Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 11/21/2015

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 11/21/2015

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

During the past week, we have had a rain event (a quarter of an inch here in Cotter), cooler temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell two and five tenths feet to rest at eighteen and six tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is fifteen and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell four tenths of a foot to rest at one tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool and fourteen and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell four tenths of a foot to rest at four and eight tenths feet above seasonal power pool and three and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had high levels of generation with no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell one and two tenths of a foot to rest at ten and seven tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and thirteen and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had limited wadable water every day. 

The water level for the top of power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. The lakes on this system are well above seasonal power pool and are slowly falling. We can expect high levels of generation in the coming months. 

On heavy generation, the best way to catch fish is to switch to longer leaders and heavier weight. On the White, the hot spot was the Wildcat 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 hot fluorescent pink or cerise San Juan worm with an orange egg suspended below it).  

Conventional wisdom states that hopper fishing begins in late summer. I reject this idea and fish them all year. I favor shorter leaders (seven and a half foot 4X) and a stiff six weight rod to proper deliver these weighty flies. My favorite flies are Dave’s hoppers (#10) and the western pink lady (#8). To increase hook ups I always use a dropper. I am currently using a ruby or root beer midge in size eighteen on a three foot or longer tippet (depending on the depth of the water I am fishing). 

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With the warm weather, the smallmouths are active. 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. 

The Norfork has fished better of late now that the lake level has dropped enough to prevent the leakage around the flood gate that was being repaired. It has had the only wadable water and has been crowded at times. 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 and late afternoon and tapers off midday. My favorite combination has been a grass hopper with a root beer or ruby midge dropper. 

There is a major construction project at the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. You can still access Dry Run Creek. It has seen more pressure with school out. It still fished well. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). Despite the construction you can still 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 water on the Spring River is navigable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and fishing is better. 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.



One of the things that I love about this area is the many festivals we have here that are sponsored by the various small towns. As a Cotter resident, I may be prejudiced but I think that the Cotter Trout Festival is hands down the best. For me the main draw is where it is held, Cotter’s Big Spring Park. This is a lovely spot on the White River that has several features that makes it one of the best public parks in the area. 

There is, of course, Big Spring, a large natural spring that is the local swimming hole, complete with a rope swing. The spring draws locals and visitors during warm weather. When my grandchildren visit, this is their favorite spot. There is a trout sanctuary in the outflow from the spring that is a Catch and Release fishery for children and the handicapped with regulations like Dry Run Creek. Along the sanctuary there are several sheltered picnic tables with charcoal grills. There is a bridge spanning the stream that allows you to access a nature trail or the White River. 

There is a covered pavilion for large groups and a charming gazebo. There are clean public restrooms, a lighted baseball field and a river access complete with a nice ramp. There is a strong identity with Cotter’s past as a major railway hub, in the park. There is a statue of a railroad conductor, a couple of railway cabooses and several interpretive signs.  

The idea of a trout festival in Cotter is logical. Our water tower proudly proclaims our title as Trout Capital USA. Fishing is the primary business here. There are classic trout docks, lodging, restaurants, and a fly shop all catering to the needs of trout anglers. There are several professional guides (including myself) that call Cotter home. 

The Cotter trout festival will be held in Cotter’s Big Spring Park on Friday, May 2 from 4:30 PM till??? and Saturday, May 3 from 7:00 AM until 4:30 PM. Admission is free. This is a family friendly affair and a great way to entertain everyone at a low cost. 

Friday is dedicated to the arts. My friend, Sandy Barksdale, has put together a plein air painting event in Cotter. There is a quick draw competition from 4:30 PM till 5:30 PM with judging at 5:30 PM. There is a barbeque dinner at a nominal cost with entertainment supplied by Cutthroat Trout Jazz Band. They performed at the Trout Nature Center Banquet last week and I really enjoyed listening to them. 

Saturday is a busy day starting with breakfast at the Cotter VFW at 7:00 AM. There is our annual parade at 9:00 AM. The Arts/Crafts/Exhibitors/Commercial booths all open at 9:00 AM. There are kid’s games, the AG&FC shocking boat and stocking raft. There is the fishing hole and fly casting instruction and fly tying demonstrations supplied by the North Arkansas Fly Fishers. There is a car show and several bands (Gravel Yard Blue Grass Band, Rio and Kent and Becky Coffey) for entertainment. 

