Fishing Report April 14, 2011

White River

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is very clear and low, with only two generators running. The river is very easy to navigate right now. Trout are excellent. Rainbow trout are being caught on a variety of casting spoons. Brown trout are biting well on small jigs. Fly fishermen are catching browns and rainbows on black and brown midges.

Randy Oliver at (901-832-1903) had no report.

Guide Davy Wotton said caddis are dancing, and so are the trout. Fishing has been good, despite the rough weather. Now is the time for some of the best dry fly fishing of the year, caddis hatches will continue for a few more weeks. Most fish will be near the surface, either taking emergers or the adults. Many combinations of caddis pupae and dries will work, provided they are of the right color combinations and size. As a rule, size 16 and 14 hooks work best. When there is no hatch, dead drift techniques with a pair of caddis pupae is a good bet. Top dries will include elk hair caddis and balloon caddis. Pupae in olive, insect green and tan will work, and SLF trans caddis emerger is a killer. Generations have been generally low or zero with early morning spikes of a few hours. Downside is rising water has been very trashy and will put the fish down in a hurry. You have to move either way upstream above the trash or downstream before it gets to you. Trout will generally hug the river bed during this time, and the only way to deal with it is going to high-visibility flies like worms and eggs.

Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) said fishing has been good. Jigs, Rapalas or Power Bait fished along the bottom have worked well. Woolly buggers fished on a fly rod continue to produce. Be aware, the 1.5 inches of rain received over the weekend has raised the Buffalo several feet. It will take a day or so to hit the White and another day to spread down the river, but it will be murky at best. It will take a few days to clear but you can still catch fish.

Buffalo River

Just Fishing Guides said heavy rain has made the Buffalo high and muddy. The Ponca area is in flood stage and higher water is moving downstream. Fishing should be good downstream for awhile. Soft plastics in green, brown and chartreuse will be working. Get out and enjoy a day on the river paddling you canoe and kayak. Water temperatures have averaged 62 degrees with a high of 68 degrees.

Crooked Creek

Just Fishing Guides said the river is rising, but it’s still fishable. The water is at 11.99 feet at Kelly’s Slab with a current of 129 cfs. Soft plastics such as tube baits, hula grubs and lizards are working in watermelon red, green pumpkinseed and pumpkinseed. Fly fishermen should use crawdad patterns.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 651.90 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool – 654 MSL).

Mike Worley’s Guide Service said water temperatures fluctuate from the lower 50s to the upper 50s. Many walleye are up on the points at night, getting ready to spawn. The walleye bite usually gets going well at water temps of about 60 degrees. We have been catching walleyes casting stick baits late in the day and just after dark and trolling crankbaits during the day. Bass are biting stick baits on chunk rock points on windy days. White bass are biting well in the backs of creek arms and bays in very shallow water when the wind is blowing. Crappie have been biting around brush piles; some days, fishing over shallow brush works best and on other days, a jig and minnow fished on the bottom is the ticket.

Local Guide Bob Pauletti (870-656-3350) said the fishing on the lake is on fire. If any one is thinking of fishing Bull Shoals, now is the time. White bass are very active in the backs of the major creeks. Small white jigs, Road Runners and crankbaits are all producing fish. Crappie are on brush piles and can be caught on a jig-and-minnow or small stick bait. Spotted bass are close to spawning, and are feeding on live bait in 15 to 20 feet of water. Smallmouth bass also are close to spawning and have the feed bag on. Fishing the major creek arms with tube baits is working well. Largemouth bass are excellent on jerk baits fished around windy areas or crayfish-imitating baits. Walleye are on the banks at night, but are only thinking of spawning. Very soon, a nightcrawler dragged behind a White River rig will produce during the day and a jerk bait fished along the bank will work at night.

Bull Shoals Tailwater

Just Fishing Guides said generation has been averaging 0-3 units over the past week. Caddis have been either hatching or laying eggs all week. Being at the right place at the right time on the river is partly a matter of luck. During periods of generation, streamers fished from a boat can put you on some really nice fish. A few sulphur mayflies are starting to come off on the lower river, so various pheasant tail patterns should be in your nymph rotation. Midges, scuds, sow bugs and worm patterns are also working when no caddis are present.


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