White River (Bull Shoals Tailwater)
Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is very high and swift. There wasn’t a single boat on the water near the resort last weekend.
Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the lake level at Bull Shoals fell 3.9 feet last week, but is still well above seasonal power pool. On the White, we had heavy generation this week with no wadable water. In an effort to lower the lake levels before the spring rains, the Corps of Engineers opened eight flood gates. The combined outflow and generation equal 30,000 cubic feet per second, the equivalent of 10 full generators. 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). Streamer fishing has heated up with the high water. With the heavy flows, the fish have been pushed to the bank. The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy, 24- to 30-foot sink tip line. You will need an 8- or 9- weight rod. This is heavy work but the rewards can be great.
North Fork River (Norfork Tailwater)
Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said in an effort to lower the lake levels before the spring rains, the Corps of Engineers has opened flood gates. Releases on the Norfork equal 10,000 cfs, the equivalent of three full generators. 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 have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (size 18 elk hair caddis). My favorite combination has been a cerise worm with a Sunday special dropper.