Dally’s Fly Fishing Report 3/31/23

Steve Dally & Hugh Smith having fun on the White

What does the Dally’s fishing report crystal ball have in store for us this week?

As foretold, wade fishermen found solace with bouts of wadable water throughout the week, coinciding both with the Sowbug Roundup and the downpour we were graced with last Friday. Much of the week we saw a flip-flop of generation between the Norfork and the White wherein they would take turns pumping water to reduce flooding downstream.

Mark Rorex with a long rainbow from Norfork with Luke Coffey

Earlier this week, the White would ramp up to nearly 12,000 cfs and by lunchtime drop out to a thin 1,700 cfs. More recently, the White has featured a more stable flow, typically reaching 75 mwh early morning and maintaining this level most of the day.

The low water and warmer and longer days enabled more caddis to start popping and began turning trout heads towards the heavens. Though plenty of rising was taking place, the rises were generally more chaotic and splashy, leaving the impression the trout were chasing the emergers near the surface.

Effective flies backed up this theory, as the ever-useful Fat Caddass, the Graphic Caddis, and the Holy Grail have been bringing plenty of fish to the net. A solid tandem has been a Fat Caddass trailed by either a Ruby Midge, Rootbeer Midge, or Dally’s Tailwater Jig in Cranberry.

Barbless makes errant casts in the wind easier to deal with

For those periods of 1,700 cfs, be sure to downsize both your tippet size and flies. Most days this week were sunny, so long casts and long, patient drifts will net you the more quality fish in the river.

A great technique to imitate the emerging caddis is to lengthen the distance between your heavier lead fly and your trailing caddis (Holy Grail, Graphic Caddis). This allows the trailing caddis to float a bit higher off the streambed, as if making its way to the surface. Give it a try and see if it doesn’t bring a few solid fish to hand.

Parkey Tankersley found this fat hen on the Norfork, Steve Dally image

As aforementioned, the Fork has been switching hands with the White to generate some flow. As of today, our lovely princess tailwater has been pushing 2,800 cfs starting around 7 in the morning. During this generation, fishing has been solid with a continued mop fly and Blob bite.

Mark Rorex with a brown trout off the Norfork with guide Luke Coffey

Pink and White Mega Worms are also effective as attention-getters. Caddis are starting to hatch on the Fork, as well, so a pairing of Sunday Specials and Dally’s Mother’s Day Caddis Jigs with Rainbow Warriors, Dally’s Tailwater Jigs, and Crossfit Jigs is a great choice. As expressed in reports previous, times like these make us forever grateful for this fun little tailwater.

Rich having a gooid time on the White with Tadd Fore

Rain is here yet again. I’m writing this report as raindrops tap against the window. I expect the White to remain on the low side, but there will be day not too far down the road where all of this water will have to come out of the lake.

Continue to prepare for 1-2 units on the White, but keep big pushes ever-present in the back of your mind. The Fork will generate, but the timing may be a bit harder to predict. Simply put, keep close tabs on SWPA forecasts, real-time releases, and always give the shop a call for the most up-to-date information. 

By Tadd Fore