Norfork Fly Fishing Report | Grand Slam April 26, 2015

Beaver Tailwater as of now; 1121. 18 Level Power Pool 1120.43 Top Power Pool 1130.0 (Can only take 10 feet before opening flood gates)
Taneycomo Tailwater as of now; 915.34 Level Power Pool 915.0 Top Power Pool 931.0 (Can only go up 16 feet before opening flood gates)
White River Tailwater as of now; 667.99 Level Power Pool 659.0 Top Power Pool 695.0 (Can only go up 36 feet before opening up flood gates)
Norfork Tailwater as of now; 558.74 Level Power Pool 553.75 Top Power Pool 580.0 (Can only go up 27 feet before opening up flood gates)

Norfork Fly Fishing Report GRAND SLAM on a three day trip!

That’s why I fish here. The biggest reason why this river is one of my favorites, is that opens up the opportunity to catch all four species of trout. For clients and guides alike, it doesn’t get any better than that. I really want to emphasize that if you are a beginner and just starting out fly fishing, this river is hard to beat. I’ve heard of rivers called a “dream stream” and I believe this river can be referred to one as well.

This type of river for the beginner or experienced angler alike, will have you coming back for more with every fishing trip. I think when clients can learn, but still have the opportunity to catch browns, cutthroats, brookies and of course the abundant rainbows in the river, it becomes a guides dream. I often wonder why Taneycomo fishermen only want to fish Taneycomo? If you are that person and you read my reports often, then you are the person I would love to take.

I want you can understand what else is out there to experience. I understand the drive, but you won’t even care about that once you hook into the quality of fish this river has to offer.

Rory & Zimm's Norfork Brown Trout
Zimm's Norfork Brookie

If catching only one species of fish is all you want to do, then so be it. We at Fly’s and Guides want you to know that there is a much better trip down just the road. The type of trip that will have you coming back, the type of trip that will have you telling your buddies what an awesome day you had on the river and best of all the different species of trout you had the opportunity to catch.

If I was a client that’s what I would want. I don’t understand why you would want to pay the same money for a guide and get half the experience. If what you are doing is looking for a relationship, you can have that too, but lets be honest we all want more bang for our buck. A great example is the guy I guided the last three days. A long time client David, has been with me going on six years and he books me usually once a month. He does this for his customers and to also give him some much needed time away from his stressful and demanding job.

Usually when he brings his new customers they are rookies and have never fly fished a day in their life. It’s a win, win for everybody involved. He’s building relationships with his customers and so am I. For me, the bigger picture is giving that client the ultimate experience that he will never forget. When a newbie has chances of hooking into something other then a rainbow, it definitely creates that WOW factor.

You might loose a few big ones, but that helps the customer understand the differences between a trophy fish and a stocker trout. It’s all part of the experience and nine times out of ten they loose it, but this river gives you so many chances to redeem yourself.

So all in all, you are giving them a trip of a lifetime along with that kicker fish that so many of us drive and spend the money to come down and try our luck at. I think everybody has this idea that if they catch a 20 inch fish or bigger then it justifies the trip. I believe this and always want this for my customers. The only river that does this time and time again is the Norfork. Other tailwaters have their moments, but it takes a little more skill and a lot of luck.

Zimm's Norfork Cuttie

There are those times when the planets align and you can target easier ways to catch trophy fish and not be that skilled at it, but even then you have to do your part and practice. You can do all those things on the Norfork and increase your chances at hooking into trophy trout on this river. You can tell I’m a fan, but don’t let me tell you, come experience it for yourself!

The trip I did was all about Rory and by the end of the third day he had his casting down. At the end of the trip he was good enough to land three decent browns and a ton of rainbows. We did miss the two bigger browns, but in his eyes it didn’t matter because he caught three. This all goes along with what I’m saying, this river gives you more chances at the bigger fish. Tell me a river that can do that for rookies?

The bottom line is there are so many fish in this little 4.4 mile stretch of river. The way the river is laid out, it gives more options on where to fish and what to fish. We all know the guy in the back of the boat gets whatever is left that didn’t hit the lead fly. Even with this handicap Dave was able to hook into his variety package of fish and finished the day with a grand slam. He was a happy customer and the two left with a good feeling and dreams of their next chance to float this tailwater.

Zimm's Norfork Rainbow Trout

All that said, we would’ve done a lot better, but we only got five hours of low water the entire three days of fishing. They were scheduled to give us more than that on Friday, but they ran water all day. One unit water is great too, but you will work harder at catching the same fish that you could in low water. We did manage to catch more cutthroat when the water was running, so you never what you are going to get. You might get a shot at a brown, but it’s few and far between and it does take a more experienced angler to have the same opportunities like this on the White River and Taneycomo.

I really want you to understand and yes I’m twisting your arm so that you can have those moments too. The purpose of this report is to try to get you to get out of your rut and go experience some great fly fishing we have right here in the Ozark’s and you don’t have to go out west to experience it. It’s all right here in the Midwest!

I’ll be fishing Taneycomo Monday and Tuesday and should have a report for you. My dad has been fishing it all weekend and they have had a lot of low water so the bite has been extremely good with numbers of those big fat rainbows that have been gorging themselves for the last few months in high water. My dad said that the “truck trout” haven’t been as abundant so these trout are the colored up ones that have been getting all the right protein. This usually happens due to high water. If we continue to get low water then the truck trout will show back up and the decent rainbows will start going back downstream. I hope everyone is out fishing and having a good time!!

Zimm's Norfork Brown Trout

If you would like to know more about fly fishing on Norfork you can send me a email directly to flytiehunt@hotmail.com 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!

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1 Comment

  1. Rory Stegeman on April 27, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Jeremy is a fantastic guide and has a tremendous knowledge and love for the river and the Trout that call it home. He can help a newbie learn to cast and an ol dog learn a new trick or two. All with a smile on his face. I can’t wait to get back out with him again!

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