Free fly-fishing classes set for Heber Springs
Free fly-fishing classes set for Heber Springs
January 11, 2017
Fly tying is a fun skill to perfect before hitting a trout stream, and there are several opportunities in coming months to learn how.
Free fly-fishing classes set for Heber Springs
Some of the regular contributors to the weekly Fishing Report who keep everyone up to date on the state's trout fishing opportunities also provide the chance for trout novices or anyone else who wants to expand their horizons to learn how to fish for trout and to learn to tie flies for casting on the trout waters. One of those is Greg Seaton of Little Red Fly Fishing Trips, who has a free fly-fishing class set for February.
Seaton says the four consecutive weeks of classes begin Thursday, Feb. 16, and will run each Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Heber Springs. The class is open to all beginning and novice fly-fishing enthusiasts (older youths and adults). Younger youths are welcome if accompanied by an adult. No fishing tackle is required, but if anyone has a question about their personal rod, reels or flies, bring them to the class and Seaton will answer any questions. The class will be held at church's Family Life Center.
Those planning to attend should contact Seaton in advance (call 501-690-9166 or visit his website) to reserve a spot. If you cannot attend all the classes, Seaton still urges you to register and feel free to attend the classes you can. There is no cost for the classes.
Check out Arkansas Outdoors
(updated 1-11-2017) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) Bream good on worms and crickets. Catfishing has been good using nightcrawlers using shad or prepared bait. Bass reports have been good using white-colored spinnerbaits and crankbaits. The crappie bite remains good, particularly around Highway 89 bridge. Use minnows and jigs. Before last Friday's snow, there were about 60 pelicans on either side of the 89 bridge feasting on shad.
(updated 1-11-2017) Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) reported crappie fishing has been good jigs or minnows. No reports on other species.


(updated 1-11-2017) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said the Little Red is receiving power generation on weekdays and sporadic generation on weekends. This is providing great river conditions for this time of year on the Little Red. With the current lake level below seasonal pool, Lowell expects this pattern to continue. For fly fishing, he recommends midges, soft hackles, egg pattern, sowbugs and streamers. For Trout Magnet fishing, we recommend white and cotton candy-colored bodies on gold jigheads. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule. 
(updated 1-11-2017) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the cold weather has kept him off the river since Wednesday, Jan. 4. Greg said they had quite a bit of generation that day but by staying just ahead of the rising water his fishermen had a good day catching rainbows and a couple of browns. The best flies were a size 14 fox squirrel nymph and a No. 16 Prince Charming. The river is clear and generation has been reduced due to the warmer weather. On Tuesday of this week, evening generation was starting about 5 p.m. Check each day before your trip. Warmer weather is forecast through next week with a little cold snap on Friday. Rain is forecast during this time so watch for changes in water clarity..


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 455.18 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
(updated 1-11-2017) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level at Greers Ferry is at 455.23 feet msl and it is almost 7 feet below normal pool for this time of year, as they are working on the dam. The temperature is around 45 degrees. The black bass fishing is going good on spinnerbaits and small crankbaits for the shallow. Use C-rigs and football head jigs for the deeper fish as well as a drop-shot rig. The fish in between can be caught with the same as the deep fish and some bigger crankbaits coming in to play. Look for bait on points and humps, and concentrate in 25-40-foot range. No report on bream. The catfish are eating jugs and lines baited with crawfish and dog food. The crappie fishing is on and off day to day, with the best action around some wood, whether it be pole timber or brush piles. Most will be suspended in the 25-45-foot range and minnows and jigs working best. Walleye are eating in the clearer areas of the lake better than the rest on small jigs. Also try drop-shots and minnows on the bottom in the 40-45 foot range; some up by and in the rivers may be shallower on certain days. The hybrid and white bass are eating well all over the lake on spoons, in-line spinners, hair jigs and swimbaits. Look for bait and schools of fish in 25-70 feet of water.


(updated 1-11-2017) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) had no report.
(updated 1-11-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting great on BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk, Crystal, bone/chartreuse, Penny Back Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Catfish are biting on minnows and worms and shad. Bass are hitting buzzbait, worms and minnows. White bass are biting Great Baby Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’rs, Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow. Bream are biting crickets and worms.


