Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 5/22/2015

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 5/22/2015

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

During the past week, we have had a several rain events, (an inch and a quarter here in Cotter), warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose three tenths of a foot to rest at eight and three tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is twenty seven and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell eight tenths of a foot to rest seasonal power pool and sixteen tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell one tenth of a foot to rest at four tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool or nine and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation with no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell one and one tenth feet to rest at four and one tenth feet above seasonal power pool of 553.7 feet and twenty two and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had heavy generation with no wadable water  

The water level for the top of power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Due to recent rains, all of the lakes on this system are well above seasonal power pool and the Corps of Engineers is aggressively releasing water to draw the lake levels down to power pool. I do not foresee wadable water in the near future.  

On the Norfork, one of the generators is down for routine maintenance. In an effort to draw the lake down the Corps of Engineers is releasing additional water through the flood gates. The total release is approximately 6,000 cubic feet per second which is near maximum release through the generators.  

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 below Bull Shoals Dam. 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 (try a prince nymph with a ruby midge or root beer midge 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 3X) 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).  

There have been several reliable sightings of caddis hatching. This is our major hatch of the year. They are size fourteen and easy to see. Before the hatch, you should concentrate on fishing prince nymphs. When the trout key on the top but no insects are present, switch over to my green butt. When you observe trout taking adult insects from the top of the water column, you should switch over to elk hair caddis dry flies.  

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are stained and high. With the weather warming, the smallmouths should be active soon. 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 River has fished poorly recently. 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.  

There was more fishing pressure on Dry Run Creek due to spring break. It has been a great time to fish there. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10).   

The water on the Spring River is stained and high. 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 to interfere with your 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.



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: 5/22/2015
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 461.03

Outflow: 2601

Level: 5.65 feet high Temperature:

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greer’s Ferry Lake is at 461.00 and rising it is 1.04 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet

The walleye fishing is going good, the mud is the problem and the water will clear up soon, try grubs, jig heads tipped with minnows ,big crank baits and jerk baits. 

No-report on catfish

The bass fishing is slow at best , with the action picking in in just a couple of days the bite will be on, try crank baits and jerk baits as well as jigs for the next week. 

No-report on bream

The crappie are still eating well in 50 feet of water but expect them to move up into the 15-25 foot range with in a few days with the warm water run in. 

The Hybrid and white bass fishing is great all over the lake if you can find the shad, use spoons, in-line sinners ,swim baits, and hair jigs, the fish are eating in 44-53 feet and expect them to make a move in the next few days to a little more shallow water 25-40 feet. 

The Anglers Expo is this weekend at Heber Springs , Friday and Saturday try and come out and support it, will be a lot going on.

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 5/22/2015

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: 5/18/2015

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 4.06 feet high Temperature:  67-75

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

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

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 18 May, lake level rose to just over 4.6 inches above normal conservation pool and now falling.  There is increased current of Little River with the gates releasing around 11,650 CFS Monday.  Water temps rose over the past week.  Navigation is considered cautious for Little River, as of Monday.  Several river buoy markers are missing in Little River with current. 

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 67ºF early to 75ºF range, depending on location, wind, and sun.   

Lake level is currently is 259.58 ft-msl, with heavy increased river current.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate near 11,650 CFS as of Monday.  Tailwater level 233.60 and rising. Clarity and visibility is considered stained, most areas of the lake.  Up Little River oxbows still fair clarity.  Saline River and Cottonshed areas still muddy inflows.   

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 8-10 inches.  Entire lake is stained, but Cottonshed, Okay, and east to Saratoga from Saline River inflow remains muddy.  Little River's visibility ranges 9-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarities still stained in places, continues to improve, ranging approx 20-24 inches depth of visibility more or less, depending on location.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, thunderstorms, or increased current.  

The Details:  

Largemouth Bass:  the Bass activity levels improved again over the past week with increased day time high temps. Bass continue spawing in full swing, numbers of big Bass have already finished and are post-spawn, over the past week with improved surface temperatures.  Male and female bass have been noted on beds, coming off beds, or building beds in shallow flats.  

