Cotter Trout Dock Sign

Cotter Trout Dock Weekly Fishing Report

September 11, 2019

More reports and other videos are on the Cotter Trout Dock Youtube Channel Page.
Below is the Arkansas Game and Fish Fishing Report September 11, 2019.

White River

(updated 9-11-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says Bull Shoals Dam has been generating around the clock for several weeks and we're seeing the lake level drop approximately a half-foot each day; in turn, White River water levels have been plentiful. Each morning this past week has started out at nearly 10,000 cfs (equivalent to about three units generated by Bull Shoals), with increases in the afternoon
sometimes up to six or seven units (18,000 to 21,000 cfs). Terrific time to fish the big stick baits and flashy streamers. The size 7 Rapala Scatter Raps or the No. 9 countdowns, silver and black, will swim at the perfect depth to attract the browns sitting near the bottom – way down there 6-9 feet. “We're looking at the purple-gold X-Rap (XR-8) for some action in this water level, too, with its trailing red flashy skirt. It will stay mid-depth at 3-5 feet and move like a minnow. Speaking of minnows, the browns are especially drawn to the bigger ones right now, so if you can't get your hands on live minnows, the baits mentioned here should imitate them perfectly, as will the 3/8-ounce Smithwick Lace Minnow suspending rogue.” They also say the rainbow catch is, as always, spectacular. Pink and red floating worms, sometimes with a shrimp bit added to the barb, bring the rainbows “out in droves.” White or black 1/8-ounce jigs add to the creel count and keep the action moving. “Looks like the very warm weather will continue through the next 10 days or longer, so make sure to keep plenty of water and electrolyte-laden drinks on hand and keep on anglin'.”

(updated 9-11-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) says the clarity is “not bad.” There have been six to eight generators running, bringing fast water. The trout bite is excellent. PowerBait is the go-to. Rainbows are really good if you’re fishing with a guide; one anglers caught 40 fish on one excursion. There are not a lot of browns, they report, and the ones being caught are small.

(updated 9-11-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said that last week they had no rain, hot temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 2.1 feet to rest at 13.4 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This 20.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.4 foot to rest at 0.6 foot below seasonal power pool and 14.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 1 foot to rest at 2.8 feet above seasonal power pool and 5.8 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had heavy generation with no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 1.2 feet to rest at 7.3 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 16.9 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had moderate generation all day. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Most of the lakes in the White River System are at or over the top of power pool. Expect heavy generation for the foreseeable future.
Hopper season is in full swing. Use a short (7½-foot) leader to turn over the big fly. Cast near the bank and hang on. The takes can be vicious. John says he prefers large western foam hoppers so that he does not need to dress them. Add a dropper nymph to increase your catch.
The White has fished very well. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. 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 cerise San Juan worm with an egg pattern suspended below it). Use long leaders and plenty of lead to get your flies down.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 673.53 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).

(updated 9-11-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the Bull Shoals Lake level remains high, while the surface temperature Monday afternoon was 85 degrees. “It’s really hot and high water,” he said. Crappie are being found in depths of 25 feet. The bite is good on minnows and jigs. Target the rocky points. No reports on bream. Black bass are good. Look for them in 20-30 feet. Topwater lures are hit or miss, he said. Best success will come from fishing on points with jigs and trolling. Check the rocky points. No reports on catfishing. White bass are good, with anglers trolling for them at depth of 28-32 feet. Check Del’s YouTube page (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for his latest video report on what’s biting and techniques to use.

Norfork Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 562.55 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept., 555.75 feet msl).

(updated 9-11-2019) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the bite has died at the dam. The oxygen level is so low the stripers are not moving and laying in the mud to keep alive. The lake usually starts a slow temperature drop, but with the hottest weeks next week Tom sees no relief, he said. “We did have two good outings, then on Friday Sean (his son) and I both had clients and I caught one and Sean had no bites. I suggest if you're trying to striper fish you will need to find cooler waters and make sure if you hire a guide have him tell you where your fishing – if they say the dam, cancel your trip.
“Both Sean and I fished up toward Calamity Beach and found active fish and bait. The water is a little cooler and since it's not that deep the fish have move to oxygen due to some current coming from the river. I will fishing up there until the lake turns over in late October. It's a long boat ride but worth the effort if you want to catch stripers. The best will be 6- to 8-inch gizzard shad fished on downlines and long lines weighted with a split shot. If you do not want to travel that far, wait until its start getting cooler at night and the water temperature gets into the mid-70s, then try the creeks and Robinson Point. One trick is go up the creeks until you find a drop in the water temperature, the stripers will be close by.”

(updated 9-11-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said fishing continues in the summertime pattern.

Norfork Tailwater

(updated 9-11-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said that over the past week Norfork Lake fell 1.2 feet to rest at 7.3 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 16.9 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had moderate generation all day. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Most of the lakes in the White River System are at or over the top of power pool. Expect heavy generation for the foreseeable future.
Hopper season is in full swing. Use a short (7½-foot) leader to turn over the big fly. Cast near the bank and hang on. The takes can be vicious. John says he prefers large western foam hoppers so that he does not need to dress them. Add a dropper nymph to increase your catch.
The Norfork has been fishing slow. The dissolved oxygen level is low and has slowed the bite. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the recent flooding. 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 ruby midge (size 18) suspended 18 inches below a red fox squirrel and copper (size 14). The fishing is better in the morning.
Dry Run Creek is fishing better. The browns have begun making their annual migration up stream. With school back in session it will be less crowded during the week The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12), various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10) and mop flies.

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek

(updated 9-11-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. The smallmouths are more active with the warm conditions. His 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