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North Fork/Bryant Creek Stripers & Hybrids


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#1 Bill Butts

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 02:09 PM

Do we have any Forum members or readers that know and fish the North Fork and Bryant Creek above Norfork Lake for Stripers, Hybrids and Whites?
There has been some Forum discussion about Norfork Lake but not the tributaries, yet.
The area above and below Tecumseh is a virtual fish factory in the spring, including Walleye.
How bout it folks?
Bill Butts
Springfield MO
"So many fish, so little time"

#2 bryantsmallie28

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 11:59 PM

Yeah I have fished it some but I usually stick to the bull shoals area because it seems like there is a little more area to spread the people out at least somewhat. It seems like every white bass/walleye fisherman on the lake is around tecumseh that time of year. There are a ton of fish there though, If the rain doesnt continue coming down like it did today and get the creeks rolling enough to keep up with the generation at the dam, so it will fill up the lake you will be able to wade fish for them at the liner ramp. It looks like a creek at the stump hole. I have fished down there quite a bit though and plan on fishing there a little more this year because I have a friend who knows it a little better than I do who i will go with more since this year im not down in branson at college. I'm just thinking if it doesnt come up a whole lot before spring a lot of peoples money spots above the tecumseh bridge are gonna be lucky to have the numbers of whites come through them this year.

#3 Bill Butts

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 10:17 AM

Yeah I have fished it some but I usually stick to the bull shoals area because it seems like there is a little more area to spread the people out at least somewhat.


smallie,
Thanks for your post.
Certainly the area just above and below the Tecumseh Bridge get the most pressure.
Have you fished up near or close to the Dawt Mill Dam?
In a year with some really good rains, the fish ought to be stacked in that 4 mile stretch right up to the Dam.
On the Bryant Creek side, too.
Have you been successful catching Hybrids and/or Stripers in the spring down there?
If so, it would be appreciated if you would share your knowledge on the usual timing of that.
Bill Butts
Springfield MO
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#4 bryantsmallie28

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 09:40 PM

I havent caught many down there but my friend lived in west plains so that was the closest fishing for him so he fished there quite a bit, and he said he would stumble into them while white bass fishing. It was usually right around when the whites were running maybe a little later i think. And no i havent ever fished for them all the way to dawt. By that time i usually have tamed my fishing down and im concentrating on turkey hunting. I know the stripers and hybrids do get all the way up there, im not sure what number or anthing but they do go up there. I have heard a rumor, keep in mind this is a rumor, about somethign like one year the water was really up and they were afraid it was going to get up over the dam allowing the stripers into the precious little trout area(sorry I'm not a big fan of the trout, its an opinion shared by many giggers) and the way i heard it was they were gigging them off the dam or something to keep them from coming up there. Yeah it sounds crazy and i dont figure it is true, maybe someone can enlighten us on this, it just adds a kind of entertaining story to this.

#5 Bill Butts

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 09:16 AM

I havent caught many down there but my friend lived in west plains so that was the closest fishing for him so he fished there quite a bit, and he said he would stumble into them while white bass fishing. It was usually right around when the whites were running maybe a little later i think. And no i havent ever fished for them all the way to dawt. By that time i usually have tamed my fishing down and im concentrating on turkey hunting. I know the stripers and hybrids do get all the way up there, im not sure what number or anthing but they do go up there. I have heard a rumor, keep in mind this is a rumor, about somethign like one year the water was really up and they were afraid it was going to get up over the dam allowing the stripers into the precious little trout area(sorry I'm not a big fan of the trout, its an opinion shared by many giggers) and the way i heard it was they were gigging them off the dam or something to keep them from coming up there. Yeah it sounds crazy and i dont figure it is true, maybe someone can enlighten us on this, it just adds a kind of entertaining story to this.


Several years back, I talked with a guy from West Plains that fished there and caught some Stripers/Hybrids on a fly rod but was using such a light rod most of the fish died after he landed them. I don't recall his name, but he worked for the MO Conservation Dept (MDC). My vague memory seems to recall his first name was Tony? Would that be your friend?

Regarding trying to keep Stripers away from trout, I heard last fall that the AR Fish & Game shocked up some marauding Hybrids (10-15#class) below Beaver Dam and just gave them to some fishermen. Wow, what a waste. Why couldn't they tell some Striper fishermen what hole they were laying in and give them a shot at catching those great fish? Or, at least put them back in Beaver Lake where they came from?

How close do you live to the Tecumseh area?
Do you also fish over on the Little Nork Fork and Barren Fork areas above Theodosia?
Anyone else on the Forum live down in Ozark or Booger counties and fish that great area?
Bill Butts
Springfield MO
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#6 Gavin

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 03:20 PM

I've also heard reports about stripers being caught on flies at Dawt Mill. Not sure about folks gigging stripers to save trout though. Its about a 20' tall mill dam, so the river & lake pool would really have to rise to allow stripers to enter the trout water above Dawt Mill.

