Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 11/17/2017

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Beaver Beaver Tail water Bull Shoals Greer's Ferry Kings River
  Millwood Norfork Norfork Tail water White River

 

White River

Updated 11/17/2017

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

During the past week, we have had no rain, warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped one and eight tenths feet to rest at six tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is thirty four and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose three tenths of a foot to rest at two tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool and fourteen and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake dropped one and nine tenths feet to rest at three tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool and eight and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had no wadable water with moderate generation. Norfork Lake fell one and five tenths feet to rest at three tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and twenty four and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had moderate generation and 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 at or below the top of power pool. We should expect 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 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 Y2K (#10) with a prince nymph (#14) 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 pheasant tail dropper (#10). 

Dry Run Creek is stained but still fishing 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). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. 

The Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is 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: 11/15/2017
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 462.04

Outflow: 2601

Level: 4.93 feet low Temperature:

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greers Ferry Is at 457.11 and falling it is 4.93 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet.  

The Crappie fishing is going well in the pole timber and in and around brush piles in 15-20 feet of water on minnows and jigs as well as road runners fished slow.  

Catfishing is a steady go with the fish biting all over the lake on a lot of different baits, with a lot of blues coming in.  

No report on Walleye.  

The black basses are eating off and on all day, from real shallow to 40 feet of water power fishing to finesse stuff ,whatever is your choice of baits it is working at different times at different depths.  

The Hybrid and White bass are eating down well and are up at times a lot of people are searching and keeping them down a lot, use spoons, in-line spinners, grubs ,hair jigs and top water baits, stay around the shad. 

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 11/17/2017

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: 11/13/2017

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 12.00 feet low Temperature:  58 to early 64

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

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

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 13 November, the lake level is approx 12 inches below conservation pool and slowly rising at 258.1 ft-msl; drawdown has ended and lake pool is slowly coming back to normal conservation pool.  There is current of 175 CFS in Little River according to the USACE.   The tailwater as of Monday is approx 224.7 ft-msl. Water temps dropped over the past week.  Check lake level of Millwood Lake on our website helpful links page, or at the US Army Corps of Engineers website for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels during ongoing drawdown conditions.  USACE conducting fall drawdown to run through 15 November for planting millet grass for fall duck hunting, in the shallow flats.  The drawdown will be approximately 21" to 24" until early October, and as of today, the elevation is starting to rise back up to 258 or 17.4" below normal and held there until 15 October when the Corps will begin raising back to normal conservation pool to achieve normal NLT 15 November.

Use extreme caution in navigation on Millwood Lake during drawdown conditions as this will bring stumps and broken timber close to surface pool in many areas, and the boat lanes will be much shallower than routine conditions, exposing submerged objects at or near surface pool.  New NO-WAKE ZONES are in effect at both, northern and southern, ends of White Cliffs Campground on the river, and marked with river buoys.  Be advised, no tolerance of boat wakes within the marked area, is being enforced by AGFC along the river. 

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging near 58ºF early to 64ºF range later under full sun, depending on location.  Continue to use extreme caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood, this week during drawdown conditions.   

Clarity and visibility continues improving, depending on location for main lake and Little River.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility is moderate stain, ranging approx 8-10 inches.  Little River's visibility ranges 8-12 inches with moderate stain, depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 12-18 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. 

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.  Also reach the US Corps of Engineers at 870-898-3343 for more information. 

The Details:

Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth's appetite continue excellent on Millwood!  Fish are schooling lake wide in almost any area you choose.  Take the kiddos and get them into some of this HOT ACTION! Catches of 30-50/day of Largemouths and Kentuckies (Spotted Bass) are common over the past few weeks.  The Bass are schooling on flats in the Lily Pads, and in Little River chasing huge shad schools.  These Bass remain excellent almost all day from 2-3 pounds, on topwaters, Rat-L-Traps, Bass Assassin Shads, Stuttersteps, and squarebill cranks, near creek channels, flats, with vegetation and lily pads.  Best color of Rat-L-Traps and Squarebill crankbaits are almost any shad pattern or Millwood Magic, Chrome/Black, or ghost shad, in the creek channels or where they dump in to the river.  Bass Assassin Shads continue working well and best reaction we have had remain on the Grey Ghost, and Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom colors.  After the top water excitement slows, a shallow squarebill and Rat-L-Trap will get bit in cuts, ditches, and around the schooling fish in creek channels and lily pad stands.  Best colors for squarebills and Rat-L-Traps over the past couple weeks are the shad imitations like Millwood Magic, Ghost Shad, Pro Gold (cloudy days) and Ghost Minnow (clear water/sunny days). 