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: 11/21/2015
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 461.03

Outflow: 2601

Level: 3.64 feet low Temperature:

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greer's Ferry Lake is at 458.40 feet and falling it is 3.64 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet

Crappie are eating well if you can find them as they are moving some out in open water ,suspended over brush piles and pole timber with minnows and jigs working best ,lots of bigger fish being caught. 

The bass fishing is good all over the lake with a lot of them following the shad up the creeks and rivers and feeding a lot the kentuckies and smallmouth doing real good in the main lake,try spinner baits ,small crank baits and top water baits up shallow and the main lake fish eating a c-rig and a-rig real well. 

The bream, a lot of them are still pretty shallow eating crickets and crawlers ansmall crank baits, the deeper fish out to 27 feet eating good also on crawlers.

 No-report on walleye

The catfish are going good all over the lake on a lot of different baits as they are on the move and at a lot of different depths. 

The hybrid and white bass are gorging their selves on shad all over the lake some shallow some deep some on top and some down, your best bet is to find the shad and stay with them as the fish are feeding off and on all day, use spoons ,in-line spinners ,swim baits and top water lured and the a-rig is working good as well

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 11/21/2015

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: 11/16/2015

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 10.00 feet high Temperature:  57 early to 63

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

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

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 16 Nov, the lake level is little more than 3.5 inches above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is increased current in Little River with the gates releasing 2005 CFS as of Monday.  Water temps dropped over the past week.  Navigation considered normal for Little River, as of Monday, but caution still urged with the debris, limbs, logs and broken vegetation mats floating in the river.  

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 57ºF early to 63ºF range, depending on location.  Bass remain excellent around 2-3 pounds on topwaters early, and really good on crankbaits and worms during the hotter times of day.  Crappie are continuing to improve.     

Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 260.05 ft-msl, with river current.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was 2005 CFS.  Continue to use caution during navigation on Little River and Millwood, watching for floating debris, floaters, and limbs from all the recent high water.  Tailwater level as of Monday was 228.97 ft-msl. 

Clarity and visibility worsened over the weekend w/ all the storms, wind, and incoming rain on main lake and Little River.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 4-8 inches.  Little River above McGuire remains stained but improving.  Oxbows continue improving clarity also, and are beginning to markedly settle out and clarity in the oxbows currently running anywhere from 10-15 inches, however, clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms. 

The Details:  

Largemouth & Kentucky (Spotted) Bass:  Bass activity has been excellent the past few weeks, and Bass remain very active from around 2 to 4 or 5 pounds on topwaters early and crankbaits later.  Most bass are the most aggressive at dawn around shallow vegetation at dawn on frogs, Bass Assassin Shads, buzz baits, and shallow jerk baits.  Later in the day, Largemouth bass are best on crankbaits, squarebills, and bulky magnum 4" tubes continue working very good around cover and cypress trees in 5-10 feet depths.  Spotted Bass, Largemouths, and White Bass all continue congregating at creek mouths that dump into Little River feeding on shad schools.  Spots are aggressive on smaller Rat-L-Traps, lizards and tubes with best colors over the past couple weeks being chrome/blue for Traps, and pumpkinseed/chartreuse, appleseed, or green pumpkin/blue for lizards and tubes.  Smithwick Rouges continue taking nice bass this week, as are solid body frogs, and 5" to 7" Bass Assassin Shads for the Largemouths.  Crazy Shads, and Bass Assassin Shads worked around wood cover in close proximity to vegetation are drawing good early morning top water explosions.  Good bites continue on the spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and crankbaits this week.  Crankbaits are working almost all day for Largemouths, Whites, and Spotted Bass in flats adjacent to creek mouths dumping into Little River.

War Eagle spinnerbaits in Coleslaw, Spot Remover, and firetiger in more stained water areas, continue taking a few random fish hold up deep in vegetation and grass patches.  Work chatter baits too, in pads near creek channel swings and deeper cuts. 

Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past few weeks drawing best reactions continue working are Bad To The Bone, Rainbow Trout, and Houdini.  Working these erratically around vegetation and under cypress trees seems to be best presentation over the past  week.  Rat-L- Traps and Echo 1.75 Squarebill crankbaits are working around deeper drops into the creek channels from 5-8 feet.   

Best colors Rat-L-Traps and Echo 1.75 Squarebill crankbaits over the past week have been Red Shad, Oxbow, or Green Tiger for the Rat-L-Traps in the stained sections of the creek mouths dumping into Little River.  Ghost Minnow, Gold, or Millwood Magic colors seem to draw best reactions in the Echo 1.75 Squarebills, away from any river current around cypress trees and stumps in the oxbows.  Back in the oxbows as far from any remaining river current and in the least stained water, around 4-6 feet depth flats near creek channel swings, deflecting off stumps in the clearest water you can locate seem to produce best over the past couple weeks with the Traps and Echo Squarebill crankbaits, however, they continue working in creek mouths dumping into Little River where schools of Largemouths, Whites, and Kentucky Bass are chasing shad.  

White Bass:   Whites/hybrids returned up river with the cooler ambient conditions, and dropping water surface temps.  Whites have been schooling on top water plugs like the Cordell Crazy Shads, in chrome/black, and the Baby Torpedoes in clear.  Rat-L-Traps, and Squarebill Echo 1.75 crankbaits for the past couple weeks are catching sub-surface schooling Whites for the past couple weeks. 

Crappie: bite had been really good prior to the recent rise and muddy inflow.  Crappie have just not been as aggressive w/ the cooler muddy water and current in Little River  

Cats:  improving with the current increase of Little River over the past week.  Trot lines using cut shad, buffalo, Charlie and homemade cheese dough with chicken livers are working on outer bends of Little River in 10-15 feet depths. 

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

Surface temps as of Monday, 02 Nov are ranging 63ºF early to 69ºF range, depending on location.   Navigation is near normal for Millwood and Little River, however, caution during navigation is urged to watch for floaters and debris.  USACE continues working to clean debris left from the high water in the parks, and replacing any missing river buoy markers. 

Lake level as of Monday is currently 10.2" above normal pool at 260.05 ft-msl, and falling with increased river current.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate around 2005 CFS on Monday. The tailwater level as of Monday, was 228.97 ft-msl.    

Clarity and visibility is for most areas on main lake and Little River was much improved over the prior 2 weeks, however, Monday due to all the rain, wind, and storms on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility was drastically reduced to only 4-8 inches.   Little River is still continuing to rise over this week.  The oxbow's clarity approx10-15 inches.   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. 

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....

nd 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 11/21/2015

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 550.2 

Release Rate: 32705 cfs.

Level:  Temperature:

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: 11/21/2015

Report by: Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

The fall fishing season on Norfork Lake is starting to take off. The stripers, hybrids and white bass are schooling and following the bait fish. I have fished the last 7 days with success each day, but as usual some days are better than others. I have been fishing anywhere from my cove then going east of Cranfield and also north of Cranfield. All my fishing areas have been within .1 to 8 miles from our resort. This isn't to say fish are not in other areas of the lake, I am sure they are, but I can only cover so much water in a day. The continual weather pattern changes effect the fish and the locations where you will find them. On windy days go into the wind blown creeks and coves especially if the wind has been blowing into the area for several days. Windblown banks are also a great place to check. 

I have had good success for stripers, hybrids and white bass. One of the biggest changes that I have noticed is that the better bite for me has been mid day. I typically sunrise and sunset times, but for whatever reason it is different right now. I am sure the feeding time will change soon so I guess you all will need to fish from sunrise to sunset. :-) Earlier in the week I was finding them halfway back in creeks and coves in 30 - 40 feet of water. As the week progressed I noticed the bait fish were moving out to the mouth of the creeks and coves and also into deeper water. Yesterday I found a lot of bait on the bottom in 40 - 50 feet of water and the fish were in the area. The biggest challenge that I have had is that when I find a big school of feeding fish and hook up immediately, but by the time I get the fish in the boat the school has disappeared. I continually move around in the same area slowly until I find the next school of fish. They may be close to the bank or out in the middle. Over the last week I have only been vertical jigging with a 3/4 ounce spoon. Color really doesn't matter much when you get into a school of fish, but I typically use a spoon with the predominant color being white. As the lake water cools the bait will start to migrate out to the main lake and the fish will follow. It will not be long before fishing the big flats will become the main areas where I will concentrate my fishing habit. 

