Northwest Arkansas Fishing Report 08.07.12
Submitted by Just Fishin' GuidesSubmitted on 08/07/2012
King’s 10 2.41 Grandview Bridge
Crooked Creek 47 9.48 Kelly’s Access
2.1 1.42 Ponca
3.0 3.17 Pruitt
25 3.17 Tyler Bend
59 2.42 Buffalo Point
War Eagle 11 0.74 near Huntsville
Little Sugar 13 2.22 near Pineville
Big Sugar 1.7 2.72 near Powell
Elk 45 2.32 near Tiff City
Indian Creek 31 1.10 near Lanagan
James 77 2.07 near Galena
Illinois 88 4.50 near Tahlequah
These are all warm water streams where we fish for smallmouth bass and sunfish. The water levels (feet) are not necessarily the true water depth, only the gauge reading. Most of the streams are about 1/5 or less of their normal flows for this time of year. Be prepared to walk and drag your boat quite a bit. We have had spotty, scattered showers but not enough to make any difference. We are over 11 inches below normal on rainfall. All of the rivers have fallen in the last week. All are at or near record lows for the date and all time. Burn bans are in effect for all area counties. We still need some rain badly!!
River levels are historically low this year and floating involves too much dragging. If you're willing to hike, you can reach long pools that are full of fish! The warm water streams and rivers have been fishing very well lately with both quantity and quality fish being caught. Fly-fishing has been good with bait fish patterns, Boogle Bugs in white, TeQueely Streamers, wooly buggers, Clouser minnows. The top water bite with flies is really going gangbusters. Spotted bass are holding near woody debris. Smallmouth are in the deeper channels. Sunfish have been caught with about anything that hits the water. Small poppers, wooly buggers, spiders, beetles and hoppers are raking in the sunfish. Sometimes it is hard not to catch them. Spin fishing has picked up fish with white or gray flukes, 4” Zoom lizards in watermelon red and tube baits in green pumpkinseed. Crank baits, buzz baits and spinners have worked well also.
King's River - With no considerable rain in several months, the levels are extremely low. If your willing to drag a canoe/kayak or hike you can reach some deeper runs and pools that are holding good numbers of fish. If you can find water, wet wading while fishing for smallmouth and bream is a nice way to beat the heat. Top water is still producing good numbers and quality fish as well. Poppers, slider/divers, hopper, damsel and dragon fly patterns are all producing consistent action. Spin fishers are doing well with top water as well. Tiny Torpedoes and buzz baits are top producers. 4" lizards, 3" tubes and 3 & 4 inch brush hawgs in watermelon, green pumpkin and black as well as flukes in white, watermelon and baby bass colors are consistent producers. Rebel craws and 3 - 4 inch suspending stick baits should be in your arsenal also.
Crooked Creek - Fishing has been very good, you just have to hike or drag a canoe/kayak to get to the fish. Top water fishing is producing quality smallmouth up to 18+ inches for both fly and spin fishers. Concentrate on deeper runs and the upper end of pools with chunk rock and/or wood cover and cover thoroughly with repeated, accurate casts with varied retrieve rates.
Elk River (Missouri) - As with all other warm water rivers, the Elk is extremely low as well. Find the deeper runs and pools and you'll find fish. Fishing on top with a variety of poppers, slider/divers and foam hopper and damsel/dragon fly imitations are all producing good numbers of fish as well as quality.
White River - Beaver Lake level is 1113.15 and normal pool is 1120.4. Water releases have been once per day in the afternoon for 2-6 hours at 3,000-4,500 cfs. Low, clear water conditions are still prevalent below Beaver Dam. Long leaders ending in 6X - 7X with size 18 & smaller midge patterns are providing the most consistent action. Dark colors including black, wine and dark brown are working best now.
White River - Bull Shoals Lake level is 650 and normal pool is 654. Water releases have been all over the place but heaviest in the afternoon/evening for 8-12 hours to 8,500 cfs. Hopper fishing is hit or miss but when there on some nice browns are being Generation was sporadic last week. During periods of generation, hopper patterns and streamers are working well. During periods of no generation, the fish are spooky and long leaders ending in 6X - 7X with size 18 and smaller midge patterns are providing the most consistent action. Black, dark brown and gray colors are working best. Small scud and sow bug patterns in shades of olive, tan and gray are working at times as well.
North Fork River - Norfork Lake level is 546.1 and normal pool is 552. Water releases have been once per day in the afternoon for 4-12 hours 3,500-5,500 cfs. Generation has been off most mornings and starting in the afternoon in the heat of the day. Scuds, sow bug and midge patterns are producing best during periods of no generation. Streamers and hopper patterns should be added during periods of generation.
Little Red River - Greers Ferry Lake level is 455.63 and normal pool is 461.44. Water releases have been once per day in the afternoon/evening for 4-6 hours at 3,000-5,000 cfs. Fish kills are happening on the lower end of the tailwater with high temps being the cause.
All the tailwaters are fishing well. Plenty of low water opportunities have wade fishers rejoicing except at Bull Shoals. Mornings are better than afternoons with late evening coming in second. Heavier flows are the norm in the afternoon as the weather heats up. Bead-head nymphs such as pheasant tails and hare’s ears are producing well. Hopper season is here! Be sure to have foam or deer hair hoppers in your arsenal. Be ready to use various sizes and colors of grasshopper to find what the trout are keying in on. Early terrestrials like beetles and ants are getting some top water action. Be sure to have some sulphur and light cahill dries in your fly box. Try a hopper/dropper combo to maximize your chances of hook-ups or if possible a double nymph rig. Doubles are very possible.
"Life's too short not to row a boat!"