Steve Dally’s with Mike Becker’s beefy White River rainbow

Things to remember about the low flows:

  • 1: the rocks are a lot closer than they used to be.
  • 2: 5x isn’t as strong as you remembered.
  • 3. They won’t eat it under the boat.
  • 4. Anything that has been underwater since spring is slippery as a greased mirror.
Paul Shinsky keeps coming back for those White River brown trout. Gabe Levin image

IT has been a long while since we had these types of flows, perhaps only early spring. The ritual flushing of the spring rains through summer has it’s pluses and minuses, mostly the former if you run a boat, and the latter if you wade.

So we officially came out of flood stage this week, which doesn’t automatically mean round the clock minimum flow, rather this is when South West Power gets to run the dams as they see fit to meet power demand.

It seems we will settle into some lower flows on the White overnight and through the morning, and minimum flow on the Norfork, while the generation will be upped as the air conditioners kick in during the afternoon.

Pat Becker found this sparsely spotted brown on a ruby Tailwater Jig. Steve Dally image

This type of flow regime can offer something for both waders and boaters, novices and the experienced fly fishers. You can even run into some good browns out there.

And now for the rest of this week’s fly fishing report.

Hefty 23inch golden rainbow for Donna Pifer with Davy Wotton , See our report on Monday


OUR motto of be prepared for anything, when it come to water flows still applies with the new lower flows: perhaps more so than in high water. Take last weekend for instance.

It was a shock to us all when SWPA accounced low flow pretty much around the clock from Friday night through mid Monday _ then threw that plan out the window Sunday cranking the flows up. It’s going to take a little bit for a pattern to emerge, to hopefully give us a guide to flows through fall.

The 35 MW or around 2900 cfs is better wading than many would think. Pick your spots, Bull Shoals, Cane Island White Hole, the Narrows, Wildcat, Round House, Rims Shoals, even Buffalo Shoal. Some are best accessed by boat, but even making do via the road accesses can yield some great fish. Boat fishers have the luxury of multiple drift lines across the river.

This type of water is made for the euro jigs, whether you are fishing traditionally or euro style. Dally’s Tailwater Jigs, in Ruby, Silver Bullet, and Black + Copper are producing browns and bows every day right now. The Cranberry has been on fire too if you have some in your box _ currently awaiting a restock.

Devil’s Jigs in Red and Gold are both producing, and Lightning Bug and Guides’ Choice Hare’s Ears in jigs are solid. You can’t forget David Knowles’s Ruby and Rootbeer Midges, and Davy Wotton Super Midges are similarly essentials

Hopper brown for Andy Myers with Luke Coffey


Norfork is offering some morning wading right now with minimum flow through around lunchtime. With the flows running right now the water jumps almost 4 feet and picks up a lot of speed and power, so don’t push your luck for an extra fish.

All manner of options are open from swung buggers and soft hackles, drifted David Knowles Midge patterns, or smaller Tailwater Jigs, or conehead buggers in the faster flows.

On the high water, the early push is dark and dirty so leading your nymphs with a bright Blob or Cheeto is a good start