General Fly Fishing Report 3-29-2015/Lake Taneycomo, Norfork & White River
March Fly Fishing Report / How I see it unfolding for future trips and fishing in general
Taneycomo Lake Level Pool – 916.66 = 1.6 feet above power pool
It is a difficult task to post fishing reports on a day to day basis, that’s why we continue to stream the Fly’s and Guides Facebook link on the side bar of the website. Facebook is great for posting pictures and a brief summary of the days fishing, but is clearly lacking in the content that so many of you are in search of. Over the past few weeks the majority of my trips have been on the Norfork. I continue to fish them all on a regular basis and Norfork is by far fishing the best and it just keeps me coming back for more. When it comes to everyday fishing it’s hard to compete with, especially for beginners who want to learn to catch fish with the opportunity to catch a variety of fish. It defiantly is a client pleasing river in my book. One can always go over to the White and catch a fish of a lifetime, but for bigger fish on an average day, the Norfork can’t be beat. The White is also a numbers river in low water and with all the smaller rainbows you catch you might just find yourself becoming bored at times. That river does have its moments when it’s hard to beat, but those are specialty trips where you target certain hatches looking for a brown to rise for a dry fly or run down a streamer. The Norfork when compared to Taneycomo is starting to produce bigger rainbows in the 20 inch range on a more consistent basis. Taneycomo is still the place to catch bigger quality rainbows like the gigantic ones over eight pounds. When I fish the Norfork, I continue to see larger cutthroats every year and just the other day I had a kid catch a 16 inch brook trout! That’s exciting to see when comparing the size to the years before they implemented the siphon to create better oxygen for the trout.
The trout are staying in the river and not returning to the White, enjoying their stay in the Norfork. It was this way back in the early 90’s so it’s great to see it coming back in a positive way. Not only that, but it’s almost a guarantee that you will also hook into a brown. The reason being, plain and simple there are just more browns holding in the river than in the past. This river is a lot smaller than the White, allowing one to fish a more condensed area making them easier to target. In my opinion to effectively fish this river you need to float it. Many of the browns I catch are in the middle of the river in the trophy section, holding in deeper water. The big browns hold up top where you can access it, but it’s not wadable water so approaching it from a boat is key. They hang around the docks and most the time you will find bait boats chocking this stretch of water making hard to even get a chance to fish it. There are also a lot of people fishing off the docks that will be in the way and you will need to respect their water too. This scenario only works with low water conditions, if the water comes up it’s just another river with trout in it and you are going to work harder for every fish you catch.
Some things to think about
-Below Rim Shoals you will notice the water is dirty from the runoff of Crooked Creek. I would suggest fishing above Rim.
-White Bass are on the move so if this is something you have always wanted to try get with me and I’ll help you make that happen either, by giving you the knowledge or by taking you on a little evening trip. It might only be a three hour trip, but that’s really all you need and that’s actually when they bite the best. Two hours before dark and one hour after dark should be all you need to have a thrill of a lifetime hooking these whites on 6wts.
-The shopping cart will continue to grow when I have free time to upload flies to it. It’s always growing so make sure you check that out. If you need some White Bass flies get with me and I’ll get you some tied up.
What to expect in the next month
How about caddis fishing on the Norfork and White River. I’m starting to see two different hatches. There is a smaller one which is the sedge caddis and the bigger one that has the green and a off-white clear wing which some know it has the apple caddis. These can be fun if you like dry fly fishing, but it’s just starting so it might take a few more weeks to get these fishing looking up and taking them off the surface. You can start fishing cadis now, but be prepared for a patient bite. The hatch doesn’t happen all the time so you have to work for it. The emerger seems to be a little more effective in my book, but I’m still one of those guides who head hunts and this type of fishing might trick more of the little ones so I’m not ready to zero in on this particular bite as of right now.
Dry Run Creek & Norfork – How I’ve been doing it
I had some trips over spring break, hitting Dry Run in the morning and Norfork in the afternoon. That way everyone is getting their fix. It also teaches the kids the difference between a easy catch and one that requires a little bit more skill which I think is important when learning the sport.
Dry Run Creek has a few bigger browns in there, for the most part the bigger ones that showed up in the fall are back in the river. There are still a ton of fish to be caught with a few bigger cutts that are exciting to catch using dries. They have also cleared the tress and made it a lot easier for kids and parents to navigate and walk about. The goal here is to get the kids on a big fish, just one will do the trick if you are trying to get your kids hooked to fly fishing. All in all it’s still the best place on earth for a kid just starting to learn the sport of fly fishing.
Last week or up until now the water has been running in the morning and off around 11am. We fished Dry Run until noon or 1pm, then put in and fished the river until 7pm and waited for the surge and push us out. I really don’t like the lower section as much for two reasons, one is the wade fisherman tend to crowd it out and give you dirty looks so I try to stay away and respect their water. Two, its skinny water and not a lot of bigger fish hold in it. I think the bigger trout hold in three places; the docks up top, long hole and McClelland’s. That’s where I spend the majority of the time. I fish it hard and spend two hours in each run. You have to be patient when fishing for browns, this tailwater demands it out of you so if you are in a hurry expect to have a mediocre day. This river can be tricky because of how the water generates, so planning becomes extremely important.
Example; If they are generating in the morning I put in a little after the drop. I don’t ever like fishing falling water so I will wait it out if I can. Trout have to adjust and get back in their groove before they start feeding again. I also believe they get full feeding in high water so it might be the afternoon before the bite really catches on. That’s why I tell my clients to always stay focused and never give up. If you get complacent then it happens, the big fish hits and you’re not ready for it. When you ask me what did you do wrong and the answer is you gave up. This happened to me three times last week. We are definitely losing the bigger ones, but we are still managing to redeem ourselves on the 18- 20 inchers. Don’t ever give up, you don’t want to be the one that loses sleep that night thinking about the one that got away.
Before all of the generation that started a few days ago, we were seeing lower flows with most of the day being one generator. It really made for some excellent fishing especially dead drifting the Mega Worm on the bottom sight fishing. Most of the rainbows that are eating this are the bigger ones that I call ”Bully’s”. The midge fishing has been good also, but you have to go deeper and bigger. I am throwing them for the most part about a foot off the bottom. I really can’t say much for this tailwater, because if I can talk you out of fishing here to fish the Norfork, I will! For the most part people have been taking my word for it making the trip down. If your dead set on fishing Taney all I can say is: good luck fishing it at the moment. I would go to Beaver before I fished here. Beaver would be your closest drive, but me….I would rather drive two hours for the best fishing available.
If you would like to know more about fishing on Lake Taneycomo or Norfork in Arkansas and how they work well during certain times of the year you can send me a email directly to [email protected] if you are interested in booking a guide trip. Feel free to visit us on Facebook, If you really liked this article, +1 above – check us out at +flysandguides (Google+) or send us a tweet with a question or just to say hi. Check out the Fly of the Month!