More reports coming. Better flows on Bull Shoals tailwater now with gates closed and generation reduced a little. The Corps is letting Newport fall out to its now 12 foot regulating stage. That should take about another week.
Ozark Fly Flinger
Fishing Reports and Water Conditions
For Thursday, June 22, 2017
Reader assumes all risk and responsibility. Warning—these are tailwaters that have widely fluctuating levels and currents. Please make yourself aware of the safety concerns involved in fishing or boating in these waters. Don't become a statistic.
Scott's Fly-fishing Forecast
Last Updated 6/16/17
Weather - Warmer weather is here. Storms move out of the forecast Monday, and then we'll have some summerlike weather.
Generation - All spillway releases ended this past week. We've also seen some let up in normal generation releases the end of last week.
General Hatch Info - Coming into terrestrial season. Beetles, ants and eventually hoppers will be good to try. Expect a lot of baitfish produced from the prolonged high water this summer.
Flies to Try - Trout are opportunistic now for larger bugs. Nymph fishing is good with lower flows. The usual pheasant tail nymphs, hare's ears, Prince nymphs, and zebra midges have been good to try. Streamer fishing with bigger tackle is required on most tailwater during high water releases.
Beaver Tailwater - Beaver powerhouse is seeing afternoon releases of about 3,800 CFS. Practical wade fishing is not possible on Beaver tailwater until Table Rock Lake level comes down under 917. Tailwater elevation during non-generation currently is about 924.1.
Table Rock Tailwater - Releases are starting to look like some peak generation summertime patterns with some cutbacks at night. Releases have varied from 2,500 to 11,000 CFS this week. Spillway gates closed June 4. The flood pool is forecast to be empty July 25.
Bull Shoals Tailwater - Releases have been curtailed as the stage at Newport is allowed to fall out. Around-the-clock generation has dropped to 6,000 CFS overnight with afternoon peak flows of 10,000 to 11,000 CFS. Spillway gates closed June 6.
Norfork Tailwater - Generation has been coming on about noon and running until about 10:00 p.m. The powerhouse is running about 5,500 CFS. Spillway gates closed May 9.
Greers Ferry Tailwater - The powerhouse is releasing about 6,000 CFS starting around noon and running until around midnight. The flood pool is forecast to be empty July 18.
Beaver Tailwater - (Click image for realtime data. Click here for explanation.)
Beaver Dam has two generating units. Normal flows can range daily from 20 CFS at low water to over 8,800 CFS with both units in full operation. The current flow status of Beaver Tailwater can be obtained by calling (417) 336-5083.
Table Rock Tailwater (Lake Taneycomo) - (Click image for realtime data. Click here for explanation.)
Table Rock Dam has four generating units. Normal flows can range daily from 40 CFS at low water to 15,100 CFS at full discharge. The current flow status of Table Rock Tailwater (Lake Taneycomo) can be obtained by calling (417) 336-5083.
Bull Shoals Tailwater - (Click image for realtime data. Click here for explanation.)
Because of the length of this tailwater and the delay of tailout and rising water downstream, wade fishers should call the current status number periodically to know when generation has started and how many units have been brought on-line. Be aware of changing water conditions. Bull Shoals Dam has eight generating units, and flows can range daily from 50 CFS at low water to 26,400 CFS with all eight units running. The current flow status of Bull Shoals Tailwater can be obtained by calling (870) 431-5311.
Thursday, June 8 - Tony Crowsey fish with me. It was a day of firsts as it was the first time he has fly-fished. Weather was perfect. Fair. Low 54°F. High 78°F.
The flows were kinder to us today as the Corps had closed spillway gates Tuesday and reduced generation by a couple of thousand CFS as well. Releases were about 12,600 CFS. Water temperature 54°F. There are some changes to the river from the heavy releases the past few weeks.
Fishing was slow in the morning, as expected the day before a full moon. Best fishing was in the early afternoon as we got down to around Buffalo City. Fish turned on and chased Tony’s streamer. We had a lot of tags and Tony caught some of those fish. They were quick to hit and let go, But Tony figured it out and boated some nice ones.
