Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 8/11/2017

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 8/10/2017

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

During the past week, we have had a trace of rain here in Cotter, warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped two and three tenths feet to rest at twenty and five tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is thirteen and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at one tenth of a foot below seasonal power pool and fourteen and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell three tenths of a foot to rest at five and one tenth feet above seasonal power pool and three and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had no wadable water with heavy generation. Norfork Lake fell one and four tenths feet to rest at eleven and one tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and thirteen and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had no wadable water.  

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are now below the top of flood pool. We should expect a lot of generation, with limited wadable water in the near future.  

Hopper season is here. Many guides are banging the bank with grasshopper patterns. Add a nymph dropper (ruby midge) to increase takes. If the grasshopper is hit or sinks, set the hook. My favorite grasshopper pattern is a western pink lady.  

On the White, the hot spot has been the Narrows. 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 bead head pheasant tail nymph (#14) with a ruby midge suspended below it). Use lots of lead and long leaders to get your flies down. 

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. With the warmer weather the smallmouths are more 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. 

On the Norfork, the water is stained. It fishes well one day and poorly the next. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. 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). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan worm with a ruby midge dropper. 

 Dry Run Creek is fishing well one day and poorly the next. With school out, it can get a bit crowded. 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 better. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is on and there many 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.

 COTTER TROUT FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND 

BY JOHN BERRY 

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. 

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: 8/8/2017
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 462.04

Outflow: 2601

Level: 0.03 feet low Temperature:

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greer's Ferry Lake is at 461.79 and falling with generation and evaporation , it will continue to fall on through the fall of the year for electoral needs as they come.  

The bass fishing is good with some schooling fish and the rest of the structure and shallow fish eating with the cooler water temps and cloud cover being present, for the shallow fish  use top water baits ,spinner baits, small crank baits, jig head worms and jigs for the mid-range fish, for the deeper fish try Texas rigged worms, football heads, and c-rigs, as well as drop shots and swim baits.  

The Bream are bedding small crank baits, in-line spinners and beetle spins working as well as crickets and crawlers from shallow out to18-26 feet.  

The crappie are floating around suspended following the bait fish and can be caught with jigs or minnows in 18-38 feet of water.  

No report on Walleye.  

The catfish are still chewing good all over the lake on a variety of baits , whatever your choice is ,they will eat it.  

The Hybrid and White bass are still eating off and on all day and night and have moved a little more shallow and can be caught from 22-38 feet of water , with some schooling going on all over the lake, try spoons, top water baits, in-line spinners, swim baits and hair jigs, as well as Alabama rigs. 

Tommy Cauley

Fishing Guide  

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Beaver Lake

Elevation at Normal Pool: 1121.4

Outflow: 1119 cfs.

Level: 7 feet high 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 8/11/2017

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 657.0 

Outflow: 653

 Level: 28 feet high Temperature:

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: 8/7/2017

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 9.00 feet high Temperature:  81 early to 89

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

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

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 7 August, the lake level is approx 9 inches above normal conservation pool and rising at 259.9 ft-msl.  There is current of 5995 CFS in Little River on Tuesday; tailwater approx 235.1 ft-msl. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week.  Lake level in process of a rapid rise due all the local thunderstorms and rain over the past few days.  Use normal caution during navigation.   Mayfly hatch tapering off on Millwood.  We are enjoying the 10º reduction in temperatures over the past few days! 

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging near 81ºF early to 89ºF range later under full sun, depending on location.  Navigation considered normal caution on Little River and Millwood, this week.   

Clarity and visibility is fair but getting worse with all the incoming fresh rain, compared to last week, most areas on main lake and Little River.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 5-10 inches.  Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake remains heavy stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-12 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 12-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms. 

Be advised there are NEW NO-WAKE RIVER BUOYS AT WHITE CLIFFS BOAT RAMP AND THE NO WAKE ZONE EXTENDS FROM NORTH END OF PARK TO SOUTH END OF PARK for approximately over 1 mile, and being enforced by AGFC in Little River.  This no wake zone is being strictly enforced and is no tolerance for wake boaters or barges.  

