Sign Up Now for Heber Springs Fly-Fishing Clinic
Sign Up Now for Heber Springs Fly-Fishing Clinic
Jan. 6, 2016

Sign Up Now for Heber Springs Fly-Fishing Clinic

Fishing Guide Greg Seaton will be hosting a free fly-fishing class at First United Methodist Church in Heber Springs in February and March. The series consist of four two-hour classes on Feb. 18, Feb. 25, March 3 and March 10. Registration is open to all beginning and novice fly-anglers, youth and adult alike. Youths must be accompanied by an adult. No fishing tackle is required to participate in this hands-on fly-fishing experience. For more information and to register, contact Greg Seaton at 501-690-9166. 
Arkansas and 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.
Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained, cold and high. With all the high water and rain the last few weeks, there haven’t been many anglers out on the water. No report. 
Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) had no report.


Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said recent rains have pushed Greers Ferry over 12 feet above top conservation pool level. Expected water release to the Little Red River is one unit of generation plus flood gates until the second unit is back online. This pattern is expected to continue over the next 60 days unless significant rainfall is received. This pattern will eliminate any wade fishing opportunities and those planning to drift fish should exercise caution.  If you do fish these conditions, you will want to use long leaders and heavy weight. Egg patterns, San Juan worms, micro jigs and large nymphs tend to work well. Pounding the banks with streamers is also an effective fly-fishing method during high water conditions. For Trout Magnet fishing, use long leaders and heavy weight using hot pink, cotton candy and purple colored bodies on silver and chartreuse jig heads. Concentrate on pools along the banks. Key for both fly fishing and Trout Magnet fishing during heavy generation is the ability to get and maintain a good presentation of the fly or Trout Magnet.   
Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said after 7 inches of rain last week, Greers Ferry Lake is now 12 feet high.  The river is clearing after all the runoff and the generation has been one unit running for about 8 hours a day over the weekend.  The Corps informed me that they expect to increase the generation to one unit around the clock starting Tuesday and increase the flow each day as the level at Georgetown will permit.  The floodgates will be used to increase the discharge to the equivalent of two units. This generation will last for 50 to 60 days to get the lake back to normal. This time table depends on the area receiving no large amounts of rain during this period. If the White River level permits, the river will be high with maximum flow for approximately the next two months. This means drift fishing is the only option and care should be used while fishing the strong currents.  Large flies fished deep are the best choice.
James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) said expect high flows for the next several weeks as the Corps of Engineers begins to lower the lake level. The fishing will still be great, but will have to be done from a boat.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 464.64 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is 12.61 feet above normal pool and steady. Crappie have moved shallow in some of the flooded bushes up the rivers. Some good ones are being caught on jigs and minnows. The deeper lake fish can be caught 15-25 feet deep around any wood on the same baits. The walleye in the river are staging for their run and are gathered up around bridge pilings, points, etc. They are facing upriver. The walleye still back in the lake are suspending off the ends of big flats next to the channels. Try large crankbaits for all the fish. Bass fishing is good right on the bank on sunny and cloudy days with a spinnerbait. Deeper fish can be caught on a crankbait or a jig drug along as well as a Carolina rig. The white bass and hybrid bass are in the rivers chasing shad. Some also are in the lake around schools of shad in 25 to 70 feet of water. Try spoons ,in-line spinners and swim baits for the lake fish. Some days you can catch the river fish on grubs up as shallow as 5 feet.


Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) had no report.


Overcup Landing had no report.


Jolly Roger’s Marina had no report.


Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) had no report.


Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) had no report.


Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) had no report.


Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) had no report.


River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is muddy and high. The flooding has kept everyone off the water, and many homes in the area have been in danger of flooding during the high water. No report. 


The folks at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is way too high, swift and muddy to put a boat on right now. The current is strong enough to pull a boat under. No one should try to venture on the river until the flow gets back down below the small craft advisory.   
McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is extremely high, swift and muddy. You might find a few crappie in the backwaters from the bank, but fishing the river right now would be extremely dangerous. 


McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is high and muddy. Crappie are slow to fair. No report on any other species.  


Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) is closed until Feb. 8, 2016.



North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 662.64 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
Bull Shoals Boat Dock had no new report. K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) is closed until March 4, 2016.


Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water actually has been low during the high water events, but very few anglers have been to the Bull Shoals tailwater lately. The water is stained. No report on angling success.  
Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said we have had a significant rain event, cold temperatures and heavy winds. On the White, we’ve had moderate generation this week with no wadable water and some flooding. All of the lakes on this system are well above seasonable power pool and we should encounter lower levels of generation, on our tailwaters, with some wadable water, until flooding clears downstream, when we will encounter high levels of generation. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam is closed from Nov. 1, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2016, to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. The hot spot has been Bull Shoals State Park. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (sizes 8-10), Y2Ks (sizes 12-14), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead, sizes 16-18), 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).


