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John Berry

OAF Fly Tying Contributor
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About John Berry

  • Rank
    Southern Cavefish
  • Birthday 11/08/1946

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    http://www.berrybrothersguides.com
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    408 Combs Ave. Cotter, Arkansas, Trout Capital USA
  • Interests
    Guiding on the White, Norfork, Little Red. and Spring River for trout and Crooked Creek for Small Mouth Bass.
    Fly tying, particularly numphs and soft hackles. I am an avid dry fly fisher and I will fish one at the drop of a hat. I love teaching and introducing people to fly fishing. My hobby is writing and my favorite subject is fly fishing humor.

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  1. John Berry

    Dry Run Creek

    When most anglers conjure up images of trout fishing in the Ozarks, most will imagine chasing big browns below Bull Shoals Dam or stalking huge rainbows on foot over on the Norfork Tailwater. While both of these angling adventures are worthy of making a special trip for the experience alone, there is another Ozark fishery that some have called "the best ¼ of trout fishing in the world". This little river rarely gets talked about, but there is a good reason for the lack fanfare. Dry Run Creek is a small waterway located just below Norfork Dam. Its functional purpose is to transport water from Norfork National Fish Hatchery to the Norfork Tailwater, but Dry Run Creek is also a world-class trout stream with many rainbows and browns in the six to ten-pound range (and MUCH bigger). With fish like this stacked from bank to bank, it would seem like it would only be a matter of time before excessive pressure would diminish the fishery, but there are special regulations in place that will ensure that there will always be plenty of chunky fish in Dry Run Creek. Only youngsters under the age of 16 are allowed to fish 'the Creek', and there is also some access set aside for those who are physically disabled - still, the vast majority of Dry Run Creek fishermen are under sixteen. The sport fishery at Dry Run Creek was created in the late 1980's, and it was also Arkansas's first stretch of trout water with "catch and release" regulations. Trout in the Norfork River are naturally attracted the scent of the hatchery, so the fish will often instinctually ascend the creek and never leave. There is plenty of food available in the form of sow bugs, worms, sculpins, crayfish, and midges; any flies that imitate these morsels in a trout's diet are always top-producers. It used to be considered a 'novelty' to take some kids over to Dry Run Creek for a few hours in the afternoon, but now; it has become a bigger draw as the word has spread. Many parents recognize that it is just as fun watching their kids catch trophy fish as it is to catch trout themselves on the rivers, and with the age restriction, there are only so many opportunities for someone to fish there; this has no doubt also contributed to a few fly fishing parents encouraging their children to try the sport. There is no better place to learn the sport, and if a kid does not have fun fishing Dry Run, it's likely they are not going to enjoy trout fishing, period. If you are considering a trip to the White River and Norfork Tailwater, do not forget about the "Dry Run Creek option" if some kids are coming along. Because of the creek's short length, it really does not flood, and flows are not subject to unpredictable water releases like the tailwaters are. In other words: Dry Run Creek offers up great fishing virtually every day of the year, and as long as youth fishermen are accompanied by a licensed adult, it's possible to fish stable conditions from dusk to dawn. Depending on the nature of the kid, it seems like most are ready to give Dry Run a try at around eight to ten years of age. Hiring a guide is a great way to give a child the fishing experience of a lifetime. This is a very tight place to fish with some overhangs, so a guide allows the parents the chance to enjoy the outing while taking pictures until their heart's content - please feel free to ask Blue Ribbon Fly Shop about the many Dry Run Creek guiding options offered. Planning a trip to fish the White River, Norfork Tailwater and....Dry Run Creek is definitely a budget-friendly vacation that may result in the passing on of a passion from a parent to a child. A recent habitat-enhancement project (with much help from Dave Whitlock) has made Dry Run Creek safer, more accessible and there are significantly more pools for big fish. In an era where there doesn't seem to be a resource left that isn't under attack, it is nice to see that the combination of sensible management, clear objectives and habitat enhancement has made Dry Run Creek a resource that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
  2. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 4/11/2014 During the past week, we have had several rain events (for a combined total of less than an inch here in Cotter), warmer temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose two tenths of a foot to rest at two tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty five and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose six tenths of a foot to rest at six tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool and fifteen and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose nine tenths of a foot to rest at one and four tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool or eight and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had no wadable water. Norfork Lake remained steady at one tenth of a foot below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty six and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had no wadable water. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are at or near power pool. