Arkansas Fishing Report – May 19, 2011

From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

White River

Randy Oliver at (901-832-1903) said fishing has been excellent using black/gold no. 9 Rapala Countdowns near the bank with a slow, jerking presentation. Make sure your drift speed is the same as the current.

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.

Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) said the river has cleared up and fishing has been very good. Dragging bottom baits or casting your favorite artificial bait will do the job. The larger brown trout are biting well on black/gold Countdown Rapalas or blue/silver/orange Rattling Rogues.

Buffalo River

Just Fishing Guides said the upper river will be good for fly-fishing and the lower river with spinning or bait-casting tackle. Water flows are good for leisurely fishing from Ponca to Pruitt. Flows from Tyler Bend to the White River are a bit fast for fly-fishing. The usual flies are working in the upper river and soft plastics are best in the mid to lower river. Heavier weights will be needed to get the baits to the bottom.

Crooked Creek

Just Fishing Guides said Kelly’s Access is at 12.13 feet (just below the low water bridge) and flow is 142 cubic feet per second. Crawdad patterns such as Crazy Dads and Sparkle Grubs fished along the bottom are producing. Also, minnow flies such as Muditch Minnow, Clouser Minnow and Darters fished in the water column are working. Try drifting big nymphs also. Soft plastics such as Brush Hogs, Gitzits and lizards in brown and green shades are best.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 692.49 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool – 654 MSL).

Mike Worley’s Guide Service said water is high and continuing to rise. Boat launching is a challenge, but fish are biting. Walleye and bass can be found on main lake points and in the backs of coves and creeks. Try swimming grubs over the brush and bottom bouncers. Spinner rigs are catching walleyes trolling 10 to 20 feet down over the brush. Walleyes are also biting crankbaits trolled over deep water 35 to 40 feet down at the mouths of creeks on the main channel. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits are working for bass on windy days.

Bull Shoals Tailwater

Just Fishing Guides said generation has increased to six units around the clock. High-water nymphing and streamer fishing with fast sink-tips or fast full sinking lines out of a boat are required. Look for flooded areas of grass, shoals, eddies and flooded rock bank areas near the bank. San Juan worms in red or worm brown, Copper Johns, Scud, sow bug and caddis nymph patterns and streamers such as Zoo Cougars, Lead Eyed Gongas and Wooly Buggers are some suggested patterns.

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