Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 8/29/2015

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 8/29/2015

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

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

The water level for the top of power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Due to recent rains, the lakes on this system are well above seasonal power pool and are nearing the top of flood pool. 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 Catch and Release section at 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 hot fluorescent pink or cerise San Juan worm with a prince nymph or copper John 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 a bit high and off color. 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.  

On the Norfork, there is a substantial amount of water leaking around one of the flood gates that was being repaired, when the lake levels began to rise. As a result, the water temperature on the Norfork has risen to near dangerous levels. There has been no observed fish kill but the trout are stressed. Any fish caught should be carefully released. During periods of generation the temperatures are near normal.  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). There have been daily hatches of sulphurs around noon. 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 high and off color. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is in full swing and can be a nuisance to fishing. 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.

 COTTER TROUT FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND 

BY JOHN BERRY 

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. 

ASK JOHN 

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

 

berrybrothers@infodash.com

www.berrybrothersguides.com

(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: 8/29/2015
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 461.03

Outflow: 2601

Level: 11.33 feet high Temperature:

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greer's Ferry Lake is at 473.37 it is 11.33 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet and falling ,the temp has gotten up in the low 80’s now. 

The bass fishing is somewhat good shallow on buzz baits spinner baits and other top water plugs, the water has gotten warm enough to get the other deeper fish out on the ledges and drops and can be caught with a Texas rig worm-rig ,football head and a crank bait as well as swim baits. 

Crappie are being caught around some bushes and out over brush piles in 15-25 feet of water on jigs and jigs tipped with minnows. 

The flat heads are spawning and eating live bait , and the other species of catfish are eating just about any bait ya put on a hook,jugs,trotlines and rod and reels working. 

Bream are guarding nests and can be caught shallow and out to 27 feet on crickets and worms. 

Walleye are slow and scattered. 

The hybrid and white bass are still going good on top and down from 25-43 feet deep on spoons,in-line spinners and swim baits, just find the shad.

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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BULL SHOALS

updated 8/29/2015

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

SO, COME FISHING WHENEVER YOU CAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

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Millwood

Updated: 8/24/2015

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 1.02 feet high Temperature:  84-92

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

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

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 24 August, the lake level is approx 1.2 inches above normal conservation pool and steady.  There is increased current in Little River with the gates releasing 1,806 CFS as of Monday. Water temps rose over the past week.  Navigation has returned to 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 84ºF early to 92ºF range, depending on location.  Bass are excellent from 3-5 pounds on topwaters early, and excellent on crankbaits and worms later in the day.  Crappie have yet to return to normal activity from the increase of current and muddy water in Little River over the past couple weeks.   

Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.30 ft-msl, with increased river current.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was 1,806 CFS.  Continue to use caution during navigation on Little River and Millwood, watching for floating debris, floaters, and limbs from all the recent high flooding.  Tailwater level as of Monday was 238.37 and good flow below the dam for tightliners and bowfishermen.  

Clarity and visibility continues improving & good on main lake and oxbows, out of current.  Little River clarity has improved considerably since last week.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 10-18 inches.  Little River above McGuire oxbow remains stained but improving.  Oxbows continue improving clarity also, and are beginning to markedly settle out.  Clarity in the oxbows currently running anywhere from 12-24 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 continues to improve over the past couple weeks, and are excellent from 2 to 5 pounds on topwaters early and late.  Most bass are agressive at dawn around shallow vegetation at dawn.  Later in the morning and heat of the afternoons, crankbaits, squarebills, and bulky 10" worms continue working very good around cover and cypress trees in 5-10 feet depths.  Spots are ganged up at creek mouths that dump into Little River.  Spots are aggressive on worms, lizards and tubes with best colors being pumpkinseed/chartreuse, plum, or appleseed. 

Buzz baits continue working early, as are solid body frogs, and Bass Assassin Shads early and late.  Working top water plugs, frogs, and the Bass Assassins around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels continue drawing good reactions at dawn.  Good bites continue on the soft plastic frogs this week around any remaining pads after the recent flood, in clearest water you can find away from Little River current.  

Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past couple weeks continue to be the Salt & Pepper Silver Phantom, Mississippi Hippie, or Gold Pepper Shiner, working these in an erratic manner around vegetation.  Rat-L- Traps and Echo 1.75 Squarebill crankbaits are working around deeper drops into the creek channels from 5-8 feet.  Tennessee Shad or Citrus Shad Bomber deeper diving crankbaits continue working for Largemouths, Kentucky Bass, and White Bass in the river. Yum or Berkley 10" worms are working in the oxbows on stumps and timber in peanut butter 'n jelly, blue fleck, or plum.  

Best colors Rat-L-Traps and Echo 1.75 Squarebill crankbaits over the past week have been Toledo Gold, Chrome, or White for the Rat-L-Traps; and Ghost Minnow, Sexy Chrome, or Stumpknocker for 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 clearing water, around 2-4 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.   