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 Millwood Project  information line at 888-697-9830 or the US Army Corps of Engineers' main number to verify another Corp of Engineers 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. 

The Details: 

Largemouth Bass:  Not much change in Bass behavior over the past week or so, although with these cooler temperature daytime highs, we have seen schooling fish more often in the oxbows up Little River.  Bass remain very good from 2 to 3 pounds, on topwaters early at daybreak.  Bass continue to react the most aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands, stumps, cypress trees, and vegetation in Little River near deep drops.  Stuttersteps, Chug Bugs, Baby Torpedoes, Shad Assassins, Heddon Dying Flutters, and Jitterbugs, all continue drawing good reactions on topwater at daybreak.  Soft plastic Bass Assassin Shads and top water soft plastic frogs all remain drawing good responses, early in the morning around vegetation and lily pads.  Best color of buzz baits over the past couple weeks included white/chartreuse, black, black/blue, or Bream colors around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels or in the river.  Bass Assassin Shads continue biting best on Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom, Grey Ghost, and Bad To the Bone colors.  Good bites continue on black, pumpkinseed, or june bug colored soft plastic frogs this week around pads in clearest water you can find.  

Big bulky, fat, 7-10" worms, and brush hogs continue working in drop-offs, with best colors over the past week or two being peanut butter'n jelly, black grape, watermelon-purple, or watermelon candy and green pumpkin.  Best locations for working the bulky worms range from 5-10 feet deep in Little River around grass mats after morning top water bite subsides, and in the same areas where the top water early bite is aggressive.  Continue moving deeper in the creek channels or to the points of Little River where the creek junctions the river as the sun rises and begins to heat up the flats adjacent to creek channels.  The deep and medium diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shad, remain working across underwater points in Little River; squarebill crankbaits continue working long old river channel cut-overs, ditches, and deep creek outer swings where creek mouths and sloughs feed and dump into Little River.  Rat-L-Trap/Echo 1.75 squarebills continue working in Millwood Magic and Ghost colors around deeper drops in Little River.  Nice size bass also continue biting on magnum sized, 4" salty tubes with Smokey/black/red flake, Purple Smoke/purple fleck, and black/blue tail colors working over the past several weeks. 

Chatterbaits continuing to get bit using Spot Remover or Firecracker colors, next to cypress trees and knees, over the past couple weeks in the oxbows once the sun gets up. 

Shad and Bream colored squarebill crankbaits continue working around hydrilla and stumps from 5-9 feet deep near cypress trees along creeks and parallel to vegetation lines/mats dumping into the oxbows. 

White Bass:   Whites/hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and have been caught on Rat-L-Traps, Fat Free Shad crankbaits, Little Georges, Beetle Spins, Rooster Tails, and Rocket Shads from approx 7-12 feet deep.   Schooling Whites have been noted in the back of McGuire and Horseshoe oxbows off Little River early at daybreak on flats adjacent to deeper drops in the depths from 5-10 feet deep at random intervals for the past several weeks.  The cooling daytime highs over the past week have notched up the surface breaker activity this week. 

Crappie: Crappie disappeared this week with the increase of incoming muddy water and increased current. 

Bream:  The Bluegills and Longear Sunfish Bream continue biting really good.  Good Bream and Bluegills continue hitting crickets and worms at the Millwood State Park off the bank, and all along Little River over the past couple weeks, and especially under any leaning cypress or willow, and other "leafed out" trees where the Mayfly hatch is happening.  The Mayfly hatch is beginning to wind down.

Cats:  Blues improved this week with the increase in Little River current up.  Channel Cats continue biting well on trot lines set along outer bends of the river in stump rows of old river timber from 12-16 feet deep with chicken livers, hearts, gizzards, cut buffalo, and blood bait continue working. 

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

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging in the 81ºF early to 89ºF range, depending on location.   

Lake level as of Monday is currently 9 inches above normal pool, at 259.9 ft-msl and rising with increaed river current.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate approx 6000 CFS Tuesday. The tailwater level as of Monday, approx 235.1 ft-msl.  Wear your life jacket and kill switch and watch for obstructions.  Navigation is normal caution. 

