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John Berry Fishing Report 1/24/2008

John Berry

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There was locally minor rain event and the lake levels on the White River system have continued to rise. The lake level at Bull Shoals Dam rose eight tenths of a foot to rest at one and nine tenths of a foot below power pool at 654.00 feet. Up stream, Table Rock Lake fell seven tenths of a foot to settle at three and one tenths of a foot below power pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at six and eight tenths of a foot below pool. There generation pattern on the White has been for one or two spikes of heavy generation each day followed by periods of no generation or low generation. This has created some limited wading opportunities and some excellent boating opportunities. It has been extremely cold and very windy. Norfork Lake has risen three tenths of a foot to rest four and three tenths feet below power pool of 552.00 feet. The pattern on the Norfolk has been a mixed bag. We had a few days with no generation and some days with a brief period of heavy generation. This has created excellent wading conditions every day. The forecast is for the weather to remain cold with the possibility of precipitation. With the existing conditions, we should have some wadable water on both rivers.

There was an incident this week on the White River at Taneycomo where an angler drowned. He was attempting to pull his boat out of the water on an icy ramp. His car slid into the river and though he got out of the automobile he was unable to make it to shore. This highlights the danger of icy ramps in the bitterly cold weather we are currently encountering. Avoid using any ramp that is iced. Live to fish another day.

Keep in mind that the Catch and Release area below Bull Shoals Dam will open on February, 1. This section has been closed for the past few months while the brown trout have been spawning and no one has been allowed to fish here during this period. I would expect that this will attract several anglers. To avoid the crowds, try to fish early or late or better yet on a week day.

Despite the cold and windy weather, the fishing on the White has been good. There have not been many anglers out but those that have fished have done well. One hot spot has been the Narrows. There have been several reports of great fishing on Y2Ks and egg patterns. In addition, this area has yielded some decent browns. On high water, brightly colored San Juan worms and egg patterns have been quite productive.

Wildcat Shoals has also been fishing well particularly on the lower end of the shoals. When there is a bit of water, egg patterns have produced well, while on low water, partridge and orange soft hackles and green butts have done the job.

Rim Shoals was fishing very well. Anglers walking down to White Shoals have been rewarded. Remember that this is a long hike and if the water comes up it will be dangerous. Always check generation before beginning this trek. The hot flies for this section have been olive woolly buggers, olive scuds and black zebra midges with silver wire and silver bead. The deeper holes along the first island have been productive particularly with Y2Ks. On high water the hot fly has been the San Juan worm in cerise.

The Norfork has fished a bit better this week. There have been some reliable midge hatches in the afternoon. I have done the best with Norfork bead heads in olive size eighteen and black and silver zebra midges in the same size. When the fish are keying in on the midge emergers in the film, Dan’s C B emergers (also known as Chuck Berry’s emergers) in size twenty two have been killer. Other productive flies have been Y2Ks, San Juan worms, and olive scuds.

Dry Run Creek, as always, has been the place to take the kids fishing. Because of the bitterly cold weather there have been precious few kids fishing there lately. Those few that braved the cold did exceptionally well. The hot fly is a size fourteen sowbug. Also try olive woolly buggers and San Juan worms. Be sure and use at least 4X tippet and pinch down those barbs. Always take the biggest net you can find and a camera.

If you are in the area and opt to visit the Norfork Fish Hatchery, be sure to remove your waders before entering the facility. Diseases such as whirling disease could be carried on your waders and this could have a devastating effect on the hatchery.

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


Fly Fishing For Trout




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