Dally’s Fly Fishing Report 2-17-23

RIO Products line designer Wayne Peterson found this solid brown on his first sojourn to the White; Peter Knox image

We finally received some of the bigger water that we have so eagerly awaiting and it has been a welcomed change of scenery.

The more significant pushes of water have pushed a bit of shad out here and there. Some have been lining up to take advantage of this little feeding frenzy hoping to land a full-sized critter as it explodes on a well-presented wiggle minnow.

Other fishermen finally get the water to start the mop fly and meat whistle game. Not to mention, our streamer fanatics finally have the volume to throw some serious patterns in search of “the donkey”.

If you haven’t seen Dally’s Chasing the Donkey video, I highly recommend it. It’s a pretty alluring video that gets you amped up to throw streamers. Regardless of your poison, it has been a nice opportunity to mix it up a bit. 

Dally’s assistant manager Morgan Guss joined guide Tadd Fore on an early season foray onto Crooked Creek and found smalljaws

The White is still a bit cloudy on the lower half. This is mainly due to runoff more so than just Crooked Creek and the Buffalo. This means that it gradually gets cloudier the lower you go rather than seeing a distinctive line of muddy and not muddy.

A solid portion of the guides are spending their time up by the dam, this is probably due to the periodic shad conundrum. Wiggle minnows followed by some sort of white zonker seem to be the most common way to jump on that bandwagon.

Steve Dally holding Greg Watkins buttery brown trout on a streamer this week.

When shad are not on the menu, egg patterns remain king. Tag these up with ruby midges, Sunday specials, Hare’s Ears, and Tailwater and Lightning Bug jigs. Mop flies and meatwhistles have been gaining some traction. If the water sticks around for a bit, this will only get better. 

The Norfork has been fishing pretty well. On par for this time of year, there is a pretty strong focus on egg patterns, however, worms and blobs do occasionally win out.

Team these up with Sunday specials, ruby midges, lightning bug jigs, and soft hackles. Much like the White, the Fork has been providing some bigger water as well.

Despite the past facial trauma this brown was still in pretty good shape

This creates some great opportunities to throw some mop flies, meat whistles, and other grocery-type flies that can be a little difficult in lower water.

More and more people are catching on to the streamer fishing opportunities our little princess river offers and some serious fish are being pulled out because of it.

Keep in mind that there is a smaller population of brown trout on this river, however, what is there is oftentimes pretty impressive. Not to mention, raking in a studly cutthroat or rainbow is a win in my boat.