Dally’s Fly Fishing report 2/4/22

AJ Hosenfeld with a long female on a deceiver with Steve Dally

There is plenty of snow on the riverbanks right now but with the sun popping out the melt is coming.

The major roads are decently clear and the lesser routes will be getting work as the weather warms over the weekend. The river has been quite for a couple of days with the winter storm moving through but with the sun coming out the activity will return.

Open for business as the melt begins Morgan Guss image

It is said that about 10 inches of snow equals a inch of rain. An inch of rain in the catchment adds about a foot to the level of Bull Shoals Lake. So even with the region covered in snow, the lakes probably aren’t going to soar well into flood pool.

But the cold snow melt has been raising thoughts among afficianados of a winter shad kill. Last winter there wasn’t much to play with despite brutal cold. Water temperatures being only 1 of the factors driving a shad kill, the others being water flows through the dam and the abundance of shad at this end of the lake. Weirdly the last 2 years have seen very good late summer shad kill activity instead.

Nevertheless its not a bad thought to be keeping an eye out for the small and silvery fish, if you are fishing below Bull Shoals or Norfork Dams.

Hagen Myers scored a solid brown with Michael Saladin

Dress warm and enjoy the fishing, and keep some shad flies handy.

WHITE RIVER: Keeping a box of shad flies handy in your boat is one way to make sure you dial in on a shad kill. The other factor is water time.

There is no doubt that the shad kill is one of the hardest events to catch, especially, if you live further away than a couple of hours. Its a nymphing game, or if you are lucky a hopper dropper game, rather than a stripping game. Since its a kill, trout don’t expect the shad to be swimming away

A good box is pretty simple, some jig mops, some Meat Whistles, some single hook, heavy Hippy Chicks, plus some AR Beadheads and Todd’s Wiggle Minnows for the hopper dropper when you are seeing shad on the surface.

A light kill won’t douse the winter streamer bit at the dam, but a big kill can stuff the bellies of a lot of trout pretty quickly, so time to move further afield.

Streamer fishing has been decent to good this week again depending on flow and weather. Lower flows and blue skies make it tougher to find find fish, so downsize and cover more water. Double Deceivers, Twerking Minnows, Modern Deceivers and Sluggos all finding fish. Olive and White, Olive and Yellow topping the list.

Nymphing most are fishing eggs and midges deep in these flows.

Alex Hosenfeld made a mess of the browns on his first trip to the White


Norfork was offering good wading opportunities until the winter storm, arrive and flows climbed until lunchtime today.

The drop to minimum flow probably signals some wading through the weekend, though Norfork is much closer to returning to flood than the White.

Worth taking your shad box to Norfork as well if you are planning on fishing the higher morning flows. Just because one dam isn’t getting a shad kill doesn’t mean you might not find one here.

On the low water, bring eggs, midges and sowbugs.