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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  

Read John Berry's Fly Fishing Related Commentaries
John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished local streams for over thirtyfive years.

April 20, 2018 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 4/21/2018

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 rose one and five tenths feet to rest at six and one tenth feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is twenty nine and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell four tenths of a foot to rest at seasonal power pool and sixteen feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell one tenth of a foot to rest at seven feet above seasonal power pool and two and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had less generation and some wadable water. Norfork Lake rose three tenths of a foot to rest at five and eight tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty one and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation and some 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 now above the top of power pool. With the quick rise in the lakes due to our recent heavy rains we can expect heavy generation in the near future.

The White has fished better. There are some caddis coming off in the afternoon. 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 pink worm with a prince nymph (#14) suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable and less stained. As the water warms, the smallmouths will 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.

On the Norfork, the water is has cleared substantially and has fished much better. There have been some nice caddis hatches that have fished well. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. 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). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a Y2K with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has cleared but it is not fishing as well as usual. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10).

The Spring River is navigable and less stained. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over there are few 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 soles 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 five years.

 

April 20, 2018 - Missouri Trout Parks

Bennett Spring State Park


Information: Park 417-532-4418
Water Surface Temp: 55º
Water Level (Range): normal
Water Type: clear
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
Brown Trout: Slow
zone 1 and 2 popular lures; orange mop worm, olive, Easter egg glo ball, gingersnap marabous, Bennett blue or green crackleback, brown or yellow and black Rooster Tail, John Deere or gray deere; zone 3 popular baits: orange or salmon peach Power Bait, night crawlers, pink worms; April fishing hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; May weed cutting is scheduled for May 23-24; 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 Fishing Day is Saturday April 21; Veterans fish for free, no tag or license required; Veterans may fish in any zone, a special area of zone 2 will be reserved for Veterans only; for more information, please contact Bennett Spring Hatchery at 417-532-4418.
(Reported on: 4/18/18)

Maramec Spring Park


Information: 573-265-7801
Water Surface Temp: 57º
Water Level (Range): falling
Water Type: dingy
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
Brown Trout: Fair
greenish water color with 1-2 feet visibility due to thunderstorms last Friday; water is clearing slowly; water is up 1-2 inches than normal; rainbow trout good on orange/white artificial worms and doughbait or Power Baits; brown trout fair on gold spoons such as a Little Cleos; some success with crankbait and Rooster Tails; orange and salmon peach are hot colors right now with the greenish water; best flies to try are wooly buggers, scuds, rainbow warriors, soft hackles fished on the swing; 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. Kids Fishing Day is Saturday, May 19. Kids 15 and under can fish for free at the trout park; free kid tags can be picked up on May 18 and 19 at Mill Field Shelter; free parking for vehicles with kids 15 and under; free activities from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..
(Reported on: 4/17/18)

Montauk State Park


Information: 573-548-2585
Water Surface Temp: 55º
Water Level (Range): falling
Water Type: clear
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
Brown Trout: Fair
the river level at the lower end of the park is 2.06 feet down slightly from last week and falling slowly; water color is clear; fishing is good on all baits with black/yellow and black/white single hook Rooster Tails working well; wooly buggers, scuds, midges, cracklebacks, micro jigs and jigs are other good choices in the fly area; artificial worms and eggs are working well in the bait area, as well as power bait; fishing hours for April are 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. for more up-to-date stream conditions go to the USGS gauging station for the Current River at Montauk State Park at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?cb_00065=on&cb_00060=on&cb_00045=on&format=gif_default&period=16&site_no=07064440.
(Reported on: 4/18/18)

Roaring River State Park


Information: 417-847-2430
Water Surface Temp: 58º
Water Level (Range): normal
Water Type: clear
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
currently the water level is low and slowly falling and is clear; 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 were good all last week and 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: 4/17/18)

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 13, 2018 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 4/13/2018

During the past week, we have had a minor rain event (less than a quarter of an inch here in Cotter), warm temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell two and one tenth feet to rest at four and six tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty one and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell two and one tenth feet to rest at four tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool and fifteen and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose one tenth of a foot to rest at seven and one tenth feet above seasonal power pool and two and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation and no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell seven tenths of a foot to rest at five and one tenth feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty one and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had heavy generation and no 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 now above the top of power pool. With the quick rise in the lakes due to our recent heavy rains we can expect heavy generation in the near future.

