White River

Berry’s 2012 winter fishing prediction

Posted by John Berry on January 11th, 2012
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So far we have had a very mild winter. While I do expect some cold weather, I think we are going to have plenty of sunny days in the 50’s and 60’s with little wind. These days are a well kept secret here in the Twin Lakes Area. The lakes are all currently below flood pool and the long range weather forecast is for below normal rainfall. This could only mean one thing, Low Water! I predict significant periods of wadable water in the next few months.

This time of year is a great time to fish dries and emergers. There are always Blue Wing Olive hatches on sunny days. These are tiny mayflies that will best be matched with small parachute Adams (size 20, 22 & 24). If you prefer to nymph during this hatch, try small pheasant tail nymphs. The other major hatch will be various midges.  For dries, Griffith’s gnat is the go to midge cluster pattern. The most effective way to fish the midge hatch is with emergers. Dan’s turkey tail emergers and Chuck’s emergers are must have patterns. For nymphs the zebra midge in black, rust and red (size 18. 20. & 22) is a must have fly.

On February 1, the Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will reopen after being closed to protect the big browns during their spawn. On opening day there will be more big fish concentrated in one area than anywhere else in Arkansas. They have not fed during the spawn and they are hungry.

There is also the shad kill looming on the horizon. This is a natural phenomenon where threadfin shad in Bull Shoals and Norfork Lakes are killed by low water temperatures and drawn through the generators. This usually occurs just after opening day and the chunks of shad create a feeding frenzy, on the upper rivers. The key ingredients are low temperatures and high levels of generation. This one is unpredictable. At Blue ribbon we monitor this carefully and are in a good position to inform our clients of any shad activity.

This is a slower time of year where fewer anglers and fishing conditions meet to create an environment where bigger fish can be caught.

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