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam was closed from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park was seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. There are numerous redds around the area. Please use care, when wading, to avoid disturbing them. On the White, the hot spot was Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers, Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a cerise or pink San Juan worm with a midge pattern (ruby midge) suspended below it). The Corps of Engineers have been running much more water and that has been an advantage to streamer fishermen. To do this you need at least an eight weight fly rod, a heavy sink tip fly line and large articulated streamers. The idea is to bang the bank and strip the fly back to the boat. This is heavy work and requires advanced casting skills. Some effective patterns are sex dungeons and circus peanuts. We have had numerous reports of caddis hatches. Though sparse, the trout did not key in on them mostly due to the high volume of water. It is a harbinger of spring and a promise of what is to come. This is our best hatch of the year. Before the hatch, fish green caddis pupa size fourteen. You will often get more strikes at the end of the drift as the fly rises. When the move to the surface and begin keying in on emergers switch over to a green butt soft hackle size fifteen. When they start taking adult insects off the water’s surface, you should switch to a green elk hair caddis pattern size fourteen. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable and clear. With the cool temperatures, the smallmouth are still inactive. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There Norfork has not fished well of late. This is possibly due to cold water temperatures on the lake. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles like the green butt. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). There have been reliable hatches of small midges and very small caddis (try a size 24 Adams parachute).The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Some anglers have been fishing heavy articulated streamers on sink tip lines on the higher flows. With Spring Break, there has been a lot of action on Dry Run Creek. Now would be a great time to fish it. The weather has warmed substantially and it is more comfortable for young anglers. The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). While you are there be sure and take a tour of the adjacent Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure to remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. The water level on the Spring River is wadable and clearer. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.
  3. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 3/21/2014 During the past week, we have had rain, sleet and snow (a couple of inches of rain and three inches of snow here in Cotter), colder then warmer temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose one and six tenths feet to rest at one tenth of a foot above seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty five and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose one and seven tenths feet to rest at two tenths of a foot below power pool and sixteen and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose two and six tenths feet to rest at three tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool or nine and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had significant wadable water. Norfork Lake rose two and one tenth feet to rest at one tenth of a foot above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty six and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had wadable water every day. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are at or near power pool. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam was closed from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park was seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. There are numerous redds around the area. Please use care, when wading, to avoid disturbing them. On the White, the hot spot was the section from Wildcat Shoals down to Cotter. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers, Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a cerise or pink San Juan worm with a midge pattern (ruby midge) suspended below it). The Corps of Engineers have been running a bit more water than they have in the previous week for the last few days that has been an advantage to streamer fishermen. To do this you need at least an eight weight fly rod, a heavy sink tip fly line and large articulated streamers. The idea is to bang the bank and strip the fly back to the boat. This is heavy work and requires advanced casting skills. Some effective patterns are sex dungeons and circus peanuts. We have had numerous reports of caddis hatches. Though sparse, the trout did key in on them, it is a harbinger of spring and a promise of what is to come. This is our best hatch of the year. Before the hatch, fish green caddis pupa size fourteen. You will often get more strikes at the end of the drift as the fly rises. When the move to the surface and begin keying in on emergers switch over to a green butt soft hackle size fifteen. When they start taking adult insects off the water’s surface, you should switch to a green elk hair caddis pattern size fourteen. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. With the cool temperatures, the smallmouth are inactive. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There has been wadable water on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles like the green butt. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). There have been reliable hatches of small midges and very small caddis (try a size 24 Adams parachute).The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Some anglers have been fishing heavy articulated streamers on sink tip lines on the higher flows to great effect. With Spring Break and the Sowbug Roundup beginning we can expect more activity on Dry Run Creek. Now would be a great time to fish it. The weather has warmed substantially and it is more comfortable for young anglers. The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). While you are there be sure and take a tour of the adjacent Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure to remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. The water level on the Spring River is higher and stained. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.
