As I sit here typing, rivers and reservoirs in the ozark are cresting and receding after what some people are saying are historic floods for some parts of southern Missouri and North Central Arkansas. My phone has been buzzing like crazy the past few days with concerned clients, friends, and family members wondering if the fishery and the fishing is going to survive this crazy event. The answer: Yes. Everything isn't going to be just alright, it's going to be phenomenal! Every time we receive a flood event, people run around screaming like smashed cats about how we are all screwed, and this just simply isn't the case. This river is teeming with some of the best fly fishing guides in the country, and we are all well versed in the high water game. If there ever were a time to book a guide to learn something new, this is it.
Beaver, Table Rock, and Norfork Dams currently have their flood gates open, but each one of them is reducing their releases daily, as the incoming flows into each of these reservoirs is shrinking. Bull Shoals Dam is still running water under the same conditions they were before the floods, actually a little less in order to let the downstream flooding near Calico Rock and Newport recede. At this time, Bull Shoals has 15 feet left until it hits the top of the flood pool. The key thing to remember, is that the top 15 feet of this flood pool is much larger in volume than the bottom 15 feet due to the shape of the lake, so it will take longer to fill up. Yes, we will see increased generation from Bull, and quite possibly some flood gate releases. These conditions are ideal for all kinds of crazy fishing phenomenons such as awesome shad kill fishing, outrageous hopper fishing, and streamers galore. There will be a style of fishing for every skill of angler, beginner to advanced.
I went out yesterday evening with my buddy Jonathan to check out the river and fish a little bit. The wind was howling, but we still managed a handful of fish with a couple solid browns in the mix.
Today, I had one of my regulars out, Whitley. The bite was solid all day, and he caught several nice browns, including his best one to date!
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, as always!
If you aren't on the books for this summer, I would highly recommend getting on them as soon as possible. The fishing is about to get very good, and you don't want to miss this fun and exciting way to fish the our rivers!