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#1698884 - 12/31/09 11:01 AM Ark. Trout Fishing Report From John Berry
Taylor Administrator
10 Point

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 3061
Loc: Brownsville, Tennessee

Just fyi...and Arkansas fishing report from Mid-South angler/guide John Berry:


During the past week, we have had a couple of minor snow events and much colder conditions. The lake level at Bull Shoals Dam rose three tenths of a foot to rest at twelve and seven tenths feet above power pool of 654.00 feet. This is twenty eight and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Up stream, Table Rock Lake dropped one tenth of a foot to rest at two and at seven tenths of a foot below power pool or eighteen and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose four tenths of a foot to rest at seven and two tenths feet above power pool or two and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we have had much lighter generation which included some wadable water on several days. Norfork Lake rose one and three tenths feet to rest at seven and eight tenths feet above power pool of 552.00 feet or twenty and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork we have had much lighter generation and some wadable water.

While the rains we received here had very little effect on lake levels, the rains were much heavier in other parts of the state and resulted in significant flooding down stream. As a result, the heavy draw down of the lakes in the White River System was curtailed. As soon as the flooding clears down stream, we will see a return to the aggressive draw down. At this time, I cannot predict when the lakes will return to power pool.

There will be significant changes to trout fishing regulations effective January 1, 2010. The Catch and Release section on the Norfork River will be increased from it current size of 1.1 miles to a new total of approximately two miles. The new upper boundary will be the bottom of long hole and the new lower limit will be the Ackerman access. The new regulations will also allow for multiple hook points in Catch and Release sections on the White and Norfork Rivers. Up to three treble hooks will be allowed. All hook points must be barbless. Of interest to fly fishers is that the new regulations will allow the use of droppers, multiple fly rigs and articulated multiple fly streamers.

The fishing in the Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam closed on November 1, 2009 for the brown trout spawn. It will remain closed until January 31, 2010. The section from the bottom of this Catch and Release section downstream to the wing wall at the State Park is seasonal Catch and Release for the same time period.

The section from the Narrows to Wildcat Shoals has fished well. The hot flies were various midge patterns (black zebra midges and Norfork bead heads), scuds and sow bugs. On higher flows, use brightly colored San Juan worms (red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise) and egg patterns (red, pink and orange). The best fishing was when there was on wadable water and the lower flows.

Rim Shoals has been the hot spot for the last week. There has been some limited wadable water that has fished well, particularly the Redbud Shoals area. Hot flies were black zebra midges, olive scuds and Y2Ks. Drift fishing on lower flows with midge patterns and San Juan worms has also been very effective. On higher flows, use brightly colored San Juan worms (red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise) and egg patterns (peach and orange).

Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River have cleared up a bit. The water temperatures are a bit low for the smallmouth.

The lower flows and wadable water on the Norfork River have fished very well. Anglers fishing there have noted some significant changes to the river bed caused by the recent heavy flows. The hot flies for the lower flows have been red and hot fluorescent pink San Juan worms. There have been some midges hatching in the afternoon. The best technique for this hatch has been to fish Dan’s turkey tail emerger on a long tippet (five feet) with a classic quarter and down tight line. Be sure and strip the fly down into the film as soon as it hits the water. Other effective flies have been black zebra midges, pheasant tail nymphs and egg patterns. On higher flows, brightly colored San Juan worms (red, cerise and hot fluorescent pink) and egg patterns (peach and orange) have been the go to flies.

Dry Run Creek has fished well. The hot fly has been sow bugs in size fourteen. Worm brown San Juan worms and egg patterns have also done well. The cold weather has kept a lot of families from fishing here. Do not let the weather keep you from fishing here. Bundle up the youngsters and go there to take advantage of the absolute best place to take kids fishing that I know of. Take frequent warm up breaks and don’t forget a thermos bottle full of hot cocoa.

The Spring River has been fishing well. The flows are up a bit and the water is stained. The hot flies have been Y2Ks, olive woolly buggers, cerise San Juan worms and cotton candy. Be sure and wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick.

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers 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 twenty five years.

#1712640 - 01/07/10 11:14 AM Re: Ark. Trout Fishing Report From John Berry [Re: ]
6 Point

Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 782
Loc: Tennessee

HOw big a fish has he been catching? Any pics?
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