(updated 1-11-2017) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) had no report.


(updated 1-11-2017) Jolly Roger’s Marina reported black bass are good and are biting on wacky rig worms and jigs. Blacks can be caught in 25-30 feet on drop-offs and creek edges. Kentucky bass fishing has been excellent lately. Kentucky bass are being caught on jigs. They can be found in 30 of water, mixed in with the blacks. White bass are good. Use Rooster Tails, CC Spoons or deep diving Bandits and Bombers. They are mostly found at the east end of the lake and right off the lake. Crappie fishing excellent. Crappie are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs (use chartreuse and white with very light line). Crappie are 20 to 30 feet deep, at the tops of structure near the edges of the channels, and on the old road beds. Lots of 11-14-inch crappie are being caught, should be so great winter fishing. Bream fishing has been slow and there have been no reports. If you’re going to find them, they should be in about 25 feet on the bottom; use crickets and live worms. Catfishing also is slow. The ones biting are being caught in 25 feet of water using stink bait, small bream or chicken livers.
(updated 1-11-2017) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on Baby Shad, minnows and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r baits. White bass are biting on Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow.
(updated 1-11-2017) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) has closed.


(updated 1-11-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a week ago that crappie reportedly were biting pink minnows very early in the morning and just before dark. Catfish had been biting fair on nightcrawlers, minnows and bait shrimp. Bass fishing was slow. Bream fishing has been fair with crickets and redworms. This week, the only report from Sunset was that crappie were hitting on No. 6 crappie minnows.


(updated 1-11-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said recent rains have put needed flow in the river and the fishing has been improving. Crappie have been doing good on pink minnows. Walleye are starting to pick back up on brooder minnows. Bass have also been doing good on brooders. 


(updated 1-11-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said some nice bream were being caught recently on crickets and redworms. Good size fish but not in big numbers. Tight-line around deep structure to find a few. Bass fishing has been fair with minnows and various plastics fished around docks. Catfish have been biting fair on minnows and nightcrawlers. This week, there were a few good crappie reports on crappie minnows, but that’s all they had heard.


(updated 1-11-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) has not heard any reports from Winona, other than hearing the lake was drawn way down.


(updated 1-11-2017) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said few people have been fishing due to the weather. Catfish are in deeper holes, mostly in the holes on the downstream side of jetties. Use skipjack and nightcrawlers for best results. Sauger are on the front side of Lock and Dam No. 9. Fish the jetty tips in the swirl. Throw downstream with a speck rig and pull through the swirl. Duck hunting has been really good this year with a great deal of all species. Mallards have moved in. I have never seen all the species as there has been all season. Please, hunters, pick up your shells and trash. Also, we had a truck and trailer slide off the ramp. Remember that when you get at the end of the ramp, where the water is, you can stop. Have a safe and happy new year.


(updated 1-11-2017) Professional angler Cody Kelley, owner of Cody Kelley Guide Service (501-733-5282), reported that the current river flows are fairly slow. Water temps have been hovering around 48-52 degrees depending on if you are in the main river or backwaters. As for bass fishing, slower flows have allowed some of the backwaters to clear up slightly compared to the main river. Many of the backwater areas will be slightly warmer and hold a few fish. Try slow-rolling spinnerbaits and squarebills to find areas with fish, then pick them apart with jigs and plastics. The crappie bite has been slow lately. Some can be caught on black and chartreuse tube jigs dipped around deeper backwater brush. The catfish bite is consistent right now. Most fish are holding in the deeper main river holes. Cody has been using cut bait mainly, but he says he’s sure other things would work. He adds, “It won't be long now until the bite really starts to take off for all species!!”


(updated 1-11-2017) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said crappie fishing has been excellent on minnows and jigs. White bass bite is also good.


