Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 1/6/2017

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 1/6/2017

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 three quarters of an inch here in Cotter), cooler temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell one tenth of a foot to rest at seven and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty three and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell one and four tenths feet to rest at five and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty one and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell one foot to rest at seven and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool and sixteen and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had moderate generation in the afternoon with lower generation in the morning and limited wadable water. Norfork Lake remained steady at one and one tenth feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty seven and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation late in the afternoon with much less wadable water.  

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With cooler fall weather and lower lake levels, we should see more wadable water. 

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

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

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

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With cooler 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. 

There has been less wadable water on the Norfork. The lake has turned over and there is a sulphur smell on the upper river and with lower dissolved oxygen, in that area, the bite has been slow there. 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 an orange egg. 

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: 1/6/2017
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 462.04

Outflow: 2601

Level: 3.97feet low Temperature:

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greer’s Ferry Lake is at 458.07 it is 3.97 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet and falling.  

The bass fishing is good all over the lake on spinner Baits, crank baits, umbrella rigs and c-rigs for all 3 species, try fishing real shallow out to 40 feet of water.  

The bream fishing is still good with the prolonged warm weather, use crickets and crawlers in 5-30 feet of water.  

The crappie fishing has picked up and they can be caught in the pole timber or over and around brush piles 10-20 feet of water.  

The walleye are scattered out, try dragging minnows and crank baits 28-40 feet.  

The Catfishing is good as well with a lot of different baits working, not a lot of people utilizing the bite.  

The Hybrid And White bass fishing is excellent all over the lake at different time of the day, with schooling fish and fish biting on structure as well, use in-line spinners, top water baits, spoons and swim baits for the best catching. 

 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 1/6/2017

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: 1/2/2017

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 9.00 feet high Temperature:  52 early to 62

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

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

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 02 Jan, the lake level is approx 9" above normal conservation pool and rising.  There is increased current this week of Little River, with the gates releasing around 435 CFS as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week.  Navigation is cautioned for Little River as of Monday due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 52ºF early, to 62ºF late, depending on location.    Appears the Corps of Engineers continue working to replace some river buoys in the channel over the past week, however several are either out of place or missing in the main lake body.  Use caution in navigation on the Little River throughout the main lake body. 

Bass remain good from 2-3 pounds on Bass Assassin Shads, spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps and crankbaits.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.95 ft-msl, with consistent current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 435 CFS.  Tailwater level as of Monday at 225.06 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks.   

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 4-8 inches due to high wind and rain over the past couple days.  Cottonshed, Saline River, Okay Point, and northeast quadrant remain stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 15-25 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is stained from rain and wind, approx 5-10", 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 feeding moods continue to improve with the cooler daytime temperatures and dropping surface temps over the past week.  Most bass are in good feeding moods over the past few weeks, best from 2 to 3 pounds on crankbaits, along points, creek junctions, and creek mouths dumping into Little River.  Most bass continue their seasonal nomadic roaming over the past few weeks, following huge shad schools in and out of creek channels and up and down Little River. Points, creek channels away from river current, flats, and oxbows are good starting locations.  Shad continue relating to creek channels over the past couple weeks, moving in and out of the main creek channel to the points and back again, depending on surface temperatures.  Huge schools of shad are roaming in and out of creeks and points junction with Little River over the past several weeks, and the Largemouths are following them on a daily basis.  One day they maybe in the mouth of the creek dumping into Little River, the next day, gone, or moved to backs of creeks, depending on surface temps overnight.  Lots of migration and nomadic activity this time of year on Millwood. 

Chrome/black Cordell Crazy Shads, Bass Assassin Shads, and Sexy Ghost or Ghost colored Stuttersteps are working.  Bass Assassin Shads, continue to be a good top water choice, early.  Working top waters around grass beds, and vegetation, along points extending from creek channels into Little River, will draw good reactions at dawn.  Bulky 10" Berkley Power worms continue working around vegetation and drop-offs in creek channels and mouths of creeks.  Rat-L-Traps worked along points and in creek channels have been working well for several weeks.  Bass Assassin Shads continue working well in the thick stuff, mid day.  Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past couple weeks have been Bad To The Bone, pumpkinseed, or Grey Ghost and Salt & Pepper colors in the current water clarity and conditions.   Best color of Stuttersteps over the past couple weeks have been the Ghost and the Sexy Ghost colors. 

