The water has been anything but stable this week, but that hasn’t stopped the sulfurs from doing their thing. You can see these golden little buggers fluttering about throughout the day, but the magic hours seem to be late afternoon when the fish start scanning the surface.
Watching little noses gracefully break the surface and sipping up their unsuspecting victims can be quite the spectacle. If it wasn’t for the several feet of water fluctuation throughout the day, a person could almost compare it to a western river. Regardless, my eyesight and possibly patience tend to lead to my dry flies being foam and landing with a splat anyway.
The white has been experiencing some pretty significant water fluctuations throughout the day which can sometimes be a bit challenging. Having a couple of different setups and looking at the water schedule can definitely make all the difference.
Girdle bugs, mop flies, and leach patterns have been good in the mornings and in higher water. Nymphing egg and worm patterns with rootbeer midges, ruby midges, and tailwater jigs underneath have been a solid choice after the sun burns off the fog. PMDs, cripples, and parachute adams have been producers in the evenings as the fish start to look up.
The Norfork is starting to get a bit busier, probably as a result of the water fluctuations on the White. You can often see guides in their boats even in minimum flow conditions, waiting for the horn to blow. In low water, soft hackles, ruby midges, and rootbeer midges have been the go-to’s.
I would not hesitate to try sulfur drys or even reach for a hopper in some slower pools.
As the water rises, a peach egg with a midge trailer such as ruby midges, rootbeers, tailwater jigs, and even a hunch back scud would be a decent choice.