he sunrise is holding out later and later each day, school is in full swing, and the smells and sounds of the Baxter County fair are in the air. The mornings are growing cooler and that bright piece of sun, that you haven’t noticed for the last nine months on your morning commute, is now an orange laser piercing your pupil from behind a distant hill. All signs are pointing towards August being almost over and each day is starting to feel more and more like fall. Truth be told, fall is closer than summer wants to admit. So keep on trudging through those 90 degree days, they won’t be here too much longer.
The water releases are also changing. This week we saw everything from 2 units in the morning to minimum flow. The only consistent generation pattern seems to be a larger bump of water around noon. This being said, whichever river you are fishing, make sure you keep a close eye on the generation schedule and live releases. While the up and down swings can make fishing difficult, if you can catch some steady high or steady low water you can have a great day nymphing small flies for large numbers of rainbows or tossing larger nymphs and hoppers for some bigger browns.
On the White, nymphing the edges on the higher flows with a girdle bug and a lightning bug or Dally’s Tail Water Jig as a dropper can still bring in some quality browns. If foam is your game, throwing hopper patterns like Fat Alberts and Psycho Ants at the banks and over the grass beds is still working. If smaller water and smaller bobbers bring you smiles, try a double nymph rig with an attractor fly such as a Blob or egg followed by a Lightning Bug, Ruby Midge, Sunday Special, or a Dally’s Tailwater Jig.
The Norfork is still fishing well, but if you are a wade fisherman, the later sunrises are making the wading time shorter and shorter with the larger water releases coming just before noon. In a boat, bring out your longer leaders, more lead, and tie on the tried and true attractor pattern with a dropper. Egg patterns are still working, but don’t forget the Norfork staples like Mega Worms, Cheetos, and Blobs. Sunday Specials, Hunchback Scudds, and Wotton’s Sowbugs, Lightning bugs and midges are all great candidates for the perfect dropper.