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Arkansas Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

White River Sponsored by
Date 11-Oct-18
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : White River - Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says the rainbow bite has been steady and plentiful here on the tailwaters of Bull Shoals Lake in the Cotter area. The Rebel Wee Craw and Teeny Craw (chartreuse/orange and ditch/brown with orange belly) were pulling in 12- and 13-inch rainbows for waders and bank fishers; casting from a jon boat required live crawdads for better action. As the weather cools, put the crawfish baits away and turn to orange and yellow egg pattern baits drifted across the bottom near the channel during the low water releases or closer to the bank if the river is running swifter and deeper. “Water releases have started earlier in the day over the last couple of weeks; beginning at 1 p.m. and running for four or five hours, hitting the Cotter area at 5-6 p.m. with up to 12,000 cfs (equivalent to four generators), then dropping back to less than one unit (about 2,500 cfs) by the next morning when we're leaving out to fish another day. Join us. The river will capture your heart.”

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the river clarity remains clear and the river level there has been high. The level starts out low in the morning and rises in the afternoon. Rainbow trout fishing remains excellent. Browns are not being caught at all, they report. Anglers can see them in the water but they are not eating.

John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last Friday that during the past week they have had no measurable rain, warmer temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 1.3 feet to rest at 2.7 feet below seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 38.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.3 feet to rest at 4.5 feet below seasonal power pool and 18.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.5 feet to rest at 2.7 feet below seasonal power pool and 12.3 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had no wadable. Norfork Lake rose 0.4 feet to rest at 2.4 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 28.6 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had little generation and wadable water every day. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River system are now below the top of power pool. The White has fished well. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. They are still hitting grasshoppers for some nice topwater action. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (size 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 size 14 Copper John with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it. Use lead to get your flies down. 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 soles that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

Reported by: Arkansas F&G

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About: - Fishing Arkansas's White River Keeps Small Arkansas Town

These fish aren't native to Arkansas, but were introduced several decades ago when new dams on some of the state's major rivers wiped out the native bass, bream, catfish and crappie below the dams. Cold water released from the dam made the downstream rivers too chilly for the native fish, so trout were brought in. (more)

  • Brown & Rainbow Trout
  • Cutthroat
  • Brookies
  • Small & Largemouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Catfish

Misc Info: -

White River Flows

Bull Shoals Elevation

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