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John Berry Fishing Report 12/09/2010


John Berry

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JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 12/09/2010

During the past week, we have had no rain, frigid temperatures and extremely heavy wind (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals Dam rose nine tenths of a foot to rest at three and five tenths feet below power pool of 654.00 feet. This is forty four and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Up stream, Table Rock Lake fell nine tenths of a foot to rest at four and three tenths of a foot below power pool or twenty and three tenths of a foot below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell three tenths to rest at five and four tenths feet below power pool or fifteen feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had an erratic schedule with a burst of heavy water in the morning and again in the afternoon with no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell four tenths of a foot to rest at five and one tenth feet below power pool of 552.00 feet or thirty three and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we have had less generation with wadable water. All of the lakes on the White River System are significantly below power pool and we should have more wadable water.

There were significant changes to trout fishing regulations effective January 1, 2010. The Catch and Release section on the Norfork River will be increased from it current size of 1.1 miles to a new total of approximately two miles. The new upper boundary will be the bottom of long hole and the new lower limit will be the Ackerman access. The new regulations will also allow for multiple hook points in Catch and Release sections on the White and Norfork Rivers. Up to three treble hooks will be allowed. All hook points must be barbless. Of interest to fly fishers, is that the new regulations will allow the use of droppers, multiple fly rigs and articulated multiple hook streamers.

The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2010 to January 31, 2011 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park from the bottom of the Catch and Release section down to the wing wall will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period.

On the White, the browns are in spawn. There are spawning beds in various locations. Please try to avoid these areas. On high water, do not drag chains through them. On low water, carefully avoid them when wading.

Overall the fishing has been a bit slow. The erratic flows we have received have been challenging to deal with. As the flows change, you will need to constantly adjust your weight and strike indicator. With the spawn, egg patterns have been the go to flies. Copper Johns, black or red zebra midges and cerise San Juan worms have also been very productive. Fish them with a bit of lead eighteen inches above the fly and a strike indicator set at the depth of the water. Nymphs suspended below an egg or San Juan worm with eighteen inches of 5X tippet tied to the bend of the hook by an improved clinch knot have been particularly effective.

If you wish to wade during heavy generation take advantage of the water taxi at Rim Shoals Trout Dock. For a nominal fee, they will ferry you to wadable water and pick you up when you are finished. You can take advantage of this ferry with flows up to 17,000 cubic feet per second.

There have been some prolific blue wing olive hatches in the afternoon. If you are lucky enough to catch this hatch and do not have an exact imitation of the insect, try a size twenty parachute Adams.

Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are low and clear. The water temperature low and the small mouths are not active. 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.

The Norfork has been less crowded this week. The cold temperatures have kept many anglers at home. The section below Norfork Dam has fished a bit better than the Ackerman Access. The hot flies have been small black zebra midges and Dan’s turkey tail emergers. Use 6X tippet or smaller. You will need a rod with a sensitive tip to protect these small tippets. On higher water try cerise San Juan worms or peach eggs. There have been some blue wing olive hatches in the afternoon. Try size twenty parachute Adams and 8X tippet. Thanks to a new emergency exit it is now much safer to fish below the Ackerman access. Remember, this exit is located on private land and is for egress only.

Dry Run Creek has fished well. There are a number of large brown trout that have moved up into the creek. The hot flies have been cerise San Juan worms and sowbugs. With cooler weather the creek has been virtually abandoned. This is a great time to take your youngsters there. Bundle them up and take a break when they get chilled.

The water level on the Spring River is low and clear. Be sure and wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot spot has been the Bayou access. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise San Juan worms and pheasant tail nymphs.

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers 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.

Practice water safety and always check conditions before you leave home.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over twenty five years.

John Berry

OAF CONTRIBUTOR

Fly Fishing For Trout

(870)435-2169

http://www.berrybrothersguides.com

berrybrothers@infodash.com

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As usual, thanks for the report John.

With all of the lakes at or under pool why do you think they are generating so much?

Not only that, it's the way they are generating. I'd like to come down but it doesn't look too inviting to find some low water,

SIO3

Norfork has been more stable with generation in the morning and then again in the evening. Only problem is, with Bull Shoals generating so much, the Norfork tends to get a bit crowded. If the weather forcast holds tomorrow, I think I'm gonna hit the Norfork.

There's a fine line between fishing and sitting there looking stupid.

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Nice FT57.

I wish I was going with you.

We're going quail hunting tomorrow.

I'd like to come down around the holidays if the weather and generation would cooperate.

SIO3

Not gonna be around. Going back up to WI to freeze my butt off for the holidays.

There's a fine line between fishing and sitting there looking stupid.

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I fished the Ackerman Access yesterday and there were only five people there. Nothing like some cold weather to thin the herd!

John Berry

OAF CONTRIBUTOR

Fly Fishing For Trout

(870)435-2169

http://www.berrybrothersguides.com

berrybrothers@infodash.com

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Do what I do.

I snuggle up to my wife when it gets cold.

If it gets real cold, she calls her lonely sister to join in.

Winter goes by quicker that way.

SIO3

Ummm...

My wife died 4 years ago and I still haven't found anyone worthy of taking her place.

There's a fine line between fishing and sitting there looking stupid.

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