Cotter Trout Dock Sign

Trout Fishing Report-White River-Arkansas....From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

May 26, 2011  Edition                                                Back to Fishing Reports Index 

Featured Fisheries Project:  AGFC Fisheries Staff placed more than 300 new artificial structures in Lake Maumelle May 23-24. This habitat improvement is a direct result of the public meetings held for Lake Maumelle in 2009. GPS locations of the new habitat sites will be available soon, but in the meantime check out Lake Maumelle’s profile page.

White River

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is high and murky. Generation has recently been cut down from eight generators to six. Trout are biting well on nightcrawlers, Rogues, Rapalas and small white jigs. Drift fishermen are doing well using shrimp.  

Randy Oliver at (901-832-1903) had no report because of flooding.

Guide Davy Wotton said the water will flow for some time to come, which more or less relates to fishing high water techniques. For the White and Norfork most fishing will be restricted to fishing from a boat. There will be three options – streamer fishing, dry fly and dead drift nymphing. Streamer fishing close to shorelines and over flooded grass banks may well hook you up with a trophy brown trout. Dry fly fishing with a large hopper, will bring up a few fish near overhanging cover. For dead drifting, use an indicator and nymph with a long leader between the indicator and fly and enough weight to keep the fly near the bottom. Worms, eggs and at times flies that incorporate high-vis colors are the best choices for swift water, while natural patterns such as sow bugs, prince nymphs, whitetail and shimmer midges in black, red and green and caddis larvae imitations will work in calmer waters. Flood gates are now open on both the White and North Fork rivers, this may slow the bite down if you are close to the dams. (Last Updated May 18, 2011)

Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) said water is extremely muddy after the recent rains. It will be a week or so before the fishing gets good again.

Buffalo River

Just Fishing Guides said the water is too high and muddy for fishing because of all of the recent rain.

Crooked Creek

Just Fishing Guides said Kelly’s Access is at 17.86 feet and flow is 8,580 cubic feet per second. This is 5.5 feet above the low-water bridge. Because of these river levels, the creek is high and muddy. Last week fishing was very good for spin and fly fishers. Baby Brush Hogs, 2- to 3-inch tubes and 4-inch lizards in watermelon and green pumpkin along with hard minnow baits 2- to 3-inches long are all working well. Fly-fishermen are doing well with sink-tips and minnow patterns like Clousers, Zonkers and Near Nuff Sculpins in shades of olive and white.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 695.47 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool - 654 MSL).

Mike Worley’s Guide Service said lake levels remain high at 693 feet with boat launching mostly from flooded roads. There is less debris floating in the lake, but caution is still needed when boating. Surface temperatures range from upper 60s to mid 70s. Walleye and bass have been biting grubs, swimbaits, crankbaits and crawler rigs. Suspending stick baits, spinnerbaits and jigging spoons are working as well. Walleye have been caught from 2 to 40 feet. Big schools of white bass have been pushing shad into coves and creek channels with many walleye and bass under them.  

Bull Shoals Tailwater

Just Fishing Guides said generation is around the clock with six or more units. There are brief periods of two-unit generation. Boat fishing is really the only option, and an experienced guide or angler must stay in control of the boat for the anglers at all times. Drift fishing with high-water nymph rigs has been producing good numbers of fish. Streamer fishing with sink-tips, full sinking lines and large flies can be very good one day and slow the next day. Many caddis have been seen, and fish are taking the adults in slow eddies.

Lake Norfork

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 579.10 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool: Sept.-April - 552 MSL, April-Sept. - 554 MSL).

Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no report.

STR Outfitters said shad and stripers are spawning up the creeks; look for shad along the shoreline and the stripers and hybrids will be close. Throw flukes and small top-water plugs over the brush. Shiners and shad are working well for live bait. The fish are in Bayou, Brush and Big creeks. Catfish have moved up and can be caught on limb lines and trotlines.

Guide Steve Olomon said the surface temperature is in the mid 60s. Fish are biting well in the creeks and coves. Hybrids and white bass are chasing shad early in the morning, but quit biting topwaters by afternoon. A few stripers coming up as well. Try using a spook, soft jerk bait, swim bait or an in-line spinner. Bass are hitting spooks and soft jerk baits over the flooded brush. Watch for fish coming up just before dark.

Highway 101 Grocery and Bait had no report.

Randy Oliver at (901-832-1903) had no report. 

Norfork Tailwater

Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) said fishing has been excellent. Rapalas and Zig Jigs have produced 100-fish days for two weeks. No generators are running, but 12 spillway gates are open 6 inches, which gives close to the same amount of discharge as two full generators. Be careful running the river as the recent flood water has filled in some areas and you need to watch where you’re going closely.

Randy Oliver at (901-832-1903) had no report because of flooding.

Just Fishing Guides said the lake level continues to be lowered with the spillway gates as repairs are being made to the two generators. Releases were increased to 13,250 cubic feet per second. The parking lot and boat ramp at Quarry Park have received significant damage from all of the high flows.