Rich Boynton found this quality brown with guide Milke Sexton

We left off last week daydreaming of our little yellow mayfly friends and how we long for the days that they will begin hatching.

As we will discuss further in the report, conditions have been primed for a sulfur hatch to come sooner rather than later; lo and behold, our mayflies have wasted no time making their debut.

Following the rain last weekend and the fact that Bull Shoals Lake is within 3 feet of power pool, flows have dropped significantly since we last reported. 11,000 to 13,000 cfs has given way to 5,000 to 6,000 cfs with bumps in the afternoons.

Just yesterday afternoon, the river bumped back to 14,000 cfs for a brief stint. Over the weekend, generation was even less, dipping down in the 2,000 cfs range.

John Pressley’s big Bull Shoals rainbow held by guide Luke Coffey

With that weekend drop, there was a last-ditch effort to fool a few more brown trout on caddis dries before our annual caddis bite began to die off. Trout are a peculiar sort.

Though we are still seeing more caddis than mayflies hatching, the trout have shown they are ready to move on. Browns and rainbows alike are no more favoring caddis imitations, but now have taken a desire for sulfur nymphs.

Look to transition away from Sunday Specials, Holy Grails, and Nick’s Fat Caddass and begin sprinkling Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Two Bit Hookers, and Egan’s Frenchies into the mix.

Sweet smallies for Laura Naill with guide Tadd Fore

Tandems with midges and sulfur nymphs have been effective. Dally’s Tailwater Jigs in Black/Copper, Rainbow Warriors for those bluebird days, and Crossfit Jigs are working regularly.

Wotton’s Super Midge is another must-have classic, especially in red. With lower flows and the sunny skies that are in the 10-day forecast, brown trout will move to deeper troughs and structure. Look for depth changes and current seams if you want to fool some of those bigger yellow fish.

Prepare yourself for a sulfur bite up top because it is coming quick. Quigley’s Hackle Stacker and Parachute Sulfurs are soon to be on the menu. Swing by the shop to grab a handful.

The Norfork’s true generation has been at minimum flow around the clock all week. However, nearly 200 cfs is coming out of the siphon and another 1,000 cfs is coming from spillway release.

Doug Peterman from Tx with a bright White River brown

Wadable water is tougher to access, but once accessed can make for a fun day on foot. Size 14 Depth Charge Worms, orange GloBugs, and Sunday Specials are good lead flies through shoals and deeper troughs.

Trailing each of these with either a sulfur imitation or a midge imitation is a solid choice. Frenchies, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, and Lightning Bug Jigs are great starters. Ruby Midges and Root Beer Midges are always excellent, too.

The bite has been good for loads of fish, so get out there and enjoy lower water while you can. The lake is essentially at power pool, so expect similar patterns of generation until lake levels change.

Dally’s will be hosting Christy Graham of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission tonight at 6:00 PM as she unveils new data from the latest creel surveys that biologists have conducted on our prized tailwaters. This is a great opportunity to learn and discuss incredibly important (and controversial) topics with those who can make a difference. We hope to see you there.