(updated 1-11-2017) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said anglers in the Clear Lake area were having good success catching crappie on minnows and jigs. Bass were fair on spinnerbaits. Bream reports were poor, but a little action was noticed on worms and crickets. Catfishing was poor. Behind the Terry Lock and Dam, however, catfishing was fair. Bass were fair there on crankbaits and using plastic worms, while crappie remained good on that end of the pool with minnows and jigs.
(updated 1-11-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said crappie were good below the Terry Lock and dam in 10-15 feet of water. Minnows and jigs both were working. Catfish were fair on cut shad. No reports 


(updated 1-11-2017) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) is closed until Feb. 6. 


No reports.


No report.


No report.


(updated 1-11-2017) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie fishing has been slow with reports of only a few small ones biting pink minnows and small jigs. There was a report this week from the back pond of crappie being caught on pink minnows. Before last weekend’s tumble in temperatures, reports were that bass were biting on minnows and Texas rigged lizards fished slow. Catfish were hitting minnows, nightcrawlers and some have been caught on stink baits. Bream were biting crickets and worms on the bottom. 


(updated 1-11-2017) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said crappie were good in Maumelle Creek in 4-6 feet of water. Use minnows.
(updated 1-11-2017) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) had no reports.



North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 649.6509 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 1-11-2017) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock had no report.
(updated 1-11-2017) K Dock Marina is closed for the season until March 3.


(updated 1-11-2017) Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said his New Year's 2017 resolution is to do more trout fishing and buy a bigger net. He said they are gearing up for a great year of catching, learning some new techniques, meeting more trout anglers, looking at lots of pictures and hearing hours and hours of fish stories. The weather has kept even the heartiest off the water for a while with below-freezing air temperatures, but the Cotter area is warming up again – expect some showers along with the mild temperatures and a great new batch of trout. Their winter fishers have done pretty well for themselves on a variety of live bait (sculpin and minnows) with a couple of guys throwing translucent purple Rogues (Ron’s favorite) and seeing a lot of action. Clean that line and come try your hand at cold-weather trout catching.
(updated 1-11-2017) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said during the past week they have had a trace of rain, a trace of snow, brutally cold temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.2 feet to rest at 8.7 feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is 44.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.2 feet to rest at 7.6 feet below seasonal power pool and 23.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.4 feet to rest at 9.2 feet below seasonal power pool and 18.8 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had a mixed bag with levels of wadable water combined with periods of moderate generation. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less wadable water. The catch and release section below Bull Shoals Dam is closed until Jan. 31 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The state park will be seasonal catch and release through the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been Wildcat Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16 and 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (Berry’s current favorite is a size 14 hare and copper nymph with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it). 
Berry adds, “Is the humble Woolly Nugger the best fly ever? For a fly that gets little respect, it certainly catches a lot of fish. It is easy to tie. I generally make it the first fly learned, when I teach a fly-tying class. It is easy to fish. You don’t have to watch the fly or an indicator to know when you get a take. There is that beautiful resounding bump, when a fish hits it. It is not a one-trick pony. I have caught more species of fish, on it, than any other fly that I have ever fished. This includes four species of trout, red fish, speckled sea trout, shark, flounder, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bream and crappie, to name a few. It is one, of our best-selling flies here at Blue Ribbon Fly Shop.
“I was first introduced, to the Woolly Bugger over 35 years ago when fishing with my brother, Dan, on the Little Red River, while camping at John F. Kennedy Park. He gave me a few and told me that it was a new fly that he had been introduced to by a friend. I asked how to fish it and he said, “Just put it in the water and it will work.” I caught a quick dozen rainbows on it and was enamored with the Woolly Bugger immediately. Over time, I refined my technique to fishing it on a downstream swing with a varied retrieve. For the next 10 years, I hardly fished any other fly. In 1991, I was the president of the Mid South Fly Fishers, the Federation of Fly Fishers club in Memphis, Tenn. We had Lefty Kreh in as a guest speaker. As a joke, they had Lefty present me a plaque as the “bugger of the year.” I still have a photo of Lefty presenting me the award and cherish it.
“After a while, I was lured more to fishing with dry flies, nymphs and emergers. I would fish Woolly Buggers on occasion but I generally fished other flies. This has caught up with me, on a few occasions. On one occasion, I was preparing to fish the North Fork of the White River for the first time. I talked to Brian Wise and most of the other guides that fish it regularly, asking them what flies to use. The answer came back the same: stonefly nymphs and prince nymphs. I searched through all of my fly boxes until I found the flies that I had bought for a trip to Montana a few years before. Then when I was on stream I was severely out-fished by my wife, Lori, who was using an olive Woolly Bugger.
“Then just a couple of months ago, I was fishing with Lori’s sister, Terri, and her husband, Larry, at Roundhouse Shoals here in Cotter. It is a spot only four blocks from my house and I fish it often. I was fishing my favorite double fly rig, a cerise San Juan worm with a ruby midge dropper. This has been my most productive rig for months and I was quite comfortable fishing it. My only problem was that it just wasn’t working. No fly works every time. At the same time, Terri and Larry were having a remarkable day fishing Woolly Buggers. I was humbled and I switched over to an olive Woolly Bugger and immediately began to catch trout. The Woolly Bugger saved the day! No matter what your level of angling experience, do not forget the Woolly Bugger. Don’t leave home without it.”