Tony fished hard and was rewarded with some good memories.
Rainbow trout ...
... and some browns trout today
There was a beautiful scene just before sunrise east on Hwy 412 this morning. The fog was layered in the valley. The sky was turquoise with orange hues and red in the clouds above. We saw two eagles, a few mink, and a fawn on the gravel bar just below Crooked Creek. Awesome spring day of fly-fishing and a great introduction to fly-fishing the White River for Tony.
Tuesday, May 30 - Charles Burnett returned to fish and brought his friend Robert Followell along. Weather was comfortable with some clouds and a low of 61°F and high of 83°F.
The releases from Bull Shoals dam had been steady through the holiday weekend. We put in with that in mind. The Corps changed the releases beginning at 8:00 a.m. It increased power generation by 1,000 CFS and then opened 10 of the spillway gates another half-foot at 10:00 a.m. With soft banks from rain Friday night and a change of turbulence at the dam, this increased turbidity down river. Water temp was also 60°F with the spillway releases. Fishing suffered.
Charles and Robert each caught a fish apiece and had 4-5 hits. Charles fished streamers and Robert spin-fished. We spent the next two days fishing Norfork Tailwater. See Norfork reports below.
Saturday May 6 - John and Karen Fetner returned to fish. Weather was again fair. Low 46°F. High 80°F.
There was a lot of traffic upriver today. Conditions at Rim Shoals had improved, and although we knew Crooked Creek would still muddy things up, we decided to float downriver anyway.
Crooked Creek was flowing about 2,500 CFS. The Corps had peaked 9,500 CFS last night and tapered the flow down to 3,000-4,000 CFS after 3:00 a.m. Water was very good down to Crooked Creek and not bad down Ranchette. Still very fishable below Ranchette. At Buffalo Shoals, it started to muddy up thoroughly. Water was stained badly at the bottom of the shoals where the current began to really mix and that’s where fishing died for us.
Brown trout were on the feed and John and Karen caught several. Karen caught more rainbows and a cutthroat. We fished streamers exclusively because of the stained water.
John and one of his brown trout
We saw a baby fawn (maybe a day old if that) stuck down by the river. It had tried to climb up the steep bank several times and kept sliding backwards in a rut. We approached and that gave it extra motivation, and it finally succeeded in getting to the first terrace. It was still crying for mom as we floated away.
We saw eagles soaring in the afternoon. Wonderful spring day in God's creation.
Friday, May 5 - David Keene returned to fish. His friend Marty Malin came along for the ride. He had a broken finger he had to protect, so no fishing for Marty. Weather was superb with sunny and mild conditions after a cold and nasty day Thursday. Low 44°F. High 70°F. Water temperature was 51°F at the dam.
We floated from Bull Shoals dam to Wildcat. Water was very good down to Bruce Creek and became more stained downstream from there. Releases were about 3,000 CFS overnight with a bump before noon of about 4,600 CFS for three hours. Fishing was decent in the morning hours.
Dave caught half a dozen fish on nymphs with a nice rainbow and a nice brown. Fish bite died afternoon as the water came up. We tried deep nymphs and streamers of various profiles and sizes. Rolled one fish on the bottom and that was the sum of it. But, we had a good float and camaraderie.
Tuesday, April 25 - Fished with Bob and Ted. Weather was fair today again and in the low fifties to start, with a high again into the upper 70s. The Corp continued to run about 2,500 to 3,000 CFS until late in the day. Lake levels continue to climb.
Nymphing was better this morning. Ted was on his game and caught good number of fish. Bob caught a wonderful cutthroat on the nymph.
We switched to zoo cougars and did well on them the rest of the day. Bob caught another 22 inch brown. A real beaut!
Bob's Brown Beaut!
A great three days with good fishing around some big weather and water conditions changes. We saw several eagles and an osprey, but we did not a lot of wildlife on the river this time.