The White has fished better. There are some caddis coming off in the afternoon. 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 pink worm with a prince nymph (#14) suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable and less stained. As the water warms, the smallmouths will 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.

On the Norfork, the water is has cleared substantially but has still fished poorly. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. 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). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a Y2K with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has cleared but it is not fishing as well as usual. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10).

The Spring River is navigable and less stained. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over there are few 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 soles 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 five years.

 

April 12, 2018 - Missouri Trout Parks

Bennett Spring State Park


Information: Park 417-532-4418
Water Surface Temp: 55º
Water Level (Range): normal
Water Type: clear
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
Brown Trout: Slow
zone 1 and 2 popular lures; orange mop worm, olive, brown, or copper hot shot, black or olive zebra midge, black and yellow, ginger, gingersnap, or black marabous; zone 3 popular baits: minnows, worms, yellow powerbait; April fishing hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; April weed cutting is scheduled for April 11-12; 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 Fishing Day is Saturday April 21; Veterans fish for free, no tag or license required; Veterans may fish in any zone, a special area of zone 2 will be reserved for Veterans only; for more information, please contact Bennett Spring Hatchery at 417-532-4418.
(Reported on: 4/10/18)

Maramec Spring Park


Information: 573-265-7801
Water Surface Temp: 57º
Water Level (Range): falling
Water Type: dingy
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
Brown Trout: Fair
greenish-brown water color with 2 feet visibility; rainbow trout good on orange/white artificial worms and doughbait or Power Baits; brown trout fair on gold spoons such as a Little Cleos; some success with crankbait and Rooster Tails; orange and salmon peach are hot colors right now with the greenish water; best flies to try are wooly buggers, scuds, rainbow warriors, soft hackles fished on the swing; 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: 4/11/18)

Montauk State Park


Information: 573-548-2585
Water Surface Temp: 54º
Water Level (Range): falling
Water Type: dingy
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
Brown Trout: Fair
the river level at the lower end of the park is at 2.11 feet and falling slowly; water color is just slightly dingy; fishing is good on all baits with black/yellow and black/white single hook Rooster Tails, wooly buggers, scuds, midges, cracklebacks, micro jigs and jigs being good choices in the fly area; artificial worms and eggs are working well in the bait area as well as power bait; fishing hours for April are 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. for more up-to-date stream conditions go to the USGS gauging station for the Current River at Montauk State Park at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?cb_00065=on&cb_00060=on&cb_00045=on&format=gif_default&period=16&site_no=07064440.
(Reported on: 4/10/18)

Roaring River State Park


Information: 417-847-2430
Water Surface Temp: 58º
Water Level (Range): normal
Water Type: clear
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
currently the water level is slowly falling after the recent rains and is clear; 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 were good all last week and 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: 4/11/18)

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 30, 2018 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides -

During the past week, we have had several rain events (combined for a half inch here in Cotter), warmer temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wins advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose three feet to rest at six and seven tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is twenty nine and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell one and one tenth feet to rest at two and five tenths feet above seasonal power pool and thirteen and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose two and six tenths feet to rest at seven feet above seasonal power pool and two and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation and no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose two and three tenths feet to rest at five and eight tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had heavy generation and no 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 now above the top of power pool. With the quick rise in the lakes due to our recent heavy rains we can expect heavy generation in the near future.

The White has fished better. There are some caddis coming off in the afternoon. 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 pink worm with a prince nymph (#14) suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable and off less stained. As the water warms, the smallmouths will 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.

On the Norfork, the water is has cleared substantially but has still fished poorly. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. 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). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a Y2K with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has cleared but it is not fishing as well as usual. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10).

The Spring River is navigable and less stained. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over there are few 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 soles 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 five years.