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 548.43 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).(updated 1-11-2017) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said said the cold weather the past few days will drop the Norfork Lake surface temperature a few degrees, but he suspects it go back up with the warming trend that should take place this week. Tom said he fished last Wednesday and Thursday and could not find any shad out in the channel of the lake. The shad are still in the main creeks like Float Creek, Panther Creek and the Crystal Cove area. The shad are also in the marinas under the docks. Tom fished Float Creek and saw very large schools of stripers ranging in water 45-90 feet deep, the stripers were from 35-55 feet. Sometimes you could get two or three hits when the school passed by, then other times nothing. The best approach is set your baits after you find some shad and just continue moving in a large circle. Most of the time you will see nothing on your locator but then a school will show up and the fun begins. The artificial users are catching stripers and white bass on spoons, and the trollers are catching stripers on swimbaits. Find the shad and you will find the fish. Tom added that he had a Cast & Blast this past week with three generations – grandfather (Ray), son (John), and grandson (Henry). The group fished Tuesday and Wednesday and pheasant hunted Thursday. Wednesday the stripers were very aggressive and they hooked their limit multiple times but only managed to boat six stripers, Wednesday the bite was altogether different – they had over 25 strikes but many were nothing more than a pull down and the bait was gone. They did manage to catch eight stripers and missed a few more we should have had. Thursday the temperature was 19 degrees but felt warmer because they had little wind. When you can get together three generations, it’s not about how many fish or birds you shoot, it’s the time spent together and the memories you make that will last a lifetime. Tom said he was fishing Float Creek with the lines set at 35-40 feet with Creek Chubs. Striper fishing will great for the next several weeks, so come out and give it a try.
(updated 1-11-2017) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said he has finally been able to get out on Norfork Lake. A holiday vacation and then cold weather kept Lou off the lake for a couple weeks, but he said he’s glad to be back. Fishing on Norfork Lake has entered the winter phase of the fishing cycle, meaning the shad are going into deep water and the fish are following. In mid-December, Lou said, he was catching fish on large flats in 40-60 feet of water. Over the last week he has found large schools of striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass out closer to the main river channel or main creek channels. He has been catching stripers in 60-100 feet of water and the fish are suspended 30-60 feet deep. Lou’s favorite winter time bait is a spoon. He says he finds the fish and drops a spoon down to their depth and starts jigging the spoon up and down. With cold water the jigging method should be slowed down. The fish are still active, but are starting to slow down and don't necessarily want to chase it. You can also troll with swimbaits or Alabama rigs. The hardest part about trolling is getting your bait down to the correct depth. Down riggers, lead core line or in-line weights are different ways to get your bait down while trolling. Live bait is also working very well. During the cold months Lou will use big shiners. The stripers seem to like them just fine. Over the last week Lou has found stripers in the major creeks such as Float and Panther. You will also find stripers from the Highway 62 bridge area down to the Howard Cove area. The best part of winter fishing is, you do not necessarily need to be fishing at the crack of dawn. Monday afternoon Lou found large schools of feeding fish at 1 p.m. and it lasted all afternoon.
Lou also said he’s been concentrating for the last week on striped bass, so the next report will have information on bass and crappie fishing. He adds that he did pick up a nice crappie 70 feet deep while striper fishing. They can be anywhere in the cold water. Norfork Lake surface water temperature Monday afternoon was 48.5 degrees. A slight rise in water temperature is expected over the next several days due to the warmer than normal days and nights. Norfork Lake level is falling slowing and currently sits at 548.53. Periodic power generation is occurring during a large portion of the day. The main lake is clear, but the creeks and coves are stained.
(updated 1-11-2017) Guide Steve Olomon of Steve’s Guide Service had no report.
(updated 1-11-2017) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake dropped 1.1 feet to rest at 4.6 feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and 30.8 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation with much less wadable water. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less wadable water. There has been much less wadable water on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite fly has been an orange egg. Dry Run Creek has been less crowded with school back in session. A large number of brown trout have moved into the creek. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.


