December Rain Report

Here's a little bit about what is going on around the White River System after the persistent rain we have received. 

"A release of 91,150 cubic feet per second is being made from Beaver, which is the second largest release of record. The lake level elevation is 1,131.6 feet with 116 percent of its flood capacity in use. The lake continues to rise and is expected to crest today near 1,132.5 feet. All seven spillway gates are open nine and one-half feet." (Army Corp)

"This morning ten spillway gates were opened four and one-half feet releasing 58,500 cubic feet per second in addition to the 8,500 c.f.s. being release through the turbine generators. The total release is 67,000 c.f.s. The lake is expected tourist tomorrow between 935 and 936 feet above sea level. Hourly inflows into the lake are currently 300,000 c.f.s." (Army Corps)

If we don't receive any more rain, the Corps says Bull Shoals Lake will crest at 686 feet by mid January, 9 feet below the top of the 695 foot flood pool. 

With flows exceeding 140,000 cfs below the confluence of the Norfork and the White at Calico Rock, much of the Norfork Tailwater is backed up with water from the lower White. This is, in part, due to the 25,000 cvs flows from Crooked Creek (which crested at 33.59 feet and has already dropped back to 25.85 feet), and 97,000 cfs flows from the Buffalo River (which crested at 45.52 feet and has dropped back to42.99 feet).

It looks like a high water winter and at least the early part of the spring season will have higher flows, depending on how much precipitation we receive in the next several months. Nevertheless, the fishery will grow stronger as it always does in high water periods, feeding the fish heavily, and also reducing a lot of fishing pressure. Just remember, high water is not a bad thing, only different and requires different techniques. If you are wanting to learn how to fly fish in high water conditions, nows the time to give us a call!

 

(870)-421-8960

 

Flood gate releases from Beaver Lake Dam- Brock Dixon

Big Day on the White

Brother and sister duo, Andy and Becky, have been fishing with me for quite a while, and they have had quite the banner year in the boat so far in 2015. Last week was another layer of icing on the cake.  

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Some cool things are happening on the river right now, so give me a shout if you want in on the action!  

 

Brock

 

(870)-421-8960

northarkansastroutfitters@yahoo.com

The New Rig

I picked up my first boat from Rob over at Supreme Boats in Mountain Home in October of 2013. I had been turned onto the rowable jet boat idea in Alaska, and noticed several guides were running them on the Arkansas Tailwaters. I wanted a piece of the action. Before this, I was guiding out of my drift boat and had no idea what the jet boat would do for my operation. I spent the next year working from my sparkly silver and red L48XP, and loved it the whole time. There were a few tweaks that I wanted done on my next boat (isn't that how it always works?), and the boys at Supreme were all ears. a Year later, they had a new jet specific mold in the works. They strayed away from the traditional "banana bottom" river jon style, and flattened the bottom out to accommodate a jet, and made a deeper tunnel to feed the pump better, along with other more specific tweaks. In the end, they built a boat that runs better than I could ever imagine. the 207XP. I am very excited about this boat. It runs, rows, and looks better than ever, and the build and craftsmanship cannot be matched. Not to mention, every measurement in the boat is completely custom and they went to great lengths to make sure it is exactly the way I wanted (and it is).

The Swap..

I'll reemphasize that the customer service from Rob Williams and the boys at Supreme is unmatched. I have loved running and working from this boat, and clients and liked the new dimensions and design as well. 

Shawnee & Supreme Boats
Physical Address: 6837 HWY 126 North * Midway AR, 72651
Mailing Address: PO Box 1220 * Mountain Home, AR 72654-1220
Phone: (870) 507-0902 
Fax: (870) 507-0903
 

Late Summer Fishing Report

It has been a very busy August and September, but fruitful to say the least. I can count on one hand the amount of times anything but a dry fly has been fished. So that's a plus. Nonetheless, the hopper bite has been solid this summer. It takes a little more willingness to chase the water, but with a the right sled, magic can happen. I have been doing quite a few later than usual trips when the projection from the Corps is to push water in the afternoon into the evening. This has paid off big time, as the browns really get on the banks and feed better when they get some water under their bellies. 

A fine dry run specimen, and one amped up fisherman!

On a side note, I have had the opportunity to take quite a few younguns to Dry Run Creek this summer. If you have any kids that are younger than 16 and they might like to give fly fishing a shot, you've got to get them here. It is full of high quality fish, like the one above, that can keep kids attention much better than their Xbox. 

