Fishing Report – March 31, 2011

From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

White River

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is murky and four generators are running. Trout are biting well on Rapalas, Rattling Rogues, Rooster Tails and Little Cleo spoons. Power Bait is working well on the rainbow trout. Brown trout are biting well on white marabou jigs. Fly anglers are doing well on sow bugs, copper Johns and zebra midges in red, green or black.

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 generation is very low, and fishing has been good. Spin fishermen are doing well with Zig Jigs. Fly anglers are doing the best on Woolly Buggers, San Juan worms and egg patterns.

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 652.09 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool – 654 MSL).

Mike Worley’s Guide Service said largemouth bass are biting well on crankbaits, jigs and jerk baits in 3 to 5 feet of water. White bass and crappie are in the backs of creek arms and are biting well on minnows and jigs. Walleye fishing is slow, but should improve as the fish finish their spawn.

Bob Pauletti at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the fishing on the lake is on fire. If any one is thinking of fishing Bull Shoals, now is the time. White bass are very active in the backs of the major creeks. Small white jigs, Road Runners and crankbaits are all producing fish. Crappie are on brush piles and can be caught on a jig-and-minnow or small stick bait. Spotted bass are close to spawning, and are feeding on live bait in 15 to 20 feet of water. Smallmouth bass also are close to spawning and have the feed bag on. Fishing the major creek arms with tube baits is working well. Largemouth bass are excellent on jerk baits fished around windy areas or crayfish-imitating baits. Walleye are on the banks at night, but are only thinking of spawning. Very soon, a nightcrawler dragged behind a White River rig will produce during the day and a jerk bait fished along the bank will work at night.

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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