Minimum Flows commenced last week on BSTW, right now is running 700-900 Cfs. It only took 12 yrs but its here now. Most waders will fine their usual wading areas are navigateable, plus some new expanded areas. It will take several months but the aquatic insects should really take off, not to mention the continue flow of cold water during the high temps.
Over the last few weeks I have been very busy on the water. The hopper bite is starting up and will continue to get better as time progresses. The fishing report for the White river is good. On the higher flows there have been some good browns caught on streamers. White has been the best color to date. On lower water I have been using a hopper and dropper set up. Small # 8 tan or yellow hopper with a bh pheasant tail or bh hares ear for the dropper. Midges and sow bugs are working well up by the dam..
If you are looking to enjoy the hopper bite give us a call. August and September are great times to enjoy.
Two weeks ago as we sat around the fly shop we all were asking when the higher flows would start to produce the big bite? Well last week we got our wish.
We have lower flows in the early morning hours and at 1 PM we get that much awaited push of 7500-12,000 CFS. With the heavier flows the streamers are kicking butt, we have reports of 31″, 28″,24″ and dozens of 17-20″ Browns. Fishing a large streamer is a must !
I had good friend ted Minick of Sarasota FL and his son in law Pat Tagtow for a 2-day trip. The first day we fished from the dam to White Hole. The early morning to noon we fished small midges, the fish were very technical and perfect drifts with subtle takes was the challenge. Ted & Pat managed to land several nice colored rain bows. The afternoon the water was very trashy and the catch wasn’t as good as expected. The next day I decided to fish the Wild Cat to Cotter section. They kicked some ass in the morning on BH Pheasant tails and red midge droppers. As expected at 5 pm the high water caught up with us and we quickly switched to streamer rods. Pat made his first cast and low and behold hooked a BIG brown which actually caught him off guard. The fish was a big bruiser and Pat was immediately schooled by the big fella. No worries after a few more cast he was on again with his first WR Brown to the net, it measure 17″. It was a great way to end the last hour of a truly wonderful day.
My fishing report this week calls for low generation in the mornings with high generation through out out the afternoons. We seeing a Sulphur hatch and a Micro caddis. The fish are keying in on the Sulphurs. So BH FB PHT, Copper Johns, Prince Nymph, Pheasant tail soft hackle, Scuds and sow bugs. Also, midge patterns: Stinnetti Camel midge, DW White tail red midge, WD 40, Red Zebra midge.
On high water Streamers: Large Sex Dungeon, Circus Peanut, Articulated Leg Spreader and any other favaorite streamer you have. Good luck and happy fishing !!
The month of May has been a busy one, sorry it has taken me so long to write a new fishing report. The overall fishing has been excellent. Water flows have ranged from 1-5 generators on the White. The water quality is excellent.
The last several weeks we have had some serious rain which has relieved us from a drought. The entire country side is green with the smell of fresh honeysuckle every where. Jay Bettis of Houston, Tx fished with me a couple of days, fishing was consistent with a BHPT with a Red Midge as the dropper. Up at the dam he landed a nice 20″ rainbow ! It was fine trip with a good friend.
Dave & Chris Bissemeyer also fro Tx came and fished a couple of days. We had great weather and the fishing matched. The browns came out to play and they managed to land a few. The flies of choice were: Olive WB’r, BHPT, Red Midge, Copper John.
I am starting to see some mayfly activity and the fish are keying in on the nymphs. Also, in the right conditions we have been seeing some caddis activity along with a Sulphur hatch. With the recent heavy rains I would expect rising lake levels with around the clock generation. If the generation exceeds 4 units don’t forget to fish some articulated streamers. Also a little trick while fishing streamers is to tie on a BHPT dropper. Believe me the fish will attack the dropper.
Well back to the river, below are my go to flies for the various rivers.
WHITE RIVER: BHPT 16, Red Zebra Midge 18, Olive WB’r 10, Copper John 14, Pheasant tail soft hackle 16, Sulphur Dun 16, Cinnamon caddis 18,
The ozark region has been fortunate enought to receive some good rains the last few weeks. The lake levels on all of the reservoirs have increased to and above Power Pool. The White River has been generating approx 7,500-12,000 CFS the last 48 hrs. The Norfork has some windows of 0 generation but today generation is 5,000 CFS. This is good the rivers needed a good flushing and the fish love the cold water and the abundant food sources that are kicked up.
