Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 10/22/2016

These pages are updated on Friday

Beaver Beaver Tail water Bull Shoals Greer's Ferry Kings River
  Millwood Norfork Norfork Tail water White River


White River

Updated 10/22/2016

Report by: BERRY BROTHERS GUIDE SERVICE  Fly Fishing For Trout            ABIGAIL’S BROWN Article

During the past week, we have had a rain event (about an inch and a half here in Cotter), warm temperatures and moderate wind. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell eight tenths of a foot to rest at two feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty eight feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell one tenth of a foot to rest at six and four tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose one and five tenths of a foot to rest at five feet below seasonal power pool and fourteen and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation in the afternoon this week with lower generation in the morning and no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose two tenths of a foot to rest at four tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty six feet and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation all day with no 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. We cooler fall weather and lower lake levels we should see more wadable water. 

On the White, the bite has been excellent. The hot spot has been Wildcat Shoals. We have had no 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. The smallmouths are still 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 no 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 fly has been the ruby midge.

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.



When I drove past the ramp at Cotter’s Big Spring Park this morning I noticed a big change from my last visit. This ramp is a few blocks away from my house in the old section of Cotter and I always like to track the river levels by driving by the Cotter Ramp. I was pleased to see that the river level was much lower than my last visit. I had been carefully monitoring the lake levels and generation for all of the lakes in the White River system and I had noted that all are now at or close to power pool with the exception of Beaver, which is dropping quickly. Beaver is always the last to be drawn down to power pool.  

Now that our tailwaters are back in their banks and the river levels are more comfortably navigated we will see significant changes as the water levels drop. The additional flows through the open flood gates and sluice gates have had a profound effect on our rivers. 

One of the first things that you will notice is that many warm water species have been introduced to the cold water environments of our tailwaters. This past weekend Henry Seay, the assistant manager here at Blue Ribbon Fly Shop, was fishing at Quarry Park on the Norfork River and caught five bream which is a warm water species. I have had customers come into the shop that have caught walleye recently, in the same stretch of river. 

After the flood of 2008, I saw a striper that was stuck twenty feet up in a tree at McClellan’s, on the Norfork. Later that same day I was wade fishing in the Ace in the Hole water and saw a four foot Gar. I must say that, it was a bit disconcerting, seeing something that big, with that many sharp teeth, lazily swimming near me. It looked just like a Barracuda. It turned out to be more worried about me and left. That same year there were loads of Stripers and other species caught beneath Norfork Dam. There was similar warm water species caught below Bull Shoals Dam. 

Of greater importance are all of the changes to the river itself. With that much additional water coming through the flood gates we have to expect significant change and as the water recedes we will begin to see them. There will be downed trees where none previously existed. Trees that have been reliable markers for years will be gone washed down the river. Delicate banks will have been seriously eroded. Gravel bars will appear where none existed before and there will be new holes scoured in the river bottom. 

The trick is to take your time as you navigate the river for the first few times until you figure out all of the changes. This is particularly important, if you run a prop, like I do. When wading take extra care because there may be a new hole or two where you can float a hat. 

Our rivers are constantly changing and this high water has brought about quite a bit of it. In many respects it will be like learning a new river. Slow down and enjoy it!

As you can see there is something for everyone. I hope to see you there. 


Wanda Windknots asks: are there any hatches happening on the Norfork?

Wanda, there are the usual midges, some caddis and the occasional small mayfly. 

John Berry

(870) 435-2169

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.

Practice water safety and always check conditions before you leave home. 

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

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Greer's Ferry
Updated: 10/19/2016
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 461.03

Outflow: 2601

Level: 0.01 feet high Temperature: mid 70s

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greer’s Ferry lake is at 460.72 feet it is 0.68 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet and falling ,the Temp is in the mid 70’s. The rain expected with the cooler weather should really put the bite on overdrive of all species.  

The Black basses are still all scattered from 0-40 feet , with a a lot of junk fishing working better than anything else, try out deep with c-rig or swim bait ,shallow jigs and spinner baits working on windblown stuff.  

The bream are guarding fry again and can be caught with small crank baits, crickets and crawlers,0-16 feet.  

The crappie are still hanging around in a lot of different areas with bait, in pole timber, over brush piles and out in the middle of no where, try beetle spins, jigs and minnows and trolled crank baits.  