Clarity and visibility is improved compared to last week, most areas on main lake and Little River.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 5-10 inches.  Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake remains heavy stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-12 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 12-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River above McGuire oxbow is stained with current.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.   

Be advised there are NEW NO-WAKE RIVER BUOYS AT WHITE CLIFFS BOAT RAMP AND THE NO WAKE ZONE EXTENDS FROM NORTH END OF PARK TO SOUTH END OF PARK for approximately over 1 mile, and being enforced by AGFC in Little River.  This no wake zone is being strictly enforced and is no tolerance for wake boaters or barges.  

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....

Use extreme caution in navigation, wear your life jacket and let us know how we can help you GET OUT THERE!! 

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 8/11/2017

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 550.2 

Release Rate: 32705 cfs.

Level: 19 feet high 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: 8/11/2017

Striped Bass fishing on Norfork Lake has been outstanding for the last couple of weeks. This year the stripers are in the summer pattern a little earlier than normal. You can find the striped bass in 40 - 55 feet of water close to the bottom. Early morning, after sunrise, I have been finding large schools of fish feeding heavily on shad. As the morning wears on the stripers are staying at this same depth, but will be hugging the bottom. Small live bait is working the best for me, either threadfin shad or shiners. For my live bait poles I am using a 2 ounce weight with a swivel on both ends, then I tie on a 4 - 5 foot leader with a # 6 hook. Yes, this is a very small hook, but I try to match the hook to the bait so the bait can still swim around. I drop the bait to the bottom then give 2 cranks of the reel to lift the weight off of the bottom. Best places to fish are from point 2  back to the Sand Island area. Start looking for the stripers on the points and both sides of the points and when you find them hold on!  

The largemouth bass bite is also very good. They can be found all over the lake. The best areas to start fishing is part way to all the way back into the creeks and coves. The largemouth are up in the sunken brush early and late in the day and move out to 20 - 30 feet of water during the sunny part of the day. Swim baits, plastic worms, crank baits and spinner baits are all working well at times for the largemouth bass. The largemouth will also come up for a topwater bait early in the morning.  

Crappie, bluegills and walleye are all feeding inside of the sunken brush early and late in the day. The crappie and bluegill stay inside of or on the edge of the brush during the day. The walleye are starting to move out onto the flats into 20 - 40 feet of water. Live bait is a great choice for all these species.

Norfork Lake level is falling slowly with sporadic power generation and is dropping 1 - 2 inches per day. The current level is 573.15 feet above sea level. The majority of the lake is clear with the creeks and coves partially stained. The lake surface water temperature was 81 - 82 degrees this morning

Updated: 8/9/2017

Report by: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Striper fishing continues to be good. The stripers are continuing to move deeper as the oxygen level gets lower. The thermocline has dropped down to 60’ and will keep getting lower as the lake level goes lower. One tip is to keep changing your bait. The bait will not live more than 10 minutes right now so keep changing the bait and you will catch stripers. The other bite is the hybrid on topwater. Lots of limits were caught this past week in the Hand Cove area. You can also catch them trolling if you set your lines between 20 and 30’. I have been seeing multiple schools of hybrids passing underneath my boat. The shad is staying up the water column that is why the hybrids are feeding on them. The basic fishing rig has not changed. A 3 or 4oz weight with a short leader and putting the bait on the bottom then bringing it up about a foot and keep it there as we move around produces fish. The stripers are still concentrated around the dam area the best places is Dam Cove, Koso, Thumb, Point 1, and the Hudson area. Trolling and spooning is also producing some fish but not the numbers the live bait is.  My son took out his godson Willie along with our close friend’s grandson Logon. The boys are 4 and 5 years old. Willie’s dad Rick and Logon’s grandfather Dennis were also along. The boys did very well reeling in their limit of stripers. The fun part of the morning was when one of the boys tooted and all anybody could hear between the laughs was them blowing in their arms making the sounds everybody knows. My clients watched and were laughing as they caught their fish. It was one of the funniest days I’ve had on the lake in a long time.

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Norfork Tail water

Updated 8/11/2017

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 www.LakeNorforkFun.com  or  www.FishNorfork.com 

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