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 “Fishing Report _ April 27”

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 “Flood Gates Open On Norfork _ AGFC”

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 “Someone Needs To Get Off Their Butt”

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

Continue reading “Fishing Report 4-14-11”

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

White River Browns _ with Clint Wilkinson

Great looking brown for Darren Watson on a guide trip with Clint Wilkinson


REALLY nice report in last night from one of our guide team, Clint Wilkinson.

  Here are a few pics from last Sunday. The final total was 13 browns between 16-23 inches and about 60 rainbows all caught on sunday specials. Not too shabby.

When you also take into account the seriously nasty, windy, conditions clint and the guys has to deal with phenomenal fishing.

Another great brown

Fishing Report 4-7-11

A 7lb Bass off Bull Shoals


SPRING has sprung in the Ozarks and there an abundance of riches for the fly fisher. Caddis are thick on the river, hillbilly coho are pushing up the rivers and the black bass are turning up on the lake.

Such is the life of an Ozark fly fisher at this time of year, where the biggest question is where to head, which is why this week’s report features Journal regular Jeff Hearn’s very handy 7lb bass, caught on conventional tackle in about 15′ of water. Jeff’s been priming us to hit Bull Shoals over the next few weeks as the water warms and the bass come up into easy fly rod range.

Smallmouth Guru Duane Hada was also in the shop this morning, hanging out and tying some caddis, and he reported that the smallmouth fishing was starting to fire as well, with Crooked Creek low but floatable. Fish the Hada Creek Crawler in tan

We have also been hearing decent to very good reports this week from the White Bass runs across the Ozarks, including at the upper end of Norfork Lake and found some ourselves up on Bull Shoals.

But its the trout, and the caddis hatch that has everyone grinning around the shop this week, particuly with the last 48 hours of low water. We have had bigtime reports from all our guides, and plenty of customers as well from Buffalo City to the Narrows.

Continue reading “Fishing Report 4-7-11”