Another quality  DRC brown.

Scott with a(nother) solid foam fed brown.

Scott with a(nother) solid foam fed brown.

Shortly thereafter...

Shortly thereafter...

Brian is also a dry fly addict.

Brian is also a dry fly addict.

His buddy Bill got a good taste of it too.

His buddy Bill got a good taste of it too.

It is hard to tell how much longer the big bug bite on top will last, but I can say it is my favorite time of the year, and I don't want it to go away. The fall is piling up, but I have a handful of days still scattered throughout October and a slightly larger handful available for November. 

Summer Time and the Livin's Easy

It seems like every time I make a new fishing report, I start with an apology for not writing one in a while.  So here ya go. I'm sorry. Glad that's out of the way.

Now for the report....

After an awesome late winter shad kill that continued for a while through early spring, the caddis took a minute to kick off, but when they did, it was outstanding. I didn't experience much incredible dry fly fishing (although it did happen)compared to years past, but with the cold water still being released from the winter we experienced, I feel like the fish were a little hesitant to hang out near the surface. Nevertheless, the sub surface bite was awesome. The browns munched the little caddis pupa like a fat guy eating a bowl of M&Ms. Every. Single. Day. This bite continued longer than most of us guides expected, slipping right in to a pretty fun sulphur hatch. By this hatch, the fish were definitely more interested in the surface bite, and several quality browns were picked off by clients on sulphur dries. 

Andy with an awesome 24 " shad kill brown

A solid caddis eating brown

24 incher on a caddis pupa

Big brown drooling after eating a caddis pupa

Andy with a solid hopper brown

Mr. Sam with an awesome brown on a sulphur dry

Hoppers... I've been hearing a lot of noise that folks are struggling on the hopper fishing so far this summer. It has seemed to start a little bit later, but things are looking up (including the fish). I would ramble on, but I can let the pictures speak for themselves. People ask me daily, "Brock, when is your favorite time to fish?" NOW. I love summer fishing. Sandals, dry flies, and big browns. It is straight up easy livin'. If you are curious, give me a shout!

Scott with a bruiser brown on a hopper

Scott with a solid hopper brown

They'll even eat a midge in the right spots...

The Longest Winter

If you haven't been outside in the past two months, then you may not have experienced the polar vortex that has taken the country over. We have felt it here, with numb hands, frozen rod guides, and icey boats, but that hasn't slowed the fishing down on the White and Norfork.

Conditions like this make it a huge possibility to land big fish like the one my great client, Andy, boated last week!

Watch closely and you might just see some fish caught on the surface... Enjoy!

Keep your eyes peeled for more videos, brought to you from Flight Outdoors and yours truly!

 

Winter Fishing Report 2/4/14

Yet again, I have to apologize for fewer fishing reports as I had promised. Good news, duck season 2013-2014 has come to an end and I can finally get some sleep back and get caught up! There has been some excellent winter fishing, despite the nasty weather we have experienced. Not only here, but across the country, there has been a lot of extremely cold weather and snow. With cold weather comes shad kills around here, though.

 

White River: The flows have been all over the place. During the work week, generation patterns have been much higher. Flows in the 4,000-17,000 cfs range can be experienced on a daily basis. Over the past couple of weekends, there have been large windows of minimum flow, allowing great wade fishing and easier nymphing. The streamer fishing is slowly starting to turn on, as a lot of the late spawning fish are finishing up their annual dance and getting ready to pack on the pounds once again. The size of streamer depends on the amount of generation, with the lower flows catering to smaller streamers and vice-versa. The nymphing has been stellar, with ruby midges, scuds in tan, grey or olive, and sow bugs being my favorite patterns fished under an egg pattern. 

Norfork: The flows have been pretty much all over the place on the 'fork. In the higher flows, there is definitely a chance of shad being pulled through the dam, as Norfork is a smaller lake than Bull Shoals, and the shad are affected by the cold easier. Small white shad patterns fished under an indicator will be the most effective technique for fish keyed on the small baitfish. Obviously, this method is best from a boat. In lower flows, it seems the fish will eat nearly anything lately. Egg patterns, midges, scuds, and sow bugs (sound familiar?) will do the trick in sizes 14-20. We are starting to see some high quality fish in the Norfork over the past several months, including a good handful of rainbows and cutthroat over 20", and browns seem to all range in the 18-22" range. 

