Arkansas Fishing Report – May 26, 2011

From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

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.

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.


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