  4. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 3/14/2014 During the past week, we have had a minor rain event (just a trace here in Cotter), much warmer temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose seven tenths of a foot to rest at one and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty seven and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose one tenth of a foot to rest at one and nine tenths feet below power pool and seventeen and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose two tenths of a foot to rest at two and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool or eleven and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had significantly more wadable water. Norfork Lake rose two tenths of a foot to rest at two feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty eight and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had wadable water every day. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below power pool. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam was closed from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park was seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. There are numerous redds around the area. Please use care, when wading, to avoid disturbing them. On the White, the hot spot was the section from Cotter down to Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers, Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a cerise or pink San Juan worm with a midge pattern (ruby midge) suspended below it). The Corps of Engineers have been running less water than they have in the previous week for the last few days that has been a disadvantage to streamer fishermen. To do this you need at least an eight weight fly rod, a heavy sink tip fly line and large articulated streamers. The idea is to bang the bank and strip the fly back to the boat. This is heavy work and requires advanced casting skills. Some effective patterns are sex dungeons and circus peanuts. We have had numerous reports of caddis hatches. Though sparse, the trout did key in on them, it is a harbinger of spring and a promise of what is to come. This is our best hatch of the year. Before the hatch, fish green caddis pupa size fourteen. You will often get more strikes at the end of the drift as the fly rises. When the move to the surface and begin keying in on emergers switch over to a green butt soft hackle size fifteen. When they start taking adult insects off the water’s surface, you should switch to a green elk hair caddis pattern size fourteen. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. With the cool temperatures, the smallmouth are inactive. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There has been more wadable water on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles like the green butt. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). There have been reliable hatches of small midges and very small caddis (try a size 24 Adams parachute).The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Some anglers have been fishing heavy articulated streamers on sink tip lines on the higher flows to great effect. Dry Run Creek has been virtually abandoned. Now would be a great time to fish it. The weather has warmed substantially and it is more comfortable for young anglers. The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). While you are there be sure and take a tour of the adjacent Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure to remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. The water level on the Spring River is clear and quite fishable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.
  5. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 3/07/2014 During the past week, we have had freezing rain, sleet, snow, brutally cold temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell seven tenths of a foot to rest at two and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty eight and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose one tenth of a foot to rest at one and eight tenths feet below power pool and seventeen and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell five tenths of a foot to rest at two and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool or twelve and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had precious little wadable water. Norfork Lake rose six tenths of a foot to rest at two and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty eight and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had wadable water every day. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below power pool. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam was closed from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park was seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. There are numerous redds around the area. Please use care when wading to avoid disturbing them. On the White, the hot spot was the section from Rim Shoals down to Buffalo Shoals. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers, Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a cerise or pink San Juan worm with a midge pattern (ruby midge) suspended below it). The Corps of Engineers have been running more water than they have in the previous week for the last few days that has been an advantage to streamer fishermen. To do this you need at least an eight weight fly rod, a heavy sink tip fly line and large articulated streamers. The idea is to bang the bank and strip the fly back to the boat. This is heavy work and requires advanced casting skills. Some effective patterns are sex dungeons and circus peanuts. There have been reports of a minor shad kill on the Bull Shoals tail water below Bull Shoals Dam and conditions have been conducive on both rivers. This is a natural phenomenon where threadfin shad in the lake die and are drawn through the generators at the dam. These bits of shad produce a feeding frenzy. This usually occurs during extremely cold weather and high levels of generation. Watch for gulls hitting the shad as they come through the generators. The best flies are white shad patterns. We have seen our first major caddis emergence of the year. Though it was sparse and the trout did not key in on them, it is a harbinger of spring and a promise of what is to come. This is our best hatch of the year. Before the hatch fish green caddis pupa size fourteen. You will often get more strikes at the end of the drift as the fly rises. When the move to the surface and begin keying in on emergers switch over to a green butt soft hackle size fifteen. When they start taking adult insects off the water’s surface, you should switch to a green elk hair caddis pattern size fourteen. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. With the cool temperatures, the smallmouth are inactive. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There has been more wadable water on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles like the green butt. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). There have been reliable hatches of small midges and very small caddis (try a size 24 Adams parachute).The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Some anglers have been fishing heavy articulated streamers on sink tip lines on the higher flows to great effect. Dry Run Creek has been virtually abandoned. Now would be a great time to fish it. The weather has warmed substantially and it is more comfortable for young anglers. The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Use at least 4X tippet (I prefer fluorocarbon) to maximize your youngsters chance at landing a big one. The water level on the Spring River is clear and quite fishable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.
