Sterling Thomas long female brown from Bull Shoals _ steve dally image

As an Ozark native, fall has always held a special place in my heart. For most fall symbolizes “the end”, the end of a year, the end of pollen, end of the summer heat, even Halloween has an eerie death vibe to it. 

Despite all this, I believe people in this area almost view fall as a new beginning. You’ll find most of our family gatherings, weddings, parties, shoot even Thanksgiving is in the fall. Most of my favorite memories are of sitting around the campfire, or of early mornings in a tree stand watching the sun glisten off the fresh frost.

Tim from Texas with a kyped up male with Duane Bell

All of these things consist of bringing family together. It’s hard for me to get “the end” feeling when surrounded by loved ones. Not to mention, you can find so much to do here this time of year; trail hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, it’s even a photographer’s paradise.

Everything is colorful, from trees changing colors, deer in full rut, to trout showing off their bright oranges and kyped jaws. Not enough people take advantage of it. It’s easy to find your flavor here whether it be time spent with family or solitude with nature.

Rich Hudsen found a good one with Mike Sexton

Fishing on the White continues to produce decent numbers. We are starting to see an uptake in browns caught this week and with some potential higher water in accordance with the cooler weather, it could be expected this trend will continue.

Nymphing girdle bugs and egg patterns seem to be the most consistent. Paring these with soft hackles, hair’s ears, lightning bug jigs, and ruby midges seem to be a pretty good matchup. Streamer fishing seems to be staying consistent with sparkle minnows, clousers, and smaller baitfish patterns. I look for these and egg patterns to really take off in the coming weeks.

Bo Thomas with a nice male with steve dally

The Norfork continues to fish well, however, they haven’t been giving us much water the last couple of days. This is great news for the wade fishermen and those with drift boats, but limits access for most guides.

Girdle bugs and egg patterns seem to be the primary point fly when nymphing the bigger water. Pairing these with lightning bug jigs, tailwater jigs, and soft hackles seems to do well. In the lower water, try using soft hackles, hair’s ears, smaller buggy flys, and egg patterns as the attractor. Simply downsize the midges accordingly.

no stocker here

To correspond with this in lower water, I do seem to notice fish being a little less picky with a lighter flouro tippet section such as a 4 pound instead of using a mono or heavier weight tippet section. You’ll find this a hot topic of debate among guides, so I’ll let you try it out and see if it makes a difference for you. 

by adrian hubbard