Fishing Report – March 24, 2011

From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

White River

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is clear and low, with two generators running. Trout are excellent on Pink Power Worms and jigs. Fly anglers are doing well on midge imitations. Some large brown trout have been caught and released lately, including one that was 20 pounds.

Guide Davy Wotton said anglers are beginning to see the early stages of the caddis hatches, which will offer some excellent surface fishing. Fly fishers will have many choices of dry caddis patterns to choose, with elk hair caddis being the best. The SLF trans caddis also is a particularly deadly fly. Partridge and green and green pea pupae also are good bets. Many variations of soft hackles, such as partridge and hares ear and green tail will work when fished with slow strips and pauses. Best options for fishing the surface are with a 4/5 weight dry line and a 9-foot 4x tippet. Dry/dropper techniques can be very good as fishing a pair of soft hackles or a pupa soft hackle combination. During low water look for the riffle zones and the flats below. During high water, wet flies that will be a must include Invicta, hares ear, Grannom, Whickhams and silver Invicta.

Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) said water levels have been extremely low for a week, making the fishing very good. Any bottom bait, like Power Bait, works very well. The White River Zig Jig has been extremely effective on the low water. Combine the jig with a large Caddis hatch between Reds Landing and Calico Rock and the fishing has been outstanding. You don’t appreciate how many fish are actually in the White River until you observe a Caddis fly hatch and see what happens on top of the water.

Buffalo River

Just Fishing Guides said the water levels were at 4.62 feet and 147 cfs at the Pruitt Access, 5.46 feet and 846 cfs at Tyler Bend Access and 4.13 feet and 742 cfs at Buffalo Point. Temperatures have peaked at 61 degrees. Smallmouth fishing should really begin to kick on. Best flies to use have been crawdad patterns and minnow patterns. Colors should mimic natural baits, but have the colors at the opposite ends available – chartreuse, white, black. If you spin fish, soft plastics are the way to go. Fish slowly and on the bottom with baits like Zoom 4-inch lizards, tube baits, Gitzits and hula grubs.

Crooked Creek

Just Fishing Guides said water levels are in the good fishing and floating range with flows at Kelly’s Access at 11.51 feet and 101 cfs. Water temperatures are heating up and smallmouth fishing should be heating up as well. Water temperatures have ranged from 50 to 61 degrees. When the temperatures stay in the 60-degree range, the fishing should be on. Best flies have been crawdad patterns such as the crazy dad, creek creature, sparkle grub and the simple craw. Natural colors like green, brown and tan are best, but have chartreuse, black and white handy.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 651.03 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool – 654 MSL).

Bob Pauletti at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said spring is right around the corner, and the anglers are ready to go. The water temperature for the lower portion of the lake is around 47 to 49 degrees. The white bass are running in the backs of some creeks. White twister tails, inline spinners and small crankbaits will catch the white bass during the run. Bass can be caught on tube baits, jigs and jerk baits fished in the wind. Walleye have been few and far between, but this should change soon. Anglers should be ready by the next full moon and fish suspending jerk baits in likely spawning areas. Crappie are biting well on bluff walls with cover.

Bull Shoals Tailwater

Just Fishing Guides said generation was off Wednesday through Sunday. Midges and sow bugs were working well in the upper catch-and-release area. Caddis nymphs, scuds, sow bugs, midges and medium-size streamers were all viable options from White Hole to Rim Shoals. Most of the caddis were hatching on the lower river from Buffalo Shoal to Reds Landing. Suggested patterns include humpback scud, swimming scud, tailwater sow bug, zebra midge, BH Z-wing caddis, hare ’n copper (olive and hares ear colors), graphic caddis (olive), partridge & green soft hackle, elk hair caddis (olive), slumpbuster, zoo cougar and woolly bugger.


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