  6. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 1/17/2014 During the past week, we have had a few rain events (a total of just over an inch here in Cotter), warmer temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose seven tenths of a foot to rest at three tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty five and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose a foot to rest at five tenths of a foot above power pool and fifteen and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose five tenths of a foot to rest at eight tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool or eight and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had significant wadable water over the weekend. Norfork Lake rose nine tenths of a foot to rest at seven tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty five and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had significant wadable water over the weekend. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. They have been generating on all of the lakes on the White River system to respond to the increased power demand due to the cold weather. All of the lakes on this system are at or below power pool. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, The hot spot on the lower water last weekend was Roundhouse Shoals. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a cerise or pink San Juan worm with a midge pattern suspended below it). The Corps of Engineers have been running significantly more water most of the week and that has benefitted the streamer fishing. To do this you need at least an eight weight fly rod, a heavy sink tip fly line and large articulated streamers. The idea is to bang the bank and strip the fly back to the boat. This is heavy work and requires advanced casting skills. Some effective patterns are sex dungeons and circus peanuts. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are high and off color. With the cold temperatures, the smallmouth are very inactive. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There has been some wadable water on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). There have been reliable hatches of small midges and caddis (try a size 22 Adams parachute).The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Some anglers have been fishing heavy articulated streamers on sink tip lines to great effect. The siphon to accommodate minimum flow was damaged during our most recent winter storm and is not functioning. There have been reports of a minor shad kill on the Norfork tail water below Norfork Dam and conditions have been conducive on both rivers. This is a natural phenomenon where threadfin shad in the lake die and are drawn through the generators at the dam. These bits of shad produce a feeding frenzy. This usually occurs during extremely cold weather and high levels of generation. Watch for gulls hitting the shad as they come through the generators. The best flies are white shad patterns. The conditions are promising for a shad kill on both the White and Norfork Rivers. Dry Run Creek has been virtually abandoned. Now would be a great time to fish it. Numerous brown trout have moved into the creek.The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Use at least 4X tippet (I prefer fluorocarbon) to maximize your youngsters chance at landing a big one. Take great care to dress your children properly for the cold weather. Take frequent breaks to warm them up. The water level on the Spring River is clearer and quite fishable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.
  7. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 1/08/2014 During the past week, we have had a polar vortex that included snow (about two inches here in Cotter), brutally cold temperatures (it fell to 0 degrees here in Cotter) and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell one and two tenths feet to rest at three tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty six and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell eight tenths of a foot to rest at five tenths of a foot below power pool and sixteen and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell four tenths of a foot to rest at three tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool or nine and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we have had no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell one and two tenths feet to rest at two tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty six and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we have had little wadable water. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. They have been generating on all of the lakes on the White River system to respond to the increased power demand due to the brutally cold weather. All of the lakes on this system are at or below power pool. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, The hot spot has been the section from the State park down to White Hole. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a cerise or pink San Juan worm with a midge pattern suspended below it). The Corps of Engineers have been running significantly more water and that has benefitted the streamer fishing. To do this you need at least an eight weight fly rod, a heavy sink tip fly line and large articulated streamers. The idea is to bang the bank and strip the fly back to the boat. This is heavy work and requires advanced casting skills. Some effective patterns are sex dungeons and circus peanuts. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are high and off color. With the cold temperatures, the smallmouth are very inactive. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There has been very little wadable water on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). There have been reliable hatches of small midges and caddis (try a size 22 Adams parachute).The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Some anglers have been fishing heavy articulated streamers on sink tip lines to great effect. There have been reports of a minor shad kill on the Norfork tail water below Norfork Dam. This is a natural phenomenon where threadfin shad in the lake die and are drawn through the generators at the dam. These bits of shad produce a feeding frenzy. This usually occurs during extremely cold weather and high levels of generation. Watch for gulls hitting the shad as they come through the generators. The best flies are white shad patterns. The conditions are promising for a shad kill on both the White and Norfork Rivers. Dry Run Creek has been virtually abandoned. Now would be a great time to fish it. Numerous brown trout have moved into the creek.The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Use at least 4X tippet (I prefer fluorocarbon) to maximize your youngsters chance at landing a big one. Take great care to dress your children properly for the cold weather. Take frequent breaks to warm them up. The water level on the Spring River is clearer and quite fishable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.