 

 

 

Fishing Report 11/30

It has been a super busy fall on the river, with great fishing to be had consistently. As the leaves have fallen, the illustrious hopper bite of 2013 has pretty much come to an end. With some of the biggest browns of the year all landed on dry flies, it's hard to argue that this was one of the best years for dry fly fishing we have seen.

I plan I updating my reports page much more frequently, as I admit I have been slacking in that department. Check in frequently for some good fishing reports to come.

Now for a little reportage...

White River:
As of the past week, there has been a lot of wadeable water below Bull Shoals. Minimum flow is proving itself to be great for fishing, with great numbers of fish caught on grey and tan McLellans hunchback scuds, midges, a and blue wing olive nymphs. Every once in a while, they will make a big pulse of water from the dam that can produce a fun streamer bite and a chance at a hog. Yellow, olive, white, and black streamers have all been contenders.

Norfork:

Egg patterns trailed by a midge is all you need. Nuff said. The princess tailwater has been phenomenal as usual, giving up lots of big rainbows and browns lately, as well as a trophy 17 inch brook trout last week for one of my clients.

Transient
Transient
Transient

It's Been a Summer

As I sit here typing, the sun is shining (finally) and it is a strangely cool 74 degrees. Some of the weirdest August weather seen in the Ozarks in some time, but the fish don't seem to care. With rain practically every day in August this year, the lakes are filling up well into their flood pools, looking to be a great fall with plenty of water to keep the fish happy and the anglers even happier. It has been a minute since I have written a report, but time on the river keeps me away from the interwebs. Anyways, here it goes...

Doug with one of a dozen solid browns

White River: I'm speculating, but with reports of hopper populations way down out west, it sounds like the best terrestrial fishing in the country might possibly be smack dab in the good ol' Natural State. There have been strange conditions, and obviously all the rain has played a role. With over 10" of the stuff over the past couple of weeks, there is quite a bit of run off from the Buffalo and Crooked Creek downstream, which has pushed everyone on the river into the top 20 miles or so. It has been hard to pinpoint an "ideal" condition, as the big fish have been caught in rain, heavy fog, sun, clouds, mornings, afternoons, and evenings. We will take it how we get it I suppose.

Flows have been pretty minimal, with several days thrown in the mix with heavy generation, but for the most part, 2-3 units max. Table Rock Dam has been having some heavy releases lately, since they received the most rain of all the lakes in the White River System, so it is only a matter of time until Bull Shoals Dam starts dumping. But, if history repeats itself, it can get downright silly fishing hoppers in the really high water. The big fish push up right against the banks, and look for easy meals. 

Ben with a chubby specimen

This hopper fishing should stay strong, and get stronger as we get through the end of August and all the way through September. Heck, these fish keep looking up all the way through November... I've got some really good dates this month still available, and quite a few in September as well. Give me a shout at (903)-746-7836 if you have any questions about it, or are interested in getting a couple of dates tacked down. This is my personal favorite fishing of the year, hands down, so get in and experience the excitement! 

Another good one for Ben

Easy Livin'

Sometimes you just have to step back and take it all in. Lately, that has been the case. The fishing has taken off tremendously, and we are officially seeing signs of some great summer dry fly fishing once again.
  

Yes, I am talking about the foam bugs. I have had some awesome clients out this past week, and they have all boated lots of great fish. The big fish haven't come easy, though. You gotta know the spots, the flies, and the water to fish them in.  

 

Robert's first of many big browns. 

The nymph fishing has been on fire during the lower water periods during the mornings, with a hare's ear, pheasant tail, or other attractor up top with your favorite midge or sowbug dropped beneath. 

But, when they bump that water...  

 

Get ready for the foam bug bite! I could continue to ramble on, but I'll just finish with the photos.  

Kris got to get her first few browns on dry flies as well!

Got to put my good buddy Chance on a few solid hopper eating browns as well

chance cicada brown (1).jpg

So, there you have it, folks. My personal favorite fishing is on the map for the year, and only going to improve from here. Give me a shout if you want in,  because the dates are going quick!  (903)-746-7836

Thanks for listening,

 

Brock

As of Lately

Well folks, summer is here. As I'm typing this, the weather has dipped and cooled off a bit for the next couple of days, but we have already experienced some mid 90's and up temps, and we are only getting under way. Over the past couple of weeks, the Corps of Engineers has began drawing down the reservoirs to normal generation levels. All power houses are cranking around the clock in order to get the lake levels down.

