River Report 3/20/22 "Daphnia?"
Over the past week we have had to deal with an abundance of Daphnia in our waters... Daphnia is a micro crustacean, and a weird anomaly that for all I know only occurs in this way here in our Arkansas tailwaters. It all happens in the same way as a shad kill, basically they live in Bull Shoals reservoir and end up getting sucked through the dam. If you research Daphnia you will find either still water fly fishing tactics, or how to feed your pet fish. Neither apply to catching trout on the White River... The biomass of Daphnia that I witnessed the past four days simply Dorf's any salmon fly hatch I've ever seen in western streams, and absolutely belittles all the hexagenia limbata hatches that I grew up with on Michigan's fabled trout waters (they often have to brake out the snowplows to remove the spent bugs off of the major bridges). The crazy differance between those prolific hatches and Daphnia is, those bugs (hex, salmon flys) are tied on a size #2 hook where as daphnia would be size #30 ish. Tiny is an understatement, and trout love 'em! Trying to "match the hatch" is doable, but nearly impossible, the fish don't really need to move to feed, they can sit in the same lie all day long with their mouths open and consume all the protine they need... Needle in the hay stack if you will, or a needle amongst all the hay in Kansas might be more accurate. that being said, we've had to present flies that will make these fish move at least a little bit to eat, that is where the blob fly comes into play. the blob represents a cluster of mating Daphnia in about the size of a dime. Generally tied with a combination of brighter color cactus chenilles or body filler (orange, chartreuse, pink, yellow) have been working well for me. We have been fishing these in tandem with shad patterns, or midges and picking fish up on both through out the day.
Water trends for the next couple months are will be affected by how much rain we receive here in the next week or two. March came in like a lamb, so I'm expecting it to go out like a lion... If we do end up getting a bunch of rain worm fishing will improve, and that bite will hold for a few days after a big storm. If the extra rain doesn't happen, I'm expecting to start seeing the flows getting cut back, and with that we might see a bug or two flying around (please). Before to long, hopefully, caddis will be the name of the game, and we have had a few cancelations that we are expecting to fill. Their loss your gain. April 10,11,27,28,29. May 9,10 are the days we have open, and again these day are recent cancelations and were booked a year in advance. If you book then you will have the option to book the same days for 2023.