Productive flies for the White and North Fork Rivers
Scuds and Sowbugs are the most common staples of our local trout.
Scuds (freshwater shrimp) in sizes #14 – #20
Sowbugs, also known as Cressbugs in sizes #14 – #20
These midges in size #18 – #24 will produce year round. Black, red, brown and olive are the top colors.
I usually use egg flies as an attractor pattern and fish the above flies as a dropper off of the egg. San Juan Worms or Squirmy Worms are also good.
We have several different colored Caddis, the sizes range from #14 to #20. This hatch normally begins in March and goes until sometime in May.
The #14 are cream colored and the #18’s & #20’s a a slate grey or dark brown.
A great combination rig is an #14 – #18 elk hair caddis on the surface,followed by an emerger then a caddis nymph. Make sure you have that nymph very close to the bottom if the activity up top is not steady.
The White Sulfur hatch begins in mid to late May and stretches through July. Normally, this hatch is not as heavy as the spring Caddis and is not found in all sections of the rivers. For our rivers, I’ve found the low riding parachute version is much more productive. Mayflies tend to hold their bodies up off turbulent water, but on flat water, like our rivers, they relax their body and allow it to touch the water’s surface. So the trout are used to looking up and seeing a “belly impression” that a standard hackled pattern would not present. Pheasant tail nymphs work well to cover the lower portion of the water column and parachute emerger patterns sometimes are more productive than higher sitting drys. Make sure to have #14 – #18’s .
When we don’t have a series of late freezes in the spring our grasshopper population gets large enough to become a target. Our hoppers are tan with brown markings and we have a few in green. Normally the trout begin recognizing hoppers as prey by late May, but July – September is generally when the strongest feed happens.
It’s hard to go wrong with a Wooly Bugger in a size #8. I like them with a heavy bead head so they will get down.
Call me if you have additional questions or would like to talk about a guided fly fishing trip. 870 499-0694 or [email protected]