April 5, 2018 - Missouri Trout Parks

Bennett Spring State Park


Information: Park 417-532-4418
Water Surface Temp: 55º
Water Level (Range): normal
Water Type: clear
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
Brown Trout: Slow
zone 1 and 2 popular lures; chartreuse mop worm, olive, brown, or copper hot shot, bennett blue or original Cracklebacks, black or olive zebra midge, black and yellow, tequila sunrise, or orange marabous; zone 3 popular baits: minnows or worms; April fishing hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; April weed cutting is scheduled for April 11-12; 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 Fishing Day is Saturday April 21; Veterans fish for free, no tag or license required; Veterans may fish in any zone, a special area of zone 2 will be reserved for Veterans only; for more information, please contact Bennett Spring Hatchery at 417-532-4418.
(Reported on: 4/2/18)

Maramec Spring Park


Information: 573-265-7801
Water Surface Temp: 57º
Water Level (Range): falling
Water Type: muddy
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
Brown Trout: Fair
greenish-brown water color with 2 inch visibility; rainbow trout good on orange/white artificial worms and doughbait or Power Baits; brown trout fair on gold spoons such as a Little Cleos; some success with crankbait and Rooster Tails; orange and salmon peach are hot colors right now with the greenish water; best flies to try are wooly buggers, scuds, rainbow warriors, soft hackles fished on the swing; 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: 4/4/18)

Montauk State Park


Information: 573-548-2585
Water Surface Temp: 54º
Water Level (Range): falling
Water Type: dingy
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
Brown Trout: Good
the river level is currently 6 inches above normal and falling slowly; fishing is good on all baits with single hook Rooster Tails and flies working well in the fly area; artificial worms and eggs are working well in the bait area; due to the water clarity, brighter colors may provide more success; for more up-to-date stream conditions go to the USGS gauging station for the Current River at Montauk State Park.
(Reported on: 4/4/18)

Roaring River State Park


Information: 417-847-2430
Water Surface Temp: 58º
Water Level (Range): high
Water Type: dingy
Fish Reported:
Rainbow Trout: Good
the river is coming back to normal and is about 1’ above normal; the water has become more clear in the last week but still has a dingy color; the dry fly fishing will slowly come back; right now we are fishing dark wooly buggers, prince nymphs, copper johns, lightning bugs, small gold jigs, small thread jigs, and brassies, with large dry flies taking a few here and there; the fish are still reacting to a hopper or beetle, in some areas, where there is a bit of slow water, glo balls, and the San Juan worms in bright orange and red are also working; buggers with extra mylar in the tails are working good, use 5x and 6x; the water is still up a bit and the use of Power Bait is recommended if you just want to catch a fast limit of trout, the orange, fluorescent yellow and white are all good in the eggs; if you are using the worms, the orange peel, orange, cheese yellow, and chartreuse are all working; small gold spoons are good if you fish them deep and slow; small spinnerbaits still work fine, you may need to add a bit of lead to get them down deep enough; jigs are catching fish, 1/32 and larger are best, but a few people have been catching trout on the white and olive micro jig; larger jigs are working best, in the darker colors, olive, black, black/yellow, and dark brown have all been working well; in this type of water the use of 4 lb. and 3 lb. line is recommended; as the water clears, we will go back to the 2 lb. line; if you go into Zone 3, nightcrawlers and minnows would be good choices or any of the bright-colored Power Baits should work.
(Reported on: 4/2/18)

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 30, 2018 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 3/30/2018

During the past week, we have had several rain events (combined for four inches here in Cotter), warmer temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose four feet to rest at three and seven tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty two and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose four and three tenths feet to rest at three and six tenths feet above seasonal power pool and twelve and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose five and four tenths feet to rest at four and four tenths feet above seasonal power pool and four and   four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation and significant wadable water. Norfork Lake rose three and eight tenths feet to rest at three and five tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty two and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had little generation and 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 now above the top of power pool. With the quick rise in the lakes due to our recent heavy rains we can expect heavy generation in the near future.

The White has fished poorly. There are some caddis coming off in the afternoon. 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 pink worm with a prince nymph (#14) suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are both high and off color. As the water warms, the smallmouths will 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.

On the Norfork, the water is has cleared substantially but has still fished poorly. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. 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). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a Y2K with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has cleared but it is not fishing as well as usual. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10).

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 there are few 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 five years.

March 17, 2018 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides -
JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 3/17/2018
SPECIAL SAINT PATRICKS DAY EDITION

During the past week, we have had a rain event (just a trace here in Cotter), warmer temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell one and one tenth feet to rest at seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty six feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell six tenths of a foot to rest at three tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool and sixteen and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell one and nine tenths tenths feet to rest at two tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool and nine and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation and no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose five tenths of a foot to rest at three tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty six and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had little generation and 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 now above or near the top of power pool. With the higher lake levels we can expect more generation particularly on the White.

