Fly Fishing Arkansas Fishing Report

Fly fish Arkansas White and Norfork rivers with Fly Fish Arkansas top guide Jimmy T. for a safe fun filled fish catching learning adventure.   My Mission: To provide a safe, educational, fun, fish catching adventure in any water or weather conditions.  As a veteran with 15 years full time guiding experience on these waters it’s this accumulated knowledge of the rivers that will make your day a memorable one.

18 Lb Brown
18 Lb Brown

Less wind than we’ve had and a bit warmer temps made fishing much more comfortable yesterday.  A father and son team from Ozark Ar met me early yesterday at the fly shop and after some coffee and rigging up we left for the river.  Generation began at 5:00 am with 4 units which was good fishing on eggs.  At 10:00 am the water began dropping and at 11:00 am it was shut off.  After lunch we wadered up and hit due eddy shoals.  The catching was good  which added to the fun.  Eric learned how to upstream nymph fish with a split shot and how to mend properly.  Son Dustin learned how to fish midges, set a hook and mend.  The fish bit well while the water was dropping which is a bit unusual.  A safe good day of fun, catching and learning.  Many thanks to Eric and Dustin.  See ya’ll soon.

Bull Shoals Dam:  Shut off at midnight and back on at 3:00 am and at 7:55 am is at 5 units.  BSD is scheduled to be shut down at 2:00 pm and back on again at 6:00 pm.  The lake level is at 66.67 and the surface temp is at 49f.
Norfork is scheduled to be shut off at 11:00 am and back on at 7:00 pm

Flooding down stream is causing these dams to cut back on generation.  I’m sure that when the water levels down stream subside we will again see big water on Bull Shoals again.

Sign up for the SHAD KILL ALERT by sending an e-mail to   By signing up for this e-mail alert you will be the first to know of this event.  If you have signed up in the past and did not get the alerts last year please re-send as my digital skills leave much to be desired and I know I’ve managed to loose a few or delete some.

Some info about the SHAD KILL:

Most years the White and Norfork rivers will get a shad kill. The key that seems to cause these kills appears to be the surface temps of the lakes.  A 42 degree surface temp seems to be the magic number.  This morning I dropped a thermometer at a boat ramp just down the road and came up with a temp of 52 which is a few degrees warmer than two weeks ago.  I also watched for gull activity below the dam as well.  A good sign that shad are coming through is when the gulls dive to the water and take shad from the surface.

When shad get pulled through turbines of the dams and into the rivers it causes some very exciting feeding activity.  The trout on these rivers go absolutely berserk and feed voraciously.  This can be seen if the shad come through with their swim bladders intact and full of air.  Explosive takes on the surface of the water will excite any fisher when this happens.  It is THE most fun of all the fishing on the White River.  It will get the adrenaline pumping for sure and dang near cause a heart attack when a fisherman has such a take on his/her floating fly from a big brown trout.

Special:  Book your trip before the end of the year for the month of February.  One full day fishing and two nights at River Cliff Cabin for two  $448.00 plus tax on lodging $8.82

Two full days fishing and three nights lodging:  $897.00 plus tax on lodging of $13.26 Lunch, guide, flies, leader, tippet, rods & reels included.

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Stay warm

Jim Traylor

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