(updated 1-11-2017) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Buffalo is navigable. With cold weather, the smallmouths are much less active. Berry’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering the Buffalo River. There are no dams, it has large drainages and is prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.


(updated 1-11-2017) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the creek is navigable. With cold weather, the smallmouths are much less active. Berry’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek. There are no dams, it has large drainages and is prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.



Northwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,110.98 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120.00 msl).
(updated 1-11-2017) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported that no one had been fishing and there were no reports.
(updated 1-11-2017) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said striper activity forecast for the week is good. Stripers are in the creek arms and on the feed. Some Beaver Lake striper are using gravel bars, points, humps, treetops and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Fishing free lines and lightly weighted downlines will definitely get you some fish. There has been some topwater activity from striper and white bass. Beaver lake striper fishing will be good with striper taken on live shad fished on free and downlines from the surface down to about 20 feet deep. Also trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, and you can use plugs like Rapala No. 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6-inch model on plane boards with snap weights to get some depth and stagger your presentation. Jerkbaits like flukes, swimbaits and jigs will also produce. Topwaters like 7-inch Redfins, Zara Spooks, Pencil Poppers, will bring success. Have them ready to go. Fish location is greatly influenced by lake level and current flow; current in the lake from generation will generally position fish on upstream or downstream edges of structure. Check Mike Bailey’s daily lake level and flow data link on his website. On the mid- and lower sections check out these hot spots, where water surface temps in the mid-40s, and keep eyes out for surfacing fish: Indian creek (check past the marina near power lines), Lost Bridge North, Big Clifty, points 5 and 6, Rambo Creek Arm, Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar creeks, Larue, Coppermine, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow (look in 5-35 feet of water for striper). Also, in the upper section, check in 3-35 feet of water where fishing has been hot here: Highway 12 bridge, Prairie Creek, Coose Hollow, Blackburn Creek, Beaver Shores, Mont Ne. Also, white bass are surfacing and walleye are being caught in good numbers around Horseshoe Bend, while Hickory Creek, War Eagle and the War Eagle/White River junction (Point 12) are hot spots for striper in 5-15 feet of water.
Bailey also says that walleye can be found from 10-30 feet deep throughout the lake. He uses three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water and chartreuse/orange or clown colors in stained areas. Try Rapala Tail Dancers, Bagley Rumble B’s, Flicker Shad, and Bandit 300 Series in such colors as orange or chartreuse. Also try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink pro scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combination and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.


(updated 1-11-2017) Beaver Dam Store said the cold weather is keeping many fishermen out of the water. The trout don't seem to mind, though. You can still catch a limit; however, the take has slowed down considerably. Norfork hatchery dumped trout last week. Water levels remain low and many areas are accessible for the individuals that wish to wade fish. Conventional fisherman can appreciate the abundance of river banks that are accessible. Sources at Beaver Dam indicated that one generator is out of commission. It has been relayed that it could take up to one to two years to get it sent off, rewound and reinstalled. Who knows what this will do to generation schedules. Midges, scuds, San Juans, peach micro egg patterns, Hare's ears and nymphs are working well.
(updated 1-11-2017) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) has been off the water for several weeks but will resume fishing and submitting reports soon. 



