Dally’s Fly Fishing Report 10/21/21

Brad found this nice brown under some fall weather

Peruse the photos and note the layers. There might be blue skies but there is enough chill in the air to keep the layers on through lunchtime at least.

And the sun feels really good when it burns through the morning river fog.

You might get to spot the migrating osprey taunting eagles over Bull Shoals or a mink making his morning rounds the on his stretch of bank. The interplay of sun, fog, limestone bluff and river reflections make it worth keeping your camera at the ready. And your line hasn’t hit the water yet.

These are just some of the reasons fall is a favorite time for many to fish.

Terri McQueary

The rainbows might be at their best (sure you will wade through some recent arrivals) but the brightly colored more experienced members of the flock are stunning right now. The orange fins on some of the jewel bright, even river born, rainbows have to be seen to be believed.

A portion of the rainbows, are darkly vibrant, in their spawning tones their calendar 6-months late to help with more efficient hatchery operations. And who doesn’t love fall browns.

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

Royce Long with a gorgeous male brown with Morgan Guss


Superficially the afternoon rise, and low overnight through the morning type of flows seems pretty consistant. But there are some serious fluctuations in the amount of water being pushed and when each day, which can change where and how you want to fish.

Todays flows start earlier, run longer and higher than yesterday for instance. If you are fishing downstream, below Rim Shoals this can even have an impact on your fishing tomorrow morning.

The lower flows are fishing solidly with 2 fly rigs, most often teaming a heavier jig pattern with a lighter midge.

Dally’s Tailwater Jigs remain on point in either position on the team. Davy Wotton Super Midges have been strong, so too the Knowles Ruby and Rootbeer Midges. Weighted egg patterns or bright worm patterns in tandem have also been strong.

If you get sick of watching a bobber, relax and swing a bugger or a soft hackles across the lower parts of the shoals.

On bigger water heavier rubberleg pattern teams with a Tailwater Jig or San Juan is a solid bet. And there are still those seeking out shad feeders on the heavier rises.

A native surprise: Hooverlip McSuckles or a redhorse sucker on a tailwater jig Ben Levin image

NORFORK: I was going to describe Norfork as the domain of waders, until the earlier rise in water flows in today’s schedule.

Its easy to get lulled into a pattern on the Norfork, but keep checking the schedule every evening if you are going to water the morning water. Tan Scuds and sowbugs have been a winner, have an each way bet with the ever reliable Sunday Special, perhaps teamed with a Ruby or Rootbeer Midge. Smaller streamers or soft hackles can provide variety.

If you have a boat similarly watch the flows. You won’t find many guide boats on the fork if the rise comes after 3. It can be a great way to get in some relatively peaceful fishing for a few hours. The first push is dirty so run blobs, and san juans, tan scuds and the line with plenty of weight