Many methods of fly fishing to choose from here on the White River and of late the discussion of which method is best on a given day. My take on it is you got to pick the method best suited to the conditions you have that day to find a Big Brown trout! When hunting for Big Browns there is always a risk that it doesn’t all work out. As a fishing guide I hate to see my clients not catch fish but would catching a bunch of stocked rainbows really make it better? Hell no!! If Big Browns are the goal for the trip you stick to the best plan for catching them and not waste half the day targeting Rainbows. Can lead to landing that awesome Brown Trout late in the day when not fearing getting shut out!

Currently it seems like the rain wont stop for more than a few days and high water is here forever – this means we strip big streamers!  Earlier in the week Bull Shoals Dam was run mostly 6 generators and about 17k cfs. Late in the week flood gates came on and flows rose to around 21k cfs. The next day flood gates came off and all 8 generators went on for max power generation with flows around 23.5k cfs. Currently stable around the clock at that level and seem to be the plan for near future.

In this high water the best method for find Big Browns is stripping streamers!  We have had a some good days and bad days of late.  Those that have been successful have paid there dues with long day on the river and fishing hard.  The key is to sink the fly deep and seek out the flooded shallower parts of the river.  Currently the streamer line that has worked the best for us is the Airflo Streamer Max KG Shovel Head in 330 grain. Short heavy leader and 3′ of 15lb Maxima is ideal. Our top flies of late Slop Mop, Great Lakes Decievers, D&D, Circus Peanut and Dungeons. Hard to beat yellow, chartreuse and white. But even with this high water olive and black has its moments.

Ron, Eric and Brian got some nice Browns the last few days stripping streamers but you sure had to work for them!

 

This past week there have been some shad kills at Bull Shoals Dam. Most have been short lived but trout are sure keying in on them. Floating shad patterns when you see fish hitting them on surface then sparkle minnows down deep have produced well. If not shad time break out the worms, jigs and eggs.  These fished down deep with a bobber will sure catch a bunch of trout on this river.  Mostly rainbow but also some nice browns.  Rich and Tom with some nice Browns on the nymph rigs.

 

Below are some top small patterns on the White River.  Fish these deep under a bobber and your going to catch trout.  A great source for these patterns is: https://flysandguides.com/buy-flies/ Owner of Flys and Guides Jermey Hunt has put together an awesome selection with excellent quality of proven pattern for the White, Norfork and Taneycomo.

 

Overall the fishing has been good on the White River the past month but you got to work at it and put your time in this year with the high water!

Had a great time fishing with Polly Ann and we caught some very nice Brown Trout stripping streamers.  Weather started out a little wet and cold but that is ideal for Brown Trout! Slop Mop, D&D and Peanut envy were the streamers that worked.

 

Mark and Tony with the combo Brown, Rainbow and Cutthroat! We hit both the White River and Norfork.

 

Sure enjoyed fishing with Jeremy Hunt and Lisa Bellue. We only got to fish a morning and fishing was a bit tough as we pick the hottest brightest day of the winter. A great couple who both guide here on the White River year round and they will be helping on some of our group trips this winter.

 

I got another month to go down here on the White River and you never know maybe I wont come home till April!  Working with a great group of local guides and will post all of there contact info here on my blog.  We do have dates open for those looking for a guided float trip in March.  Also do have some space still open in the White River Trout Lodge for our package deals of lodging, meals and guided fishing.  If interested or any questions just updated info just call my cell at 989-889-5374 or email at kelly@michiganstreamside.com  Will also be posting much more info on a weekly bases now.