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dustin.hutchison91

Hwy 101 to river

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It is several miles, but it doesn't matter as that is not floatable. I'm not sure why, but there is simply not enough water to get to the White from Hwy 101 at fishiable water levels. ie if there is enough water to make the trip, the water will likely be very swift or very stained or both. 

I've seen the riverbed dry as a bone as far as you could see in both directions at Hwy 101 just a few years ago. 

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Back many years ago, there was an article in some regional magazine (Arkansas Game and Fish, maybe?) that said that lower Crooked Creek below Yellville had some huge smallmouth, but was so brushy and snaky and dried up here and there that it was really tough to float and fish, which was why those big ones were there.  Not long after, I drove down there from Missouri with the intention of floating the stretches above and below 101.  When we got to the 101 bridge...the river was bone dry for as far upstream and downstream as you could see, just as Ham said.  It dries up just a short distance below Yellville during dry summers, and as far as I know it may have isolated pools here and there and maybe some trickles of water between them in some stretches, but I highly doubt that there is enough permanent water to hold a lot of fish.  It is nearly dry all the way to the White River.  Some years it keeps flowing a little bit, but given the fact that the White is no longer a source of replenishment of smallmouth into lower Crooked Creek, it just doesn't seem like there would be a lot of fish in it even in wet years.  Maybe there ARE some secret stretches that hold water year-round and are just chock full of monster smallmouth...but if there are, nobody is talking.

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Haven't attempted it myself, but the only time I've seen it look floatable with "good" water color at both put-in and confluence (Shoestring Shoals where I was renting a cabin) was during the month of March. I'm guessing the same conditions could exist earlier in the winter, but the water might be a bit cold for consistent fishing. I did catch a nice smallmouth just up CC from the confluence on a streamer. Al, the publication you were referring to was "The Arkansas Floater's Kit" that was put out by the AGFC about 30 yrs. ago. I still have mine in a binded notebook, but the pages have  yellowed lol. Always wanted to try that stretch just to see if the stories were true. If I ever do -- I'll shoot for the month of March.

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Something else I should point out; I've caught trout at the 101 bridge on CC during March. Point being -- fish are obviously negotiating the creek (going upstream) during the winter, so it might be navigable.

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I'm sure there is the odd magical day or two where all is right with the world and the creek is floatable and fishes ok. I don't believe for a minute that there are magical places that are hidden. Google maps ended that speculation. I just think your time is better spent on the other stretches of the river. You can look at the google images and see where the river likely ponds during really low water years, but I doubt hot, stagnant water is really great for smallies. Better than dry rocks to be sure. 

 

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Some years ago an angling writer did a story about a miserable float on the lower creek. Wrong boat, wrong water level, wrong stretch. Might have been Ray Bergman. 

First time I floated down to Yellville I got a kick watching the creek lose water the last several miles and finally disappear just below the bridge. 

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I'm sure there is the odd magical day or two where all is right with the world and the creek is floatable and fishes ok. I don't believe for a minute that there are magical places that are hidden. Google maps ended that speculation. I just think your time is better spent on the other stretches of the river. You can look at the google images and see where the river likely ponds during really low water years, but I doubt hot, stagnant water is really great for smallies. Better than dry rocks to be sure. 

 

Yep, Google Earth is especially helpful.  If you click on the history tab, and go back to the aerial photos taken on Sept. 17, 2006, you'll see the creek in a low water situation.  It's not dead low water, since there is actually a small pool underneath the 101 bridge, and we've all noted that at times the creek there is bone dry.  And the quality of the photos for that time period is not all that great.  But it looks like the creek goes bone dry about a mile below the bridge at Yellville, and stays bone dry, no pools at all, until a couple miles above the 101 bridge, when you start seeing scattered pools.  Looks like there may be a trickle of water flowing between the pools in places below 101, though other sections appear to have no flow between pools.  Some of the pools look like they are still pretty good size, and it's quite possible that even when the creek is bone dry at 101, some of those downstream pools would remain.  But it's obvious that the creek between Yellville and 101 would not keep a permanent population of smallmouth, and the stretch below 101 would be pretty iffy, since any pools that are permanent would get pretty stagnant in low water periods.

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It's because the river bed enters a huge gravel bed no telling how deep and the river simply flows under ground. Has to do with the two rivers meeting, combine gravel bed. I bet there are fish down there, I've seen the upper buffalo do this only to emerge into a clear, cool, deep pool. An oasis. 

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Geologically it's known as a "losing stream reach".  Lots of them all over the Ozarks.  Water usually sinks not just into the gravel but into fissures in the bedrock beneath, feeding the underground water supply.  Usually there's good sized spring somewhere in the region where the water emerges.  Don't know about where the water from Crooked Creek comes out again, though.  Some of the most impressive losing reaches:

Dry Fork of the Meramec River.  Dry Fork has a larger watershed than the Meramec itself above the confluence, but  nearly all the water in it sinks underground to emerge at Maramec Spring.  Dry Fork actually has several decent sized creeks running into it that flow all the time, but when the water from them gets into Dry Fork it almost immediately disappears.

Logan Creek, a large but mostly dry tributary of Black River running into Clearwater Lake.  A little bit of the water that sinks into the bed of Logan Creek comes out at a group of springs not far above Clearwater, making the last few miles of Logan Creek flow year-round, but most of the water running into Logan Creek and sinking underground actually emerges at Blue Spring on Current River, meaning that the Current is stealing water from Black River.

Roubidoux Creek.  It flows enough water in its upper portions to be floatable at times, but throughout most of its course through Fort Leonard Wood it's bone dry.  Its water re-emerges at Roubidoux Spring, making the last few miles a trout stream.

There are two losing reaches on the Buffalo.  First one is known as the Suck Hole, which is at the beginning of the Horseshoe Bend with Hemmed-in Hollow at the outside of the bend.  In dry times the river sinks underground there, and emerges at the other end of the bend, bypassing nearly a mile of river.  The second one is below Woolum.  In drought the river disappears at the Robertson Hole just below the mouth of Richland Creek, and for more than 4 miles the river is dry or nearly so.  Even if the river is still barely flowing below the Robertson Hole, the rest of the water disappears 2 miles downstream at Twin Rocks.  It re-emerges in the riverbed at what is known as White Springs, at the Margaret White Hole and Margaret White Bluff.

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