Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report 01.19.12
Submitted by Berry Brothers Guide ServiceSubmitted on 01/19/2012
During the past week, we have had colder temperatures and windy conditions (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals Dam fell five tenths of a foot to rest at six tenths of a foot below power pool of 654.00 feet. This is forty one and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell one tenth of a foot to rest at three tenths of a foot below power pool or sixteen and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell two tenths of a foot to rest at four tenths of a foot below power pool or ten feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we have had erratic generation during the week with significant wadable water over the three day weekend. Norfork Lake fell three tenths of a foot to rest at three tenths of a foot below power pool of 552.00 feet or twenty eight and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we have had light generation with wadable water every day. We should see more wadable water on both rivers in the coming weeks.
The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2011 to January 31, 2012 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park from the bottom of the Catch and Release section down to the wing wall will be seasonal brown trout Catch and Release for the same period
There were several days where we had generation in excess of 20,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) on the White. The best technique for this type of water is to fish brightly colored San Juan worms (cerise, hot fluorescent pink and red) and egg patterns (orange and peach). The trick is to get the flies down. To sink these flies you must use big split shot (AAA or larger) and long leader/tippet combinations (ten to twelve feet). To help detect takes use a brightly colored strike indicator near the top of the leader. One way to increase strikes is to use a small nymph as a dropper below the worm or egg. Effective flies for droppers have been sowbugs, Y2Ks, zebra midges or copper Johns.
Another technique that has been particularly effective on the higher water has been to bang the bank with big streamers. Effective patterns have been Zoo Cougars, Sex Dungeons and Butt Monkeys. The key to success has been to use a heavy sink tip (250 grain or heavier). To deliver these heavy flies on heavy sink tip lines, you must use at least an eight weight rod. This is hard work but can produce some excellent trout.
Last weekend we had substantial periods of wadable water on the White River. The fishing was good at popular spots like Wildcat shoals and Rim Shoals. The hot flies were red zebra midges (size sixteen), copper Johns and San Juan worms (red). There were some midges hatching and Dan’s turkey tail emerger was the hot fly.
Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are low and clear. The water temperature is near the point where the Smallmouth will become less active. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
The Norfork has fished well but has been crowded. If you can, fish during the week to avoid the crowds. On lower water the hot flies have been olive scuds (size 18), Dan’s turkey tail emerger and zebra midges (black and red). There was a good blue wing olive hatch on some afternoons. The key to success was a parachute Adams in size 22 and a perfect drag free drift. Soft hackles like the partridge and orange or the green butt have accounted for a lot of fish. On higher flows, the best technique has been to drift brightly colored San Juan worms (red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise) and egg patterns (pink and orange).
Dry Run Creek has been productive. The hot flies have been sowbugs and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Small orange or peach eggs have been very effective. While you are there take a tour of the adjacent National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating and educational. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.
There have been numerous reports of huge rainbows being caught on the Spring River. The water level on the river is low and lightly stained. This is a great place to wade fish. Canoe season is over and we have much less traffic on stream. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot spot has been Dam Three Access. The hot flies have been brown woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks.
Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers 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.
White River Trout Unlimited has scheduled a Cabin Fever Fund-Raiser for Saturday, February 25th here in Mountain Home. This party will be a great way to celebrate impending spring weather and raise money for the chapter’s many projects! Visit their website for more details. www.whiterivertu.com.
Practice water safety and always check conditions before you leave home.
YOU MIGHT BE A TROUT BUM
BY JOHN BERRY
I have heard the term “trout bum” bandied about quite a bit. Heck on occasion, I have even been called one. However, I am not sure that I know exactly what one is. I took it upon myself to investigate this term. I read the very insightful book by John Gierach on the subject. I traveled to the various places where trout bums congregate. I went fishing on the Madison, the Deschutes, the Henry’s Fork, the Green, the San Juan, the Yellow Stone and every other trout stream where I thought I might learn something useful on the subject. I attended National Conclaves, Southern Conclaves, Sow Bug Roundups, and the “Home Waters” Expo. I visited lodges, fly shops, bars and fishing cabins. I have talked to countless anglers. Sadly, I am unable to find a succinct definition. What I was able to identify from all of this learned research is that there are certain indicative behaviors that can predict whether you are a trout bum. The more of these that you exhibit the more likely it is that you are one. I have listed a few of these indicators below.
If your cat is named Winston and your dog is called Lefty, you might be a trout bum.
If your family had to eat Christmas dinner on TV trays because your dining room table is set aside for fly tying, you might be a trout bum.
If you missed the birth of your first child because it coincided with the start of the sulphur fly hatch, you might be a trout bum.
If your fly tying vise cost more than your automobile, you might be a trout bum.
If one or more of your children were conceived on the back seat of a drift boat during a lull in the salmon fly hatch, you might be a trout bum.
If your wedding reception was held in a fly shop, you might be a trout bum.
If your wife wants to do something romantic on your anniversary and you take her night fishing, you might be a trout bum.
If she thinks you finally hit a home run with that idea, she might be a trout bum.
If you have ever worn a fishing shirt to a funeral, you might be a trout bum.
If Wapsi or Orvis makes more than three deliveries a week to your home, you might be a trout bum.
If you can identify every insect you encounter on the river with its complete scientific name (in Latin) but can’t remember your children’s names, you might be a trout bum.
If the only time anyone has seen you cry was when you broke the tip on your bamboo rod, you might be a trout bum.
If your greatest fear in life is that when you die your wife will sell your fishing tackle for what you told her you paid for it, you might be a trout bum.
If you honestly believe that you can save money by tying your own flies, you might be a trout bum.
If you own more fly boxes (all completely filled with flies) than your wife has pairs of shoes, you might be a trout bum.
This list is by no means complete. I would not be concerned unless I exhibited more than five indicators.
Have one of your own that you would like to share? Send it to me at www.berrybrothersguides.com .
Mike W. asks: John did you ever buy some new boots with the new rubber soles?
I bought a pair of Korkers with interchangeable soles. I got them with rubber soles and studded rubber soles and the BOA lacing system. I love them. They are perfect for boating on the White River.