Rat-L-Traps continue catching 2-3 pound Largemouths in creeks, with the Chrome/blue tail spinners, Millwood Magic, and Tennessee Shad colors.  The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Ghost or Millwood Magic colors continue working on points and in creek channels, dumping into Little River.  Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citruse, Citrus Shad, & Tennessee Special colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day.  Berkley 10" worms continue working for Largemouths randomly in Black, Plum, Black Grape, or Red Bug.  Best target areas are working along grass beds in Little River starting in the grass in 1-2 feet and working outward into 8-12 feet of depth, and also around creek mouths dumping into Little River.  

White Bass:   Whites & hybrids continue roaming Little River, mouths of creek channels, and the oxbows, and are hitting the Citrus, Chartreuse Shad or Tennessee Shad colored crankbaits.  Over the past few weeks, the White Bass, Kentucky Bass, and Largemouths all, were surface breaking on shad in back of Horseshoe and McGuire up Little river.  Those fish were hitting small, topwater Crazy Shads, tail spinner Rat-L-Traps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons, and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white, and small, Pop-R's early in the mornings. 

Crappie:  have scattered over the past week due to wind, rain, incoming fresh water, and increased discharge and current in Little River. 

Cats:   Blues and channel cats improved w/ the increase of current in Little River over the past week.  Best best are trot lines 9-12 feet of depth along outer bends of Little River using blood bait, cut bait, buffalo, and gar. 

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

Surface temps as of Monday dropped again over the past week, and are ranging 52ºF early to 62ºF range, depending on location.  USACE working to replace river marker buoys along main lake channel.  Use caution until river buoy markers can be fully realigned or replaced as many are missing or drifted out of center in main lake structure.  Millwood Lake level as of Monday is approx 9" above normal pool at 259.95 ft-msl, rapidly rising from recent rains, with increased river current.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate was around 435 CFS on Monday. The tailwater level as of Monday, is 225.06 ft-msl.  Navigation caution is recommended for Millwood at current conditions due to missing or moved, channel buoys in the main lake body.  Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks, most areas on main lake and Little River.  Use caution running the Little River throughout the main lake body, there are many river buoys missing or moved out of center, in the channel along main lake. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 4-8 inches.  Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake remains stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 15-25 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.... 'Til next week, wear your life jacket & we'll see you on the lake........  

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 1/6/2017

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: 1/6/2017

I hope all had a great Thanksgiving holiday. My wife and I hosted a family reunion for her side of the family and we had a great time with 29 family members. I had the opportunity to fish with many different family members during the week. We had a lot of fun but did get a little cold at times. We caught fish most days. It was a real joy watching the ones that don't get to fish often land a fish on their own. No better feeling than seeing those big smiles and shaking arms.

Norfork Lake has entered its fall fishing pattern. The only big change over the last couple of weeks is that the fish have started to move into shallower water. Stripers, hybrids and whites are being found on 20 - 45 foot flats. The flats are holding baitfish at all different depths depending on the time of day and big schools of stripers, hybrids and whites are roaming at all different depths feeding on the shad early in the morning as well as in the evening. It is a big challenge finding the schools of fish and it will take some time watching your electronics, but when you find the fish it is a blast. We had 4 on at the same time a few times. My group has been vertical jigging with a spoon bouncing it off the bottom, but if you mark fish suspended, reel up to their depth and hang on. Areas where I have been fishing has not changed from my last report. Start looking on the flats around the 101 bridge up to the Red Bank area, as well as, from the 62 bridge up to the Fouts area. Check out the Robinson flat as fish are starting to move in. There has been some isolated top water action for striped bass and if you are in the right spot and ready you will pick up a few fish. 

Largemouth bass are starting to school part way back in creeks and coves. I found some nice schools of bass on the bottom in 30 - 35 feet of water. We were vertical jigging and hooking up one after another. Nice 2.5 - 4 pound fish were being boated. Spotted bass will also be schooling up this time of year. Spinner baits have worked well on the windy days and crank baits are also working on main lake points, as well as, secondary points.  

Crappie are becoming more aggressive. Look at brush in 20 - 40 feet of water. You will find the bigger slabs in the deeper water inside of the brush and other nice fish will be suspended above the brush. Small spoons, grubs and live bait are all working at times. Live bait is still your best bet.  

Walleye are in similar areas as the stripers, hybrids and whites. We have been catching quite a few walleye in 30 feet of water vertical jigging, but the majority of the fish are short.  

The lake level has risen slightly and currently sits at 552.86. The surface water temperature is falling slowly and is currently 59 - 60 degrees. Most of the lake is stained with the main lake the clearest. I believe the lake has finally finalized its turnover so the lake clearing will begin.


Updated: 1/6/2017

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 1/6/2017

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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