FWIW, there were two fellows who spoke to our ff club about stripers on Lake Norfork a few years a go. One was named Bink, and the other was a fellow named Shawn Taylor who owns a B&B on the N. Fork of the White. I believe that Shawn does a bit of fly rodding for stripers on the N. Fork of the White and Lake Norfork. He might be able to answer some of your questions. Brian Wise, may too. Cheers.

Edited by Gavin, 31 January 2006 - 03:22 PM.


#7 Bill Butts

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:43 PM

FWIW, there were two fellows who spoke to our ff club about stripers on Lake Norfork a few years a go. One was named Bink, and the other was a fellow named Shawn Taylor who owns a B&B on the N. Fork of the White. I believe that Shawn does a bit of fly rodding for stripers on the N. Fork of the White and Lake Norfork. He might be able to answer some of your questions. Brian Wise, may too. Cheers.


Gavin,
What FF club do you belong to, are you in Springfield or down in Mt. Home?
I have known Shawn Taylor for many years, and Bink is a guide on Norfork Lake and a nice guy that is commited to fishing only artificials for the great Stripers and Hybrids of Norfork, different than many guides.
Shawn used to be a full time guide, but has been involved in an unreleated business for several years.
I believe he does still live on the river above Dawt. I should probably touch base with him again this spring to see if he is tracking the annual spawning runs of whites, hybrids and stripers.
Brian Wise, too, though my perception is he is dedicated primarily to the trout of the North Fork (a very worthwhile passion).
Brian, if you're reading this, do you follow and fish the spring runs of whites/hybrids in the lower NF River?
Gavin, thanks for your post, please stay active on the Forum, I'm sure you'll be a great contributor and blessed for your sharing attitude.
Bill Butts
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"So many fish, so little time"

#8 doctorbrady

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 08:51 AM

Butts,
Another fishery you might want to try is the War Eagle River. Large stripers in the 40 pound class migrate up the river out of Beaver Lake every spring, usually following the whites. The river runs into a low water dam which concentrates the whites. I have never caught any stripers all the way up at the dam, but have seen some monsters taken just about a mile or so below. Access is pretty easy and when you catch it right the fishing can be great. I have only recently moved back into the general vicinity (Aurora, MO) and haven't gotten a chance to go hit my old childhood fishing holes, but I know things haven't changed there too much. This might be a good place for you to wet your line and let the rest of us jealous, drooling fly fishers who don't get to fish everyday know how it is. Best of luck, Brady

#9 Gavin

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 09:23 AM

Bill, I'm a member of Ozark Fly Fishers in St. Louis. I've only met Shawn a couple times, but he and Bink gave a really good presentaion. Will have to get down to Norfork or Beaver and do some striper fishing soon.

Gavin

#10 Bill Butts

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 10:30 AM

Butts,
Another fishery you might want to try is the War Eagle River.


drbrady,

Thanks for your post.
Those tribs of Beaver Lake are great, but not many of them.
I've spent quite a lot of time the past 8 years learning the upper White and Richland Creek tribs.
War Eagle really takes a boat to properly access unless you know landowners.
Even at the Mill, they don't want people parking just to fish. I checked that out last year.
You mentioned "access is easy" so I am all ears to any advice you can offer.
If you're interested in re-acquainting yourself with that fishery, Todd and Michael at McLellans Fly Shop in Fayetteville fish those tribs regularly in the spring at post their reports on their website at www.mcflyshop.com That site doesn't have the traffic this Forum has, but it is good during the busy spring.
Todd told me recently he would be participating on this Forum, too.
You can also call them, or the guys at the Beaver Dam Store (Steve), for up to date reports.
By the way, are you a fishing buddy of jay bird on this Forum.
He has some fishing friends in Aurora, so I thought there could be a connection.
Bill Butts
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#11 Bill Butts

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 10:45 AM

Bill, I'm a member of Ozark Fly Fishers in St. Louis. I've only met Shawn a couple times, but he and Bink gave a really good presentaion. Will have to get down to Norfork or Beaver and do some striper fishing soon.

Gavin


Gavin,
Thanks for your follow-up.
I thought maybe you lived in that area.
I've known some of the long-time members of the OFF for many years like Jerry Jarousek (I probably misspelled his name, again), Caesar Carneghi, Bob Heine and others going back to the early years of the Conclaves in Mt. Home in the early 70's.
That has been a very strong club for many years.
I understand they were awarded the FFF National club of the year in 2005.
That's great recognition, considering how many clubs there are in the country.
Anyway, keep in touch on the Forum, things will begin heating up in the coming weeks.
Hope we get some rain, we need lots of it all over the Ozarks Region.
Bill Butts
Springfield MO
"So many fish, so little time"

