Quick Reports - Jeremy Hunt

September 14, 2023

Flys and Guides

We made the decision to capitalize on the low water conditions once again on the Norfork River. I was expecting the same water conditions as the previous day, but it turned out even better than I had anticipated. The presence of the siphon was a positive factor, but we also encountered a negative aspect. As we began fishing, it became evident that the size of the fish was reduced due to the crystal-clear water. On a bright, sunny day with such clarity, catching larger fish can sometimes be challenging. It would have been helpful to have some surface ripples caused by the wind, but we had little of that as well. The water had been quite murky the day before, and the rainbow trout weren’t showing much interest, particularly the bigger ones.

dave & terry norfork rainbow
terry & dave norfork rainbow
terry's rainbow
terry norfork rainbow

We had a good day, don’t get me wrong; however, those bigger fish can really elevate the experience, especially when you’re focused on quantity. This is why they say it’s called “fishing” and not “catching.” Every day on the water is unique, and sometimes things don’t go as planned. During our outing, we observed a few brown trout redds, which is a bit early for these browns to start their spawning activities. It’s crucial to take note of these redds and avoid fishing or disturbing them. These brown trout can naturally reproduce, so please be considerate and mindful of these redds. Typically, the brown trout start migrating up the river towards the end of September and throughout most of October. The timing for spawning in this tailwater is similar to Taneycomo. In the White River, brown trout start their courtship on the redds from December through most of January. I have two more days ahead with Dave and Terry, and our plan for today is to fish the White River, mainly using dry flies throughout the day. However, we’ll switch to shad patterns when they increase the water flow.

close up redds norfork
norfork tailwater caddis eggs

In the lower-right picture, you can see small gel sacs with tiny dots inside. These are caddis eggs, and they remain dormant until the end of April when they hatch. This abundance of caddis eggs is a testament to the prolific caddis populations in both rivers.

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