Sunday, March 25, 2007

Beaver Lake Fishing on March 17th

My neighbor Paul and I spent St. Patrick's day fishing the lake. We went up to check out Pine and War Eagle Creeks. A fair number of boats out and cool and windy. We mainly fished close to the banks and found a number of spotted bass. On the way back in I photographed a bald eagle in a tree which let us get fairly close and posed. We left it still sitting in its location. We fished close to home late in the day, and I caught a very fat Kentucky that fought exceptionally well. Paul did well on some crayfish type crank baits. Fun day.

Bull Shoals Tailwater - March 22

I had a day off and stayed over to fish and photograph. I watched bald eagles feed two eaglets in a nest. Photo is up on the main page of Caddis hatch was excellent today, but the hatch has been cycling on and off. At its most intense stage, it rarely lasted more than about 15 minutes at a time. I fished over one very large brown that was feeding deep on pupa during one of those spurts, but could not get him to take. Could not keep the smaller rainbows off on the drifts over his lie. I did stick a very nice brown on a streamer early in the morning, but the hook pulled out after a short battle. An awesome day and probably the best fishing day this week. Great that I got to enjoy the fishing during the prime caddis season and on a beautiful day!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Beaver Tailwater Fishing

Denny Laufenburger and I floated from the dam to Houseman, Wednesday, February 7th. Fishing was very spotty, but we managed to stick some fish, but boat none. Denny had one really good rainbow on for a while. We found one pod of fish very willing to come and play tag with our woolly buggers. Other than that we had to cover a lot of water to get some takes. Shad patterns did not draw any attention at all. Temperatures in the lake by the dam are still too high for a big shad kill. Dark woolly buggers worked best for us. Fish were non-responsive to nymphs. All of our action was after lunch. Not as nice out weather wise as the day before but still not too bad for early February and considering the winter weather we have been having. I would expect fishing to start getting pretty good on Beaver tailwater after the draw down and close to the end of February with some possible shad kill if the cold weather keeps up and drops the reservoir temperature down into the low 40s.

Beaver Tailwater Brown Trout Fin Clipping

Personnel from Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Norfork Federal Trout Hatchery, and members of the Beaver Tailwater Advisory Group and Arkansas Chapter of Trout Unlimited met to help mark 5,000 stocked brown trout in Beaver tailwater Tuesday, February 6th.

Norfork hatchery provided the hundreds of six to eight inch Plymouth Rock brown trout. The winter stocking of brown trout is called for under the new Beaver trout management plan every other year.

However, last fall during an annual AGFC Beaver tailwater electro-sampling, a number of wild trout showed up in the samples. The wild fish, about 40 or so in number, were from two back to back year classes of browns and rainbows.

To evaluate the strength of the wild brown trout year classes and to distinguish them from the stocked fish, all of the newly introduced browns this week had their adipose fins clipped. The adipose fin is a small fin behind the large dorsal fin.

Jeff Williams, AGFC trout management biologist, was on-site for the fin clipping and said these fins can eventually can grow back. But he said, “Browns with a clipped fin are usually easy to recognize, and any new growth on the fin will show up with a line break. Wild fish will not show that line.”

Anglers should be encouraged seeing some natural reproduction in the tailwater. River raised trout, regardless of their strain, have the conditioning which make for excellent sport fish.

Those that helped with the fin clipping project got to see browns up close and personal. After being anesthetized, each fish was lifted out of a bucket and the adipose fin removed with a snip from a pair of scissors. They were then placed in a pipe slough where running water sent them sliding down into the tailwater. Most recovered quickly from the procedure and by the time we were finished with the last of the trout, most had moved off out of sight of our fin clipping station.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Beaver Tailwater at Peak Colors

Chuck Kraft from Virginia happened to be back in the area visiting grandkids, and we were able to spend a day wade fishing Beaver. We started out at Parker Bend, but there was quite a lot of activity; and with the water very low, the fish were pretty aware.

Chuck Kraft lands a stocker bow under overcast skies and beautiful colors.
About late-morning we moved up to the no-bait zone, and fishing was slow but the fish more easily fooled. By the time we left around 2:30, fish had turned on and fishing was quite good.

On the way back into town I drove Chuck through the Pea Ridge Miltary Park loop. We saw tons of deer and the leaves were beautiful. A really fine day to be out. The thunderstorms forecast did not materialize, and we were thankful.