Well folks, summer is here. As I'm typing this, the weather has dipped and cooled off a bit for the next couple of days, but we have already experienced some mid 90's and up temps, and we are only getting under way. Over the past couple of weeks, the Corps of Engineers has began drawing down the reservoirs to normal generation levels. All power houses are cranking around the clock in order to get the lake levels down.
Now for a little reportage...
White River below Bull Shoals:
Heavier flows in the 9,000-18,000 cfs range have been consistent around the clock until just yesterday when they edged off a little bit, to the 3,000-10,000 cfs range. The nymph bite has been strong, with larger worm patterns and bright egg patterns working well as an attractor, with smaller scuds, sowbugs, and attractor nymphs working below them. The fish have seemed to change their minds every day as to what they want to eat, so if you cycle through your favorites, you are bound to find the golden ticket. Focus your drifts on the drop-offs near the banks where obvious current seams are present. For you dry fly anglers, just because they are rolling some heavy flows does not mean the surface bite is dead. In certain stretches, there have been good numbers of sulphur adults coming off in the afternoons, and I have been seeing a lot of fish feeding consistently on top.
The high flows are also warranting some great streamer fishing if you can find some overcast weather. Larger, articulated patterns are best fished on a 300-450 grain sinking line in the high water. Also, early mornings and late evenings can be a great time to get a good streamer bite. Remember, though, that the water dictates most of the bite, and you need to stay in front of a big push of water.
Also, hopper season is on the brink of exploding. If you haven't had the chance to experience this awesome fishing on the White, give me a shout and we can get a day in of some of the best dry fly fishing you have ever experienced. Big browns, foam, and gink. What more could you ask for?
Norfork has been following a pattern of 1 unit of generation in the morning hours, then bumping up to 2 units in the afternoons. There are an abundance of super healthy, large fish in the Norfork, and I have been seeing more and more 18-20" rainbows than ever before. The same high water rigs as the White, with a larger attractor up top and a smaller nymph below will do the trick. Playing with your depth and weight to get it just right will be the key, as there are constant depth changes on the swift Norfork.
The smallmouth rivers have been awesome this year, as they continue to give up better and better fishing year in and year out. Poppers have been a great option, and the fish have seemed to be keyed on the surface. In the deeper pools, work poppers slowly across the top around the big chunk rocks and expect explosive strikes!
Well, that's all for this report. If you have any questions, give me a call at (903)-746-7836, or if you are interested in booking a trip. Dates are starting to fill up fast for the summer, and prime days are already getting booked for the fall, so get in where you fit in!