No report.


(updated 1-11-2017) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) had no report.


(updated 1-11-2017) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the lake will be closed until Jan. 15.



Northeast Arkansas

(updated 1-11-2017) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said he is glad the freezing weather has passed. It is time to go fishing again. Lake Poinsett, which had been low in the last weeks of 2016, is up some. Fishing has been slow, but anglers are catching some. They have heard that Rogue is being used with success in catching bass. Anglers are casting across the tree stumps. 



(updated 1-11-2017) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said there was ice on the lake and no anglers had been out, thus no reports.


(updated 1-11-2017) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 250 cfs and water clarity is clear. The river is getting very low. Still catching the trout on Woolly Buggers on the strip back and with Y2Ks with a nymph dropper. Hot pink and chartreuse Trout Magnets have been hot-hot-hot! Find the deeper pockets to get into the bigger fish. Springriverfliesandguides.com website has been updated and improved. Check out the new video page for some awesome trout catching action. With a new blog page with daily updates that everyone has been asking for. Check us out!
(updated 1-11-2017) John Berry in Cotter said the river is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10). 


(updated 1-11-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said it had no reports as it has been too cold for anyone to fish.



Southeast Arkansas

(updated 1-11-2017 The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said that duck hunting had taken priority while school was between sessions and they had not been on the river fishing.


(updated 1-11-2017) Jennifer Albertson at Cane Creek State Park said the temperatures are warming up out at Cane Creek Lake. Afternoon temperatures Tuesday were pleasant. Wind was blowing hard in the area but was supposed to die down to 6 mph on Friday. The park has not seen many fishermen lately because of the cold weather, but you can always catch a catfish at Cane Creek Lake! If you would like to try your luck on a weekday, the fishing piers are recommended; two public fishing piers are located in great spots. If you would like to come out this weekend, the wind should have died down enough to easily take your boat out. The park bait shop has worms and stink bait available – great for catfish. 


(updated 1-11-2017) Matthew C. Gillum, the ranger at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705), had no report.


(updated 1-11-2017) Pine Haven Bait and Tackle (870-367-4303) had no report.



Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.40 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.32 msl).
(updated 1-11-2017) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake is about 3 inches above normal conservation pool and falling. There is increased river current with the gates releasing around 2,330 cfs as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week, ranging 40-45 degrees. Navigation is cautioned for Little River due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure. Bass are slow to fair on warm days, from 2-3 pounds on jigs, crankbaits and bulky tubes and 10-inch worms. Clarity and visibility on main lake structure away from current ranges 4-8 inches due to high wind and rain over the past few days. Cottonshed, Saline River, Okay Point and northeast quadrant remain stained. Little River's visibility ranges 5-10 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity currently ranging 15-25 inches depth of visibility depending on location. Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is stained from rain and wind, about 5-10 inches, some areas have better clarity.
Siefert adds that bass have completed most of their fall migration, and are now holding during the cold of the nights and most days in their deeper wintering holes along Little River and the deeper sections of the oxbows and creeks. Over the past couple days this week, they are willing to roam up into the flats for short duration where a jig and a random crankbait and squarebill or slow moving tube or bulky worm will get their attention, during the highest sun/warmest period of the day. Most bass have slowed to fair feeding moods over the past few weeks. Good starting locations include points extending out into Little River during the warmest period of daylight, and working the deeper drops into Little River where stumps and any remaining lily pad stems may exist. Majority of hours of the daylight now the bass are spending more time in the 9-15-plus-foot depths of deeper creek channels and Little River drop offs. Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs continue working this week with the best colors being black/blue/purple, Texas Craw or Spotted Tabasco colors using black craw worm trailers. Berkley 10-inch Power Worms in blue fleck continue working around any remaining vegetation and drop-offs in creek channels and mouths of creeks. The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Ghost, Sexy West or Millwood Magic colors are working on points and in creek channels, dumping into Little River during warmest period of daylight. The bite has slowed and aggressive levels tapered off over the past few weeks of cold nights and cool mornings. Best bites using crankbaits is a stop-n-go retrieve with a few pauses along the way. Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citrus Shad and Tennessee Special colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by largemouths and white bass alike. These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day. Magnum-sized, bulky 3-5-inch big Fatbutt Gizzit tubes continue working in creeks next to stumps and standing timber. Best colors over the past week include black/blue tail, smoke/chartreuse or bluegill. Placing rattles in the tubes are best way with the stained water conditions, and adding scent pads, for the bass to locate the slow moving tubes. Good responses from lethargic bass on the colder mornings come from pitching and shaking the rattling tubes near stumps in 9-12 feet of creek channel depths. 
Siefert advises that for white bass, keep a jigging spoon handy for these nomads. Deep holes in Little River just out of the current, or behind secondary points, will hold a few good schools of whites from 12-18 feet of depth. Keep sharp hooks on the spoons – the bite of whites this time of year is slow and methodical, and a soft touch rod helps keep in contact with a slow and soft bite. Crappie have improved along Little River. Planted brush in 15-17 feet are beginning to draw in some good slabs out of any remaining, reduced current. Cordell Paddle Tail smoke grubs on light wire jigheads and Blakemore Roadrunners continue catching some nice slabs in planted brush between 15-18 feet deep. Blues and channel cats continue to bite good in Little River over the past couple of weeks. Best bets are trotlines set 15-20 feet of depth along outer bends of Little River using cut buffalo, cut shad or chicken gizzards.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 543.42 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
(updated 12-21-2016) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said on US97 FM radio a lot of crappie being caught these days. This colder weather has kind of moved the crappie into more if a schooling pattern, typical wintertime fishing. You talk to the old-timers, they enjoyed springtime fishing, but when they loaded t heir freezers they were catching them in January and February when the water was its coldest. That’s what we’re dealing with. This week of 30-and-below temperatures has really cooled our lakes, it’s made these crappie school up around brush piles, made them a lot more predictable, and guys are catching ‘em. They are slabs and the meat is just as firm as it can be. If you catch them now when the meat is firm on them, you can blacken them in a cast iron skillet like you can a walleye fillet. You can use live minnows in 10-12 feet of water. Some guys a Bubble core. If it’s not too windy you can tie a line, but if it’s windy most guys are using a bubble pole cork in 10-12 feet of water around these timberlines.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 402.59 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
No reports.



South-Central Arkansas

No report.


(updated 1-11-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft plastics. Crappie are slow, but a few are being caught in lakes and the old riverbed. No report on bream or catfish.


(updated 1-11-2017) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said a few crappie being caught on shiners. No reports on bass or catfish.


(updated 1-11-2017) Local angler Jaret Rushing said Crappie are starting to school together and anglers are having some success on live baits fishing the edges of channels where there is structure (i.e. stumps). Fishing seems to be the best around 3-5 feet deep and the last report Jaret got was that bass minnows were doing the trick. No report on other species at this time.



West-Central Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 338.41 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl). 
(updated 1-11-2017) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) had no report.
(updated 1-11-2017) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no report.


(updated 1-11-2017) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said that a couple of anglers had gone out but came back soon after syaing nothing was biting. No other reports.


(updated 1-11-2017) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479 647-9945) said water temperatures are in the mid- to low 40s. Water clarity is good upriver, fair mid-river and stained in the lower river with some clear creeks and some stained creeks. Jerkbait has been working excellently in the clear creeks and river. Jigs have been working well in the clear water. Rat-L-Traps have been working well in the dirty or stained water. Stick to rocky areas. Crappie have been good in treetops and brush piles 8-10 feet deep on various colors – chartreuse, black chartreuse, white electric chicken and pink. White bass have been slow in the creeks on small crankbaits and jigging spoons. Stripers have been fair on spinnerbaits, bucktail jigs and occasionally jerkbaits. Bream have been good in some places on brush with brown crappie jigs. Catfishing has been good off of main river points in current using uncut shad and skipjack.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 569.79 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
(updated 1-11-2017) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 for out of state) said black bass are fair and being caught with pig-n-jigs fished near brush 12-25 feet deep or lip less crankbaits. No reports on walleye. Stripers are still fair on live bait or trolling jigs. The central area of the lake is the best area for these fish. No reports on bream. Crappie are fair; try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 15-20 feet deep fished near brush. There were no reports on catfish. Water temperature on Tuesday of this week ranged 44-50 degrees and the water is clear. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides – Mike Wurm (501-622-7717), Chris Darby (870-867-7822) or Jerry Bean (501-282-6104) – to book a trip or for more information. 