Bass are best from around 10am-3pm, and a slow moving, swim bait, chatterbait, Rat-L-Traps, 5" Bass Assassin Shads, frogs, and lizards continue working over the past few weeks.  Over the past week, bass energy levels continued to improved, and were good on a variety of lures presented slow and methodical.  Chatterbaits in black / blue colors remain good this week, a white swimming jig, magnum size lizards or creatures, in black, blue, or purple, and slow moving Rat-L-Traps continue taking bass that are running in and out of spawning areas and in creek channels and ditches.  Best color of Rat-L-Traps over the past few weeks has been working in creek channels and adjacent flats next to stumps, from 1-5 feet of depth continue to be crawfish patterns in red, brown, and orange combinations.   

Clearer water seems to continue to be their preferred hang out in protected coves and pockets along the main lake from south Hickory to Millwood State Park.  Crankbaits, swimming jigs, or soft plastic swim baits, and chatterbaits moved erratic; stop and go, around isolated cover, stumps and vegetation, were the best bets to draw reactions and get bit, but most active during the warmest period of the high sun over the past couple weeks.   

4" Texas rigged Magnum Tubes w/rattles have been getting bit in the golf course pockets next to stumps, cypress trees, and scattered new lily pad growth this week.  Best colors are pumpkinseed/chartreuse or black and blue tails. 

War Eagle Spinnerbaits white/chartreuse or spot remover continue to catch 2-3 pound Largemouths, in stained water around cypress trees, dead lily pad stems, and grass.   

5" Bass Assassin Shads in Salt-n-Pepper Silver Phantom in clearer water, and Gold Pepper Shiner in stained water continue catching 3-5 pound Largemouths, moving in and out of the spawning areas using a light wire Rig-N Hook.  Swimming a Bang Die Dapper in Houdini or Grey Ghost, or a 6" Turbo Shad in Black Shad or Crystal Shad on a swim bait hook are taking nice Largemouths around shallow bedding areas.  Jingle Bugs in watermelon-red, black/blue tail, or Okeechobee Craw are working around wood and stumps and standing timber in bedding areas and on beds if you can see them in the stained water. 

Warrior Baits Buzz Frogs continue catching shallow males from 2-4 pounds in 1-2 feet of water around wood and grass patches.  Rig your frogs with a 3/0 or 4/0 wide body Rig-n-hook or double upturned frog hook, and throw into the heaviest cover available.  Grass, new lily pad growth, and tall standing reeds are best areas to get a frog bite.  Hesitation remains the key, until you feel the bass pull bait and line from you before setting the hook, to ensure good catch and hook-up ratios. 

White Bass:  no report this week. 

Crappie:  have began moving into cypress knees and trees for their spawning cycles, and were faily consistent over the past week in 2-4 feet depth on live shiners and Southern Pro Hustler tubes in white/blue combinations.  

Cats:  continue biting good in recent days w/ increased current of Little River, on trot lines using chicken hearts, livers, or gizzards and cut shad and buffalo over the past week with trot lines set between 9-12 feet of depth. 

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


Surface temps as of Monday, 20 Apr currently range 67ºF to 75ºF later in the day under full sun. 

As of Monday, Millwood elevation is approx 3.8 inches above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is increased current in Little River with the gates releasing around 11,600 CFS on Monday. Water temps improved over the past week.  Navigation in Little River considered cautious.  There are a few river buoys missing in Little River. 

Lake level rose and currently is 259.58 mfsl.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate around 11,600 CFS.  Tailwater level at 233.60 ft-msl as of Monday below the spillway. 

Clarity and visibility in most areas on main lake and Little River stained mostly lake wide, however, east side near Saline inflow to Okay and Cottonshed, is muddy from river inflow.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 8-10 inches.  Little River's visibility ranges 9-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity has began to improve, away from current, ranging approx 20-24 inches depth of visibility as of Monday, depending on location.  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....

'Til next week, boat safely, be courteous, wear your life jacket, kill switch, & 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 5/22/2015

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: 5/22/2015

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: 5/22/2015

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 5/22/2015

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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