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 Fly Fishing Reports

 Fly Fishing Tips - Colorado Fishing Report

fly day

Trout Stocking Schedules Reg 1 - Reg 2 - Reg 3 - Reg 4 - Reg 5

Arkansas and White river levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt 
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality  

April 28, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 4/28/2017

During the past week, we have had several rain events (combined for five inches here in Cotter, with more on the way to include a flash flood watch), warm temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose nine feet to rest at six and three tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is twenty nine and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose six and four tenths feet to rest at four and four tenths feet above seasonal power pool and eleven and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose nine feet to rest at six and three tenths feet above seasonal power pool and three and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had wadable water with some generation. Norfork Lake rose nine feet to rest at six and seven tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and nineteen and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation with more wadable water.

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are over power pool and rising. We should expect a lot of generation with little if any wadable water in the near future.

On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been the Rim Shoals. We have had more wadable water. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hare and copper nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it). The water below Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River is high and heavily stained.

Caddis season is on the wane. This is our best hatch of the year and it is still here. I fished the caddis hatch on the Norfork, with great success. Before the hatch when the trout are feeding on the surface but you see no insects use a soft hackle like my green butt or a partridge and orange. When the trout begin to target insects, on the surface of the water, switch over to an elk hair caddis. Match your fly to the hatching insect based on size, shape and color.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are at flood and are not navigable. With the warmer weather the smallmouths should be more active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

There has been more wadable water on the Norfork and it has fished a bit better particularly if you can catch the caddis hatch. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 16 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a hare and copper nymph with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has been very crowded due to spring break. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

The Spring River is high and off color. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

April 21, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 4/21/2017

During the past week, we have had several rain events (combined for an inch and a half here in Cotter), warm temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell one and two tenths feet to rest at two and seven tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty eight and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose five tenths of a foot to rest at two feet below seasonal power pool and eighteen feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose nine tenths of a foot to rest at two and seven tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twelve and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had wadable water with some generation. Norfork Lake rose six tenths of a foot to rest at two and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty eight and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation with more wadable water.

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool.

On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been the Rim Shoals. We have had more wadable water. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hare and copper nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it).

Caddis season is on the wane. This is our best hatch of the year and it is still here. I fished the caddis hatch on the Norfork, with great success. With the lower lake levels we should have perfect flows to target this hatch. Before the hatch when the trout are feeding on the surface but you see no insects use a soft hackle like my green butt or a partridge and orange. When the trout begin to target insects, on the surface of the water, switch over to an elk hair caddis. Match your fly to the hatching insect based on size, shape and color.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are a bit high and off color. With the warmer weather the smallmouths should be more active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

There has been more wadable water on the Norfork but it has fished a bit better particularly if you can catch the caddis hatch. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 16 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a hare and copper nymph with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has been very crowded due to spring break. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

The Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

April 20, 2017 - Norfork and White RiverDally's Ozark Fly Fisher - Well, caddis are still consistently coming off, and at this point we are not sure when their gonna quit. IMG951777.jpgWe have had an exceptional caddis hatch this year, and many big fish have been brought to the boat on this tiny delicacy. The upper stretches of the White, now seem to be producing the larger concentration of hatches, while downstream areas have been more sporadic.

A couple of ideas regarding presentation, remember when fishing a pupa, don’t be in a hurry to pick up your cast, but allow the fly rise up towards the surface film at the end of the drift. Also, fishing a pupa pattern behind a caddis dry works especially well when the fish begin surface feeding.

With that, let’s talk more about what’s been working.

Michael Jr.

Casey Patterson with a big ol’ bucket mouth caught on the Buffalo. Guide: Jason Loyd. Photo Courtesy: Jason Loyd.

White River:

Releases, for the most part, have gotten higher as the day goes, but still allow for a decent amount of wadeable water at or a little above minimum flow (between 700- 1400 cfs).

Caddis patterns such as Dally’s Tailwater Soft Hackles, Prince Nymphs, and Pupae Delectae are working well.

Caddis dries such as Elk Hair Caddis, E-Z Caddis, E-C Caddis, and CDC Caddis have been highly productive.

Midges (ruby, rootbeer, & redneck in size 18), pheasant tails (in sizes 14, 16, & 18), devil jigs (red and copper in sizes 14 & 16).

Also, try throwing a Strollis Quill Body Jig (size 14), or Devil Jigs (size 14) either by itself or in combination with a colorful attractor, such as a Y2K or Keller’s Hot Worm. The jigs also make a great lead fly ahead of midge pupa.

Highly productive big water streamers include CJ’s Sluggo, Dally’s Twerkin Minnow, Schmidt’s Double Deceiver, Lafkas’ Super Cougar and Lovechild Sculpin, and Lynch’s D&D.

On the lower flows, large olive woolly buggers, Sparkle minnows, FS Bunny Sculpins, Kreelex flies, and Lunch $ are all producing.

Norfork:

Nymph fisherman can expect to do well with Garrett’s Purple Death (size 18), Clint’s Sunday Special (sizes 16 and 18), midges (root beer and black & purple zebra in sizes 16 & 18), pheasant tails (size 16 & 18), prince nymphs (size 14 & 16), hunchback scuds (size 16 & 18), and tailwater sowbugs (sizes 16 and 18).

Small sculpin patterns like FS Bunny Sculpins, Slump Busters, and Cone Head Woolies, are also productive when stripped slowly over the bottom.

April 19, 2017 - Greers Ferry Lake - Submitted by Fish Finders Fish Service - The water level at Greers Ferry Is at 459.85 feet and falling with generation it is 2.19 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet ,and looks like it will continue to fall with work on dam project. The fishing and or catching is good overall and will get even better with the more stable weather that is around the corner. The crappie are in all 3 phases of spawn some shallow, some deep and some even deeper, try jigs and jigs tipped with minnows or a spring craw grub for your best results. The walleye bite in the lake is picking up with crawlers and crank baits, and a drop shot or jig head being the norm for this time of year on chunk rock flats. The bass catching is good on all 3 species with a lot of 100 fish days on just about any bait you have in your tackle box at the right location for any given day or weather condition all over the lake. The bream are moving up strong and can be caught with crank baits, crawlers and crickets. The Hybrid and white bass are eating at various times all over the lake and rivers ,grubs, swim baits,spoons,in-line spinners and live bait working as well

April 19, 2017 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.
http://www.stroutfitters.com/
Spring has sprung on Lake Norfork the water temperature has reached the desired degree for the crappie to hit the banks and begin their spawn. Stripers, hybrids, and bass are hitting on top water baits all over the lake. Walleye are being caught at night on Rouges on slopping points. The treadfin shad have begun their spawn which triggers the other fish to go on a feeding binge. The next couple of weeks should see lots of fish being caught. My son caught a 34 lb striper and another guide caught a 30 lb striper so the big fish are also moving into the shallows to feed. Now is the time to get on the lake either with your boat or hire a guide to get on some of this great activity.

I took Brian and Gerald out for their annual two day striper trips. Gerald has been fishing Lake Norfork for over 30 years and loves catching stripers. Fishing was slow for me before they arrived but with all the shad movement I knew she should have a great time. I went to one of my spring go to places and sure enough the stripers were in their feeding mood. We hooked 9 stripers but only boated 4 the first day. The boys were scheduled to trout fish the next day so we planned on striper fishing the following day. They were on their game that day and we had our limit in 1 hour. We then went out on the main lake to try and catch a big fish. We had one taker but it released the bait before we could set the hook. Overall they had a great father and son fishing outing.

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort.

Norfork Lake springtime fishing is at its best. This is one of my favorite times to fish the lake. All species of fish are in shallow water and we get a lot of good topwater action for striped, hybrid, and white bass, as well as, largemouth and smallmouth bass. Artificial baits and live bait work equally well this time of year. Shad are spawning, as is typical for this time of year. The shad spawn really gets the fish excited!

Striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass fishing was on fire the last week. Once our lake temperature reached the mid 60's the fish became active. Today was a great example of spring topwater action. Several of my friends were out on the lake and we were all checking out different areas. One found the fish blowing up back in a cove at about 7AM. He gave me a call and we all had great fun for the next 3 hours. I was throwing a 5 inch pearl swim bait with a 3/8 ounce jig head, and a Zara Spook Jr. It is a blast to watch these fish blow up on topwater baits. Best places to look for topwater action is part way back into the creeks and in the secondary coves in the creeks. Right now I have heard of topwater action in all parts of the lake so get out there and have some fun. The late afternoon bite has been great one day, then very hard to find the fish the next, but when you do find them they very well could be busting the surface.

Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing is also excellent at this time. Look in the same areas that the stripers are in, but mainly look at the shoreline. You will find the water boiling with shad right up on the rocks. The fish are pushing the shad in tight to the shore then feeding at will. Today they were in the same cove that we found stripers in from 6 inches of water out to 6 feet. Both my Zara spook and my swim bait were picking up some very nice fish. The fish also wanted both of my baits worked very fast as they were in the chasing mood. As the day wears on the largemouth will move out into a little deeper water so a jig and pig or some other plastic bait worked along the bottom will pick up some good sized bass. At sunset look at the very shallow water again as they will start to feed heavily on shad. The after dark bite for large and smallmouth bass should be good. I haven't been out myself but typically they will be hanging around docks and shallow points. Dark colored spinner baits and tube jigs are some of my favorites.

Walleye, I bet you can guess, are in the same areas as the stripers and the largemouth. My swim bait is picking up some nice fish early in the morning and then again at sunset. The walleye are also starting to show up on the big shallow flats in 10 - 25 feet of water. Move slowly with your trolling motor with a bottom bouncer and crawler harness or a large shiner on a drop shot rig.
Crappie are showing back up on brush in 20 - 30 feet of water. Most times you will find them suspended over the brush so you need to keep testing different depths until you find the feeding fish. There will be a few nice fish still on the bank so casting a small Roadrunner will work and will also pick up other species. Hang on with your crappie rod because it is not uncommon the hook into a big striper while crappie fishing this time of year.

Norfork Lake surface water temperature this morning was 67 degrees. The water level has been fairly stable with a slight rise and currently sits at 551.36. The main lake is clearing and the creeks and coves are a little stained, but are clearing rapidly.

 

April 14, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 4/14/2017

During the past week, we have had no rain, warm temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell one tenth of a foot to rest at three and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty nine and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose four tenths of a foot to rest at two and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool and eighteen and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose four tenths of a foot to rest at three and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool and thirteen and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had wadable water with some generation. Norfork Lake rose one and nine tenths feet to rest at two and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty nine and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation with more wadable water.

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool.

On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been the Wildcat Shoals. We have had more wadable water. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hare and copper nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it).

Caddis season is upon us. This is our best hatch of the year and it is still here. I fished the caddis hatch on the Norfork, with great success. With the lower lake levels we should have perfect flows to target this hatch. Before the hatch when the trout are feeding on the surface but you see no insects use a soft hackle like my green butt or a partridge and orange. When the trout begin to target insects, on the surface of the water, switch over to an elk hair caddis. Match your fly to the hatching insect based on size, shape and color.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With the warmer weather the smallmouths should be more active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

There has been more wadable water on the Norfork but it has fished a bit better particularly if you can catch the caddis hatch. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 16 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a hare and copper nymph with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has been very crowded due to spring break. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

The Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

Missouri Trout Parks April 13, 2017

Bennett Spring State Park


Information: Park 417-532-4418 
Water Surface Temp: 60º
Water Level (Range): normal
Water Type: clear
Fish Reported: 
Rainbow Trout: Good 
Brown Trout: Fair 
Zone 1 and 2 popular lures: gingersnap, red and yellow, salmon and brown, salmon and white, or olive and black marabou, Bennett Blue or red crackleback, John Deere mini jig, white brassie, orange, salmon, or original tri color glo ball; Zone 3 popular baits: chunky cheese Power Baits, pink grub; April fishing hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; April weed cutting is scheduled for April 12-13; cutting will begin in Zone 3 and move upstream; remember that all brown trout less than 15" in length must be returned to the water immediately; for up-to-date stream conditions check USGS water data website at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?06923500; trout cam - https://mostateparks.com/content/trout-cam; Kids Free Fishing Day is Saturday May 6th. Kids 15 years old and younger fish for free within the park. Fishing is from 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. Exhibits are from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00p.m.; For more information, please contact Bennett Spring Hatchery at 417-532-4418.
(Reported on: 4/11/17)