 

Now for a little reportage... 

White River below Bull Shoals: 

Heavier flows in the 9,000-18,000 cfs range have been consistent around the clock until just yesterday when they edged off a little bit, to the 3,000-10,000 cfs range. The nymph bite has been strong, with larger worm patterns and bright egg patterns working well as an attractor, with smaller scuds, sowbugs, and attractor nymphs working below them. The fish have seemed to change their minds every day as to what they want to eat, so if you cycle through your favorites, you are bound to find the golden ticket. Focus your drifts on the drop-offs near the banks where obvious current seams are present. For you dry fly anglers, just because they are rolling some heavy flows does not mean the surface bite is dead. In certain stretches, there have been good numbers of sulphur adults coming off in the afternoons, and I have been seeing a lot of fish feeding consistently on top.  

The high flows are also warranting some great streamer fishing if you can find some overcast weather. Larger, articulated patterns are best fished on a 300-450 grain sinking line in the high water. Also, early mornings and late evenings can be a great time to get a good streamer bite. Remember, though, that the water dictates most of the bite, and you need to stay in front of a big push of water.

Also, hopper season is on the brink of exploding. If you haven't had the chance to experience this awesome fishing on the White, give me a shout and we can get a day in of some of the best dry fly fishing you have ever experienced. Big browns, foam, and gink. What more could you ask for?  

Norfork: 

Norfork has been following a pattern of 1 unit of generation in the morning hours, then bumping up to 2 units in the afternoons. There are an abundance of super healthy, large fish in the Norfork, and I have been seeing more and more 18-20" rainbows than ever before. The same high water rigs as the White, with a larger attractor up top and a smaller nymph below will do the trick. Playing with your depth and weight to get it just right will be the key, as there are constant depth changes on the swift Norfork.

Smallmouth:

The smallmouth rivers have been awesome this year, as they continue to give up better and better fishing year in and year out. Poppers have been a great option, and the fish have seemed to be keyed on the surface. In the deeper pools, work poppers slowly across the top around the big chunk rocks and expect explosive strikes! 

 

Well, that's all for this report. If you have any questions, give me a call at (903)-746-7836, or if you are interested in booking a trip. Dates are starting to fill up fast for the summer, and prime days are already getting booked for the fall, so get in where you fit in! 

First Time Streamers

I apologize in advance for the lack of reports on the site, but it is hard to post from the river. Over the past several months, I have had more encounters with brown trout than usual, and had been promising my Becky and Pat that I would take them streamer fishing with the conditions were right. They just so happened to be right on the last trip with them. Concerns about lightning and torrential downpours couldn't budge these two from wanting to get after the fish. The day started a little slow, as some streamer trips do. Suddenly, Becky connected. The hook set was perfect, and next thing you know we are connected to a true bruiser. I see the fish jump (yes, brown trout do jump) and immediately know we have a VERY large fish on. In a matter of seconds, the line goes limp. I get the all to common look. What the hell happened? What did I do wrong? Nothing. That is how it goes. Not 5 minutes later, all of us still shaking after seeing the size of the fish that was just on the end of her line, I look over in time to see a monster flash, and Pat is hooked up. We all know that when you see a flash, it always looks bigger than the fish is. This flash looked the size of the boat. Next thing you know, the fish is in the net, a 28" hog of a male brown trout.

The Beast

That fish set the pace for the day, and we continued to hook solid browns all down the river. No more monsters, but fish most people hunt for months to catch.

becky smiling.jpg
close up becky.jpg

did you hear about the caddis hatch?

I may have mentioned it before, but this time of year is a magical time in the Ozarks. The white bass are running, the smallmouth are getting ready for the spawn (at least until the floods from yesterday) and the caddis hatch on the White below Bull Shoals has been as solid as I have ever seen it.

Every trip I have had out, clients have been overjoyed with the number and quality of browns we have been boating. Lots of fish are eating dries like an elk hair caddis, e/c caddis, and Lawson's EZ caddis with some sort of emerger dropper. For every fish you catch on a dry fly, you can honestly catch a dozen on deeper nymph patterns, and the fish aren't picky.

The hatch has reached river wide, but may get another hesitation due to the increase in generation also due to the flooding. It should continue through the end of April, but by then the fish will have become much more selective, eating cripples and spinners.