#12 doctorbrady

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 12:03 PM

Butts,
Yeah I fish with Jason "Jay Bird" regularly. In fact, what he still owes me $5 for hooking the first (and other 5) fish during our AR river trip :) . War Eagle is usually pretty easy access unless things have changed drastically. Though they may not want you parking just to fish no one will object. There are a couple of parking spots right at the mill that are used mostly to access the water at the dam. Like most "navagable streams" in Arkansas, you can fish it if you are in the water. Still at War Eagle you can fish from the bank below the dam. Most spring days there will be plenty of people there to prove it. Also, there used to be easy access for a small $2-3 fee just below the dam. We always called it the "dollar hole". This may have been shut off as they were getting a lot of immigrants camping on the property for extended periods of time. I have accessed the water by canoe from several spots but will have to do my homework to see what and where is still open to get to. A canoe or even a pontoon or belly boat should give you access to as much water as you can stand. The best part is even if the stripers and whites don't cooperate there are a ton on good smallies and rock bass to hook up with. Brady

#13 jay bird

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 06:22 PM

I will get you the 5$'s tonight if you go fishing, and I hope that I can win it back before the night is done. Let's say first to five. A little healthy competition always makes a fishing trip fun and makes for great bragging rights the next day. See ya :D

#14 Bill Butts

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 10:20 PM

Butts,
Yeah I fish with Jason "Jay Bird" regularly. In fact, what he still owes me $5 for hooking the first (and other 5) fish during our AR river trip :) . War Eagle is usually pretty easy access unless things have changed drastically. Though they may not want you parking just to fish no one will object. There are a couple of parking spots right at the mill that are used mostly to access the water at the dam. Like most "navagable streams" in Arkansas, you can fish it if you are in the water. Still at War Eagle you can fish from the bank below the dam. Most spring days there will be plenty of people there to prove it. Also, there used to be easy access for a small $2-3 fee just below the dam. We always called it the "dollar hole". This may have been shut off as they were getting a lot of immigrants camping on the property for extended periods of time. I have accessed the water by canoe from several spots but will have to do my homework to see what and where is still open to get to. A canoe or even a pontoon or belly boat should give you access to as much water as you can stand. The best part is even if the stripers and whites don't cooperate there are a ton on good smallies and rock bass to hook up with. Brady

Brady,
Thanks for the great input on War Eagle Creek.
I had thought about dropping a canoe in at the Mill and floating down to the highway bridge, some time, to be able to see the entire stretch. With the lake 15' below normal, the creek would extend down a long ways, right now.
Any one have any idea how close moving creek water would be to the bridge, at the current level?
I've intended to experience that creek during the past two years, but never did it.
I recall Michael McLellan was catching Whites, and maybe some Hybrids, up there last spring with a light weight spey rod. Interesting.
Perhaps this year.
Thanks again.
Bill Butts
Springfield MO
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#15 Gavin

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 10:09 AM

Bill, I dont have my map handy, but I think its only 2-3 river miles between Dawt and the 60 bridge. There are a couple longer floats available on the lower Bryant. Its probably 7miles from Hodson Mill to Warren Bridge, about the same between Warren and MDC's Florence Cook Access, and about 3-4 from Florence Cook to 60. Cheers.

#16 Bill Butts

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 04:36 PM

Gavin,
I talked with a fishing friend that lives near Ava and fishes daily during the spring runs from Walleye to Hybrids and Whites.
He said the river channel way down below Tecumseh is tiny is some places.
He thinks we must have lots of rain and rising lake level to have a chance for significant numbers of fish to reach Tecumseh or above.
Norfork Lake is almost 13 feet below normal pool, so like BS, TR and Beaver they are all in dire need of water and lots of it.
Pray for rain.
Bill Butts
Springfield MO
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#17 bryantsmallie28

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 11:58 PM

I know before this last rain we had it was still creeklike at the stumphole. the ramp there was wrothless. I think looking from there it looked like what some people call the goat hole, which is the bend below the stump hole conservation ramp, seemed to be lake water. And then udall is really low but it is lake water because i saw a guy in a bass boat fishing out in front of there. but dont ask me how he got there because I have heard it is tough to even find a ramp to put a bass boat in, even in northern arkansas.

#18 Bill Butts

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 09:47 AM

I know before this last rain we had it was still creeklike at the stumphole. the ramp there was wrothless. I think looking from there it looked like what some people call the goat hole, which is the bend below the stump hole conservation ramp, seemed to be lake water. And then udall is really low but it is lake water because i saw a guy in a bass boat fishing out in front of there. but dont ask me how he got there because I have heard it is tough to even find a ramp to put a bass boat in, even in northern arkansas.

bs28,
That friend I talked with said he and a buddy put in at Red Bank Access (I think that's right) and found masses of fish around points 8 and 9 on their graph. His opinion was that there would have been wide variety of species including lots of staging walleye and whites/hybrids. They spent lots of time looking but didn't fish that trip.
It's tough when you can fish every single day and don't have to wet a line every time you're near the water.
Bill Butts
Springfield MO
"So many fish, so little time"




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