Maramec Spring Park


Information: 573-265-7801 
Water Surface Temp: 57º
Water Level (Range): normal
Water Type: dingy
Fish Reported: 
Rainbow Trout: Good 
Brown Trout: Fair 
water flow normal, but dingy from recent rains; fishing is good; the best fishing times are the first couple of hours shortly after the morning whistle, as well as in the evening, but fish can be caught throughout the day if you change locations when fishing slows down; fish are biting very light so use a small float; very light line is key to success, 2-4 lb test is preferred; fish are hitting doughbaits in white, salmon peach, and hatchery brown colors when fished on a small treble hook and suspended under a float; Rooster Tails in black/white, green, brown, and purple; plastic worms in orange, yellow, white, and red have all been proving good; remember that all brown trout less than 15" in length must be returned to the water immediately; fishing times for the month of April are 7:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
(Reported on: 4/13/17)

Montauk State Park


Information: 573-548-2585 
Water Surface Temp: 57º
Water Level (Range): falling
Water Type: dingy
Fish Reported: 
Rainbow Trout: Good 
water level at the lower end of the park is at 2.0 feet and dingy. 4 lb. test fishing line or lighter is recommended; in the Fly-Only Zone, fish have been caught on black or olive colored streamers such as leaches, wooly buggers, and rabbit hair sculpins; anglers have also been successful drifting grey or tan scuds, copper Johns, and black midges in the Catch & Release zone; white jigs and Rooster Tails are effective just above the Mill Dam; in the bait zones, any color doughbaits, red, white, or orange plastic worms, and white or gold-tencil jigs have been effective; April fishing hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., for up-to-date stream conditions, check USGS water data website at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?07064440.
(Reported on: 4/10/17)

Roaring River State Park


Information: 417-847-2430 
Water Surface Temp: 58º
Water Level (Range): normal
Water Type: dingy
Fish Reported: 
Rainbow Trout: Good 
kids fishing day is May 20th; the river is down about 4 inches since last week; right now using 6X tippet on fly rods and 7X when fishing dry flies; best flies right now are #16-#20 Adams, #14-#22 blue wing olives, #14-#20 caddis fly, and smaller, pheasant tails, copper johns, burlaps, sow bugs and hares ears all #14's and smaller; black, brown, and the olive Rooster Tails; small Colorado wooly bugger spinner combos; orange, green, and florescent yellow Power Bait eggs; plastic worms in white, black, brown and yellow were good all last week; marabou jig fishing is good right now on a spin or casting reel, you will be ok using 3 or 4 lb. line in the dingy water, p-line, Maxima, or mean green will work well; still using #10 hooks on the worms and #12 and smaller for the plastic eggs; 3/0 and BB sized sinkers will work best for you right now; Zone 3 is fishing good on white or orange Power Bait paste; corn, nightcrawlers, and natural eggs have also been working.
(Reported on: 4/10/17)

Trout Stocking

Trout Stocking

The Conservation Department stocks trout in each of the trout parks every evening from the day before the March 1 opener through Oct. 30. Tag sale estimates determine a daily stocking rate average of 2.25 fish per expected angler. Except on opening day, three fish are stocked for every expected angler. From March 1 to Oct. 31, the parks will collectively sell more than 400,000 tags and stock more than 900,000 fish. These fish will average about 12 inches long over the season, but some variation occurs. Dozens of lunkers weighing upwards of 3 pounds are stocked each year. A few tip the scales at more than 10 pounds.

April 7, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 4/07/2017

During the past week, we have had several rain events (combined for about an inch here in Cotter), warmer temperature and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories on several days). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose eight tenths of a foot to rest at three and eight tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty nine and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose two feet to rest at at three feet below seasonal power pool and nineteen feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose six tenths of a foot to rest at four feet below seasonal power pool and thirteen and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had wadable water with more generation. Norfork Lake rose one and nine tenths feet to rest at three and eight tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation with more wadable water.

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less wadable water.

On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been the Catch and Release section at Rim Shoals. We have had more wadable water. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hare and copper nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it).

Caddis season is upon us. This is our best hatch of the year and it is still here. I fished the caddis hatch on the Norfork, with great success. With the lower lake levels we should have perfect flows to target this hatch. Before the hatch when the trout are feeding on the surface but you see no insects use a soft hackle like my green butt or a partridge and orange. When the trout begin to target insects, on the surface of the water, switch over to an elk hair caddis. Match your fly to the hatching insect based on size, shape and color.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are high. With warm weather the smallmouths should be more active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

There has been more wadable water on the Norfork but it has fished poorly. Daphnia has been spotted on the upper river and could adversely affect the bite. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a hare and copper nymph with a ruby midge dropper.

