The dry fly action like the hatch itself wasn’t stellar but the action on nymphs was better than on top. My strategy was to find the cleanest water possible and using a two fly rig with an adjustable indicator. With almost 20 years on the waters of the White I’ve also noticed that caddis like to hatch off of rock piles so I like to target those areas as brown trout tend to hang below those areas. A good area that many of you would be familiar with is the front side of the narrows. This almost one mile stretch from the first rock pile above the narrows and into Tucker hole can be stellar as the entire area is loose boulders and submerged rock piles along with the swift water which is great for dry fly fishing as well as nymph fishing. During the past few years the numbers of brown trout that have been caught during the caddis hatch have been pretty good with numbers up to 50 in a day and sizes up to the 24 inch range. This year the numbers are not any where near the numbers we were achieving during the past couple of years. It also looks as though the caddis hatch is waning and diminishing as it should be. Our sulpher hatch is next and I will soon be fishing PT’s on just about all flows of water. (Drop by the shop to pick up your PT’s as they are on sale at $1.25 each through may). I’m not expecting a stellar sulpher hatch either but am hoping to be surprised. By this time next month this hatch would normally be in full swing but it seems that everything as been running about two or three weeks behind. We shall see and time will tell.
Sunday the weather warmed up and so did the fishing. Around the campfire Sunday night the talk was all about the Caddis hatch that took place and how they thought it was over. The other topic was did you notice the Pheasant Tail nymphs showing up.
As my luck would have it I was one of those without a caddis fly, but I did have a lot of pheasant tail midges (PT midge) and hares ear midges (HE midge) in olive and I took a backseat to no one.
Tuesday a.m. walked into the White at Cotter, Ark. tied on my favorite RS (rim shoals) sowbug, an hour later fishless, I was tying on a PT midge and begin having one of the best mornings I have had in a couple of years. When my 7x tippet finally gave up the ghost I retied with 6x tippet and decided to switch to a olive HE midge.
I only thought I was having one of my best mornings before, it was nothing compared to the action the HE midge was producing. A HE midge is so simple to tie, a # 16, 18 or 20 scud hook, gold tungsten bead, small gold wire and hares ear dubbing. Tie like a Zebra or a PT midge and your in business. If you go with olive HE dubbing you have a excellent caddis substitute fly.
Upon leaving the water I ran into a friend I fish with often who said he had a great morning and caught the largest trout he had ever caught – 24″ and to prove it he shows me the pix he took of the lovely monster. This is why I never carry a camera.
Life is good in the Ozarks and getting better.