What an incredible spring 20 18 has been. (well not so much the weather as we went from cold to hot) but the bug hatch for sure. This hatch began around the middle of March just in time for the Sow Bug Round up and went well into May. No one has ever remembered a caddis hatch like this one. In my 23 years on this river I’ve seen some heavy hatches but never one that has lasted this long. Every time I heard a gear guide say how he would wish this hatch would end I could’t help but get one big grin on my face.
If you got the chance to fish this hatch you will of course know exactly what I am talking about. The catching was outstanding and some mighty big fish were hooked, lost and landed. Lots of stories and memories were created this spring. (but lets don’t talk about the weather).
So June has finally arrived and the first sulphur have been spotted and reports of some dry fly action have already come into the shop. That of course was when the water was lower. I; like you am also hoping for some lower flows. It has been a while since we have seen a really good sulphur hatch so get prepared just in case the opportunity arises. One never knows when the water will be shut off abruptly due to unforeseen circumstances such as a truck and trailer rolling down a boat ramp. (:)
Tie up some dries and various version of PT’s. If you don’t like to tie or don’t tie drop into the shop and we’ll get ‘ya fixed up. I’d say in wadeable minimum flow 5 & 6 X tippet and on higher flows out of a boat 4X & 5X tippet would be in order. Wish I could say a good dry and dropper would work but these sulphur are pretty small and won’t suspend much of a dropper.
It showed up on time. Yep! Caddis. What a phenomenal hatch this has been. This hatch has been producing lots of brown trout along with some big numbers of rainbow trout. This hatch has offered the opportunity for both dry fly fishing as well as nymph fishing. But I must say the nymph fishing is a ton better than the dry fly catching. I’ve watched this hatch grow over the past 23 years of working this river. When I started guiding in 1995 there was not much of a caddis from the dam down to White Hole. Especially so with the sulphur hatch but 24 years later both of these hatches occur all along the river.
Usually starting downstream these hatches work their way upstream and our trout really key in on them. The caddis hatch in particular can get so heavy that the fisherman must must find another area where the hatch is not so heavy so that he can continue to catch fish. The best part of this hatch is that lots of different types of caddis flies will work under the surface. Fishing two tungsten bead flies on no or weak generation is very productive. The top fly with a 3/32 tungsten bead size 14 with another below it size 16 with a 5/64 bead is the way most fish this hatch from a boat. Swinging various flies while wading can also be very productive. I have had several report of wade fisherman doing very well with soft hackles weighted and unweighted. Generally a type of green body made with either wire or wire and dubbing. Some with a tungsten bead and some without a tungsten bead depending on the depth one is fishing.
As of this writing the caddis hatch is still going on but will soon begin to wane and give way to the sulphur hatch. PT’s and drys can be pretty good during this hatch so be ready for it when it starts. Usually towards the end of may and into June we should start seeing this bug. Hopefully the water will cooperate for this hatch as it generally has done during the caddis hatch.
Call 870-404-8906 to book fishing. June is shaping up to be a good month.
I have been offering guided fly-fishing trips on the White River and Norfork River in Arkansas for trophy brown trout and rainbow trout since 1995. Let me show you one of the most overlooked trophy trout fisheries in the country.