatches have fired this year, a few of the crew are getting antsy over the question as to whether the fall Baetis will return in the numbers they did in 2018.

As fly fishers we live in constant hope, its part of the joy.

Jerry found this one with Mike Sexton

And now onto the meat of this week’s report:


If you aren’t familiar with flows here 10,000 10 12,000 cfs overnight, it sounds big but when you realize there is 20,000 coming in the late afternight it comes into perspective.

Change spots, change rige and change tactics, it all fishes, even hoppers.

Hopper bite is about as much fun as you can get out there right now, if you have the patience for the game. Fish move as the water flows change so often one spot which doesn’t work in the morning might fire later.

Jake’s Trigger Belly Foam, Evan’s Baby Foam, and J’s Mudfoot have been good, Fat Albert’s solid and we have had one report of some solid activity from one of our guides on the Western Lady, which fell from grace for a while. The Western Lady is also one of our favorites for dropping a nymph underneath.

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. Again adding the smaller dropper can add some productivity.

Streamer fishing is on and off right now, with relatively small bite windows under high sun. Try smaller Twerking Minnows, (smoke/white) Sluggo’s and Bangtails. Smaller weighted patterns like Dungeons, Viking Midges and Peanuts are also work bringing along

Brody scored a nice cutthroat on his first cast on Norfork


There isn’t much respite from Norfork’s high flows, the Princess of Tailwaters being off after midnight for a few hours every day. The good news is the big water bite on Blobs, Cheetos and Mega Worms rigged deep and heavy with split shot, and trailed by Tailwater Midges, Hare’s Ear nymphs, Sunday Specials, or Whitetail Midges.

It’s deep and heavy but a lot of action to make the effort worth while