 

Dry Run Creek has been very crowded due to spring break. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

The Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

 

Missouri Trout Parks April 6, 2017

Bennett Spring State Park


Information: Park 417-532-4418
Water Surface Temp: 60º
Water Level (Range): normal
Water Type: clear
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
Brown Trout: Fair
Zone 1 and 2 popular lures: gingersnap, red and yellow, salmon and brown, or salmon and white marabou, Bennett Blue or red crackleback, John Deere mini jig, black zebra midge, white brassie; Zone 3 popular baits: chunky cheese Power Baits, green and yellow worm; April fishing hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; April weed cutting is scheduled for April 12-13; cutting will begin in Zone 3 and move upstream; remember that all brown trout less than 15" in length must be returned to the water immediately; for up-to-date stream conditions check USGS water data website at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?06923500; trout cam - https://mostateparks.com/content/trout-cam; Veterans Free Fishing Day is April 7,2017. No tag fee or license required for veterans; Stop by the park store to pick up your free daily tag; for more information, please contact Bennett Spring Hatchery at 417-532-4418.
(Reported on: 4/3/17)

Maramec Spring Park


Information: 573-265-7801
Water Surface Temp: 57º
Water Level (Range): high
Water Type: dingy
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
Brown Trout: Fair
water flow is up and murky from recent rains; fishing is good; the best fishing times are the first couple of hours shortly after the morning whistle, as well as in the evening, but fish can be caught throughout the day if you change locations when fishing slows down; fish are biting very light so use a small float; very light line is key to success, 2-4 lb test is preferred; fish are hitting doughbaits in white, salmon peach, and hatchery brown colors when fished on a small treble hook and suspended under a float; Rooster Tails in black/white, green, brown, and purple; plastic worms in orange, yellow, white, and red have all been proving good; remember that all brown trout less than 15" in length must be returned to the water immediately; fishing times for the month of April are 7:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
(Reported on: 4/5/17)

Montauk State Park


Information: 573-548-2585
Water Surface Temp: 56º
Water Level (Range): high
Water Type: muddy
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
water level at the lower end of the park is a foot above normal and running muddy due to recent heavy rains; 4 lb. test fishing line or lighter is recommended; in the Fly-Only Zone, fish have been caught on black or olive colored streamers such as leaches, wooly buggers, and rabbit hair sculpins; anglers have also been successful drifting grey or tan scuds, copper Johns, and black midges in the Catch & Release zone; white jigs and Rooster Tails are effective just above the Mill Dam; in the bait zones, any color doughbaits, red, white, or orange plastic worms, and white or gold-tencil jigs have been effective; the morning and evening hours remain the best times to fish, but fish have been caught throughout the day; April fishing hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., for up-to-date stream conditions, check USGS water data website at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?07064440.
(Reported on: 4/5/17)

Roaring River State Park


Information: 417-847-2430
Water Surface Temp: 58º
Water Level (Range): normal
Water Type: dingy
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
kids fishing day is May 20th; the river has come up significantly over the past two weeks and is very dingy; right now using 6X tippet on fly rods and 7X when fishing dry flies; best flies right now are #14-#22 Adams, #14-#22 blue wing olives, #14-#20 caddis fly, zebra midges #18's and smaller, pheasant tails, copper johns, burlaps, sow bugs and hares ears all #14's and smaller; black, brown, and the olive Rooster Tails; small Colorado wooly bugger spinner combos; orange, white, and florescent yellow Power Bait eggs; plastic worms in orange, cheese, pink, and orange peel unless we get a water change these colors should remain good; marabou jig fishing is good right now on a spin or casting reel, you will need 2 or 3 lb. line, p-line, Maxima, or mean green will work well; still using #10 hooks on the worms and #12 and smaller for the plastic eggs; 3/0 and BB sized sinkers will work best for you right now; Zone 3 is fishing good on white or orange Power Bait paste; corn, nightcrawlers, and natural eggs have also been working.
(Reported on: 4/3/17)

Trout Stocking

Trout Stocking
The Conservation Department stocks trout in each of the trout parks every evening from the day before the March 1 opener through Oct. 30. Tag sale estimates determine a daily stocking rate average of 2.25 fish per expected angler. Except on opening day, three fish are stocked for every expected angler. From March 1 to Oct. 31, the parks will collectively sell more than 400,000 tags and stock more than 900,000 fish. These fish will average about 12 inches long over the season, but some variation occurs. Dozens of lunkers weighing upwards of 3 pounds are stocked each year. A few tip the scales at more than 10 pounds.

