Caney Fork Trout Fly Fishing - Caney Fork Trout Guide


Striper, Trout, Smallmouth, and Musky, guide trips in the Nashville area. Our home waters are Cumberland and Caney Fork River and our specialty is fly fishing for Trout and Stripers.

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Author Topic: November White River report from Davy's site.  (Read 865 times)

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November White River report from Davy's site.
« on: December 12, 2006, 08:46:52 PM »
Hello Fly Fishers!

So far this month, at least for the White river the fishing has been as good as you can have it. Reasonably low water generations which have provided both for good wade access most days.
Along with that great hatches of midge, BWO, micro caddis. That has brought about some great surface activity from the fish at given times through the day.

In the event that we do start to see higher water flows then the odds are water will be trashed . If that is the case, you might as well quit and find some other location as that will as a rule quit the fish from feeding. Run way down below it or allow a few hours and get above it.
As of now the shore lines are covered in dead leaves and other debris, any high water will lift that debris and it will be on its way downstream.

If they run high water levels for a period of time that will as a rule wash off the trash and maintain a cleaner water base to fish.

As of now.
Climatic conditions have been as high as the mid 80s to the low 50s, with both wet and windy days out there and that is also a factor that will change fish activity, overcast days being the better for the BWO and midge hatches.

The Norfork river has had some problems with low DO levels, due to the lake turning over, and sad to say we have suffered mortality at the dam zone due to that.
There are many stressed fish in that river at this time due to the fact that many fish move from the White into that system looking for zones to spawn. I doubt that they will do so successfully due to the continual pressure that they are subjected to from anglers at this time and the consequences of low water quality.

Frankly l and others would like to see the river closed to fishing till that situation does change. It is sad to see the loss of those fish, be they trophy size or other wise.

Bull shoals dam is of course now closed, but what fantastic fishing was there during the month of October. I have never seen so many fish in that zone before, all be it the majority in the 12 to 15in range and a smaller percentage of fish over that.
But, if you wanted to hone your midge fishing skills that was the place to go and do it for sure.

We did manage to nail some of the early larger Browns that had moved in prior to spawning, but l never did see the large numbers that l had seen there in previous years.

BSD is a special place for me as there is no other zone on the entire river system like it, including the Norfork river.

What do we expect for the rest of the month and into December.
Until we have consistent low temps, the fish will be actively looking for food. Once the colder days move in and the water temps drop much of the food base will become dormant through the winter period.

That as a rule leaves the predominance of chironomids and some mayfly hatches such as BWO. Fish may well be less active early in the day but should start to move around and look for food as the day warms up.
Which may also stir some scuds and sowbugs to life

If you are at this time not getting takes, it may well be that the fish have no interest to feed at that time, hang it out as they should come on the feed at some time during the day.

Best bets out there to catch fish will be this. If there is no activity surface wise you will need to get down to the fish. My option will be to use chironomids in sizes 14 and 16 for the White and 16 to 20 for the Norfork if low water conditions.
Generics such as PTN, hares ear are good consistent flies to use along with flies that incorporate peacock herl bodies such as the 20 incher and prince.
Both with and without bead heads, silver, gold and black.
Also add here small nymphs that contain some flash on the body or as tail filaments.
Some like also to use eggs and other flies of that nature.

If there is any surface activity, go with small drys, such as elk hair caddis in 18 and 20s, Adams, BWO. Black midge, again small sizes.
Along with that small soft hackles 16s to 20 for dead drift surface fishing.
As a rule fish will not chase small flies fished within the surface film as they will not see them. Here you need to go at least 5x if not to 6 and may be 7 at times when the food base is micro small.

They can be real fussy at this time.

Streamer fishing can also be productive when the fish are moving, and before the temps drop in the evening time, some of the Big Browns that are still moving up steam are very aggressive at this time.
Many of them have spawned out at this time and departed the redds. But they are of course after that low in body weight and should be handled with care if you catch them.

High water flows, here again you will need to get right down to the deck, go with larger flies here, San Juan worms, flies with some color if the water is cloudy and colored which it may well be.

There will be at this time also good numbers of trout in the lower sections of the Buffalo river, and you might also visit the spring river, which does fish well during the winter period.
The upper sections do provide for some good wade access. There are some big fish in that river.

Overall boat traffic is low, but you may find concentrations of wading anglers at the popular walk in access points.

At the time of writing the Mclellands access is still due to close at the end of the year. Perhaps the Arkansas Game and Fish will come to some arrangement to provide for the future access at that point.

OK, guys, drop me a line if you so wish, other than that have a great time out there on the river and watch for the water rises. I have seen two unfortunate individuals take a dump this past week, not good when the water and temps are low.
And one boat capsized.

All persons safe.

About Davy Wotton
Davy has been making his living as a full time fly fisher in one capacity or another for over 30 years. He has written many articles for all of the fly fishing magazines, created several unique flies and fly tying materials which he developed into a full scale manufacturing operation in his native country of Wales, and is a much-sought speaker around America at fly fishing functions and shows. Over the years Davy has fished in over 40 countries around the world but his choice for base of operation is right here on the White River. Davy operates his American International Schools of Fly Fishing in Flippin, Arkansas.

Contact Davy: Web Site:

Mailing Address:
Davy Wotton
1802 MC 7001
Flippin, AR   72634-9564
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly. ~Thoreau