Sunday I had the pleasure to guide Gene and Tome Bratt, father and son who love to fly fish. We put in at Rim Shoals on 2- units of overnight water approx 2,500 CFS (perfect) ! Since the last stomach sample revealed alot of nymphs we tied on BH PT with a Dave’s Emerger and a Midge dropper. Tom hooked the first fish to remove the skunk out of the boat and until lunch we hammered the fish!! After lunch the catching slowed down we tried streamers, nymphs etc, but they sjut weren’t biting. As we entered Buffalo Shoals we started catching some better fish on streamers. A JJ Speacial along with a Olive Beldar.
The weather was great and so was the company. Gene & Tome will be back in October !!
As we enter May expect higher generation, on the higher flows I would fish Big Streamers with a full sinking line and nymph fishng along the soft seams clost to the bank within the weed beds. Good luck on your fishing.
This weekend the Winter doldrums left us and provided 70 degree days. I had the pleasure to guide Jeff Loeb from St Louis who the last time he fished the White with me in 2007 he caught a 27″ brown. This time the fishing was just as good with great temperatures and a epic Caddis hatch.
On Friday we fished from Wild Cat to Cotter on low water and by 11 am the caddis were bursting out of the water and the fish were definitely on the feed. We threw a 14 double wing caddis and for 2 hrs caught and released to many to caount and two nice 15 & 17 ” Browns. Saturday we fished from Cotter to Rim. The wind was strong early and there wasn’t as strong as hatch, so we tied on the Evil Weevil and proceeded to catch fish. As we approached Round House we waded the big riffle and landed some nice Rainbows, 2 nice 16 inchers. As we left Armstrong’s Hole we motored on down to the upper part of the Rock Garden, Jeff’s first cast he hooked a nice 19″ Brown which thought he was a 25 “‘r. Two jumps and a long run Jeff played the fish perfectly on the 6X tippett. After a few more exciting runs Jeff had the fish to the boat where it was landed. Man I love this sport !
Fishing in the Ozarks is on fire ! The White Bass are hitting on the tributaries, Little Sac, James and the North Fork of the White. Reports are coming in showing good amounts of White bass hitting clousers and anything else that resembles a shad. Should you be going out take your 6 wt rod with a intermediate sinking line that should do the trick.
The Trout fishing throughout the area has been great. With the warmer temps the Caddis are coming off strong. The White River from Steam Boat Shoals up to White Hole has seen prolific hatches on steady low water. The evolution of this river is amazing, over the last few years our insect population has increased two fold, a strong sign the river has truly evolved into a cold water fishery. There isn’t any reason to travel out west to fish a dry fly hatch the White and Norfork rivers can take care of that. The Norfork has recently started their minimum flows, it should add another 6 inches of water elevation covering important gravel bars and providing cooler water temperatures through out the system. The shouldn’t be a problem for waders fishing the new flow, in fact the fishing should only get better.
The last 4 weeks we have received above average rainfall and all of our lakes have risen close to their respective Power Pools. We are fore-casted to receive additional rain fall for the next 4-5 weeks. We surely need it !! Here is a list of my go to flies for the next 30-60 days:
Midges: WD 40, Zebra Midge, Stinnetti Midge,
Caddis: Caddis Pupa, Evil Weevil, Prince Nymph, Caddis larva, Red ass, Green body soft hackle, Elk Hair Caddis, Double wing caddis, royal Stimi,
The month of March came in like a lion and as I write my Blog it’s warming to 50 degrees. Last weekend I had the pleasure to fish with good friends Brad Cantwell & Chuck Banta both from Springfield MO. Friday Chuck and I fished Rim Shoals, when we arrived the water was low and the caddis were bursting out of the water. Fish were rising everywhere so we immediately tied on a dry fly, the second cast a fish was on, a nice 16 inch bow to hand. As I was landing my prize I looked over and saw Chuck with his rod bent, he was on. We spent the next 3 hrs landing about 12 fish a piece, a grande day was had.