Catfish are pretty scattered as well and are biting at different times on a variety of baits, in 10-40 feet of water.  

The walleye are staying grouped more on the flats, crawlers and shad colored crank baits working as well as a drop shoted minnows, in 18- 40 feet.  

The hybrid and white bass are eating pretty well under cloud cover on in –line spinners and spoons with some fish coming up at various places around the lake , and if ya have some wind the bright sunny days are good as well ,find the bait and the fish will be close. 

 Tommy Cauley

Fishing Guide  

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Beaver Lake

Elevation at Normal Pool: 1121.4

Outflow: 1119 cfs.

Level:  Temperature: 

Report By:

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Beaver Tail water



No Report

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Kings River


No Report

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updated 10/22/2016

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 657.0 

Outflow: 653

 Level:  Temperature:50s

Lake Map, Weather, Area Lake Services & Campground Info

Fishing Report by: Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock      "Braggin Board"

No Report


Practice water safety and always check conditions before you leave home.

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Updated: 10/17/2016

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 6.00 feet low Temperature:  79 early to 88

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

""""""<º)))><{""""" Fishing & Species Report """""}><(((º>""""""

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 17 Oct, the lake drawdown and shoreline work has been completed.  Millwood is approx 6 inches below normal conservation pool, on a slow rise.  There is reduced current of Little River with the gates releasing around 160 CFS as of Monday. Water temps slightly dropped over the past week.  Navigation is cautious for Little River as of Monday while lake is returning to normal pool elevation.   

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 79ºF early, to 88ºF late, depending on location.  Bass remain good from 2-3 pounds on Bass Assassin Shads, spoons, buzzers, and frogs at dawn.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 258.7 ft-msl, with decreased river current.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 160 CFS.  Continue to use caution during navigation on Little River and Millwood, watching for stumps, timber, and limbs at or near surface during below normal pool conditions.  Tailwater level dropped slightly as of Monday at 224.5 ft-msl. 

Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks, most areas on main lake and Little River due low water conditions.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 8-12 inches.  Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake remain stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 8-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River above McGuire oxbow is stained 3-6", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms. 

The Details: 

Largemouth Bass:  Bass remain in good feeding mode over the past few week's drop in surface temps, and are best from 2 to 3 pounds on topwaters early and late out of the current and Little River.  Most bass are aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands, and shallow vegetation, where you can find the clearest water away from current in backs of the creeks, flats, and oxbows. Buzz baits in Bleeding Bream, white, and black are working well.  Rico Pops, Bass Assassin Shads, Johnson Chrome spoons, and soft plastic frogs are all a good top water choice, early.  Working top waters around pads and vegetation across flats adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels continue drawing good reactions at dawn.  Good bites continue on the spoons using a white or smoke colored 2" or 3" fat, curly tail grub trailer, or june bug colored plastic frogs and Bass Assassin Shads.   

Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past couple weeks have been Silver Phantom, Salt & Pepper, and Houdini colors in the current water clarity and conditions.  Rat-L-Traps in Ghost and Millwood Magic colors, 1.75 Echo crankbaits in Millwood Magic and Gold colors continue working in creek mouths, dumping into Little River.  Citrus Shad colored Bomber deeper diving crankbaits continue to be best reaction colors in the oxbows over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  Berkley 10" worms in Blue Fleck, Watermelon Candy, and June Bug-Red, or Red Bug continue working along Little River in 6-10 feet of depth, and also around creek mouths dumping into Little River. 

White Bass:   Whites/hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and are hitting the Citrus or Chartreuse Shad colored crankbaits in the back of the oxbows.  Over the past few weeks week, with the heavy cloud cover, the Whites were again surface breaking on shad in back of Horseshoe and McGuire oxbows.  Those fish were hitting small, Ken Pop's, Pop-R's, & Chug Bugs with a rear feather tail hook, and Little Cleos, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons, and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white, and chrome Rat-L-Traps. 

Crappie: Continued to bite well, over the past week on Blakemore Roadrunners, and vertical jigging Southern Pro Little Hustler tubes in planted brush piles from 10-15 feet of depth.

 Cats:  Nice Channel cats and Blues, were back on the prowl this week and fair to good, up to 7 or 8 pounds each, on trot lines using chicken gizzards, livers, or hearts and cut bait.   

                                 }><(((º>   Lake Level & River Conditions Report    <º)))><{ 

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging 79ºF early to 88ºF range, depending on location.   

