Cotter Trout Dock Sign

Cotter Trout Dock Weekly Fishing Report

January 30, 2019

More reports and other videos are on the Cotter Trout Dock Youtube Channel Page.
Below is the Arkansas Game and Fish Fishing Report January 30, 2019.

White River

(updated 1-30-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the river clarity is fair, and with all the generation it’s being stirred up. The level is high, as eight generators are running around the clock providing fast water. Few anglers have been fishing. No reports.

(updated 1-30-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says, “The cold got you down? The flu season claimed you as a victim? Coughs and sniffles keeping you at home? Cheer up, springtime is closer today than it was yesterday, warmer weather is on the way. The trout are getting feisty and looking for some interesting nibbles.” Bull Shoals Lake level has almost reached the desired power pool elevation and generation flows should decrease shortly. Even with high water running on the White River, the trout catch has been plentiful. The fly guides are using weighted line and more tricks to keep the flies lower in the water, Woolly Buggers and streamers attract positive attention in fast water. Nightcrawlers and redworms are standard diet when lots of water is being issued, so pack those in the bait bag. Don't wait too long to find your way to the river. The bite is strong right now.

(updated 1-30-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the past week they had rain and snow (combined for an inch and a quarter here in Cotter), cold temperatures and heavy wind (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.9 foot to rest at 1.7 feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 34.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.1 foot to rest at 0.9 foot above seasonal power pool and 15.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.1 foot to rest at 1 foot above seasonal power pool and 8.6 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had heavy generation and no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 0.8 foot to rest at 1.8 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 24.4 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had 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 above the top of power pool and anglers will see more high water and little if any wadable water. The White has fished well. The hot spot has been the state park below Bull Shoals Dam. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite combination is a size 10 cerise San Juan worm with a sizer 12 Y2K suspended below it. Use plenty of lead to get your flies down.
John also wants readers to know about the annual banquet held by the local Trout Unlimited chapter: “As I have always said, the premier social event in the fly-fishing calendar is the annual banquet put on by the Trout Unlimited White River Chapter No. 698. This is the annual fundraiser of our local TU chapter. It takes a lot of money to do all of the good works that this organization does.
“They are an active conservation organization that is responsible for the introduction of Bonneville cutthroat trout to the White and Norfork rivers. This is a great idea to add a sustainable cutthroat species to our rivers. I have caught them up to 22 inches in length and I think their introduction has been a benefit to fishing in the area. The chapter has also sponsored several cleanups of accesses in the area (Rim Shoals and Wildcat Shoals).
“A lot of their emphasis is on educating the future conversationalists in our area. They sponsor a summer youth camp that is a big hit. In addition, they sponsor Trout in the Classroom to introduce students to the natural world of trout. This past year they organized a women‘s program, Leaders, Lines and Lipstick. My wife, Lori, was involved in teaching casting.
“Future programs include a veterans program (this one particularly appeals to me as a veteran), improvement of the access at Rim Shoals, partnering with other organizations to improve access at Roundhouse Shoals and a new educational program for residents with riverfront property.
“The annual banquet will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Elks Club in Mountain Home. The banquet will start at 6 p.m. and run till 10 p.m. Remember that space is limited. Tickets are $35, or $50 per couple, until Jan. 30 when they will increase to $45 per person and $60 per couple. Or, if you prefer, you can sponsor a table for $500, which will seat eight and includes drinks and souvenirs. Tickets are available at http://www.whiterivertu.com or at Dally’s Fly Shop in Cotter. The White River Chapter of Trout Unlimited No. 698 is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.
“While I support their mission and all of the fine work they do, the main reason that I want to attend is that it is so much fun. First, there is always a good crowd. At the time of this writing all of the sponsor tables were sold and there were only 40 general admission tickets left. If you want to attend, do not wait till the last minute to buy yours. Everybody who is anybody in trout fishing will be there.
“Then there is an open bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres (shrimp, Swedish meat balls, sausage, cheese, fruit, desserts, etc.). It is served buffet style so there is time to chat with your friends.
“There are silent auctions, a live auction and games. More importantly there is music. This is my favorite place to dance, and Lori and I always spend quite a bit of time on the dance floor. I have attended every banquet that TU has held here. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend this one due to a schedule conflict. It is my greatest regret.”

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 659.91 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).

Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock had no report.

Norfork Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 554.89 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).

(updated 1-30-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no report.

(updated 1-30-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters had no report.

Norfork Tailwater

(updated 1-30-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that over the previous week Norfork Lake rose 0.8 foot to rest at 1.8 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 24.4 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had 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 above the top of power pool and anglers will see more high water and little if any wadable water. The Norfork has fished well. Navigate this stream with caution as 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 (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small Y2K suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). The fishing is better in the morning. Dry Run Creek is fishing well. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10). It is cold out there be sure and bundle the kids up.
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 soles that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek

(updated 1-30-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable and a bit high. The smallmouths are much less active with the cold conditions. John’s 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.