March 31, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - FISHING AFTER SOWBUG
BY JOHN BERRY
On Sunday, the day after the Sowbug Roundup ended; I had a guide trip with Al and Bob. I have guided them for several years. They always show up at Sowbug and the Federation of Fly Fishers Fly Fishing Fair in October. They are from Nebraska and at seventy three and seventy eight years of age respectively are a bit past wade fishing. We always fish from my White River Jon Boat.

On that day, the generation was at minimum flow, for over twenty four hours. Both Rivers, the White and Norfork, were lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut. Since I have a propeller driven outboard and not a jet drive, I am limited to where I can drift fish under these conditions. I chose to fish at Rim Shoals, which has deep enough water to allow me to fish there, when there is little or no generation. The weather was pretty nice. It was to be partly cloudy all day with a high temperature of around seventy three degrees. There was a cool start, a bit over forty degrees but it got warmer, as the day went. By mid afternoon it was quite a bit warmer and I finally took off my down sweater.

I had begun the day fishing a red fox squirrel and copper nymph (a new favorite) with a ruby midge dropper on one rod and a cerise San Juan worm with a ruby midge dropper (it had rained the night before and I always fish a San Juan worm after a rain). Early on it was evident that the red fox squirrel and copper nymph was outperforming the cerise San Juan worm. I took a few minutes to ensure that both of my anglers were fishing the same thing and that it was what was working the best.

In the morning, the going was a bit slow. They both caught trout but not as many as I am used to catching. We broke for lunch at around noon. It was good to relax for a few minutes. The rest recharged us and we were able to return to the river with a bit of confidence.

The fishing picked up and we were catching more trout than we had in the morning. Around three o’clock, Bob hit a really good fish. I got a pretty good look at it and quickly figured out that it was a good sized brown. I quickly pulled my drag chain into the boat so that the brown would not tangle itself in it, which could cause us to lose the fish. Though it tried to swim into a big blow down, we were finally able to land and release a fine twenty inch brown trout.

The next drift generated a nice fourteen inch rainbow for Bob. Then on the third drift our luck was significantly better. He hooked an even larger brown than we had previously landed. Once again, I pulled in the drag chain and we took our time landing our fish. Surprisingly it actually came in quicker than the smaller brown. At twenty two inches with a large girth, it was a spectacular catch.  In three drifts, Bob had landed two nice browns and a decent rainbow.

March 10, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 3/10/2017

During the past week, we have had a couple of rain events (combined for about three quarters of an inch here in Cotter), milder then cold temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose three tenths of a foot to rest at seven and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty three and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at eight and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty four and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose five tenths of a foot to rest at nine and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool and eighteen and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had significant wadable water with almost no generation. Norfork Lake rose five tenth of a foot to rest at seven feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty three and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation with more wadable water.

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less wadable water.

On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been the Catch and Release section at Rim Shoals. We have had more wadable water. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hare and copper nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it).

Caddis season is upon us. This is our best hatch of the year and it should arrive soon. I have already observed a few caddis on the Norfork tailwater and on the White. With the lower lake levels we should have perfect flows to target this hatch. Before the hatch when the trout are feeding on the surface but you see no insects use a soft hackle like my green butt or a partridge and orange. When the trout begin to target insects, on the surface of the water, switch over to an elk hair caddis. Match your fly to the hatching insect based on size, shape and color.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With warm weather the smallmouths should be more active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

There has been more wadable water on the Norfork but it has fished poorly. Daphnia has been spotted on the upper river and could adversely affect the bite. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a hare and copper nymph with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has been very crowded due to spring break. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

The Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

March 3, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 3/03/2017

During the past week, we have had rain (just a trace here in Cotter), milder temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals remained steady at seven and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty three and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at eight and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty four and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell three tenths of a foot to rest at nine and eight tenths feet below seasonal power pool and nineteen and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had significant wadable water with almost no generation. Norfork Lake fell seven tenths of a foot to rest at seven and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty three and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation with more wadable water.

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less wadable water.

On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been the Catch and Release section at Rim Shoals. We have had more wadable water. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hare and copper nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it).