On the White, the hot spot has been Rim Shoals. There have been shad coming through the dam. There are also some caddis coming off in the afternoon. 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 pink worm with a prince nymph (#14) suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are both navigable and clearing. As the water warms the smallmouths will 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.

On the Norfork, the water is has cleared substantially but has still fished poorly. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. 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). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a Y2K with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has cleared but it is not fishing as well as usual. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10).

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 there are few 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 five years.

January 27, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 1/27/18

During the past week, we have had two rain incidents (combined for about an inch here in Cotter), warmer temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose one tenth of a foot to rest at five and seven tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty one and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose three tenths of a foot to rest at six feet below seasonal power pool and twenty two feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose five tenths of a foot to rest at six and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool and sixteen and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had little wadable water with less generation. Norfork Lake rose one tenth of a foot to rest at seven and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty three and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation and 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 now below the top of power pool. With the brutally cold water we should expect more generation to provide for increased energy demand.

The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018 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 hot spot has been Rim Shoals. 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 Y2K (#10) with a ruby midge (#14) suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. With the cold weather the smallmouths are 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.

On the Norfork, the water is has cleared substantially but has fished poorly. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. 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). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a Y2K with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has cleared some and still fishing well. The brown trout have  moved in for the spawn. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). It is cold out there. Take frequent breaks, bring cocoa and dress your children warmly.

The Spring River is low and 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 there are few 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 five years.

Jauary 7, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 1/7/18

During the past week, we have had no rain, brutally cold temperatures (to include wind chill advisories) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell one and two tenths feet to rest at five and one tenth feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty one and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock dropped six tenths of a foot to rest at five and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty one and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake dropped one and three tenths feet to rest at five and one tenth feet below seasonal power pool and fifteen and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had no water with more generation. Norfork Lake fell one and two tenths feet to rest at five and eight tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty two feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had more generation and less 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 now below the top of power pool. With the brutally cold water we should expect more generation to provide for increased energy demand.

The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018 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 hot spot has been Rim Shoals. 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 Y2K (#10) with a ruby midge (#14) suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. With the colder weather the smallmouths are 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.

On the Norfork, the water is stained and has fished poorly. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. 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). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan worm with a pheasant tail dropper (#10).

Dry Run Creek is stained but still fishing well. The brown trout have  moved in for the spawn. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). It is cold out there. Take frequent breaks, bring cocoa and dress your children warmly.

The Spring River is low and 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 there are few 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 five years.

December 3, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 12/03/17

During the past week, we have had no rain, cool temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose six tenths of a foot to rest at five feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty one feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock dropped eight tenths of a foot to rest at one and one tenth feet below seasonal power pool and seventeen and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake dropped two tenths of a foot to rest at two and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool and eleven and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had significant wadable water with little or no generation. Norfork Lake fell three tenths of a foot to rest at two and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty eight and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had light generation and significant 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 now below the top of power pool. We should expect more wadable water in the near future

On the White, the hot spot has been Rim Shoals. 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 Y2K (#10) with a ruby midge (#14) suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. With the cooler weather the smallmouths are 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.

On the Norfork, the water is stained and the lake is turning over resulting in low dissolved oxygen. It has fished poorly. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. 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). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan worm with a pheasant tail dropper (#10).

Dry Run Creek is stained but still fishing well. The brown trout have  moved in for the spawn. 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 there are few 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 five years.

November 24, 2017 - Norfork and White RiverDally's Ozark Fly Fisher - White River:

Minimum flow is finally here, so take advantage of it while it lasts. The last couple of days have been primarily minimum flow, and hopefully we will continue to see this wadeable water in the coming weeks. During minimum flow, all of the walk-in accesses that were previously hard to fish are much easier to fish now. I have heard great reports from every major access point from Three Chutes down to Rim Shoals, and boat fishing continues to be highly productive as well.

Currently, nymphing is still the go to method on the White. With flows ranging from minimum flow to two units, fishing Rootbeer and Ruby midges, pheasant tails, and a variety of jigs including Devil Jigs, Hare’s Ear Jigs, and Steve’s Tailwater Jigs have accounted for the most success.

