A tasty 3 inch hopper! Davy Wotton photo

Time flys and its November already and not a warm one either, cold wet windy days, lets hope we do see some warmer temps before too long. Aside from that the fishing has been pretty good.

The Bull Shoals trophy zone is now closed. State park zone now under special regulations, No bait, artificial only and barbless hooks. No browns may be harvested and no night fishing.

It appears that the introduction of the minimum flow has not been greeted by all for a number of reasons. The anticipated flow rate was to be 600 cfs, apparently this low flow rate cannot allow for the turbine to run efficiently. Therefore we have seen flows more in the 1000 and more cfs release.That in turn has reduced for many wade access at the normal places of access which are at State or COE  access points, unless you have permission from property owners river side. The only option otherwise is use of a boat to access wade zones or drift fish from a boat. I do not know if this situation will be resolved or not at this time so far as implementing the 600 cfs flow rate. Norfork River due to the restricted access on the White river has seen a significant increase in angler activity, so expect to see many others when you choose to fish the river during low flows. 


Bull Shoals Dam is still able to maintain a good stock of bows in the 15 to 22 ins class with a good few over that, not to mention the many trophy browns, some of which are resident at the dam. During the mid month of August through September we had many good days catching trophy browns as they made their way upstream to zones they will settle and spawn. More or less the majority of those fish are now settled in those zones.
What l have also noticed over the years is new zones where those fish are collected. That’s largely due to the high water years that have spread new gravel bars and suitable substrate for those fish to dig redds. Hopefully we will see a good spawn and survival rate this next year. 
Fishing, there have been days hoppers will still catch as well as other dry patterns, days streamers, wet flies and soft hackles have been good and others when only dead drift nymph patterns have worked. Much of this is down to atmospheric conditions, warm days with good overhead light differ from colder windy overcast days.More or less now as we move into the colder period all be it rivers temps are still in the 50s at the upper end due to warm water release from the dam the order of the day is generally going to be nymph fishing techniques.

Those on my hit list will include:
White tail midges in black, red, pearl, silver. Add to that red flash tails and lightning bugs. These flies in sizes 14 to 18. Midges in smaller sizes 18 to 24 will also be needed for slow shallow water and Norfork. Sowbugs and scuds in olive, tan, gray olive in sizes 16/18 also needed at times.If fishing higher water flows then also include Prism and San Juan worms in red, tan, pink and claret, now and again l have found hot orange to work well. Eggs may also be a good bet, or worm egg combinations. Smaller streamers in the order of size 8 and 10 woolly bugger style will be good for wade fisherman fishing shoal water and for side casting from a drifting boat.You may also encounter BWO hatches, here you can go with BWO emergers, dries and in some cases small BWO style soft hackles, sizes will need to be small, likewise also for midge hatches. 
Overall November can be good fishing, granted there will also be days that are not so comfortable to be out there. Be prepared to ring the changes to catch fish.
Cold early mornings may not be so good, as the day warms up and the sun shines then the catch rate should also pickup before the sun goes down or temps start to drop. 

Tight lines all.