White River stream report 29-30 August, 2013
At long last I was able to drag my Texan brother away from his busy life as husband, father and airline pilot for a few days on the White. Unfortunately it seemed that the generation gods had chosen this week to run water through the system.
The forecast was for hot weather and high water. The 90 degree heat didn’t actually bother us although 14,000cfs was a bit more difficult to handle.
Higher water has always made me look to Wildcat Shoals for better fishing and so that was where we launched my trusty fishing machine onto a misty river.
Not surprisingly we had the river pretty much to ourselves as we headed upstream towards the Narrows. During the day we only saw about four other boats on the water, although some might deem that as something of an omen.
Drifting the banks with hopper patterns produced a few fish although none were of any great size and neither of us wanted to switch to a streamer. The best fishing was the few back eddies we discovered where rising fish were nicely evident. Our hoppers produced pretty good results although ant patterns were equally attractive in the scum lines. There were midges in the air and a few caddis although not in any numbers.
As the afternoon drew to a close the fog descended and I thought I would have to break out the gong if it got any worse. It swirled around and muffled the sounds making the river something of a mystical setting although it made sight fishing somewhat more difficult.
For the second day we decided to head for Rim Shoals hoping that a slight drop in level might open up a little wading. Sadly this wasn’t to be, in fact if anything the water was slightly up and the morning fog was thicker.
I decided we would drift down to a bend in the river where I have always found pretty good fishing even in very high water conditions. My decision turned out to be a good one and we found fish feeding in the back eddies by the corner and up among the grassy troughs. Once again the hoppers came out and the fish readily took to them and later in the day the tan caddis on the water had me reaching for my caddis box. The better fish were holding right out by the main flow seam and eagerly rose to our drifted hoppers.
Although we worked every nook and cranny for numerous miles there didn’t seem to be any big browns up in the shallows so we had to content ourselves on smaller rainbows and a couple of reasonable browns. It actually turned out to be a rather productive two days and every fish was caught on a dry without resorting to a streamer or nymph proving that even with so much water flowing we could still find good dry fly fishing.
The good news is that Bull Shoals is almost down to power pool and hopefully that will bring back minimum flow and some excellent fall fishing.
What our two days also did was re-charge my friends batteries ready for a return to the hustle and bustle of living in Dallas. Having re-charged, he is ready to return when the levels are more in our favor.