IT’s early April, cold, windy and high water, and waiting for the caddis to emerge from their homes.
Perhaps the White River version of Groundhog Day with a couple of billion tiny turquoise heads popping out of their homes, and going “not yet”. The good news is there are other food sources putting fish in the boats and big grins on customer faces.
Tossing flies like mops, girdle bugs and blobs might not be as high brow caddis dries but feed them what they are eating, especially in these high flows.
Speaking of flows, there are questions milling around whether the USACE has adjusted its Water Control Manual to create more space in the dams ahead of rainy spells. Spillway gates have been opened on Norfork, Beaver and Table Rock, with the lakes at low flood stages.
River watchers are pondering the seemingly aggressive approach to flood storage management given previous statements from the Corp that dam operations are not based on “forecasts” but rain that has fallen. With no official statements, we shall keep monitoring.
And now onto the rest of the fly fishing report:
With Table Rock Lake spillways now closed, Bull Shoals released have come down to a more relaxed 14,000 cfs this morning (its all relative).
Mops and girdle bugs have been more than standard, even essential, in the big water. Running could be a caddis patterns, like Princes, Sunday Specials, even Tailwater Jigs, on a dropper is a solid play. Let’s See if the water flows continue to drop over the weekend, especially on a warmer afternoon.
On cloudy days run streamers, like Bangtails, Twerking Minnows, Sluggos and Modern Deceivers.
Norfork looks to be heading closer to wade conditions, with small windows of minimum flow after lunch. I don’t want to put a curse on it, particularly with rain forecast north of the border, but with a weekend warmup Norfork might be the place if you want to pull on the waders.
On the high flow blobs, mops and smaller trailers like Tailwater Jigs and Sunday specials.
Under wade conditions smaller Wotton and Knowles Midges, Soft Hackles and sowbug patterns