Norfork Fishing Report 3-30-10

Reports From The Field - Flys

March 30, 2010


Norfork Fishing Report
March 30, 2010

Streamer fishing on the White and a day on Dry Run Creek

High water is back in full-swing in the Ozarks, but releases are not at maximum levels on any of the tailwaters – as of yet, anyway. Norfork Dam has been operating the equivalent of one-full-unit around the clock, and the White is running steadily in the four to five-unit range. The Corp is aggressively dumping water out of Table Rock Lake, so Taneycomo is running the highest of the three rivers, but at least the reservoir levels have remained manageable – right now, Table Rock Lake is about three feet above power pool.

Drifting in a boat for big trout
Great fly fishing at Wildcat Shoals

On Monday, I had something happen to me that will never happen again: I had to give up a three-person guide trip because my river boat is too short to accommodate that many anglers. This Thursday I will be purchasing a sweet, 20-foot Supreme, so three-person trips will now be a possibility during all water conditions. I didn’t want the day to be a total waste, so I took Summer’s brother down to Arkansas to do some streamer fishing with my friend John Holsten.

It was supposed to be a great day for the weather, and we found the river empty when we got to the Wildcat Shoals boat ramp. This was going to be a perfect outing whether the fish cooperated or not.

All in all, the action was not great, but it wasn’t bad, either. We fished from Wildcat to Rim Shoals using only articulated streamer patterns (olive was best), and the high sun made the browns hesitant to commit to taking the fly. They seemed to swipe at it instead of following up from behind and inhaling the offering. A lot of this may have had something to do with the bright conditions. Still, I personally got takes from five big browns, but only one of them was landed – a healthy 22-incher that came from the docks along the airport stretch (above Highway 62).

Fishing articulated streamers

About twenty fish were landed overall, and we all had a wonderful time floating an unpressured river. What could be better than spring on the White?

Youth Fly Fishing
at Dry Run Creek

Today I had the pleasure of taking a 15-year old to Dry Run Creek below Norfork Dam. This trophy trout stretch is exclusively for kids under 16 and for anyone with a disability; it is absolutely loaded with huge fish. Still, this micro fishery is not a pushover. The big fish can get spooky, and each day on the Creek fishes differently. We ended up catching tons of trout, but this young man’s apprehension to fully set the hook cost him three big rainbows. That is how we all learn, and hook-setting can be a tough concept to grasp in the tight quarters of Dry Run. Still, for his first time out he did a great job, and hopefully I will get him out again in the future. He did land a 20-inch brown, as well, which capped off a really fun day.

Times are busy right now, but I’m not complaining, especially since the fishing is so good on all of the rivers. Be sure to check out the blog when you get the chance. My good friend Gabe Cross will be contributing on an almost daily basis. It should make for some interesting reading about both Arkansas and Idaho. I will definitely post some pictures of my new boat once it is set up. Also, if anyone is interested, I am selling my 16-foot Supreme with the trailer. Call me for the specifics.

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