USACE work and drawdown has ended, and Millwood Lake level as of Monday is approximately 6 inches below normal pool at 258.7 ft-msl, and slowly rising to normal pool elevation with decreased river current.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate was around 160 CFS on Monday. The tailwater level as of Monday, is 224.5 ft-msl.  Navigation cautious for Millwood during low water conditions.  Drawdown ended last Friday, 02 Sept.  Use extreme caution for stumps and timber at or near surface of Little River during low elevation. 

Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks, most areas on main lake and Little River.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 8-12 inches.  Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake remains stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 8-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location as of Monday.  Little River above McGuire oxbow is clear in areas with stain in others.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.   

To volunteer for one of the cleanup dates or ramp and USACE park information, contact Tony Porter at the Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office.  To receive project updates, daily lake level information updates, gate release flows, tailwater information, park and campground information, or volunteer, call the US Army Corps of Engrs toll-free information line at 888-697-9830 or the US Army Corps of Engineers' main number to verify another Corps of Engrs project is open, at 877-444-6777. Call the Millwood State Park at 870-898-2800.  Call the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for an officer, biologist, or to report AGFC regulation violation at 800-482-9262.   

Wear your Life Jacket and kill switch!!  If you are suddenly or unexpectedly thrown from your boat, it could be your only chance of survival.  Use caution navigating Little River in low light conditions, SLOW DOWN, and pass friendly to other boaters!  As always, careful watch for any random floaters and debris in Little River's current, and wearing your PFD and kill switch is a requirement!

Visit with us on our website, YouTube, and on Facebook, for the most current Millwood Lake fishing and water conditions report, updated weekly.  See some great catch and release photos, sponsor links, tons of great information and resources on the lake available to you, along with excellent related direct links to Arkansas' State Parks, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Black Bass Program, The US Army Corps of Engineers, and tons more great fishing stuff....

Come see what all the excitement's about! 


Thanks for your interest in Millwood Lake Guide Service ~ Arkansas' Best Bass Fishing!

Mike Siefert



22+ years in the professional guide business on Millwood Lake, since 1990!

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Updated 10/22/2016

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 550.2 

Release Rate: 32705 cfs.

Level:  Temperature: 55 to 58

Lake Map, Weather, Area Lake Services & Campground Info

Report by: Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait 

Fishing Norfork Lake has been great this March.

Don't miss out on the 2nd annual Norfork Lake Fishing Derby being sponsored by the Norfork Lake Chamber of Commerce. It is easy to enter, just stay and register for the Derby at a participating Norfork Lake lodging facility. You could win up to $1,500. Catch the longest fish in 3 different species (striped bass, black bass and crappie) and become a winner for 2014. The Derby runs through June 15, 2014. For more information go to or call 870-492-5113. Spring is the best time to catch many big fish on Norfork Lake. And remember to bring a Big Net!

For information on the Jordan Campground, please call (870) 499-7223 or Jordan Marina at (870) 499-7348.  The Jordan Campground is open from April 1st to October 1st.

 No Report

Updated: 10/22/2016

Report by: Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Overall, Norfork Lake fishing is good to excellent. Top water action for stripers, hybrids, whites and largemouth bass is occurring at sunrise and sunset. Now, top water action is not always occurring in the same location every morning, but typically will be somewhere in the general area. If you find a large concentration of bait on the service there is a very good chance a school of fish will erupt on that bait at some time. Some days you will see a large area start to boil with fish going crazy, but other times you might just see some swirls on the service. Cast some sort of top water bait at the swirl or boiling water and hang on. Top water many also occur at any depth of water, close or far away from the shoreline. 

Striped and hybrid bass fishing has been great the last week, including this morning. I landed 5 hybrids and 3 stripers on both a Zara Spook and live thread fin shad. There were fish coming up along a bluff line down from a main lake point. You can find the fish up tight on the banks early in the morning and as the sun comes up, they move out from the shore a little and have been 5 to 20 feet down, no matter what water depth. I have been trying to leave my dock at 5AM to get into some night time action with a stick bait or I pitch a thread fin shad to the shore line with no weight. Both baits have been working picking up stripers, hybrids and walleye in the dark. I have been long lining live bait with a 1/16 ounce or a 1/8 ounce split shot and slowly moving about with my trolling motor. This has been effective in both shallow and deep water. Good artificial baits to use are a blade type bait or a swim bait, just get either of them to the proper depth of the fish. Saturday morning Brian, a guest of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort, landed a monster 35 pound striped bass. He was fishing with a small 3-4 inch thread fin shad and had the battle of his life. This fish will be a wall fixture. I have been fishing mid to the upper portions of the lake, but I have many reports that striped bass fishing is also good in the southern portion of the lake. 

Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing is also very good. Many of the fish have completed their spawn and now are on the post spawn feed, Early and late in the day you can get this species with a top water bait or swim bait. They tend to go down deeper as the sun comes up. Switch to a jig & pig or some sort of plastic bait and work it along the bottom from 5 feet to 17 feet of water. Most of the bass I am marking, no matter what time of day, are in less than 20 feet of water. 

Pan fishing is also picking up. A couple of our guests caught a boat load of big blue gills in the middle of the day off of bluff line cuts. If you can find a good ledge that is around 30 feet down they will be hanging out. Wax worms were their bait of choice. No need to sit indoors in the middle of day, blue gills are a great eating fish. Crappie are moving into brush in 20 - 30 feet of water. They typically will be on the tops of the brush or between the brush and the shoreline. 

Catfish are starting to move into the shore line. Trotlines are picking up a few good fish. I caught a nice 6 pound channel this morning on live shad in 20 feet of water. 

The Norfork Lake level is rising slowly with the past couple days of rain. The current level is 553.57. The surface water temperature has also risen to 67 degrees as of this morning. Parts of the main lake is clear, but many areas are stained due to the rains. The creeks and coves are also stained. Great fishing color to the water.


Updated: 10/22/2016

Report by: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The bite has slowed on Norfork Lake; the shad have completed their spawn and moved off the banks. There is still a topwater bite but over the last few days it seems the stripers are surfacing more infrequently on the points. I fished the lower end of the lake off the points within site of the dam. It was a very active week for action. I had a least 50 strikes on my baits. It was fun to watch but most time the fish were not taking the bait just slapping at it until they killed it. We did catch fish each day but not the numbers we should have. With the 3 ½ inches of rain we’ve had the last few days I expect some of the stripers to run back up the creek. The stripers have not spawned yet so some of males are ripe while others are still firm. It should happen anytime. I have had reports that some good size walleye are being caught at night. One friend caught three nice walleye and lost a 5 lb one at the boat. He was throwing a black and gold Rapala. He twitch it a few times then reel a couple of turns and do all over again. He also threw a small crankbait reeling reel slow. He was fishing the Big Creek area.  

Some days it’s very rewarding to take clients out and see their faces when they catch a bunch of stripers. Then you get the day nothing works. The weather is a big factor in the spring, a storm can change a whole pattern you been fishing in one night. One day you’re a hero and the next a zero. That’s the life of a guide. I took Shawn, Greg, & John Saturday morning after an all night rain storm. We did not have a bite for the first 45 minutes then the fish became active. It was still slow but consistent, then in 1 hour we caught 6 stripers and finish with 9 fish in the last 1 ½ hours. Everybody was very happy. Saturday afternoon we had a major storm with hail and then 2 storms rolled in during that night and everything changed. I took my clients to the same spots and over 4 ½ hours we only had 4 bites. The fish were there but were totally shutdown. Needless to say my clients were not happy. They knew what I did the day before and wondering why we could not catch any, it was a long day.  

The stripers along with the other large predator species have moved into their spring feed patterns with the air and water temperatures about normal. Make your plans on the web with for everything Norfork Lake! Be sure to check out the Spring Striper Tactics article!

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Norfork Tail water

Updated 10/22/2016

Report by: Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service 

The lake level is 553.6 and the water temp is in the mid to upper 60’s. The stripers, hybrids and whites are coming up at first light and staying up for an hour to a hour and a half. I was out this morning and had two hybrids(6-7lbs) and a striper (10-12lbs) in fifteen minutes on a Zara spook. Then I left the area and went looking for more fish. After the top water bite stops throw a swim bait and you may get a few more. You can throw the swim bait to the top water fish and get bit as well. They are coming up just before sunset too. The night bite is still going on and the key to fishing at night for stripers is to reel your stick bait SLOW. If you see some on your depth finder drop a jigging spoon. Bass are still up shallow and will hit a spook, swim bait, jig and soft jerk bait.

For more information on Lake Norfork go to  or 

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