Dally’s Fly Fishing Report: 5/20/22

Jim Sterner with a sweet caddis male, Steve Dally image

From unexpected rain showers to unscheduled water changes, this week has been a prime example of Ozark unpredictability. The only thing for certain is that the brown trout are still biting, at least for now. It appears as though the height of the caddis “bloom” has passed, however the fish haven’t gotten the memo yet.

Mel Marrer with Adrian Hubbard

The water depth has steadily been rising and it could be expected that this trend will continue. As the water flows increase the caddis production could possibly begin to wane, but until that point “smoke’m if ya got’em”. Luckily when one season ends the next one begins. For those of you that haven’t been pelted by a beatle or heard the buzz of a grasshopper yet, just know it’s coming.

This week on the White is a mirror image of the last couple, with Root Beer Midges and Sunday Specials being the primary breadwinners. The only challenge is getting it down, we are officially into split shot water and probably will be for the foreseeable future.

Chris Shaunessy is a repeat offender on the spring caddis

Things like Tail Water Jigs, Frenchies, and Prince Nymphs have been good ways to coerce those finicky trout. Matter of fact, if I catch many more on a black and copper Tail Water Jig I might owe Steve a drink.

Caddis dries and dry/dropper riggs continue to catch fish despite the bigger water. Simply look for rising fish or throw them over longer stretches of shallow water and hold on.    

Good times for this fly fisher with Mike Sexton

The wade fisherman on the Norfork have probably noticed a few more guides running around this week. With minimum flow in the mornings and roughly a unit in the afternoons, it is becoming a little more common to see guides split the day between the White and Norfork Rivers.

In the low water the Sunday Specials, Root Beer Midges, and stereotypical caddis patterns will continue to win out. When they turn the water on however, it becomes a bit dingy and some serious attractors are needed. Things like Clown Eggs, Blobs, and even small Mop Flys have been working fairly well.

Nate Goretz out with Adrian Hubbard

By Adrian Hubbard