In: Fishing27 Jun 2010
During the past week, we have had no measurable rain, moderate winds and brutally high temperatures (in excess of 100 degrees). The Corps of Engineers has continued its aggressive drawdown of the lakes.
In addition, the heat wave has created a call for more generation during peak demand times to supply the power for increased air-conditioner usage. The lake level at Bull Shoals Dam fell 3.3 feet to rest at 4.8 feet above the power pool of 654 feet.
This is 36.2 feet below the top of the flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 0.2 of a foot to rest at 1.8 feet above the power pool or 14.2 feet below the top of the flood pool.
Beaver Lake fell 0.5 of a foot to rest at 4.2 feet above the power pool or 5.4 feet below the top of the flood pool. On the White, we have had round-the-clock generation with no wadable water.
Norfork Lake fell 2 feet to rest at 4.3 feet above the power pool of 552 feet or 23.7 feet below the top of the flood pool. On the North Fork, we have had round-the-clock generation with a couple of brief periods of no generation (at night). Based on the speed that they are drawing down the lakes, I estimate that it will take two weeks to complete.
On the higher flows we have been receiving; the key to success has been to fish brightly colored San Juan worms (red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise) and egg patterns (peach and orange). You will need long tippet leader combinations (up to twelve feet) and plenty of lead (AAA split shot). One of the most successful tactics has been to fish droppers.
Rig a San Juan worm or egg as you normally would. Then tie a 20-inch 5X tippet to the bend of the hook (use an improved clinch knot) on the worm and tie a small nymph (try a copper John) on the tag end. Fish as you normally would. Most fish will be caught on the nymph.
Another effective technique for high water is to bang the bank with large streamers (try zoo cougars or large sculpin patterns). You will need to use fast-sinking sink-tips (250 to 300 grains). To handle this line you will need at least an eight-weight fly rod.