dally’s fly fishing report 2-18-22

Joe Gorney, scored White River two foot brown on a streamer with guide Brian Kick

WE kind of figured last week’s weather was about as crazy as we might get this winter. Then this week showed up.

Going from a 19F morning to a 68F afternoon was a stretch, then it all reversed yesterday with a 60F morning, rain, storms wind and deeply cold over night.

It is easy to see a direct correlation between the dam releases and the temperature when we are outside flood conditions. The colder weather drives electricity demand as we all light up our heating systems in the mornings and evenings.

Mild weather in the high 60s and 70s lead to low demand and minimum flows on Norfork and low flows on the White.

Electricity from Norfork with only 2 generators is relatively more expensive than Bull Shoals with 8, so Norfork is cranked up in higher demand conditions, where Bull Shoals is used more often in low demand as well as high.

Norfork and Bull will both be running hard this morning as we light up the coffee pots, luxuriate in hot showers and turn up the heat at home and at work.

You could easily track the relative morning temperatures this week as Bull Shoals Dam morning flows were reduced as the mornings warmed.

Andrew Burgos came in from Montana with a regular trip run by Chad Johnson and found this two foot streamer brown with Steve Dally


If you the lows flows around the 2500 cfs mark then you want to be hitting the White when the afternoon temperatures climb over 60F.

Streamer fishers have been looking for the big morning flows to ride downstream.

There have been some really good streamer fish caught, and some way bigger lost this week. Sometimes its the memory of how one of the White’s “electric bricks” stops the fly from moving, is the story of the day even over quality fish landed. Earning the right to play tug of war with a White River trophy brown shouldn’t be underestimated. Plenty don’t.

Olive and White has been the colors of the week in Sluggo’s, Double Deceivers and Tiny Dancers and Twerking Minnows. on the lower flows you might downsize some, use a slower sinking line, or even a floater and Sparkle Minnows or other conehead.

Streamer eating cutthroat trout

Nymphers have been fishing egg patterns below spawning zones, with Sunday Specials, Tailwater Jigs, and Pheasant Tails running behind. On blue sky days Rainbow Warriors and Silver Bullet Tailwater jigs are productive.

Tony from Wyoming didn’t expect a winter smallmouth


There has been plenty of wadeable windows on the Norfork, and getting away from the foot traffic is as simple as a mile float. Pay attention to the Norfork Schedule to keep an eye on the pulses of water.

Smaller fare including Sunday Specials, Knowles’ Ruby and Rootbeer Midges, Wotton Super Midges, Rainbow Warriors and Frenchies are all worth carrying.

Run some soft hackles, perhaps the Tailwater Soft Hackle, an Anna K or Hare’s Ear for those fish in the flatwater dining on emergers in the film