Author Archives: mountainriverjournal

Gentle Flows Continue

The light flows and spectacular fishing on the White River is likely to continue through this week, as major flooding on the Mississippi River pushes past the confluence with the White River.

The peak of the flood is expected to crest in Memphis tomorrow morning at 48′, just under the highest flood of all time. The bulk of the Mississippi flood was caused by torrential rain a month ago, hundreds of miles away in Upper Catchment, not the deluge we went through. Continue reading

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Fishing Report _ May 4

Blue skies, clear water and fat rainbows on The White River

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Dry Run Creek Brown Trout

Nic Cobb's pig of a Dry Run Creek brown trout

Nic Cobb has done it again.  The young Texan “discovered” Dry Run Creek last year and caught a bunch of nice fish including this pig.

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Big Water And Big Trout

Guide Clint Wilkinson and a happy client on the big water ’09

LAST Night’s rainfall has created a moving feast on water flows but unlike ’09 we have a bunch of guides running around with silly grins on their faces.

Unlike ’08, when there were doubts over the unknown, our guides are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of some truly spectacular fishing to come on the White, particularly with some flood gates open. There is going to be a feeding bonanza over the newly flooded ground and fly fishers, who enjoyed the fruits of the last bout of high water, are getting ready to take advantage.

Our dedicated streamer fly fishers are also rubbing their hands together after the drought interrupted streamer season in February.

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Big Jump in Norfork Releases Today _ USACE

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Little Rock District of the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers reports that releases from Norfork Dam are increasing to
10,000 cubic feet per second at 5 p.m. today because of additional rain that has
fallen today.  With more rain in the forecast, larger releases could become

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Midday April 30 Norfork releases raised to 6,600 cfs. Read the full release after the jump.

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Back To Bull Shoals

Alex Cunningham hold his mother Brenda Dugan's chunky Bull Shoals rainbow

BULL SHOALS Dam was doing its job, hold back the deluge which fell upon the White River basin earlier this week, while Brenda Dugan and her son Alex Cunningham were out on the water together.

It was a day on the White at the Dam as per normal, the water was cold and clear, the fish were solid, hungry and for their girth enormously athletic, and Brenda was giggling at every fish. There was even quite a few waders working the Marion County bank, and catching fish, during the lower morning flows.

The Corp is continue to hold water, and Bull Shoals rising, to protect the Arkansas flatlands, running 1-2 units of real water most of the day, which is flushing the runoff. But as always the clearest water is at Bull Shoals. Between the pair we guestimated in the order of 60 fish, a bunch of double hooksups and some really ncie fish lost, on a mix of Sowbugs, Midges and San Juan Worms.

It was the condition of the fish that was remarkable. Even the short fish were heavy in the should and fat in the belly, and ran all over the river. Good fun time with good people, we’ll be back out today

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Fishing Report _ April 27

Springtime in the Ozarks

SPRINGTIME Ozarks: flowering dogwoods and redbuds, caddis on the river, thunderheads in the sky and water.

Spring is the rainy season, its just we don’t usually get it all in a week.  Since Thursday night Mountain Home has recorded over 10 inches of rain, areas from Harrison west have received over 15″ so far, an incredible amount of water in such a short time.

Dams up the White River chain are hold back part of the delugue, but the spillways on Beaver and Table Rock Dams are open to handle the tremendous amount of water coming into these lakes. Table Rock in particular is under a lot of pressure, being 30% over the top of flood pool, with the gates open. Continue reading

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Flood Gates Open On Norfork _ AGFC

Just received a statement from AGFC Trout Biologist Jeff Williams that with both generators down on Norfork Dam, flood gates have been opened to control the lake level.

The US Army Corp of Engineers, which controls the Dam, is limited spill gate releases to roughly normal generation flows, rather than the massive damaging spill way releases of ’09.

But as Mr Williams points out there are temperature and other concerns for the trout of Norfork, which were rebounding after a series of major environmental blows over the last 3 years. Continue reading

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Someone Needs To Get Off Their Butt


Hard to argue with fly caught fish like Gabe Levin's _ Jan 7 2011

HOW any writer, still able to pass the eye exam on their drivers’ license, could leave Arkansas off the top 12 fly fishing states in the US is baffling.

About the only conclusion you could draw is Field and Stream Blogger Kirk Deeter need to get out more, specifically out of the Rockies and down into the hills and hollers of the Ozarks after this article earlier in the week.

Michigan at number 1 mate?  In all deference to our friends up North, you really must have been giving the Ol’ Milwaukee’s a nudge. And Wyoming number 2, seriously? Sure there is less people in the poor cousin to Montana and Idaho, but for 8 months of the year its too cold, too windy, too muddy or too hot, so you might as well be somewhere else, heck anywhere else. And  for Colorado a state whose high point is the “greatest concentration” of fly rodders, immediately gets huge deduction. Continue reading

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Fishing Report 4-14-11

A happy fly fisher with guide Ben Levin (left) and a trophy White River Brown


WHAT a week its been, good weather and phenomenal springtime fly fishing and some seriously great fish.

Ben Levin put one of his fly fishers last week onto this 23″ brown on a guide trip as the first fish of the day. The fish ate a sowbug, a reliable choice between the spring hatches. The same day we also had an excited phone call from good friend and regular customer Chris Hepple, from Memphis, who stuck a measured 25″ brown on a Tailwater Soft Hackle dead drifted under an Elk Hair Caddis. This is Chris’ second serious trophy of the year after a 30+” fish in February.

 The guide team have been reporting in on some classic days. Marc Poulos and Ben Levin worked a group this week, who all came back with big grins. One happy tired fly fisher from the group pulled off his wading boots at the shop talking about “almost as many browns as rainbows”.

There has been a buzz around over the last week over the coming periodic cicada hatch, a once every 13 year event, which stokes the imagination of fly fishers everywhere these things occur across the country. These are not the same gree/black/white bugs we see every summer, look for the orange eyes/wings to tell the difference. The blizzard of big hunks of protein raining down on the water, whetting the appetites, of big browns and rainbows, is something to be seen to be believed.

Some reports have the hatch starting in early May, but even so it can take a few weeks for the fish to start recognising the bounty rarely available. We have some killer patterns coming, honed on periodic cicada emergences in other parts of the country. This is something we have been awaiting ever since we landed in Arkansas.

This weekend should be another good one, read on

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Off The Clock

IF YOU have ever wondered what our hard-working guide team does on their day off you might enjoy this report.

Last Friday,  the Journal and fellow guide Ben Levin, put together a crew of friends hanging around the shop and hit the caddis hatch and we got to play. Two boats, 5 fly fishers, and enough rods, flies and gear to start a fly shop or two.

Nice dry fly cuttie _ Ben Levin pic

Caddis eating rainbows were everywhere _ Steve Dally pic

Running upstream


Underwater cutthroat

Retying for dries

One hungry rainbow

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