Dally’s Fly Fishing Report: 7/21/22

Alex Husby with a great bank fish fwith guide Marc Poulos

You have really had your pick of tactics this week on the White sense hoppers are starting to take off and sulphurs are continuing to come out in the evenings. It has created some unique opportunities for guides to custom tailor trips to fit the niche of their clients. Some prefer to jump on the water early, before the fog rises, in an attempt to perfectly place foam bugs in hard-to-reach places and wait in agony for the water to erupt as a trout engulfs their fly.

Arthur Garroutte from Chicago with a streamer brown courtesy of guide Logan Huff

Others wait until the evenings when the water bumps and pushes struggling sulphurs to the edges, creating a beautiful line of buttery noses sipping along a conveyor belt of yellow morsels. Finally, one cannot exclude those willing to brave the elements of the heat in an exuberant attempt to have it all. Regardless of your preferences or skill level, this week has offered opportunities for all those willing to give it a whirl.   

Alex Husby sightfishing this fat bellied browns trout. Steve Dally image

The White, as mentioned, has given us a smorgasbord of options. The early morning hopper bite has been pretty decent. Things like the Phyco Ant, Jakes Beatle, and smaller Fat Alberts seem to be the primary players. The bite seems to slow down a bit mid-morning, but fish can most definitely be caught throughout the day. Hopper fishing traditionally has been labeled a morning and late evening event, but the quantity of sulphurs in the evenings has warped that theory just a bit.

Fish seem to swap over to whatever food is more plentiful and oftentimes neglect almost everything else. In this case, the evenings, specifically up river are owned by sulphurs. Parachute Sulphurs, Comparaduns, and other mayfly imitations in a size 18 are still working well. For those not particularly interested in dry flys or those early into the flyfishing lifestyle, nymph fishing has been surprisingly productive.

Never know who you will see hanging on a river bank. Steve Dally image

Girdle bugs off of the banks have produced some really nice fish; especially when teamed up with a Lightning Bug Jig, Rainbow Warrior, worm pattern, or Tail Water Jig. Oftentimes simply running a double midge rig can help when fish are being finicky.     

The Norfork has been seeing some of the coveted 40 megawatts or (~1 unit) this week. As would be expected, this has caught the attention of a lot of guides. Egg and worm patterns teamed up with midges are common producers of feisty Norfork Rainbows. If you find the bite waning a bit, try ditching the colorful attractors and simply go with a double midge rig. Tailwater Jigs, Lightning Bug Jigs, Ruby Midges, and of course soft hackles are all solid choices.