Here’s a musical tying demo I do of the Elk Hair Caddis with the White River caddis in mind. I put in some video and stills of the hatch at the end. Enjoy!
© 2017, Scott Branyan
I completed something of a five-year personal project and goal over the Christmas break. Come along on my section hiking of the 165 mile OHT national recreational trail.
Some backpack fly-fishing is on the agenda next.
© 2017, Scott Branyan
AGFC has its updated 2017 trout regulation guide book out. It includes regulation changes for Greers Ferry tailwater. These are outlined on p.4.
I’m looking forward to speaking again at the Oklahoma Chapter of TU/Tulsa Fly Fishers. Catch me Thursday, February 9th.
Topic: “Fly-Flinging with the Flows: Using the Right Tackle and Method for Various Water Conditions on Arkansas’ White River Tailwaters.”
Ah, the vicissitudes of life on the water! Last year we began with another round of very full lakes and flood releases on the tailwaters. This year we need rain.
Unofficially, here are the lake level numbers comparing 2017 and 2016:
FEET BELOW PERCENT NORMAL LAKE DATE ELEV STORAGE POOL ----------------------------------------------------------- Beaver Lake 11JAN17 1110.91 72.8 CONS -9.5 Table Rock Lake 11JAN17 907.13 72.7 CONS -7.9 Bull Shoals Lake 11JAN17 649.66 65.6 CONS -9.3 Norfork Lake 11JAN17 548.49 84.7 CONS -5.3 Greers Ferry Lake 11JAN17 455.18 71.9 CONS -6.9 FEET ABOVE PERCENT NORMAL LAKE DATE ELEV STORAGE POOL ----------------------------------------------------------- Beaver Lake 11JAN16 1128.75 86 FLOOD +8.3 Table Rock Lake 11JAN16 926.04 67 FLOOD +11.0 Bull Shoals Lake 11JAN16 684.55 67 FLOOD +25.5 Norfork Lake 11JAN16 571.53 64 FLOOD +17.7 Greers Ferry Lake 11JAN16 474.38 46 FLOOD +12.3
Who knows what the water conditions will be by March and April, but if they remain low, we should at least have some good caddis fly-fishing opportunities this spring. Stay tuned.
Here is Shiloh Museum of Ozark History’s edited audio version of my July 2015 presentation, “A History of Arkansas Fly-Fishing.”
© 2016, Scott Branyan
Heavy rains Thanksgiving weekend and again Christmas weekend have the lakes back to where they were last August. The four lake flood storage reached 68 percent by January 4.
The Little Rock District Corps of Engineers announced on their Facebook Page late Wednesday morning that it plans to increase spillway releases at the dams beginning Thursday and into next week. The Corps has a window to try to reduce some flood storage, and it is being proactive about trying to bring the lakes down. By the middle of next week, spillway releases will be occurring at four of the five White River project dams and may continue for some time.
Greers Ferry Dam – One unit is offline for maintenance. On January 14, the Corps opened three spillway gates along with one unit running around-the-clock at the powerhouse. Total release is 6,000 c.f.s. This increases to 7,400 c.f.s. on January 19 and will continue until the lake falls below 463 feet or the second hydropower unit is back online.
Bull Shoals Dam – Bull Shoals powerhouse is running all eight units with a release of 21,500 c.f.s. Beginning Saturday, January 16, the Corps will open four spillway gates one-foot each. Total release will be about 27,000 c.f.s. On Jan. 17, four more gates will be opened with a total release of about 30,000 c.f.s. and continue unless significant rainfall occurs downstream of the dam.
Norfork Dam – The Corps anticipates a spillway release from Norfork Lake to begin about Jan. 20 with a total release of 10,000 c.f.s.
Table Rock Dam continues to make a combined powerhouse and spillway release of 20,000 c.f.s. The lake is forecast to be at normal pool February 1.
Natural streams are also running high, and each additional heavy rain brings them into unfishable condition for a while. Fly-fishing will be impractical on the tailwaters until spillway releases are over.
© 2016, Scott Branyan
Water temperatures in Table Rock, Bull Shoals, and Norfork tailwaters are higher than usual this fall. Temps from Bull Shoals are staying around 60°F to 64°F from the dam all the way down to Calico Rock—some 62 miles. The lake temperatures at the three dams are only varying about 10 degrees from the surface to 100 feet deep—about 70°F to 60°F. On Bull Shoals Lake, 150 feet is 10 degree variance depth.
Most lakes do not benefit from late season drawdowns as we had this year. A large drop in water levels during late summer can change lake temperature stratification. This and the fact we had drought conditions the last two months of summer most likely explain the higher tailwater temps we are seeing now. This effect is not occurring on Beaver and Greers Ferry which did not experience the prolonged, late season drawdowns.
Not sure what effect this will have on the brown trout spawn. One thing is for sure: keep fish in the water as much as possible when releasing. It will take the lakes to finish turning over in December for temperatures to drop. Interested in any of your thoughts on the subject.
© 2015, Scott Branyan