Monday, March 19—Fishing the Caddis on the Norfork

DATE: Monday, March 19, 2012

TIME: 12:30PM TO 3:30 PM

WEATHER: Low 80s, mostly cloudy, windy

WATER CONDITIONS: 0 units

LOCATIONS FISHED: Norfork River, Across from Ol’ Charlie’s and upstream to top of island

Map picture

FLIES USED: #20 red zebra midge, #16 gray elk hair caddis

ROD USED: Winston 8’ 6” 5-weight WT Joan Wulff Favorite

HATCHES: Midges, caddis

OTHER: I fished with Wayne and Bill.  Water from generation was still dropping when we walked in, and with the crowd already beginning to build downstream at the access, I immediately waded downstream to the riffle across from Ol’ Charlie’s.  Both the discharge and velocity dictated more weight, and I added a split shot above the top fly, an olive scud; I rarely add weight as it is my opinion that it gives the fly an unnatural drift.  After many casts, and a couple of misses, I hooked up and landed a small trout.  As water levels dropped, with a corresponding drop in discharge and velocity, I removed the split shot, and caught three additional fish, including a fat 12-inch cutbow.  As the water settled into “0” generation levels, I switched to the caddis, and was rewarded with three more fish, but had several misses.  Bill left the riffle at the top of the island, and I quickly waded upstream to fish a caddis there.  Despite heavy winds and mostly overcast skies, I managed to catch about 9 fish on the caddis there, and again had at least that many misses.  By this time, fatigue set in, and Bill and I began wading to our walk-out point, noting that water levels had begun to rise, indicating generation.  We notified a solitary fisher above us, and he didn’t have a clue, nor we suspect, did he have any idea about generation and generation forecasts.  He began following us out, but I advised him to hurry downstream because we were departing through private property; I’ve got to believe he didn’t know better. 

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