The deep and medium diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shads, Fat Free Fry, or Fat Free Guppys are still working from 5-10 feet deep in creek channels and across primary points along Little River with the best colors over the past couple weeks drawing best reactions are the Citrus Shad, White Pearl, Threadfin Shad and Citruse.  The Rat-L-Trap 1.75 Echo squarebill crankbaits continue working in creek channel swings (outer bends and deflecting off stumps) and where creek mouths and sloughs feed and dump into the oxbows, and the the best colors over the past few days have been the Ghost Minnow or Millwood Magic in the better water clarity away from remaining current.  War Eagle Spinnerbaits continue working in and around vegetation and cypress trees, best on windy mornings and colors drawing best reactions over the past week being Mouse or Hot Mouse, Spot Remover, or Chartreuse and Firecracker/chartreuse.   

White Bass:   Whites/hybrids are continuing their schooling activities with the Largemouth and Kentucky Bass as well.  Clear baby torpedoes, Cordell crazy shads in chrome/black, Stuttersteps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, Rooster Tails, and Rat-L-Traps in Black-Chrome or Millwood Magic are still working.  

Crappie:  continue improving and are best near standing timber out of any remaining current, and backs of the oxbows from 6-12 feet deep on vertical jigging Cordell smoke colored paddle tail grubs, and minnows. 

Cats:  continue biting well on trot lines set along Little River from 12-14 feet deep using Punchbait or chicken livers.  Yo-Yos using shiners and cut bait are catching some nice cats in the oxbows underneath cypress tree limbs from 8-10 feet deep. 

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

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging in the 58ºF early to 64ºF range, depending on location.  Lake Drawdown has ended, slow rise to normal pool elevation is in progress. 

Lake level as of Monday is approx 12 inches below normal pool, at 258.1 ft-msl and slowly rising, lake drawdown continues, with discharge near 174 CFS.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  The tailwater level as of Monday, approx 224.7 ft-msl.  Wear your life jacket and kill switch and watch for obstructions.  Navigation is cautioned during Millwood Lake drawdown until slow rise brings surface to normal conservation pool.  Drawdown has ended and normal pool should be reached NLT 15 November with varying levels of fluctuation and lower pool readings during drawdown. 

Use extreme caution during navigation on Millwood Lake during drawdown since stumps and submerged objects will be at or near surface pool.  New NO-WAKE ZONES are in effect at both, northern and southern, ends of White Cliffs Campground on the river, and marked with river buoys.  Be advised, no tolerance of boat wakes within the marked area, is being enforced by AGFC along the river.  

Clarity and visibility is moderate stain.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 8-10 inches.  Little River's visibility ranges 8-12 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 12-18 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. 

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 11/17/2017

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: 11/17/2017

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: 11/17/2017

Report by: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

September begins the transition to fall on Norfork Lake. The first half of the month striper fishing will be good but the second half of the month fishing for stripers usually falls off until the weather turns colder and the water begins to cool. Hunting season begins in the second half of September with the early season for Blue Wing Teal and Canadian Goose. Bow season for deer begins the last week of September so you can find lots of things to do before the fall fishing begins.  

The first half of September you still want to fish the points with long flats and river channels in waters that range from 70 to 100’. You will see the stripers on or very near the bottom. We use 4 and 5 oz barrel weights with leaders and put the bait on the bottom then raise it a foot so the stripers need very little movement to feed on the baits. Gizzard shad are the best baits because they will live longer than the threadfin shad. Some of the best points will be along the dam buoys, Long Point, the river channel along the dam, and Dam Cove. One or more of these points will hold fish in September once you find the fish they will usually be there for a long period of time.  

Striper fishing usually tails off in the second half of September because of the nature of Lake Norfork. Every year the lake warms up to 90 degrees and the oxygen level gets lower and lower and the thermocline continues to move deeper in the lake. Stripers require 6 parts per million of oxygen to stay active. By the middle of September that level of oxygen is gone down substantially and stripers become dormant and just lay on the bottom not wanting to eat or move to conserve energy. Once the weather cools and the lake start to cool down the oxygen level will start going up but will not return to normal until the lake turns over. The lake turnover is a process that begins at the head waters of Lake Norfork some 47 miles across the Missouri state line and moves down slowly to the dam. The dam area is the last place the lake will turn over since it’s the deepest part of the lake. One way to beat this is start moving your fishing up the lake towards shallower waters. Since Norfork Lake is actually a wide river, the oxygen level will increase as you move up the lake. We start testing the waters around the state line the second half of September and begin fishing there all of October and November. By far this is the best area to consistently catch limits of stripers during the later part of the year. We will be fishing in waters no deeper than 35’. You will see lots of bait and stripers feeding heavy on this year's hatch. 

The bass will still be in their summer pattern. Early morning top water, then jigs, worms and spinner baits are your best baits. There is also great night fishing throwing jigs, worms, and black or red 3/8 oz spinner baits. You can catch fish all over the main lake and creeks.  

As the water begins to cool he crappie will start moving up and start their fall feed. Spider rigging is the most effective technique to catch them. Brushy Creek and Big Creek, Bennett’s Bayou, Red Bank, Calamity Beach, and Pigeon Creek, will be your best choices.

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Norfork Tail water

Updated 11/17/2017

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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