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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.

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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