As you may have noticed from previous fishing reports involving Crooked Creek, people who have lived in the area and posses intimate knowledge of the creek, as well as those who have recently discovered it, tend to develop a common appreciation not only for the wonderful fish it harbors but also for its intrinsic value as a unique and fragile natural resource. Growing up fishing the small clear flowing creeks and rivers of the Ozarks, my brother Ben and I have always had a special fondness for smallmouth bass and their watery hideouts. Ben has been sharing that joy with clients for over a decade now, but the opportunity to guide on my home waters, literally in my backyard I could say, has only just arrived for me, and so I guess it felt special for me to guide my first Crooked Creek trip with my brother yesterday.
Brothers Barry and Emil Turner drove up from Louisiana and Little Rock to spend a few days fishing smallmouth and trout in our neck of the woods. It was a nostalgic day for me paddling Emil down the creek, showing him the same water, flies, and techniques that Ben showed to me as a kid. The smallmouth attacked well presented crawdad and minnow flies for the Turner brothers throughout the day, with green sunfish and Ozark bass mixed in for variety, and one broad-shouldered carp that Emil nearly beached on the gravel before one last burst from its muscular tail snapped our 2x tippet. Enjoy the pics from the day and click the “continue reading” link for the weekly White and Norfork River reports.
Intermediate flows of 2,000-4,000cfs during the day and a push up to 5,000 or 6,000cfs in the evenings has been the norm on weekdays. Drift fishing from a boat on these water levels has been outstanding. On weekends generation is likely to be minimum flow, and wade or drift fishing has been very good in those conditions as well if you can get away from the crowds a little. There is still regular caddis activity in the upper river from about White Hole up to the dam, where Prince Nymphs, various caddis pupa, and green soft hackles are fishing well in addition to the usual midge suspects. I have also heard of a few rogue caddis hatches at Wildcat, Rim, and even Buffalo Shoals even though it is getting a little late in the year for caddis. Some sporadic sulfur mayflies and crane flies have been showing up as well, especially from Cotter down, and these are causing a strong bite on Pheasant Tail nymphs and Sulphur Nymphs, size 14-16. Won’t be long now before we might start seeing action on dries like Parachute Sulfurs and the like. Stock up now and get a discount on flies by the dozen.
Few of our guides have fished the Norfork recently due to the excellent fishing closer to home on the White, but I hear wade fishermen and floaters alike are doing quite well on the usual midges (Ruby and Root Beers, Zebras, Wotton Supers and Whitetails) as well as soft hackles, small wooly buggers, scuds, and even some small Parachute Adams and other midge dries in the #18-22 size range. Now is also a great time of year to start looking for crane flies and sulfurs on the Norfork as well.