White Bass:   Whites/hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and have been caught on red/white Rooster Tails, chartreuse/white Little Cleos, shad colored Rocket Shads, and Tennessee Shad or Citrus Shad colored crankbaits in the back of the oxbows.    

Crappie: No report.  

Cats:  Blues, Channel Cats are very good this week with increased current in Little River on Charlie, chicken livers or hearts and gizzards, and homemade cheese dough-balls on trot lines running 10-16 feet deep.  

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

Surface temps as of Monday, 3 Aug are ranging 84ºF early to 92ºF 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 from all the recent 23 feet increase in lake level elevation during the flood of 2015.  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 1.2 inches above normal pool at 259.30 ft-msl, and steady with increased river current.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate around 1,806 CFS on Monday. The tailwater level as of Monday, was 238.37ft-msl.   

Clarity and visibility is for most areas on main lake and Little River has much improved over the past week.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 10-18 inches.   Little River is still stained but improving daily.  The oxbow's clarity continues to settle out after all the recent flooding and high water also improving daily approx 12-24 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, Arkansas.com and tons more great fishing stuff....

Come see what all the excitement's about! 

Mike 

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

Mike Siefert

Owner/Operator

www.MillwoodGuideService.com

""GOFISH""""<º)))><{{"""  

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

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Norfork

Updated 8/29/2015

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 www.NorforkFishingDerby.com 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: 8/29/2015

Report by: Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake spring fishing is going strong and should continue and even get better over the next month or so. Knock on wood, but every day my guests are bringing fish into the dock.

 

Striped bass, hybrid bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, crappie and blue gill. Lots of big fish and lots of smiles! The calm weather yesterday morning brought the best top water action that I have seen this season.

 

The stripers, hybrids and black bass were erupting all around us and I could see them feeding on every point in the area. The fish did seem to relate to points, but there was some action out in the middle of lake. I have been sending my guests to two different parts of the lake and the top water action was happening in both areas. Spooks were working great, but flukes, rattle traps and kastmasters were also catching fish. Today was a little different as a frontal system moved into the area last evening cooling us down a little, but the bigger change is the wind. Today the wind is blowing really strong and all but stopped the top water action, or if it is happening you can not really see it. I ended up trolling today with the heavy wind and landed a nice 10 pound fish and a couple of largemouth bass. I used a 6 inch swim bait with a paddle tail and a 1/4 ounce jig head. I marked most of the bait on the wind blown banks and that is where I caught the fish. I did land a 28 pound monster 3 days ago trolling my swim bait. No photo since I accidentally dropped the fish back in the lake as I was getting out of the boat. I was planning on releasing the fish, but I guess it had other ideas and wanted back in the water before the photo! "Lou's believe it or not! Once this weather system calms down I expect the top water action to continue and get really fun.  

Largemouth and spotted bass fishing has been really good. Spooks are working great early in the morning and in the late afternoon. During the day time throw plastics up to the bank and bring them back to the boat slowly on the bottom.  

Largemouth are up on the banks then move off during the day.  

Smallmouth are in 15 - 20 ft of water on the bottom and spots are all over. A good percentage of the largemouth have spawned, but you can still find a few on their beds. Lots of bass are being caught. Most of them are being released, except for the bigger ones. My guests want their big fish measured for Hummingbird Hideaway Resort's fishing derby as that long fish might be worth $300 dollars.  

The longest striper, bass and crappie will all win big bucks and you also get entered into a drawing for a free week stay. Our derby lasts until December 15, 2015.  

Walleye fishing is starting to pick up. I had a guest catch several on a small crank bait as well as with suspending jerk baits. Use the suspending jerk baits slow rolled after dark on long shallow points and flats. Slowly trolling suspending jerk baits is also working in the late afternoons, again on long shallow points and close to the buck brush.  

Crappie fishing has been up and down. You can still find crappie up on the banks and on shallow sunken brush. Small jigs and crappie minnows using a slip float are working. White bass are back in the creeks spawning, but are starting to move back out. Top water action for whites will start very soon. The Norfork Lake level is rising slowly and currently is at 558.39. This is about 4.5 feet above the current pool. The lake was starting to get very clear, but with the rain yesterday the creeks and coves have stained up a little. The lake surface water temperature ranges form the low 60's to the high 60's depending on what part of the lake you are on. The lake is in great shape and the water level is perfect for the fish and fisher-people. Happy fishing and see you on the water. 

Another great enticement to fish our lake is our second annual Norfork Lake Fishing Derby. You will have the opportunity to win up to $1,500 for a very small investment. Give me a call for details at 870-492-5113. The derby runs from March 1 to June 15.

 

Updated: 8/29/2015

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 ww.FishNorfork.com 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 8/29/2015

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 www.LakeNorforkFun.com  or  www.FishNorfork.com 

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