Jim Sterner and wife Sofia had a solid week of terrestrial action. Steve Dally image

As I watched my wife wage war on a small family of bagworms that have been munching around on her garden, I couldn’t help but giggle a little. It was not so much the view of raw athleticism she was displaying as she fought the garden hose, the cheap spraying attachment, or the elusive flying insects. 

Instead it was the pure joy of knowing that the bugs are here. Moths, beetles, grasshoppers, and other leggy critters may be the bane of existence for gardeners, but they are a fantastic treat for the fly angler. Few things are more exhilarating than seeing trout delicately slurp pieces of foam. So I say “Eat on little critters” because it is only the beginning.  

Occassional the shop rates escape the cage and go find some brown trout. You can grill Quinn Egbarts how he nailed this one

This week on the White has been a lot of fun. Fish are looking up and seem to be eating a unique mix of sulphurs and hoppers.

This week the sulphur bite had just a slight uptick in effectiveness; however, it might not stay much longer. It appears as though hoppers should slide right into its place pretty soon. As of right now, one rod with a sulphur and one with a Beatle pattern would be nothing to scoff at, specifically in the evenings.

Aaron Marshall slipped over from Fayetteville and score this sweet hen on a beetle with guide Brian Kick

With the increased fixation on hoppers, fish tend to be more willing to eat girdle bugs and other leggy jigs throughout the day. With that being said, one might try throwing beatle patterns like Jake’s Beatle or a smaller sized Fat Albert in the morning and swap to girdle bugs throughout the day.

Danny May couldn’t stay away. This trip he brough Christina Stokes along and scored some nice fish with Morgan Guss.

Evening tends to be where the sulphur/ beatle combo is successful. As usual, egg patterns or worms in combination with a midge is a great alternative for those that are tired of fishing the banks. Try lightning bug jigs, rainbow warriors, ruby midges, frenchies, and of course tailwater jigs. With the possibility of seeing more (for lack of a better word) lower water, this setup will be a lot more enjoyable than it has been in the past few weeks. 

Tom Lutz enjoyed this brown with guide and pro fish holder Brian Kick

We have started seeing 40 megawatts (~ 1 generating unit) poke it’s head out here and there on the Norfork. Unfortunately, it has yet to be during the traditional fishing hours. Hopeful that will change in the near future because there is just something magical about the Norfork on one unit.

Henry Kenworthy got in on the terrestrial action with guide Marc Poulos

Since they are still bumping the water in the mornings, using attractors like blobs, egg patterns, Cheetos, and mega worms are great ways to get attention while the water is still dirty. As the water begins to clear a bit, a tandem midge combo tends to win out.

Running a larger midge like a size 12 or 14 on top still acts as an attractor, it just tends to not have quite as many negative effects on the more finicky trout. Try using ruby midges, soft hackles, lightning bug jigs, rainbow warriors, Sunday specials, and tailwater jigs.