Also, don't forget about the Norfork. It has been touch and go with the generation, so be extra careful when wading. Keep an eye on a landmark, and if the water begins to rise, get off the river. It has been fishing extremely well with a variety of patterns including caddis imitations, midges, and san juan worms in the higher flows.

However you look at it, the fishing is stellar in just about every body of water you enter, so just get out there and get after them!

play time

When I am working at McLellan's in Fayetteville when I'm not on the river, I get asked a lot, "been out fishing much?" After explaining that I have been out guiding quite a bit, they typically respond with something along the lines of, "man, it must be nice to be able to fish so much." Ha. Yea, ok. I love guiding. Most times, I enjoy it more than actually fishing, but to call guiding "fishing" is like calling a donkey a thoroughbred. Big stretch. It always seems that there is a list of folks I have made plans to go fishing with that continues to grow, and no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to wittle that list down. It just keeps growing.

I've been planning on fishing with Chance for over a year, and if I think hard about it, probably 2 years. Him and his buddies from the Chasing the Dream blog almost all live in Oklahoma, so they make trips of several days in duration over to the White and Norfork, as well as some surrounding rivers. I finally had a day where I wasn't guiding and he was going to be on the river. We grabbed breakfast that morning, scrambled our shuttle, and hit the water. 

Chance with a solid brown

Chance with a solid brown

Now, I like tossing streamers as much as the next guy, but I also know when it's just not in the cards. Bluebird skies, falling water, and a few caddis poppin' here and there. Well, we caught some pretty decent fish. Nothing to write grandma about, but some respectable browns in the 18"-20" range. I noticed Chris and Chance fumbled around all day with their GoPro camera, and come to find out, they made a video from our day of fishing. (I would have had my GoPro as well, but the good ol' generators at the lodge in Alaska last summer practically fried the battery). 

new waters

I've been on the river for the past week, and it is starting to fire on all cylinders. Great hatches are coming off on days where there is prolonged sunlight, and big fish are shuffling around looking for caddis. And when they shuffle, they get dumb. I guided a couple guys from the northeast this past week for four days. Pat and Andrew have been on the search for a place to fish in March, while their rivers are still too cold to fish. They have found the place. We boated literally hundreds of fish over the four days, and several healthy browns. 

pat brown.jpg

We fished the White and Norfork for two days each, with both rivers providing awesome fishing. It sure is nice to have both of these options for anglers, but it is even better when both of them are on fire. If you are looking for a way to get started fly fishing, or looking to further your knowledge of the caddis hatch on these rivers and how to fish it, get in touch sooner than later, because dates are filling fast for April, and several prime dates remain!

andrew attias rainbow.jpg

It's getting warmer out there...

And the fishing is getting ready to take off. This time of year, there is so much going on. Whether you are a dry fly fisherman looking to pick off some snobby surface feeding trout, dead set on catching some big ozark smallmouth, or chasing around the hillbilly cohos (white bass), there is some fishing out there for you. Just gotta get out and do it!

White River:

The Caddis hatch is on the brink of going nuts. There are already bugs coming off on certain stretches, but it should go river wide in the next few weeks. Think caddis pupa and larva and pupa patterns in the a.m., then switch over to your favorite dry fly pattern when you see some fish rising. 

The standard midges (zebras, rubys, etc.) are working great still, as well as San Juan Worms, Egg patterns, and some streamers if you can get the water to cooperate.

There have been a lot of low water windows to get a full day of wade fishing in on the White, which has been rarer than bigfoot in the past several high water years. If we don't get any big rains in the next couple months, expect to see some of these low water patterns throughout the year.

Norfork River:

The princess of the tailwaters has been on fire lately, producing some really healthy fish, and some high numbers of rainbows and browns as well. Scuds, sowbugs, and midges are working particularly well, with some caddis patterns producing on days when the fish seem to be keyed on them more than usual.

They have amped up the generation on the Norfork as of lately, so be careful if you are wade fishing. Keep an eye out for a landmark and check it periodically to make sure you are not caught in rising water. You can't hear the horn blow at the walk-in access!

White Bass:

It is almost time for it to kick off and the white bass should be charging up the rivers by the 1,000's to do their annual spawning dance. Keep an eye on the water temps, which can be found here.

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt

Just click the dot on the map where you want info for, and check out the graph for the levels and temps. This comes in very handy all throughout the year...