  8. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 1/03/2014 During the past week, we have had a minor rain event, cold temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose nine tenths of a foot to rest at nine tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty five and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose one foot to rest at five tenths of a foot above power pool and fifteen and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose two and one tenth feet to rest at seven tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool or eight and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we have very limited wadable water. Norfork Lake rose one and nine tenths feet to rest at one and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty five and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we have had little wadable water. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, The hot spot has been the section from White Hole down to Cotter. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a cerise or pink San Juan worm with a midge pattern suspended below it). The Corps of Engineers have been running significantly more water and that has benefitted the streamer fishing. To do this you need at least an eight weight fly rod, a heavy sink tip fly line and large articulated streamers. The idea is to bang the bank and strip the fly back to the boat. This is heavy work and requires advanced casting skills. Some effective patterns are sex dungeons and circus peanuts. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are high and off color. With the cold temperatures, the smallmouth are not very active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There has been much less wadable water on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). There have been reliable hatches of small midges and caddis (try a size 22 Adams parachute).The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Some anglers have been fishing heavy articulated streamers on sink tip lines to great effect. There have been reports of a minor shad kill on the Norfork tail water below Norfork Dam. This is a natural phenomenon where threadfin shad in the lake die and are drawn through the generators at the dam. These bits of shad produce a feeding frenzy. This usually occurs during extremely cold weather and high levels of generation. Watch for gulls hitting the shad as they come through the generators. The best flies are white shad patterns. Dry Run Creek has been virtually abandoned. Now would be a great time to fish it. Numerous brown trout have moved into the creek.The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Use at least 4X tippet (I prefer fluorocarbon) to maximize your youngsters chance at landing a big one. Carry the largest net that you can lay your hands on and do not forget the camera. While you are there take a few minutes and tour the adjacent Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering, to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. The water level on the Spring River is high and off color. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years. John can be reached at (870) 435-2169 or http://www.berrybrothersguides.com.
  9. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 12/18/2013 During the past week, we have had rain (around an inch here in Cotter), warmer temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals remained steady at six tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty six and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell two tenths of a foot to rest at one foot below power pool and seventeen feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose three tenths of a foot to rest at one and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool or eleven and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we have had little wadable water. Norfork Lake rose one tenth of a foot to rest at one and four tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty seven and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we have had wadable water every day. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. With all of the lakes in the White River system below power pool and the temperatures moderating, I predict that we will receive more wadable water, in the coming weeks. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, conditions have greatly improved. Access roads and ramps are clear of snow and ice and all are usable. The Corps of Engineers have been running a bit more water and that has benefitted the streamer fishing. There have been very few anglers and most were fishing streamers like sex dungeons and circus peanuts. Other hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low. With the cold temperatures, the smallmouth are not very active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There has been wadable water on the Norfork every day. There has been very limited fishing pressure. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). There have been reliable hatches of small midges and caddis (try a size 22 Adams parachute).The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Dry Run Creek has been virtually abandoned. Now would be a great time to fish it. Numerous brown trout have moved into the creek.The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Use at least 4X tippet (I prefer fluorocarbon) to maximize your youngsters chance at landing a big one. Carry the largest net that you can lay your hands on and do not forget the camera. While you are there take a few minutes and tour the adjacent Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering, to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. The water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years. John can be reached at (870) 435-2169 or http://www.berrybrothersguides.com.
  10. John Berry

    John Berry Fishing Report 12/11/2013

    Conditions are improving. I would think you would be okay at most if not all spots.