Bass fishing has also been good. My main area of success has been part way back into creeks and coves, vertical jigging a spoon in 25 - 35 feet of water. Here again I move slowly jigging as I move trying to keep the spoon as vertical to the bottom as possible. Casting out a jig & pig or really any plastic bait on the bottom in the 15 - 35 feet water range will bring up some nice fish. Two days ago I landed a nice 20 inch largemouth that I released immediately. Walleye will also be in the same area. Yesterday I landed 3 walleye, but all were 1/4 - 1 inch short of the 18 inch minimum length limit. 

Not a lot of news on crappie fishing. I pick up a few strays while striper fishing. I did catch a nice 15 3/4 inch crappie in 50 feet of water the other day. I have heard you can find them on 20 - 35 feet deep brush, but here again one day they are there, but the next day gone. As the water cools they will start to associate more to the brush piles than they currently are.  

Bluegill fishing is still very good with crickets being the bait of choice. Find brush in 20 - 30 feet of water and drop the bait down from 15feet to the bottom and you will catch some nice big slabs. 

Catfish are biting good on trot lines and jugs using live bluegills as bait. Coves and creeks are a great place to set up. I have also picked up the occasional catfish while vertical jigging with a spoon. They do give a great fight. 

Norfork Lake level has finally stabilized at 553.72 which is basically normal pool. Very minimal power generation has occurred over the last several days. This will be a great thing for fishing as the continual draw down of the lake has affected the bite. The lake surface water temperature is 66 - 68 degrees depending on the location on the lake. The main lake is clear with the creeks and coves stained. The clearing of lake will start to happen as the water cools.


Updated: 11/21/2015

Report by: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The striper bite continues all over Norfork Lake. The water has cleared on the main lake but the creeks remain stained and are the warmest water on the lake.  

Some stripers have moved up Bennett’s arm, Big Creek, and Brushy Creek, but a large number of stripers are being caught off the main lake points. There is a strong topwater bite in the Cranfield area and the Big Creek arm. The water temperature has gone up to the high-sixties and the creeks are in the low seventies. I took Clayton and Dave out for their first striper trip. We were fishing Big Creek and the bite started right away. Clayton caught a fat 15 lb striper and then it was Dave’s turn. They took turns catching striper for over 3 hours. We caught 10 and kept 5. We had to cut our trip short due an approaching heavy rain storm.  

The crappie bite has started however the weather this pass week continues to wreck havoc. Get a warm two days with a south wind and the crappies move into the shallows then a cold front comes and they move out. Just stay with it and you will catch crappies.  

The bass are starting to make their beds so it will not be long before they begin to spawn. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out a start making plans now. April looks like it’s going to be a great month to catch stripers.

You crappie folks should keep a close eye on current Norfork Lake conditions also as Crappie time will begin soon. A good place to start is on the web at for everything Norfork Lake!  The Norfork Lake level is higher than its normal mid summer pool of 556.75 but has dropped 3 1/2’ this past two weeks. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and off color in the main channels. These make for excellent fishing conditions.


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Norfork Tail water

Updated 11/21/2015

Report by: Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service 

The Norfork Lake level is 558.2 and the water temperature is in the mid 60's and clear in the main part of the lake to the upper 60's in the creeks and they are starting to clear. The creeks  will get stained water again as we are expecting possibly a little over and inch of rain this evening.  

There are some stripers and hybrids coming up chasing shad early in the mornings. Throw a Zara spook or try a wake type bait. They are hitting live bait also. Find the baitfish and they will be close by. When they are not coming up try throwing a  swimbait or a soft jerkbait like a fluke or bass assassin.  

Some whites are coming up as well as the largemouth and Kentucky's.  

The bass are also hitting jigs, swimbaits, and floating worms close to the brush on the banks. The night bite is real good throwing stickbaits to the banks and you have to real them slow. The colors doesn't seem to make a difference. The bite has been starting just after dark.  

For more information on Lake Norfork go to  or 

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