AGFC 2017 Trout Guide Book Available Online

AGFC has its updated 2017 trout regulation guide book out. It includes regulation changes for Greers Ferry tailwater. These are outlined on p.4.

 

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Standing Fly-Tying Desk

My fly-tying desk arrangement is a simple system. I found a sofa table years ago I liked. It takes up little space in the corner and has room underneath for a rolling storage bin and stacked shoe-box size storage containers for feathers, beads, hooks, and whatever other materials will fit.

Lately, I’ve been wanting to try a standing desk. Preferring to work in short spurts at the tying bench, this was a good candidate to convert. Four “lightweight” concrete blocks (two 8″x8″x16″ blocks per side) raised it the desired 16″ working height I had guesstimated to be good for this table.

Here’s some photos. I’ll let you know how it works out.

Raised tying desk with even more storage underneath (click to enlarge)

Glues and finishes I use are handy.

I like to use cups to organize and contain unruly things.

I got this funny looking cup also when we lived in Texas :-).

Someone gave me an empty, wooden cigar box, and I use it for frequently used hooks.

Most important tool and centerpiece is the vise.

Update 1/16/17 – Love this in every respect so far. Suits my tying style: tie a fly or two and walk away. Gives me a break from sitting at the computer desk. I prepare and lay out materials and hooks the night before, and it makes it productive to easily tie a dozen or perhaps two the following day. It adds up. I’ve tied four dozen flies since I posted this.

© 2017, Scott Branyan

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Speaking in Tulsa February 9th

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.”

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New Year Begins with Low Water

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.

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Scott’s Arkansas Fly-Fishing History Presentation

Here is Shiloh Museum of Ozark History’s edited audio version of my July 2015 presentation, “A History of Arkansas Fly-Fishing.”

Enjoy!

© 2016, Scott Branyan

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New Year Begins with High Water

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

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Higher Tailwater Temperatures This Fall

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

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Sights and Sounds from the River

Here’s a few video snippets from the past few days. Wonderful days on the river.

© 2015, Scott Branyan

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A Friend and Three Browns

My friend Mike and I had a great day on the water this week. I was fortunate enough to capture the highlights on video. Enjoy.

© 2015, Scott Branyan

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A Great Pair of Fly-Tying Scissors

I forgot and left my fly-tying scissors out of my travel bag this week. Fortunately, I carry a backup pair with me all the time in the Leatherman Juice S2. This is the one feature of this version of the Leatherman I really enjoy using. It turned out they are a pretty good pair of scissors for fly-tying also, performing everything I required of them from snipping thread to cutting chenille, deer hair, and synthetics. Glad I left my regular scissors so I could find out what a good pair of tying scissors they are.

The scissors in the Leatherman Juice S2 are a great pair of scissors and good for fly-tying as well.

The scissors in the Leatherman Juice S2 are a great pair of scissors and good for fly-tying also.

© 2015, Scott Branyan

 

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