Tag Archive: wet flies

18, 000 cfs generation is not every bodies cup of tea.
When it comes to fishing the White River, granted fishing high, fast water is not quite the same as the lower flows. We fish for risers taking caddis, mayfly and midges.
Nevertheless it’s what you have to deal with when the dates are booked, which was the case when my regulars- Ed, Jim, Bob, Ted and Saxon arriving for their regular fall fishing trips with me.

That is not to say the fishing is worthless, far from it.
What it requires is intimate knowledge of the river so far as where the fish will likely be found and given the zone you are fishing; what is going to be your best option.

Some days it may be a large dry that induces a trophy Brown to show up, maybe a streamer at times, or deep water nymph tactics, not to mention traditional style wet fly, which for myself is always a good bet.

Contrary to belief neither is fishing rigs with large gaudy flies or heavy weight the only game in town. 
Each section of the river may require a different approach. 
Granted a good choice is to fish close to banks, but not always. Mid-stream shallows over gravel bars and rock structure will likely hold fish, as will slow water run offs from fast water seams.
Fishing over grass and moss beds may also be productive at times.
Fact is fish will tend to move around during high water flows.
Even better, high water flows are good for the Rainbows to add some weight.

Generally at this time of the year the Browns have packed on weight in readiness for the spawn season and may not be as aggressive as they were earlier in the year.
Often as not the females are heavy with eggs and are less likely to have interest in larger food sources. It is at such times that smaller flies will better the larger patterns, which was certainly the case for my fisherman.
Racking up between them some impressive numbers of Bows, Browns and Cutthroats, some of which are included in the pictures shown.






By the way two of the larger Browns were caught fishing DW style wet fly tactics, size 12 hook flies !!!


(Posted by Teresa “TBird” VanWinkle)



Davy and I are counting down the days to the Annual Sowbug Roundup.
Yes, we will have a booth.
Yes, we will have Dvd’s,and flies also.
Davy will be giving a program on Saturday.
We looking forward to seeing everyone there.

2015 Sowbug Roundup will be held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 26th to the 28th at the Baxter County Fairgrounds in Mountain Home, Arkansas. The show opens at 9:00 am and the admission is $5.00 for everything, for all three days. For up to date information check out the Sowbug Roundup web site.
Location – Baxter County Fairgrounds Mountain Home, Arkansas
Hours- 9 am to 4 pm Thusday, Friday, & Saturday
Admission – Adults $5.00 All 3 Days  Children under 12 free with parent

For more information on program presenters and fly tyers list go to:

Travel safe and we will see you in a few days.

Keep a hook in the vise,


Looks like warm weather is now on the way, and its about time to say the least.
Past month has seen us battle high winds, cold days and high water generations and low water temperatures all of which has contributed to many days when the bite was slow, all be it we did catch good numbers, but not as many as we would normally expect for April.
The above also the main reasons why the caddis hatches have been very sporadic, that said today late afternoon as it warmed up we saw a great hatch, and at last fish were seen to rise to the naturals, hopefully we will see more of this in the near future. 

So far as generation on the White to say the least the SWP projections have been way off, my advice is at this time to not take too much notice of what is predicted. Norfork predictions have been pretty good.
I can only add that you do not want to be caught by rising water as the odds are it will be full of trash and fishing will be generally a waste of time until the trash is flushed through and water clears up.
During times when the suspended trash has cleared up water may still be stained and colored, you will have to use larger flies that are well seen by the fish, eggs, San Juan and prism worms will generally do well. Once water is clean and clear the you go opt for flies such as white tail midges in black, red, pearl sizes 14 for higher deeper water and 16s for slower shallow zones. Add to the list SLF trans caddis pupa in sizes 12/14 in both green and hares ear, prince nymph, all be it l prefer a 20 incher, for the above nymphs for the White at this time you will not go far wrong. If caddis start to emerge then combinations of trans caddis pupa and soft hackles fished dead drift will do the business.
Once the hatch increases and you see fish taking bugs off the surface then the former are still good bets, but you may also move on to a  caddis/emerger or soft hackle combination or traditional style winged wet flies such as Hares ear, March brown, Silver invicta, Wickhams fancy, Woodcock and hares ear, grouse and green are good bets.In the case of soft hackles do not be without a Partridge or grouse and hares ear, Grannom green tail, DW emerger, fish these on a dry line in the zone you see fish rising with a very slow retrieve, not a stripped action. 
Dry caddis such as the Davy caddis, Elk hare in sizes 12 to 16 will also do you well during a rise to adults or egg laying females. 

Water release from Bull shoals dam is still very cold, 40f, which is also a reason why scuds and sowbugs are less likely to move around and be seen as daily diet for the fish, all be it that may well take some imitations. Norfork has been fishing well both for wade and drift fishing, on the hit list here you will need midge imitations, pupa, emergers and dries. In the case of drift fishing midges in larger sizes such as white tail in 14/16 will do well as will worms, prince nymph, GRHE, PTNs, and other generic nymph patterns.
Caddis will also make a appearance so have some of the above mentioned patterns.
Crane flies are also abundant at this time for both rivers. For those who like too fish streamers, then during lower flows olive woolly buggers are a good bet, if high flows then if afloat many different larger streamers have a chance, there really is no such thing as to say this fly will be the killer. You may have no interest on one drift from a particular fly, the next drift the are interested, its more chuck and chance to be honest at this time.

Once we see water temps rise then evening and into dark times will generally be productive. 

Tight lines all.


(Posted 5-20-2014 by Teresa “TBird” VanWinkle, site administrator. )

Keith, shows off his Brown from a trip on Rim Shoals, taken by a DW Whitetail Midge.  May 2013  Davy Wotton Photo

Keith, shows off his Brown from a trip on Rim Shoals, taken by a DW Whitetail Midge. May 2013 Davy Wotton Photo

Fishing Report.

The past couple of weeks have seen some very different conditions out there on the rivers, what with climate, zero to as much as 17,000 cfs of water churning down the White.

Needless to say options so far as locations to fish have been based largely on generation schedules.

For myself that has been from Bull Shoals dam to Buffalo City and the Norfork River.

Many 100s of fish to hand and many real nice fish from the high teens and over the 20 inch mark, both Bows and Browns. In fact few days have we not caught trophy browns seen here with clients.

Joel- Bull Shoals Brownie May 2013 Davy Wotton Photo

Joel- Bull Shoals Brownie May 2013 Davy Wotton Photo

Top flies have been white tail in midges in their various guises and sizes from 12 to 18, black, red, pearl, silver have all done business. Add to the list DW sowbugs, prism and micro worms, boobies, wet flies and variations of Welsh style soft hackles fished dead drift, a couple of patterns of which have been deadly for the brown.

Randy with high water bow at Bull Shoals Dam using a PT-CYB May 2013 Davy Wotton Photo

Randy with high water bow at Bull Shoals Dam using a PT-CYB
May 2013 Davy Wotton Photo

As of now there has been very little sulphur activity, just the odd few adults, but nothing to get the trout keyed on at this time, maybe it will be one of those years we will not see a decent hatch, who knows.

If there is any one good tip l will give it is this. There is no standard set up for rigs that will work for all sections of the river, that has to be based on average water depth and speed, wade or drift, coupled with right choice of flies for that zone which will differ during the day if you want to stay on top of the catch rate.

Tight lines-

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