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 555.53 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said last year was the year of water. Norfork Lake was above its normal shoreline and into the buck brush four times. All of the rain that fell throughout northern Arkansas and southern Missouri will stop the a major release of water from Norfork Lake until sometime in January. The current high water event does not impact operations on Norfork Lake. The resorts and marinas continue to operate as normal along with the many lake accesses for boat launching. Big schools of striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass are roaming the large flat areas in 30 to 50 feet of water. For the last five days the bite has been consistently good with a lot of fish being caught. I have been mainly vertical jigging with a spoon, bouncing the spoon off the bottom or when I see suspended fish reeling up to them and jigging in the school. There has been some topwater action for stripers with a few fish surfacing while feeding on shad. Good electronics are definitely helpful this time of year. You will need to graph an area until you find the fish then start fishing. Also look for seagulls. If you notice these birds diving into the water, there will be feeding fish nearby. Trolling a 5- to 6-inch swim bait will also catch some fish. Set your baits at different depths between 20 and 50 feet. Live shiners, threadfin shad and gizzard shad are also working very well. In the mid-lake area, check southeast of Robinson Island, the northwest side of the 101 bridge, in front of Mallard Point, the east side of Cranfield Island, Seward Point, in front of Briar Creek, and east of Howard Cove going toward Talbert Point. There are definitely other areas down toward the dam, going farther up river, or back in the bayou area, but the listed flats are the ones I will be fishing until the fish go into their winter pattern. The other locations where stripers will be found are partway back into the major creeks. I have been having too much fun on the flats and have not had a chance to check them out, but typically they are there, especially with rising water. Crappie have moved under the dock at Humminbird Hideaway and have also moved onto the brush piles in 30 to 40 feet of water. These fish will be at different depths, depending on the time of day. Live crappie minnows are working the best, but small jigs with a paddle tail or a twister tail also are doing well. Bass also are moving into the brush and up to the banks. Jerk bait time is for the most part here, so start throwing those stick baits. Spinners are also producing fish, but best method is still working your plastics along the bottom slowly. 
Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no new report.
Guide Steve Olomon had no new report.
Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Norfork has fished better of late. It has had some wadable water. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18-22)  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 construction project at the Norfork National Fish Hatchery is complete. It has seen less pressure with school back in session. It still fished well. 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).



Northwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,125.43 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is high and muddy, but should clear a bit by next week. A bass tournament on New Year’s Day showed some anglers were still able to find the fish. The winning sack came from the edges of creek channels in the flooded areas on bass jigs. Crappie were also biting well around deep brush before the rain came. They should start biting again once the water clears up.  No report on bream or catfish. 
Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) had no report.
Beaver Dam Store said fishing was slow for all species with the cold high water.


Beaver Dam Store said the tailwater is rolling with a lot of water. Fishing white, red, chartreuse or pink Power Bait tipped with a wax worm might catch a fish or two, but there is no wadable water with all the releases in the system. Fly-anglers are better off using this time to break out the tying vise and restocking their fly boxes. 


Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said the bait shop at Duck Camp is closed for the season.


Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) had no report.


Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) is closed until Jan. 15, 2016.



Northeast Arkansas

Lake Poinsett State Park said with holidays over, there’s more time for fishing. We had a report of some bass being caught in the upper timber area of Lake Poinsett. They were using soft-plastic artificial baits. We are selling some minnows as well.


Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and at normal level. Only a few anglers have been on the water. The only luck lately has been on largemouth bass. Anglers are catching them on tight-wobbling crankbaits and soft-plastic lures.  


Lake Frierson State Park had no report. 


Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 530 cfs and water clarity has been poor. Heavy rains last week kept the river off-color over the last week. The river has been improving daily and should be clear for fishing by the weekend. White woolly buggers and old yellers have been the hot flies. Silver and gold spinners and red-and-white Trout Magnets have worked well for spin fishing. Wading is difficult right now. Be careful and use a wading staff.


Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is high and dirty with the recent rain. Bad weather and bad conditions have kept anglers at home lately. No report. 



Southeast Arkansas

(Updated 12-16-2015) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are in the low 60s and water clarity is about 1 foot of visibility. Black bass are biting very well, thanks to cooler temperatures and reduced fishing pressure. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits worked slowly along steep rock banks are producing very good-sized fish with relative ease. Black/blue jigs worked in these same areas can also be effective on sunny, calm days. We have a few more weeks of good fishing before everything shuts down and gets difficult around mid- to late January.


(Updated 12-16-2015) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park said right before the cold front, Crappie were biting very well on minnows in the beaver pond. Bass are biting well in the early mornings on watermelon worms. Catfish and bream are biting fairly well on live bream and worms.


