Celebrating 20 Years on the Web and The Shad Kill Question~Dale Fulton Passes

This website was created 20 years ago this year.  It started out as a static site with with very little information.  Over the years and with help from Mick Spaulding and Matt Tucker the current iteration exist.  I hope you have enjoyed the information over the past 20 years.  This November I will celebrate my 23rd year of guiding.  Thanks to you it is still here.  


What is this you ask?  Jimmy T. when are the shad gonna come through the dam?  

Over the past 22 years this question has become harder to answer.  Twenty two  years ago it was much easier to answer this question.  The White River pretty much got a shad kill like clock work.  Not so much the past 12 years so the answer I’ve been giving of late is this:  “My crystal ball is in the repair shop so I can’t answer that question.  In the past I’ve tried to predict a shad kill.”   I do sort of know this.  Generally the main lake temp needs to be at 41f.  One year the main lake was at 41f from the top all the way to the bottom and we did not get a shad kill. Go figure!!!  

See this article I wrote several years ago  http://flyfisharkansas.com/articles/the-shad-kill-fact-or-fiction

I’d love to see one happen as it is really good for the fish as it provides some great protein for some fast growth.   Not only do the conditions on the lake have to be right (whatever they are) but there also has to be generation.  Generally lots of generation.   

The interest in a shad kill seems to be really high this year given the number of phone calls, e-mails, and folks walking into the shop asking this question.  When I have proof I will post it here.  

The shad kill also used to be easy to fish as there was less pressure and almost no fly fisherman were there to experience this very unique situation.  Over the past 22 years the arsenal of flies I use has grown substantially to include the entire water column.  Many types of flies tied in white or white and gray will work.  Tie them or split shot them to work the entire water column.  

Dale Fulton former owner of Blue Ribbon Fly Shop and the lodge on the White River passed away recently.  What a gem that will be sorely missed by thousands of fishers.  

A Memorial Service for Dale Wilson Fulton of Cotter, Arkansas, will be 1:00 p.m., Friday, February 2, 2018, at the Blue Ribbon Fly Shop, 1343 East 9th Street, Mountain Home, with Reverend Harry Boyd officiating. A Gathering of Family and Friends will immediately follow the Memorial Service
Dale passed away January 25, 2018, in Cotter, Arkansas at the age of 68. He was born February 25, 1949, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the son of Joseph and Ferne Wilson Fulton. After growing up in Fayetteville, Dale made Cotter his home for the last 39 years. He married Ronna Birrell on May 16, 1986, in Cotter, Arkansas and owned and operated Blue Ribbon Flies and Fulton Lodge. He enjoyed fly fishing, sporting clays, making fine furniture, violins and knives. He loved his animals.

Dale is survived by his wife, Ronna Fulton of Cotter, AR; sister, JoAnn (Brian) Peterson of Cedar Creek, MO; nephew, Chris Kopek of Cedar Creek, MO; and father, Joseph Fulton of Fayetteville, AR.

He was preceded in death by his mother.

Memorials may be made to your favorite animal charity.

Arrangements are by Kirby and Family Funeral and Cremation Services.

To book a trip call Jimmy T. at 870-404-8906  I wake up at 4:00 AM and hit the sack at 7:00 PM


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White and Norfork River Trout Regulation Changes~ Happy New Year

Tucker Hole above Tucker Shoals


New This Year in Trout

Hatcheries, Facilities and Districts

  • Revised the trout retention restriction code to make culling of all species of trout unlawful on all waters in the state.
  • Reduced number of rods permitted on the Narrows Tailwater (Little Missouri River below Narrows Dam) and the Spring River from two rods to one rodperindividual.
  • Enacted a regulation to limit harvest of trout over 14 inches to one per day on Bull Shoals and Norfork Tailwaters. 
  • Increased the minimum length limit for cutthroat trout from 16 to 24 inches and reduced the daily limit from 2 sh to 1 sh per day on Bull Shoals and Norfork tailwaters. 

• • •

Reduced the daily limit of brook trout from 2 fish to 1 fish per day on BullShoal sand Norfork tailwaters. 

Enacted a regulation to restrict anglers using bait (e.g., corn, worms, PowerBait) to a single hooking point. 

Removed the Monkey Island Catch-and-Release area from special regulations on Bull Shoals Tailwater. 


Anglers venturing out for a day of fishing will find a few changes to fishing regulations on waters throughout Arkansas this year. The new rules include trout regulations on the tailwaters of Bull Shoals and Norfork dams after public input at management plan meetings.

The daily limit on all trout species combined is five, but only on may be 14 inches or longer. The daily limit on cutthroat was reduced to one, and the minimum length for that species is 24 inches. The daily limit on brook trout was reduced to one. Anglers may only use a single hooking point when using natural or scented bait on the Bull Shoals and Norfork tailwaters. In addition, the Monkey Island Catch-and-Release Area on Bull Shoals Tailwater was removed.

These and several other regulations were passed in August during the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s regular regulations cycle and were post-dated to be effective Monday. Copies of the 2018 Arkansas Fishing Guidebook and 2018 Arkansas Trout Fishing Guidebook are being distributed across the state and are available for download at agfc.com.

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