Happy Spring Fishing and Floating
With the water low and clear, the river is starting to heat up. Literally and figuratively. The bugs are numerous and varied under the rocks, in the water column, and for periods everyday, on the surface.
Fishing pressure from shore and boat has been relatively light, especially for how well things are fishing. Low flows, 264 at Wellsville today, means that fish can easily move all over the river, to find the most active migration or hatch.
When wading, start with the shallow, slow water close to shore, and fan out with casts all the way to the main current. Browns will still be in slowish water near the edges and behind rocks, unless the bugs are really popping off. Dry and dropper rigs are great for prospecting the pocket water. Yellow Stones, Copper Johns, Prince nymphs, are all taking fish, especially when followed by a small Pheasant Tail, or other Baetis nymph.
Float fishing can be great, as long as you can negotiate the shallower water. Our two person BWO frame on a Hyside Mini-max, can handle all the low water you can throw at it. I was out last week from Rincon to Valley, and had great luck on the surface with Parachute Adams, and small PMX’s. Streamers moved a bunch of fish, too. The other big news is we saw the first adult Caddis. The water temp was near the magic 53 degree mark. Mothers Day is a month away, but I’m betting the caddis are here early.
Bill Dobson is a professional fishing guide. He can often be found guiding clients down the Arkansas River in search of a lunker.