Saturday Brad met up with us at the Log cabin and we proceeded to Round House, it’s close and we were on the water by 10 am. Brad being a novice fly angler, I fished with him Chuck went on his own. After a few tutorials on casting and presenting the fly Brad was ready to fish. As we worked over to the faster water Brad landed his first bow, a nice 12 incher caught on a Prince Nymph. As the day progressed the caddis were coming off in huge numbers. Back to the dry fly action ! until about 1 pm then it ceased. We left the water and had lunch at the White Sands cafe. After lunch we headed up the river to Wild Cat Shoals. The area was pretty crowded but we found an area that looked promising. As I threw out my Double Wing Caddis, I saw a nice head come out of the water and slurped my fly, a 19″ Brown.. We all looked her over and awed at her colors ! As I moved down stream Bam!! another engulfed fly and again another nice 18″ brown, oh what fun.
The White is fishing awesome right now the browns are moving around and are very aggressive for streamers and dry flies. As the temperatures rise the bug activity will be bursting. My go to flies are: Prince Nymph, GRHE, Copper John, Evil Weevil, BH Caddis Pupa, Elk Hair caddis, caddis emerger, Camel Stinnetti Midge, Zoo Cougar, Olive Wooly Bugger, Leg Spreader.
I heard the COE ran a Minimum Flow test run on the Norfork today, a welcome sign for better things to come for our fishery. We also received a nice rain event last week with additional rain in the forecast, a must need ! Well I have to hit the river so I’ll see ya’ll later.
February’s fishing report is a mix bag. For one the water generation has been unpredictable, so what els is new? I am happy to report that we finally received some decent rain which helped fill up the reservoirs. The best fishing has been up by the dam, I was fortunate to fish with good friend Randy Zimring of St Louis, and we clobbered the fish on nymphs. On Saturday we managed to fish WC to Cotter and did fairly well.. We stripped streamers but only caught a few small fish. So we went to our standard combo of Copper John with an egg and CJ & midge Both rigs worked extremely well.
On the days of heavy generation which has been few, the streamer action produced nicely, on the lower water copper johns, pheasant tails, midges, sow bugs, trout crack, eggs worked well. The browns have spawned and are on the prowl for some food. This last week we are getting some good reports of some nice 20″-28″ brown being caught.
As the days are becoming longer we are starting to see some Caddis activity. With this recent cold spell they have slow down a bit, but once the temps get into the 50′s look out the caddis action will be starting. So as your reading this clean out your boxes and tidy up your caddis box, I like the following bugs: Evil Weevil, BH caddis pupa (olive, tan), BH hares ear, caddis emerger, pupa and of course the Elk hair caddis (green body)..laFontaine sparkle pupa.
lets hope for mor rain we need it ! Also, starting in march or April we can expect Minimum Flows to commence on the Norfork River…I can’t wait.
Portions of the area received a good rain a few days ago and with it brought frigid temperatures. The White river/Bull Shoals lake didn’t receive enough rain to raise the lake level. Norfork Lake did rise a foot, the area that received the most rain was around Heber Springs. The Greer’s Ferry lake rose 6 feet over night. We definitely need more precipitation to relieve the area of our shortfall.
The fishing on the White River has been fair to good. Over the last week we experienced decent flows from 1,000-5,000 cfs. The streamer fishing has started to pick up especially on the larger flows. Best flies have been; White Zoo Cougar, White Double deceiver and Sex Dungeon. For nymphing techniques I have been using a #14 Copper John in red or copper and a Dave’s emerger as the dropper. Also at this time egg patterns are working very well with a midge dropper. Also on low water with cold rainy days a small baetis nymph or dry fly will pick off some fish.
In two weeks Feb 1st the Dam area below Bull Shoals will be open, this marks the beginning of our 2013 season and a great time to see your buddies and catch some decent fish. It will be crowded but it’s a great time.
Now is the time to book your 2013 trip my calander is starting to fill up so give me a call. I look forward to fishing with you this year !