  11. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 12/11/2013 During the past week, we have had the worst winter storm in recent memory to include sleet and snow (sixteen inches here in Cotter), brutally frigid temperatures (single digits on several days) and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose four tenths of a foot to rest at six tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty six and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell two tenths of a foot to rest at one and two tenths feet below power pool and seventeen and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at two and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool or eleven and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we have had little wadable water. Norfork Lake fell three tenths of a foot to rest at one and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty seven and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we have had wadable water every day. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. With all of the lakes in the White River system below power pool and the temperatures moderating, I predict that we will receive more wadable water, in the coming weeks. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, conditions have been treacherous. Several docks sunk under the weight of the ice and snow. Access roads and ramps were coated with ice and snow. Cancelled trips, stuck vehicles and jack knifed trailers were the order of the day. There have been very few anglers and most were fishing streamers like sex dungeons and circus peanuts with limited results. Other hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low. With the brutally cold temperatures, the smallmouth are not very active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There has been wadable water on the Norfork every day. Due to the brutal weather and hazardous road conditions there has been very limited fishing pressure. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Dry Run Creek has been virtually abandoned. It would be best to wait for warmer weather. Numerous brown trout have moved into the creek.The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Use at least 4X tippet (I prefer fluorocarbon) to maximize your youngsters chance at landing a big one. Carry the largest net that you can lay your hands on and do not forget the camera. While you are there take a few minutes and tour the adjacent Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering, to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. The water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.
  12. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 11/27/2013 During the past week, we have had a rain event, much colder temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose five tenths of a foot to rest at one and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty seven and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell one tenth of a foot to rest at a foot below power pool and fifteen feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell one tenth of a foot to rest at two and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool or eleven and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we have had higher levels of generation in the morning and lower generation in the afternoon. There has been no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell one tenth of a foot to rest at one and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty seven and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we have had wadable water every day and moderate generation in the evening. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. With all of the lakes in the White River system below power pool and the temperatures moderating, I predict that we will receive more wadable water, in the coming weeks. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, the hot spot has been the section from White Hole down to Wildcat Shoals. The best time to fish is early morning or late in the afternoon. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed pheasant tail suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). Some anglers have been fishing large streamers on the heavy flows we have been getting and having success. This requires heavy sink tip lines (250 grain or heavier), heavy rods (eight weights or better) and advanced casting skills. The hot flies have been large articulated streamers in various colors. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are extremely low. With colder temperatures, the smallmouth are much less active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There has been wadable water on the Norfork every day and it has been pounded mercilessly. Fish early or during the week to avoid the crowds. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is working on a bank stabilization project near the Ackerman access, which is causing some severely stained water conditions, when they are working. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Dry Run Creek has fished particularly well. School is back in session and now is a great time to fish it, particularly during the week, when there is no one there. Weekends can get a bit crowded. Numerous brown trout have moved into the creek.The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Use at least 4X tippet (I prefer fluorocarbon) to maximize your youngsters chance at landing a big one. Carry the largest net that you can lay your hands on and do not forget the camera. While you are there take a few minutes and tour the adjacent Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering, to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. The water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years. John can be reached at (870) 435-2169 or http://www.berrybrothersguides.com.
  13. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 11/20/2013 During the past week, we have had a minor rain event, colder temperatures (including heavy frost warnings) and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell three tenths of a foot to rest at two and four tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty eight and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose one tenth of a foot to rest at nine tenths of a foot below power pool and fourteen and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell one tenth of a foot to rest at two and one tenth feet below seasonal power pool or eleven and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we have had higher levels of generation in the morning and lower generation in the afternoon. There has been no wadable water. Norfork Lake remained steady at one and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty seven and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we have had wadable water most days and moderate generation in the evening. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. With all of the lakes in the White River system below power pool and the temperatures moderating, I predict that we will receive more wadable water, in the coming weeks. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, the hot spot has been the section from The State Park down to White Hole. The best time to fish is early morning or late in the afternoon. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed pheasant tail suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). Some anglers have been fishing large streamers on the heavy flows we have been getting and having success. This requires heavy sink tip lines (250 grain or heavier), heavy rods (eight weights or better) and advanced casting skills. The hot flies have been large articulated streamers in various colors. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are extremely low. With colder temperatures, the smallmouth are much less active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There has been wadable water on the Norfork every day and it has been pounded mercilessly. Fish early or during the week to avoid the crowds. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is working on a bank stabilization project near the Ackerman access, which is causing some severely stained water conditions, when they are working. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Grasshoppers have produced fish, particularly when used in conjunction with a small nymph dropper (try a size 20 black zebra midge). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Dry Run Creek has fished particularly well. School is back in session and now is a great time to fish it, particularly during the week, when there is no one there. Weekends can get a bit crowded. Numerous brown trout have moved into the creek.The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Use at least 4X tippet (I prefer fluorocarbon) to maximize your youngsters chance at landing a big one. Carry the largest net that you can lay your hands on and do not forget the camera. The water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years. John can be reached at (870) 435-2169 or http://www.berrybrothersguides.com.