Lake Chicot State Park had no report.



Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 262.09 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said As of Monday, 4 Jan, the lake is 16 feet above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is another increase in current of Little River with the gates discharge level around 50,000 CFS as of Monday. Water temperatures were stable over the last week. Navigation is extremely dangerous with increased current washing logs and other debris downstream. Surface temperatures range from 40 to 50 degrees. Many boat ramps and campgrounds are closed due to the high water. Clarity and visibility worsened over the past week, in most areas on main lake from recent high wind, thunderstorms and influx of muddy runoff.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, water clarity from 0 to 5 inches. The only action for bass fishing has been as far as possible from the current in the backs of some oxbows. The best reaction bite has been on Rat-L-Traps and Echo 1.75 Squarebills in Firetiger, Ghost, and Red Craw. Slow moving, large, 3/4 oz Rat-L-Traps were working in Toledo Gold, Red Shad, and Gold colors.  Moving the Squarebills much slower and deflecting off timber and stumps seem to draw best reactions on drop offs from flats that warm during mid-afternoon into deeper creek channel swings or into the deeper sections of the oxbows off the flats. Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs were taking some keeper bass in the 2-4lb class with the VooDoo, black/blue/purple, or Texas Craw colors. Berkley power worms in black, black/blue, and pumpkinseed have been catching a few bass way back in the oxbows in 8-12 foot depth areas near cypress tree bases and cypress knees, close to vegetation.  All White Bass now are random and scattered unless you can find a nice school back in the back of the clearer water oxbows and away from current in Little River. Crappie disappeared with all the recent inflow of muddy water along Little River. Catfishing also has been slow.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 545.57 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said reported surface temperature is 55 to 58 degrees. Bright red or yellow crankbaits in 3 to 8 feet of water are still taking some nice limits of bass. Black/blue jigs in 12 to 15 feet of water and Alabama rigs worked across points and around deeper brush tops are taking some good size bass as well. For water safety information, visit http://watersafety.usace.army.mil.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 407.91 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
Local angler George Graves had no report.



South-Central Arkansas

Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) had no report.


Local angler Jaret Rushing had no report.


Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said the river being 7 feet high has slowed the fishing. There are still a few bass being caught in current. Crappie, bream and catfish are slow.


Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) had no report.


​Local angler Jaret Rushing said the water level is back to normal, but fishing reports have been slow due to the weather and few anglers on the water. 



West-Central Arkansas

Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) had no report.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 357.56 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl). 
Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is high and muddy. Crappie are biting excellently around the dam and backwater areas upstream on minnows and jigs. No report on catfish, bass or bream. 


Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said the water temperature is 45 to 49 degrees and the river is very high. Bass have been excellent in the far backwaters on Rat-L-Traps, jigs with Bamboozie craws and jerk baits. Catfishing in the backwater has been excellent on cut shad and whole shad. No report on crappie. The river has been extremely swift, so backwater fishing is about the only thing going.  


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 578.45 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is high and clearing. Surface water temperature is 50 to 52 degrees. Black bass are still biting well on crankbaits and jigs along steeper drops near the shoreline. Stripers are biting well on Alabama rigs fished near major creek channels. Crappie are biting well near brush on small spoons, minnows and jigs fished around brush in 20 to 30 feet of water. Catfishing is slow.


Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said Lake Hamilton is mostly clear in the main channel but heavily stained to muddy in the creek arms. Stripers, white bass and yellow bass are stacked up near main channel drops. Vertical jigging spoons off the bottom is a great way to catch these fish once you find the schools with your electronics.


Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service said very heavy generation has been the norm below Carpenter Dam in an effort to bring Lake Ouachita out of flood pool. Extremely fast currents and muddy water have made the tailrace dangerous to navigate for weeks as Entergy and the Corps of Engineers work to bring lake levels back to winter pools. These conditions will continue to exist until Lake Ouachita has fallen out of flood pool. This is expected to take several more weeks or longer at all area dams. No one should attempt to approach the dam by boat until the heavy flows have subsided. Wade fishermen are advised to remain very close to the bank and out of the fast water. Despite the dangerous flow, rainbow trout are present in the tailrace and stocking will proceed as normal. Game fish adapt quickly to their surroundings and these fish will thrive in the fast flowing water and feed heavily on the injured threadfin shad fed into the area by the generators.  Fishermen can concentrate on targeting areas close to the banks as trout will move inward to dodge the heavy current. Sandbars and rock structure provide resting areas and ambush points and should be paid close attention when attempting to catch wary trout. Carolina rigs tipped with Power Eggs will give anglers the best chance to hook hungry rainbows. 



East Arkansas

​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report. 


 ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report.


Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is high and dingy. Between duck season and floodwater, there haven’t been many anglers putting in.   



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