Fishing Report April 7, 2011

From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

White River

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is clear and two generators are running. Trout fishing is excellent. Some large rainbows and browns have been caught Rogues and Rapalas. The smaller rainbows are easy to come by right now, whether you fish a Rooster Tail or Little Cleo, PowerBait or 3-inch soft-plastic trout worm.

Randy Oliver at (901-832-1903) had no report.

Guide Davy Wotton said caddis are dancing, and so are the trout. Fishing has been good, despite the rough weather. Now is the time for some of the best dry fly fishing of the year, caddis hatches will continue for a few more weeks. Most fish will be near the surface, either taking emergers or the adults. Many combinations of caddis pupae and dries will work, provided they are of the right color combinations and size. As a rule, size 16 and 14 hooks work best. When there is no hatch, dead drift techniques with a pair of caddis pupae is a good bet. Top dries will include elk hair caddis and balloon caddis. Pupae in olive, insect green and tan will work, and SLF trans caddis emerger is a killer. Generations have been generally low or zero with early morning spikes of a few hours. Downside is rising water has been very trashy and will put the fish down in a hurry. You have to move either way upstream above the trash or downstream before it gets to you. Trout will generally hug the river bed during this time, and the only way to deal with it is going to high-visibility flies like worms and eggs.

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 4.78 feet and 186 cfs at the Ponca Access, 5.69 feet and 1,010 cfs at Tyler Bend, and 4.24 feet and 819 cfs at Buffalo Point. The river is in great shape and the smallmouth should turn on with a little warm weather. Soft plastics, jigs, and minnows have been working. Fly-fishing is still slow, but crawdad patterns and Clouser minnows should be your best bet. Fish deep and slow.

Crooked Creek

Just Fishing Guides said the river level at Kelly’s Access is 11.10 feet and 80 cfs, excellent for floating and fishing. Both fly- and spin-fishing has been tough with cooling water, but soft plastics on the bottom and flies that imitate crawdads have been working.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 651.72 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool – 654 MSL).

Mike Worley’s Guide Service said water temperatures fluctuate from the lower 50s to the upper 50s. Many walleye are up on the points at night, getting ready to spawn. The walleye bite usually gets going well at water temps of about 60 degrees. We have been catching walleyes casting stick baits late in the day and just after dark and trolling crankbaits during the day. Bass are biting stick baits on chunk rock points on windy days. White bass are biting well in the backs of creek arms and bays in very shallow water when the wind is blowing. Crappie have been biting around brush piles; some days, fishing over shallow brush works best and on other days, a jig and minnow fished on the bottom is the ticket.

Local Guide Bob Pauletti (870-656-3350) 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 has been averaging 0-3 units over the past week. Caddis have been either hatching or laying eggs all week. Being at the right place at the right time on the river is partly a matter of luck. During periods of generation, streamers fished from a boat can put you on some really nice fish. A few sulphur mayflies are starting to come off on the lower river, so various pheasant tail patterns should be in your nymph rotation. Midges, scuds, sow bugs and worm patterns are also working when no caddis are present.


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