Caddis season is upon us. This is our best hatch of the year and it should arrive soon. I have already observed a few caddis on the Norfork tailwater. With the lower lake levels we should have perfect flows to target this hatch. Before the hatch when the trout are feeding on the surface but you see no insects use a soft hackle like my green butt or a partridge and orange. When the trout begin to
target insects, on the surface of the water, switch over to an elk hair caddis. Match your fly to the hatching insect based on size, shape and color.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With warm weather the smallmouths should be more active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

There has been more wadable water on the Norfork. Daphnia has been spotted on the upper river and could adversely affect the bite. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a hare and copper nymph with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has been very crowded due to the unseasonable warm weather. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

The Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

February 24, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 2/22/2017

During the past week, we have had rain (about an inch here in Cotter), milder temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell one tenth of a foot to rest at seven and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty three and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose three tenths of a foot to rest at eight and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty four and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose two tenths of a foot to rest at nine and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool and nineteen and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had significant wadable water with little generation. Norfork Lake remained steady at six and eight tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty three feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation with more wadable water.

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less wadable water.

On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been the Catch and Release section at Rim Shoals. We have had more wadable water. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hare and copper nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it).

Streamer season is here. Unfortunately the generation has been a bit low for optimal streamer conditions. The idea is to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy twenty four to thirty foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier). You will need an eight or nine weight rod. This is heavy work but the rewards can be great. Some larger browns have been caught at night using mouse patterns.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With warm weather the smallmouths should be more active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

There has been more wadable water on the Norfork. Daphnia has been spotted on the upper river and could adversely affect the bite. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a hare and copper nymph with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has been very crowded due to the unseasonable warm weather. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

The Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

February 17, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 2/17/2017

During the past week, we have had rain (about an inch here in Cotter), milder temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose three tenths of a foot to rest at eight feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty four feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at eight and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty four and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at nine and seven tenths feet below seasonal power pool and nineteen and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had much more wadable water with little generation. Norfork Lake fell five tenths feet to rest at six and eight tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty three feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation with more wadable water.

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less wadable water.

On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been the Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam. We have had more wadable water. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hare and copper nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it).

Streamer season is here. Unfortunately the generation has been a bit low for optimal streamer conditions. The idea is to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy twenty four to thirty foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier). You will need an eight or nine weight rod. This is heavy work but the rewards can be great. Some larger browns have been caught at night using mouse patterns.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With cold weather the smallmouths are much less active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

There has been more wadable water on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a hare and copper nymph with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has been less crowded. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

The Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

February 3, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 2/03/2017

During the past week, we have had no rain, milder temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose four tenths of a foot to rest at eight and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty four and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell four tenths of a foot to rest at eight feet below seasonal power pool and twenty four feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell three tenths of a foot to rest at nine and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool and nineteen and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had much more wadable water with less moderate generation. Norfork Lake rose one tenth of a foot to rest at five and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty two and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation with more wadable water.

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less wadable water.

On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been the Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam. We have had more wadable water. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hare and copper nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it).

Streamer season is here. Unfortunately the generation has been a bit low for optimal streamer conditions. The idea is to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy twenty four to thirty foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier). You will need an eight or nine weight rod. This is heavy work but the rewards can be great.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With cold weather the smallmouths are much less active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

There has been more wadable water on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan worms with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has been less crowded with the colder weather. A large number of brown trout have moved into the creek. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

The Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

January 20, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 1/20/2017

During the past week, we have had a few rain events (for a combined total of an inch here in Cotter), cold then warmer temperatures and very heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose two tenths of a foot to rest at nine and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty five and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose three tenths of a foot to rest at seven and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty three and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at nine and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool and nineteen and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had a mixed bag with levels of wadable water mixed with periods of moderate generation. Norfork Lake dropped six tenths of a foot to rest at six feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty two and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation with more wadable water.

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less wadable water.

The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam is closed from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period.

On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been Wildcat Shoals. We have had more wadable water. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hare and copper nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it).

The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy twenty four to thirty foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier) on bigger water. You will need an eight or nine weight rod. This is heavy work but the rewards can be great.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With cold weather the smallmouths are much less active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

There has been more wadable water on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a yellow egg with a root beer midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has been less crowded with school back in session. A large number of brown trout have moved into the creek. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

The Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

October 7, 2015 - Norfork and White River - Submitted by Dally's Ozark Fly Fisher

Rick Brown with 22-inch brown from NorforkRick Brown with his personal best – a healthy 22″ brown from the Norfork. Gabe Levin guiding.

 


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