  14. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 11/14/2013 During the past week, we have had no rain, colder temperatures (including heavy frost warnings) and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell four tenths of a foot to rest at two and one tenth feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty eight and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake rose three tenths of a foot to rest at one foot below power pool and fifteen feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at two feet below seasonal power pool or eleven and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we have had higher levels of generation in the morning and lower generation in the afternoon. There has been no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose one tenth of a foot to rest at one and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty seven and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we have had wadable water most days and moderate generation in the evening. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. With all of the lakes in the White River system below power pool and the temperatures moderating, I predict that we will receive more wadable water, in the coming weeks. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, the hot spot has been the section from The State Park down to White Hole. The best time to fish is early morning or late in the afternoon. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, copper Johns, pink and cerise San Juan worms, gold ribbed hare’s ears and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed pheasant tail suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). Some anglers have been fishing large streamers on the heavy flows we have been getting and having success. This requires heavy sink tip lines (250 grain or heavier), heavy rods (eight weights or better) and advanced casting skills. The hot flies have been large articulated streamers in various colors. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are extremely low. With colder temperatures, the smallmouth are less active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There has been wadable water on the Norfork every day and it has been pounded. Fish early or during the week to avoid the crowds. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is working on a bank stabilization project near the Ackerman access, which is causing some severely stained water conditions, when they are working. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Grasshoppers have produced fish, particularly when used in conjunction with a small nymph dropper (try a size 20 black zebra midge). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Dry Run Creek has fished well. School is back in session and now is a great time to fish it, particularly during the week when there is no one there. Weekends can get a bit crowded. Numerous brown trout have moved into the creek.The hot flies have been sowbugs and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Small orange or peach eggs have been very effective. While you are there take a few minutes to visit the adjacent Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering, to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. The water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years. John can be reached at (870) 435-2169 or http://www.berrybrothersguides.com.
  15. JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 10/31/2013 During the past week, we have had two rain events (over an inch here in Cotter), cool temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell three tenths of a foot to rest at one and four tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is thirty seven and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell six tenths of a foot to rest at two feet below power pool and sixteen feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell four tenths of a foot to rest at two and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool or eleven and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we have had low levels of generation in the morning and heavier generation in the afternoon. There has been no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell three tenths of a foot to rest at one and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty seven and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we have had wadable water most mornings and heavy generation in the afternoon. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset lower for some of the lakes in the White River system. With all of the lakes in the White River system below power pool and the temperatures moderating, I predict that we will receive more wadable water, in the coming weeks. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, the hot spot has been the section below the State park. The best time to fish is early morning or late in the afternoon. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, copper Johns, pink and cerise San Juan worms, gold ribbed hare’s ears and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed pheasant tail suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). Some anglers have been fishing large streamers on the heavy flows we have been getting later in the day and having success. This requires heavy sink tip lines (250 grain or heavier), heavy rods (eight weights or better) and advanced casting skills. The hot flies have been large articulated streamers in various colors. The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are extremely low. The smallmouth are less active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. There has been wadable water on the Norfork and it has been pounded. Fish early or during the week to avoid the crowds. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is working on a bank stabilization project downstream from the Ackerman access, which is causing some severely stained water conditions, when they are working. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Grasshoppers have produced fish, particularly when used in conjunction with a small nymph dropper (try a size 20 black zebra midge). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. Dry Run Creek has fished well. School is back in session and now is a great time to fish it, particularly during the week when there is no one there. Weekends can get a bit crowded. Numerous brown trout have moved into the creek.The hot flies have been sowbugs and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Small orange or peach eggs have been very effective. The water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo. The North Arkansas Fly Fishers have scheduled celebrated fly tyer, A. K. Best, to present several programs and tie flies at the Bull Shoals White River State Park Visitors Center on November 2 and 3. These programs are open to the public and free of charge. John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.
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