White River stream report – 6-7 August 2012
Just returned from two days fishing the White River near Cotter and what a great two days it was.
Bull Shoals is running at about 1400 cfs giving a level of roughly 452 which is easily wadable at some of the riffles although I took the boat for extra mobility.
Water temperature on the first day down at Rim Shoals began at 55 and rose to 68 by the evening, so a little warm late in the day after the sun had been beating down. The second day we found 55 degrees most of the day at Wildcat Shoals which gave us great fishing right till the end of day. The continuous running on one generator overnight seems to really help during these hot times.
Midges were hatching most of the day and during the afternoon RS had a tan caddis hatch, insects being rather small at around #18 – 20 although the fish were keying in on them. We didn’t experience any insect activity at WCS although it is hopper season!
RS was fishing well in the morning using attractor dry flies and I had tied a larger version of my Klinkhammer that got lots of attention in the shallow water. Soft hackles were the fly of choice for me in the deeper runs unless you wanted to go down with streamer of nymph. Both the rainbows and the browns (one cutthroat caught as well) were fighting fit, and in great shape considering how hot it has been. They stayed active even during the latter part of the day in the more agitated water. We worked the bank with hoppers from Roundhouse Shoals back to RS without too much action although below the main riffle the fish were more responsive.
WCS was quiet without too much boat activity and very few waders in the accessible riffles. The morning started with a mist on the water making for a pleasant cool start to the day. Small streamers against the bank (heard a great quote at Dally’s “need to get your streamer between the water and the bank”!) got lots of attention early in the day and later it was the turn of hoppers to get mauled by the browns. I suspect if we had brought our seven weights we could have really got out the big streamers and had some great action. I found one articulated streamer hanging from the bank side vegetation that was “pretty” big (9 weight to chuck it!) and I figured that it may have belonged to one of Steve Dally’s crew!
Although we didn’t catch any monsters, one at least put a strain on a 4x leader and we spotted four fish that would easily have exceeded twenty inches. These fish seemed to be holding until dusk or even dark when I suspect they went out to gorge on sculpin and crawfish.
We are so lucky to have such a great fishery within a short drive of home, and if you have the use of a boat, there is extensive fishing to be had.
If you do take a boat with the lower water levels, be careful navigating through the shoals, there are some “boat killer” rocks. Jet motors rule!