Fly Fishing Report – The October Shad 2021

Reports From The Field - Lisa Bellue

October 29, 2021

One of the most common questions that was asked over the course of month was “there are no shad kills in the fall, is there?” We have all been programmed to think the shad kill happens in the winter, so to see a few posts on social media of guides and clients hooking up with some hefty rainbows and browns up near the dam claiming they are biting on shad, what is one to do but question anyone and everyone that might have been near the area.

I was told back in August by a well known fly shop owner in the area to be ready and have some shad patterns ready for Labor Day.  I told him not to worry we always have shad patterns and to be honest I always have shad patterns in the boat year round. So what made it happen a bit later, water flows, water temp, lake elevation…..who knows but what I do know is it happened and could very well continue to happen if the conditions are right. If you would like to  see any of the types of flies we have been throwing stop by the shop and we are always willing to help out.
oscar shad2 square
tom wiggle square

Jeremy has some new size 8 Zoo Cougars in great little flies that are not the typical size that you find in fly shops and for those that like to trail a small streamer off another larger one I would think this would be the ticket. We have several Meat Whistles that have came in over the last month and have been getting good reports back that the whites are doing some damage in the right water conditions.

Friday October 8th

The month of October brought in a very welcomed shad bite along with all the fall break visitors to the area.Last year in the month of September we fished many different shad patterns throughout the month whenever the surges in water flow occurred with great success. This year it seemed to be a little later for us but it was just as fun as it has been in the past.The start of the month Jeremy was out with Oscar and Jocelynn while I was over at Dry Run Creek with the kids. While the kids were honing in their roll casts and hook sets, the parents where up at the dam throwing white and getting to experience a bite that many only read about.  

tom shad square
scott shad square

October 14th & 15th

Long time clients and friends Tom and Dwight came back to the White to fish a few days with me.  They have been with both Jeremy and I for several years.  They have fished just about every month and weather condition and water flow that one can imagine.It was a pleasure to be able to show them something they had yet to experience on the white river system.We had a line of rain come through the area so we waited a bit to get on the water.   We did all the normal routine flies from eggs, san juans, midges, and mega worms before lunch with just average numbers.  After a brief lunch break the horn sounded and I just finished up rigging up the arsenal for exactly what I was expecting.

Armed with Wiggle Minnows, Arkansas Beadheads,  Mini Zoo Cougers, Meat Whistles, and White Mega worms we set out on our journey towards the dam. The men were just flat getting it done.  Every drift seemed like a success.   What made it even better was more and more water just kept coming and apparently more and more shad kept coming thru the generators.The next day we were back at it with no water increase in generation and unfortanatly it turned out to be “just fishin”.

joe mega square
249868204 317032556449809 4791904955985121309 n square

October 17th & 18th

If you have ever been to any of the tying shows in the area, be it the Sow Bug roundup, the FFF Conclave in Mountain Home, or the MTFA in Branson you may be familiar with Joe Nickalo.  He was a regular at the shows, and would make beautiful works of art with the Hot Melt Glue systems. His scuds, sowbugs, and well just about everything he makes comes to life on a hook. He has always been a pleasure to talk to at the shows and fortunatly Jeremy and I have had the honor of taking him and his close buddy Nickolas down Taneycomo a few years back. So this time we had a few new to us and old to Joe, fishing buddies for a couple of days on the White River. Though we didn’t get into a shad bite that Tom and Dwight exsperienced a few days prior we did manage to carry on in the area where the fish bite white. 

Reports from the Field

Over the course of the month we were able to capitalize on the bite on the White with white even in the lower flows.  Other flies that continued to work other than the ones stated above are the black and nickel euro jigs, root beer and ruby midges, various egg patterns and sizes of egg patterns.

Those that have been wading have also been sucessfull with the root beer midges, mega worms, miracle flies, and several different soft hackles.

One of the most common questions that was asked over the course of month was “there are no shad kills in the fall, is there?” We have all been programmed to think the shad kill happens in the winter, so to see a few posts on social media of guides and clients hooking up with some hefty rainbows and browns up near the dam claiming they are biting on shad, what is one to do but question anyone and everyone that might have been near the area.

oscar shad2 square

One of the most common questions that was asked over the course of month was “there are no shad kills in the fall, is there?” We have all been programmed to think the shad kill happens in the winter, so to see a few posts on social media of guides and clients hooking up with some hefty rainbows and browns up near the dam claiming they are biting on shad, what is one to do but question anyone and everyone that might have been near the area.

Jeremy has some new size 8 Zoo Cougars in great little flies that are not the typical size that you find in fly shops and for those that like to trail a small streamer off another larger one I would think this would be the ticket. We have several Meat Whistles that have came in over the last month and have been getting good reports back that the whites are doing some damage in the right water conditions.

tom shad square

Friday October 8th

The month of October brought in a very welcomed shad bite along with all the fall break visitors to the area.Last year in the month of September we fished many different shad patterns throughout the month whenever the surges in water flow occurred with great success. This year it seemed to be a little later for us but it was just as fun as it has been in the past.The start of the month Jeremy was out with Oscar and Jocelynn while I was over at Dry Run Creek with the kids. While the kids were honing in their roll casts and hook sets, the parents where up at the dam throwing white and getting to experience a bite that many only read about.  

tom wiggle square

October 14th & 15th

Long time clients and friends Tom and Dwight came back to the White to fish a few days with me.  They have been with both Jeremy and I for several years.  They have fished just about every month and weather condition and water flow that one can imagine.It was a pleasure to be able to show them something they had yet to experience on the white river system.We had a line of rain come through the area so we waited a bit to get on the water.   We did all the normal routine flies from eggs, san juans, midges, and mega worms before lunch with just average numbers.  After a brief lunch break the horn sounded and I just finished up rigging up the arsenal for exactly what I was expecting.

scott shad square

Armed with Wiggle Minnows, Arkansas Beadheads,  Mini Zoo Cougers, Meat Whistles, and White Mega worms we set out on our journey towards the dam. The men were just flat getting it done.  Every drift seemed like a success.   What made it even better was more and more water just kept coming and apparently more and more shad kept coming thru the generators.The next day we were back at it with no water increase in generation and unfortanatly it turned out to be “just fishin”.

joe mega square

October 17th & 18th

If you have ever been to any of the tying shows in the area, be it the Sow Bug roundup, the FFF Conclave in Mountain Home, or the MTFA in Branson you may be familiar with Joe Nickalo.  He was a regular at the shows, and would make beautiful works of art with the Hot Melt Glue systems. His scuds, sowbugs, and well just about everything he makes comes to life on a hook. He has always been a pleasure to talk to at the shows and fortunatly Jeremy and I have had the honor of taking him and his close buddy Nickolas down Taneycomo a few years back. So this time we had a few new to us and old to Joe, fishing buddies for a couple of days on the White River. Though we didn’t get into a shad bite that Tom and Dwight exsperienced a few days prior we did manage to carry on in the area where the fish bite white. 

249868204 317032556449809 4791904955985121309 n square

Reports from the Field

Over the course of the month we were able to capitalize on the bite on the White with white even in the lower flows.  Other flies that continued to work other than the ones stated above are the black and nickel euro jigs, root beer and ruby midges, various egg patterns and sizes of egg patterns.

Those that have been wading have also been sucessfull with the root beer midges, mega worms, miracle flies, and several different soft hackles.

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Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. Tommy Deweese

    Great information!

    Reply
  2. Tommy Deweese

    Great information! This fall season has been great ! Thanks

    Reply

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