Norfork:

The Norfork continues to be off color due to all the organic matter that ended up in the lake this past April. In addition to its stained appearance there is a slight sulfur odor due to the lake’s Fall turnover. Low dissolved oxygen levels are at least partially to blame for the lower catch rates that we’re currently seeing, but based on recent reports, the catch rates seem to be improving.

With that said, there’s still good numbers of fish to be caught. When nymph fishing, be sure to run bright colors under an indicator. The best combo’s are either egg patterns or San Juan Worms ahead of a scud or sowbug pattern. Also, don’t rule out a Ruby or Rootbeer midge as well as a Tailwater Jig.

November 9, 2017 - Norfork and White RiverDally's Ozark Fly Fisher - AE2BF2CF-9D1B-482B-BFF0-03EEBFBCB7B5.jpeg

White River:

With the recent closing of the catch and release area below Bull Shoals Dam, guides and fishermen alike who normally fish in that area, seek other areas to fish downstream. While the no fishing zone stretches from the Dam down to the wing dike at the Bull Shoals White River State Park trout dock, there is a second “seasonal” Catch-and-Release Area that stretches from the wing dike down to the downstream boundary of the park. This second area is not only open during the spawn, but is also strictly Catch-and-Release. Any browns caught in this area must be released immediately, as their presence is most likely a direct result of the spawn.

Currently, nymphing is still the go to method on the White. With flows ranging from one to three units, fishing midges, jig patterns, and eggs under an indicator is accounting for the most success. Rootbeer and Ruby midges, pheasant tails, and a variety of jigs including Devil Jigs, Hare’s Ear Jigs, and Steve’s Tailwater Jigs.

Jonathan Murray with a huge Norfork River Striped Bass. Photo courtesy of Gabe Levin.

Norfork:

The Norfork continues to be off color due to all the organic matter that ended up in the lake this past April. In addition to its stained appearance there is a slight sulfur odor due to the lake’s Fall turnover. Low dissolved oxygen levels are at least partially to blame for the lower catch rates that we’re currently seeing, but based on recent reports, the catch rates seem to be improving.

With that said, there’s still good numbers of fish to be caught. If you head that way, be sure to run bright colors under an indicator. The best combo’s are either egg patterns or San Juan Worms ahead of a scud or sowbug pattern. Also, don’t rule out a Ruby or Rootbeer midge as well as a Tailwater Jig.

November 4, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 11/04/17

During the past week, we have had rain (just a trace here in Cotter), cool temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped one and four tenths feet to rest at four and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose one tenth of a foot to rest at a foot below seasonal power pool and fifteen feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake dropped five tenths of a foot to rest at one and three tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool and ten and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had no wadable water with light generation. Norfork Lake rose two tenths of a foot to rest at seven tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty six and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had light generation and significant 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 now below the top of power pool. We should expect more wadable water in the near future

On the White, the hot spot has been Rim Shoals. 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 Y2K (#10) with a ruby midge (#14) suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. With the warmer weather the smallmouths are 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.

On the Norfork, the water is stained and the lake is turning over resulting in low dissolved oxygen. It has fished poorly. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. 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). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan worm with a pheasant tail dropper (#10).

Dry Run Creek is stained but still fishing well. The brown trout have begun moving in for the spawn. 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 there are few 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 five years.

October 27, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 10/27/17

During the past week, we have had rain (about an inch here in Cotter), cool temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped nine tenths of a foot to rest at three and one tenth feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty nine and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose one tenth of a foot to rest at nine tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool and fourteen and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake dropped one tenths of a foot to rest at eight tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool and ten and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had no wadable water with light generation. Norfork Lake remained steady at four tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty six and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had light generation and significant 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 now below the top of power pool. We should expect more wadable water in the near future

On the White, the hot spot has been Rim Shoals. 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 Y2K (#10) with a ruby midge (#14) suspended below it). Use lead to get your flies down.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. With the warmer weather the smallmouths are 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.

On the Norfork, the water is stained and the lake is turning over resulting in low dissolved oxygen. It fishes well one day and poorly the next. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. 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). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan worm with a pheasant tail dropper (#10).

Dry Run Creek is stained but still fishing well. The brown trout have begun moving in for the spawn. 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 on and there many 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 five years. John can be reached at (870) 435-2169 or http://www.berrybrothersguides.com.

 

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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