June saw some pretty major fluctuation along with some more rain and we came close to seeing some major flood gate action with threats of 40k to 60K CFS of flows. Fortunately that did not happen as it would have caused severe property damage on the river. The most we have ever seen is 50K CFS. So- the lake levels are slowly dropping with the Bull at 691.39 and the Fork at 575.63. The fork is generating 5k plus pretty much around the clock and Bull is 12k to 16K. The C.O.E. and SWPA are gonna make some big bucks this summer. The sulphur hatch also started in June. However the bigger flows have a tendency to knock this hatch down. I along with a few other guides have had some great luck with John Schepps’ wired PT. This is a fly he won a sow bug tying contest with and its a great fly for this time of year. Other PTs are also working and of course after a rain storm the ubiquitous and highly productive san juan worm in various colors such as brown, brown and brown along with the wapsi worm brown color are pretty hard to beat. As the weather heats up the girdle bug or turd as some call it work pretty well also. In fact my fisherman caught fish on it yesterday morning. This fly has become quite popular over the past few years and has spanflex (wapsi SX4-047) incorporated onto a 10 or 8 hook. This is a heavy fly generally tied with lead wrapped around it along with either a brass or tungsten bead 1/8th copper bead depending on how heavy one wants it to be. It is fished close to the bank and if your not losing one every now and then then your not close enough to the bank. Fish it with heavier tippet than you think you need ‘cause if the brown trout are on it you will have a blast with this fly. It is also a pain in the you know what to tie but is now a must have fly for your box on bigger water. The depth of this fly can range from 3 or 4 feet to 4 to 8 feet. A dropper can even be used but expect to loose some flies.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect heavy generation throughout July especially with the heat we have been getting. Terrestrials are working at times and the cicadas are getting heavier and louder. Accurate cast in shallow water or along the shady areas underneath trees are good targets. Velocity breaks such as rocks or trees can also hold some good fish so crashing a big bug into these areas can cause a take. Don’t forget midges on big water either. Sometimes black, purple, red or bright colored midges can draw strikes on big water. Dropping a midge below a SJ Worm can be highly productive so don’t forget to give it a try. Good Catching.Jimmy T.
Terrestrials: These are the little creatures that end up in the water and are taken by fish and they have been on fire since we began getting this weak flow water. The picture to the right is of just a few that Fly Fish Arkansas has been fishing with the past two months. On the left is a parachute hopper and on the top is a Daves’ hopper and to the right is a bulbous bi-visible and at the bottom is the chernobyl ant. Other terrestrials such as foam ants, beetles and large spiders would also work on the White River. This past weekend on Saturday I took a local gentleman fishing and tied on (4) terrestrials. I soon learned it was not so easy to cast and was envisioning one heck of a tangle either via a bad cast or a trout taking the first fly. I cut off two of them which made it much easier to cast and easier to take out of a fishes mouth.
This fish was hooked with a parachute hopper which I’ve had much luck with. The water this morning was fluctuating rapidly with fish taking flies on the rise and slowing down on the drop which is normal. Dean and I continued fishing after changing to a dropper below the hopper. Fisherman coming into the shop this week have been using various types of midges with a black, purple copper zebra type midges producing well under chernobyl ants. Generation this week has been heavy in the afternoons with little flows in the mornings when the terrestrial action is the best. This past monday generation was off till 1:00 and yesterday it was off till 1:00 p.m. as well. This morning there is one unit on and it is scheduled to be on like this the rest of the day. We did have a front come in and bring us some much needed rain which soaked in nicely taking us off of our burn ban. We were a tender box. I don’t have a clue what will happen with generation this weekend but the past two holiday weekends saw generation so who knows what will happen this weekend. Temps are much lower- 62 f at this time with highs predicted in the upper 70’s and lows in the morning in the lower 50’s. Saturdays highs will be around the mid 80’s with lows in the 60’s and on labor day highs in the 90’s and lows in the mid 60’s. I wouldn’t think there would be much power demand. By 5:00 P.M. this afternoon though we should have our answer.
There is no rain in the forecast until much later in the week so it looks as though a good week is in store for the Ozark Mountains and for fishing this week. Drop by the shop for fishing info or flies or just to say hello.
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