White River News: Sat Jan 3rd

My Mission: To provide a safe, educational, fun, fish catching adventure in any water and 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.

Book your trip today by calling Jim at 870-404-8906

A new article section has been created.  Look for a “RIDING THE RISE” article in the next few days.

Generation:  White River 5 units as of 1015 am
Lake Temp:  White River 49 f. as of 10:00 am
Lake Level: 665.80 as of 8:00 am

River Temp: 49.5 f.  Outside temp as of 10:15  22.7 f.

Generation Schedule:  3 to 4 units with spikes to 5 units between 7 & 10 am and again between 6 & 9 pm

We got a little snow over night in Bull Shoals.  This pic was taken at River Cliff Cabin this morning. Almost 3 inches of snow and it’s still coming down.

Snow at River Cliff Cabin
Snow at River Cliff Cabin

My Shad Kill Article from Dec 7th 2009

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.  I also watch 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.

Sometimes though the shad will come through with their air bladders burst and they will sink to the bottom instead of floating to the surface.  This requires fishing the bottom and fishing with some weight on.  The cast used for lots of weight is commonly the the water haul introduced and made popular by John Wilson.  It is a simple cast that generally takes the duck out of the chuck and duck type cast if done properly. Generally though shad will be suspended in the water column and so must the fly, wether with one that sinks very slowly or one that is suspended by an indicator. Another guide and I worked on flies a number of years back and tungsten beads have made a fly possible with a slow sink rate and is best fished on floating line. It is a technique that allows the fisher to see the fly and watch the take.  It was first done as far as I know when the “gummy minnows” first came out but there were problems with the fly, we also used lead head jigs which worked pretty well but most fly fishers didn’t consider them flies so back to the tying bench for some more experimentation.  Six years ago this winter a fellow guide and I played around with some tungsten bead maribou flies that worked in this fashion (slow sinking).  I was powder painting t-beads then to get the colors needed which limited me to the number of flies I could tie as painting these beads in this manner was a royal pain.  Today it is not a problem as painted tungsten beads are a little more common ( see the flyshop page ) and make it much easier to produce large numbers of flies.  Tungsten beads have not only changed the way guides now fish the river but are also starting to change the way a shad kill is fished as well.

Much credit needs to go to Tom Rogers who developed a couple of flies years ago that are still used today.  The inverted popper (sneaky pete or slider) and especially the Blow Fly.  Tom tied it with a red bead on the head and with out a red bead.  It was designed to move around in the heavy currents of 8 units of generation.  Both flies are  still used by many guides with lots of modifications and different versions.  Another fly I’ve been involved with is a foam one in the shape of a floating shad that rides on it’s side like the shad mostly do.  I’ve been using this shad pattern for a number of years with some success and in different versions and colors.  I learned how to cover it with Flexi Cord body material from W.A.P.S.I. which changed everything for me with this fly.  I believe also that John Gully was also using a similar fly that he had come up with.  I was shown the fly by Frank Saksa 10 years ago and we used them then naked or with out the body covering.  They worked ok but not like they do with the body covering.  It’s a time consuming fly to make and it’s hard to cast but works well under the best conditions and early in the kill.  Davy Wotton has a unique version of a floating shad pattern as well.  His pattern was developed originally in the U.K. for fishing still water but he adapted it for use on the White River system and it floats belly down.  It is a successful pattern I first saw him use 8 years ago.  It too is not an easy fly to churn out in big numbers.

One of the draw backs to fishing a shad kill can be the sheer numbers of shad coming through the dam. I’ve seen them make it 32 miles down stream in large numbers.  With kills this big you can be sure the trout will gorge and then they get real hard to catch.  This is rare however but often fishing further from the dam is more productive than fishing at the dam.  I like to fish what I call the “cusp”.  This is where the shad have not quite made it yet in big numbers but the fish are turned on by shad flies because they’ve seen a few of them and are keyed in on them.  Big fish will move for a long way to take these flies.

My Mission: To provide a safe, educational, fun, fish catching adventure in any water and 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.

Sign up for the SHAD KILL ALERT by sending an e-mail to shadkillalert@flyfisharkansas.com   By signing up for this e-mail alert you will be the first to know of this event.

Special:  Book your trip by Jan 15 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 for two:  $847.00 plus tax on lodging of $13.23  Lunch, water, sodas flies, leader, tippet, rods & reels included.  Bring your license and trout stamp.

Call 870-404-8906

website established 1999 CR Jim Traylor

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