Kristi Spielmaker with a sweet 22″ White River brown trout on her anniversary weekend

THE weather forecast yesterday morning didn’t look all that bad, but the radar looked a lot less promising.

An angry orange and red line laying across Oklahoma, and threating to make a stop in Cotter after lunch had us packing wet weather gear and planning on fishing near shelter. Rain is one thing but storm lines with tornado warnings and possible lightning aren’t to be trifled with.

As I commented at the time, but who knows whether it will speed up, slow down or miss us altogether, so let’s go fishing.

Josh Spielmaker with a nice brown for their anniversary. Steve Dally image

Weather guessing in the Ozarks is as popular a pastime as discussing waterflows and perhaps as useful. Both have an infinite capacity to surprise you. It’s the reason our White River Fly Fisher App has a weather radar from The Weather Channel, after the water flow information.

Overcast days, even stormy rainy days can sometime produce spectacular fishing, and having the tools to read the weather can mean the difference between a great trip or none at all.

As it would turn out the storm line wouldn’t touch us all day and the Missouri fly fishers kept remarking what a beautiful day it turned out to be.

Morning double for Pam and Lee Christenson with Kevin Brandtonies

And now onto the rest of this fly fishing report.


Blake Cook got his third PB for the trip with this 23″ brown with Steve

Down and Up and repeat daily, seems to be the recipe right now, with lower flows overnight and through till midday and ramping up from lunchtime till dusk.

Fish down low if you want some wadeable or midging water most of the day or head up closer to the dam if you want to play on the big water late in the day.

There are some massive midge hatches below Cotter during the afternoon hours so its no surprise there are a bunch of midge patterns leaving the shop.

Davy Wotton Super Midges, Dally’s Tailwater Jigs, and Knowles Midge have been super popular. Rig these in tandem or with rubber legs type patterns or larger jigs depending on the flows.

There has been a sporadic shad kill coming through, though a crowd of boats never helps the surface bite. If the white flies aren’t working try a girdle bug and Tailwater jig combo.

Malcolm Royce scored this fine spot cutthroat on the White with Davy Wotton


Norfork is the playground of the wader all morning, though the afternoon flows are dropping. It shan’t be long and wade all day conditions will be back

Try Midge pupa including Knowles Midges Sunday Specials, Tan Scuds and Sowbugs and Wotton Midges in combo on the lower water.