Fall fly fishing on the White River and the Norfork River means two things: increased wadable water and absolutely beautiful scenery.
The fall season tends to have lower water levels than any other time of year. The low river flows during the fall are the result of two things. First, the mild fall temperature decreases the need for power generation. Second, the lake levels will drop because of the higher flows of summer. This creates a need to conserve the water in the lakes for the winter months, when the need for power generation increases.
The best way to take advantage of these low water levels is by boat. Doing this allows you to get away from the crowded walk-in accesses and cover miles of river, wading the shoals and drifting the pools. It's the best of both worlds. Plus, you'll get to see much more of the beautiful scenery that these rivers have to offer this time a year.
Along with fishing nymph rigs, swinging soft hackles and stripping streamers you may also run across some good dry fly action during the fall. Although, not river wide, fall hatches can be found on many sections of these rivers if you know where to go and how to get there. The most common fall hatches are caddis in sizes 20-24, in late fall blue wing olive in sizes 20-22 and don't forget about the hopper fishing in early fall!
For years, the fall foliage has attracted fly fisherman from all over the country. It can be breathtaking! Combined with the landscape, which is similar to that of the Smokies, even the amature photographer looks like a pro.