Riverside Reflections: Comprehensive Updates on White River and Norfork River Fishing Conditions, Hatches, and Strategies, with Insights into Weather Patterns and Personal Adventures”

“Riverside Reflections: Comprehensive Updates on White River and Norfork River Fishing Conditions, Hatches, and Strategies, with Insights into Weather Patterns and Personal Adventures”

The hustle has been relentless lately, with daily excursions, constant merchandise arrivals, and the perpetual task of organizing it all in the shop. It’s left me utterly drained, leaving little time for anything else, including fishing reports. Here I am, burning the morning oil, to ensure we keep you informed before I embark on yet another trip.
On the White River, the Corp continues to generate power around the clock, limiting opportunities for wading. It’s crucial to have a boat if you plan on fishing the caddis or cicada hatch. Speaking of which, both insects are making quite a splash on both tailwaters, with the Norfork River especially buzzing. Although I checked it out recently and didn’t see many cicadas in the water, reports suggest that guides are having success with foam patterns for trout. Despite cloudy conditions yesterday dampening the bite, I switched back to the White for some dry fly action. Caddis hatches seem to be more frequent now, extending the window for dry fly fishing. These hatches typically kick off around 2 pm, with about five cycles occurring by 6:30 pm, keeping the fish active along the banks. While I haven’t spotted the usual pods of trout, there are still enough browns to keep dry fly enthusiasts engaged.
The White River has been a bit unpredictable lately, mirroring the erratic weather we’ve experienced all month. It feels like we’ve only had a handful of sunny days, with the rest being dominated by rain or cloud cover, resulting in dense fog on the water and disrupting hatches. However, even with cloud cover, the bugs have been persistently hatching, indicating that the hatch is at its peak and likely to continue.
I’ve noticed that the nymph bite seems slower than usual for this time of year, resulting in fewer brown trout caught. There’s a rumor circulating that the water temperature coming out of the turbines is around 47 degrees, which can suppress hatches and make the fish lethargic. Interestingly, when the water remains around 100 megawatts, the fish seem to feed better, but higher levels can dampen their appetite.
On sunny days with lower water levels, typically ranging from 65 to 85 megawatts, the fishing action heats up dramatically, with larger hatches and more active fish. It’s like the ringing of a dinner bell for them. Given the fluctuating conditions, we’ve been constantly on the move to find the best spots to keep the bite active.
Regarding the Norfork River, I haven’t been focusing much attention there lately as our main efforts have been on the White River targeting brown trout. Norfork is primarily known as a rainbow fishery, but personally, I enjoy fishing the caddis hatch in low water conditions, allowing for more opportunities to fish dry flies rather than relying on nymph fishing. However, due to the consistent flow of water, it’s been challenging to find the right conditions, though occasionally you can catch it when the flow is reduced on weekends. Nonetheless, our preference for pursuing brown trout keeps us primarily engaged on the White River. While it’s a gamble, it often pays off, as there are windows when the brown trout are actively feeding on these bugs, making for memorable catches that overshadow the smaller rainbows typically found on the Norfork.
I’m looking forward to exploring the Norfork River on sunny days ahead to experience firsthand the excitement of the cicada craze. I’ve heard a chorus of cicadas in the catch-and-release stretches, indicating that trout are likely honing in on these insects along the banks. Just yesterday, I had my first success catching a brown on the White with a Fat Albert cicada style pattern using a Sunday Special dropper along the banks. I’m eager to continue this approach and aim for more strikes on the foam. It truly feels like an excellent time to be out fishing!
On Mother’s Day, I took Lisa out for a row after my guide trip because that’s what she wanted, and it turned out to be a fantastic decision. She landed three impressive browns fishing on the surface. As they say, keeping the women happy certainly pays off, especially when it leads to memorable moments like these on the water!


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