Monday, April 24 - Fished with Bob and Ted. Weather was fair with a low of 40°F and a high of 76°F after a stormy weekend. Area received a total of 8 inches of rain last week. Four of the five White River lakes are now well into the flood pools and were 1-3 feet above normal. It was 36°F at Rim Shoals when I arrived. The Corps was running about 2,500 CFS since noon yesterday making for good flows after the rain runoff.
Water was good but became more trashy in the afternoon and fishing slowed. Nymphing was OK but slow. Fish began to become more active late morning, and streamer fishing was good as the water began to edge up.
Bob and Ted boated a couple of nice browns today. Bob’s was a 22-incher.
Bob's brown. Some size disparity, but both were beautiful fish.
Thursday, April 20 - Bob Korose and Ted Tedasco returned to fish. Weather was fair and comfortable. Water was in good shape after an inch of rain Monday. The Corps ran about 12,000 CFS early last night then minimum flow through the night, and the river clean up nicely for today. Nymphs and streamers. Ted caught one decent brown, and Bob ran into some cutthroats.
Storm system coming in tonight. [This was the start of the 2017 flood event. See the blog for details.]
Norfork Tailwater - (Click image for real time data. Click here for explanation.)
Norfork Dam has two generating units. Normal flows can range daily from 20 CFS at low water to 7,200 CFS at full discharge. The current flow status of Norfork Tailwater can be obtained by calling (870) 431-5311.
Friday, June 2 - Dale Deuvall returned to fish with me and brought along his friend David Lange. It was foggy in the morning, and I had hoped we would be on the water to fish it, but it lifted as we were beginning our float and the river was more crowded today. Another comfortable day weather-wise.
Releases from the dam continue at 5,400 CFS. Water was a little murky.
Dale and David streamer fished the whole time. The bite was "On" this morning, and we caught most of our fish then. It slowed in the afternoon. Dale boated a fine cutthroat and a good rainbow. David had a good bow also.
Thursday, June 1 - Charles and Robert fished Norfork trailwater with me again today. Weather was fair. Low 61°F. High 82°F. Thunderstorms skirted us late in the day again as they had every day about mid-afternoon.
Norfork continues to run about 5,400 CFS around-the-clock. Water temperature has been running about 54°F.
Fishing was lackluster in the morning, but on our second float, fish decided all of a sudden to eat big. We got a lot of action in about a thirty minute window. Charles lost two big fish on breakfoffs with hard takes using a peacock streamer—a pattern that had languished in my box until this afternoon. After we lost those two flies a near-enough sculpin worked with great effect also. Charles boated three nice rainbows today. Robert boated a fine-spotted Snake River cutthroat.
Charles and another good rainbow
Robert and a beautiful cutthroat
A great three days with better fishing on the Norfork tailwater.
Wednesday, May 31 - Fished with Charles Burnett and Robert Followell. Weather was fair. Low 57°F. High 84°F.
Norfork powerhouse was releasing about 5,400 CFS around-the-clock. We floated it twice.
Charles fished streamers. Robert spin-fished. Charles boated a plump rainbow of about 20” along with a brown. He also had a cutthroat on. All on streamers. A brown rubber-legged woolly bugger worked pretty well today for Charles.
Charles’ plump rainbow
And the brown
Greers Ferry Tailwater (Little Red River) - (Click image for realtime data. Click here for explanation.)
Greers Ferry Dam has two generating units. Normal flows can range daily from 20 CFS at low water to 7,900 CFS at full discharge. The current flow status of Greers Ferry Tailwater can be obtained by calling (417) 336-5083 or (501) 362-5150.
Quick Water Links
Water Resource Information for White River Tailwaters and Related Streams
See the "Links" button on the menu at the top for my complete links listing.
SWPA posts estimated power generation schedules for Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals, Norfork, and Greers Ferry dams.
This is the USACE mirror site for stream flow and lake level data. For Arkansas data, choose "Little Rock District," and then "White River Basin." It is often available when the district website is down.
These USGS hydrographs gives flow and stage levels of the White River at Calico Rock (sixty-two miles below Bull Shoals dam).