Summertime Trout – White River Fishing Report

White River

“There is nothing better than a spring day in the Arkansas Ozarks fishing on one of our many rivers or streams or lakes. We’re partial to trout fishing on the White River, but when the Buffalo National River reopens, get ready for some great smallie fishing on water that has been untouched by an angler’s line for over a month! Imagine that … But, turn back to trout fishing because we’ve had a pretty awesome week. Although the three dams that ultimately affect our fishing here in the north-central area of The Natural State are all busily producing power by running tons of water into the rivers because the lakes are filled with spring rain, we’re still netting exquisite trout.
“Nearer the dams, you’ll find your best catch will be casting and trolling in the center of the river, right in the middle of the current. That’s because warmer surface water from the lakes hits the rivers when the dams use spillways to increase the amount released, and we know trout like cold water. Keep to the center when spillways are in use. No surprises that the browns continue to chase mid- to large-size sculpins; rainbows will bite at fluorescent yellow or lemon-lime eggs with shrimp. These water conditions beg for big stick baits. There’s a nicely producing Olive Green X-Rap with a 3-to 5-foot swimming depth and a flashy white feather, or the number 9 or 11 gold/black Rapala Countdowns should attract a nice selection of trout. The 3/8-ounce Smithwick suspending Super Gold Rogue or the Foxy Momma 4½-inch rogue will tempt a curious brown or cut.
“So far there aren’t any social distancing rules between anglers and trout, so plan your next trip when possible and we’ll celebrate on the river.”

The water is crystal clear. The water is high and clear, and the gates at the dam are still open. The trout bite picked up, with anglers having good results. Brown trout are going after streamers. Several Rainbows were caught as well. Trout fishing has been excellent.

That during the past week they had two rain events (combined for a little less than 2 inches), cooler temperatures and heavy winds (to include wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.3 foot to rest at 22.7 feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 13.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 2.1 feet to rest at 3.3 feet above seasonal power pool and 12.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.1 foot to rest at 8.4 feet above seasonal power pool and 1.2 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had heavy generation no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 0.9 foot to rest at 16.4 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 9.8 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had heavy flows and no wadable water.
The Army Corps of Engineers has opened the spillway gates on Table Rock, Bull Shoals and Norfork dams in an effort to lower the water level on these lakes quicker.
The White River has fished well. The hot has been the catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam. 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, 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 (John’s current favorite combination is a deep-water worm with a weighted egg suspended below it).
Norfork Lake fell 0.9 foot to rest at 16.4 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 9.8 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had heavy flows and no wadable water.
The Army Corps of Engineers has opened the spillway gates on Table Rock, Bull Shoals and Norfork dams in an effort to lower the water level on these lakes quicker.

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