White River

Berry’s White River fishing report, November 6

Posted by John Berry on November 6th, 2013
Print Friendly and PDF
Recommend this post:


During the past week, we have had a rain event (about an inch here in Cotter), cooler temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell three tenths of a foot to rest at one and seven tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty seven and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool.

Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose seven tenths of a foot to rest at one and three tenths feet below power pool and fifteen and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose two tenths of a foot to rest at two feet below seasonal power pool or eleven and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we have had low levels of generation in the morning and heavier generation in the afternoon. There has been no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose two tenths of a foot to rest at one and one tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty seven and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we have had wadable water most days and heavy generation in the evening.

The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. With all of the lakes in the White River system below power pool and the temperatures moderating, I predict that we will receive more wadable water, in the coming weeks.

The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period.

On the White, the hot spot has been the section from White Hole down to Cotter. The best time to fish is early morning or late in the afternoon. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, copper Johns, pink and cerise San Juan worms, gold ribbed hare’s ears and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed pheasant tail suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise).

Some anglers have been fishing large streamers on the heavy flows we have been getting later in the day and having success. This requires heavy sink tip lines (250 grain or heavier), heavy rods (eight weights or better) and advanced casting skills. The hot flies have been large articulated streamers in various colors.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are extremely low. With cooler temperatures, the smallmouth are less active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown 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.

There has been wadable water on the Norfork and it has been pounded. Fish early or during the week to avoid the crowds. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is working on a bank stabilization project downstream from the Ackerman access, which is causing some severely stained water conditions, when they are working. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Grasshoppers have produced fish, particularly when used in conjunction with a small nymph dropper (try a size 20 black zebra midge). 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). The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.

Dry Run Creek has fished well. School is back in session and now is a great time to fish it, particularly during the week when there is no one there. Weekends can get a bit crowded. Numerous brown trout have moved into the creek.The hot flies have been sowbugs and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Small orange or peach eggs have been very effective. While you are there take a few minutes to visit the adjacent Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering, to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

The water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. 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, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks.

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.

Leave a Comment

comments

Print Friendly and PDF
Recommend this post: