White River Fly Fishing - Weekend Report - May 1 & 2
From the Field - Lisa Bellue
I was finally able to make a short trip to the White River over the weekend.
The state park below Bull Shoals Dam in Arkansas opened up for the Recreation Vehicles to start coming back in and people were pouring in throughout the weekend.
Great to see people getting out enjoying the great weather, getting fresh air, and brushing up on their social distancing skills.
I don’t know if you all have been like me, but looking at all the great fish that have been caught the month of April with all the shad kills that went on has been painful not getting to wet a line to say the very least.
Bull Shoals has had some high water and some gates open most of the month of April making for a consistently good shad bite.
So, naturally when the opportunity arose to take Shane and Jillian down the White river again this year, the gates were shut and the generation dropped significantly from what it had been.
The mornings we fished the flows hovered around 6500cfs with minimal fluctuations.
Afternoons increased to 10,500 and evenings as high as 16,000cfs.
The shad bite was still working but definitely on its way out.
At the dam we were still able to bring some nice rainbows to the boat and had some great looking browns chase but never committed to the fly.
The quality of the rainbows is continuing to increase up by the dam and it still makes for an exciting fight.
Once we started to float down past state park I started to notice a few bugs in the air and as the day went on and the sun continued to shine down on the river the amount of Caddis popping of the water started to increase as well.
So it was back the same old trusty caddis pupa flies, like the Sunday Special in Olive, Tan, and Grey, and Guides Choice Hares Ears, and when the water got dirty we used the brighter attractor flies with the caddis pupa dropped off of it.
Jillian likes to fish color and proved that the high water San Juan worms, squirmy worms, and mega worms will all still work in almost any water condition.
Unfortunately, for him those flies only brought rainbows to the boat.
So after Shane was able to land and long distance release a few browns, Jillian decided to get in on some Caddis action late in the game a pick up a nice brown; as well.
They boys were able to get another boat grand slam on the White this trip.
Even got a little streamer action in on Saturday after the big surge, with a nice double brown hook up.
It's always nice to see, even when a pod of browns are sipping on Caddis on the top they are not going to give up a chance at a big meal.
As with every trip I have to the White River I am always wanting to sneek in a little fishing for myself.
Thankfully I know this guy that knows a whole lot about that river and different ways to fish it and I seem to always get to fish with minimal time on the sticks.
Jeremy and I spent a little over an hour up by the dam Friday evening playing with the shad bite and was able to get a couple of drifts down river in the afternoon on Saturday.
From time to time Jeremy and I recieve photos from customers, clients, and friends that use Fly's and Guides for Flyfishing Trips and/or to purchase flies.
It is not just pictures that the flies and information given on how to fish the patterns is working, it is the GREATEST form of feedback we like to see, so keep it coming!