(updated 12-21-2016) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said on US97 a lot of crappie being caught these days. This colder weather has kind of moved the crappie into more if a schooling pattern, typical wintertime fishing. You talk to the old-timers, they enjoyed springtime fishing, but when they loaded t heir freezers they were catching them in January and February when the water was its coldest. That’s what we’re dealing with. This week of 30-and-below temperatures has really cooled our lakes, it’s made these crappie school up around brush piles, made them a lot more predictable, and guys are catching ‘em. They are slabs and the meat is just as firm as it can be. If you catch them now when the meat is firm on them, you can blacken them in a cast iron skillet like you can a walleye fillet. You can use live minnows in 10-12 feet of water. Some guys a Bubble core. If it’s not too windy you can tie a line, but if it’s windy most guys are using a bubble pole cork in 10-12 feet of water around these timberlines.


(updated 1-11-2017) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that the winter drawdown for Lake Catherine is now complete. A 5-foot draw will be in place until early March. Water temperature is 49 degrees below the dam with clear conditions in the tailrace. Boaters need to use extreme caution when navigating the area since the low water conditions have exposed many underwater hazards. Rock and sandbar dangers are numerous and made more life-threatening by fast water conditions. Lifejackets should always be worn by boaters and waders alike when on the water. Presently, Entergy is running a 3-hour-per-day generation schedule until further notice. It’s usually in the evening time, but if cold temperatures occur in the morning the flow will likely be scheduled then. The rainbow trout season has begun with a small November stocking of trout in place followed by a full 3,000 fish for December. Rainbows were absent in the lake in the early fall months, and this influx of fish always jumpstarts the fall fishing below Carpenter Dam. Bank fishermen can use wax or meal worms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Redworms and nightcrawlers also well work when using this same technique. Live bait presentations give anglers the best opportunity to catch trout as artificial lures are often ignored by finicky trout. Spin fishermen will have success casting Rooster Tails in 1/16 or 1/8 ounce weights over sand bars and exposed rock structure. Brown or white colors are best and most effective during periods of generation. Trout adapt quickly to feeding on available forage and will begin feeding heavily on the shad population. Small jigs in grey or white will draw strikes from hungry trout along with small silver spoons fished in the current. Fly fishermen can easily access areas that hold numbers of trout. Shoals are a target area with the head and tail regions normally holding the most fish. Micro-jigs in black or white casted with a strike indicator will catch trout holding in and around current flow searching for prey. San Juan worms in hot pink or red will also work well along with small streamer in sliver. Baitfish provide a huge part of the diet of rainbow trout below Carpenter Dam so matching the forage is critical to fishing success in Lake Catherine. These proven techniques will catch trout all season and should be adhered to by anglers serious about catching limits of trout. Stripers will move into the tailrace as the rainbow trout stockings become more regular. Alabama rigs, C-10 Redfins, and heavy jigs are deadly lures to use when attempting to catch these large predators. Heavy rods and lines are recommended. Topwater activity will increase with the presence of trout and fishermen need to watch and react quickly when feeding begins.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 383.58 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00).
No fishing reports were recorded.



East Arkansas

No report.


No report.


(updated 1-11-2017) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) reported the conditions earlier this week as very cold with few anglers on the water. Crappie reports were good, though, with minnows working best. Bass were good on spinnerbaits.



Arkansas an White river levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit hwww.agfc.com/familyfishing for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
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