Aug. 6 Report


 We launched at 7:00 on a cool and beautiful morning with plenty of fog over the river. We went upstream at a slow clip due to the fog and not being able to see much in front of the boat. This was the second time we took out this lovely anniversary couple.  We anchored and the day’s fishing started out nicely.  One 16-inch plus and one slot then a couple more. For some unknown reason, the catching switch was turned from on to off. We moved three more times, and though we had a few bites we caught nothing else to put in the skillet.  We used eggs and bait of various colors and configurations, but once the bite stopped, the experienced fisher people in this boat couldn’t get it back.  The fishing was out of sight, but the catching was disappointing to say the least.  The company and the conversation was sure top-notch, however.

See you on the river and tight lines. 



Sept. 3 Report

We launched at 6:30 this morning in the fog and headed upstream.  Aboard was a nice  young couple from London, England, who decided to spend some of their USA vacation here in north Arkansas and check out the trout fishing.  We didn’t see much in in the way of wild life, perhaps due to the heavy mist. Several birds, including some blue herons, and an otter did provide some entertainment for our guests from overseas. For bait today we used both Power Eggs and Power Bait of varying colors.  The bite was slow, but productive, so we moved again a couple of more times.  No slots made it into the boat today, but the fish we landed were quite fiesty and fun to catch.  Time ran out so we had to return to the launch ramp.  We were happy to send this couple back to their night’s lodging with a bag of filleted trout to cook for their dinner.  In England, they are not allowed to keep the fish they catch, so this was quite a treat.  See you on the river and tight lines to all.


Sept. 1 Report

We launched at 6:30 this morning when it was dark and foggy.  It took two boats for this family group of five.  We had taken them out a couple of years ago and enjoyed getting reacquainted and seeing how the children had grown.   Our day began with motoring upstream and anchoring close to one another at the first stop.  We used Power Eggs of different colors and some Power Bait.  After catching several fish, including one 17-inch big boy and a slightly smaller slot we had to put back, we went upstream still farther and anchored at several different places.  In all, we caught 12 slots we had to put back today.  That would have hurt a lot worse if we had not been able to catch quite a few of keeper size.  Time ran out and we ended a great trip with  the live wells filled with fish.  We didn’t see any blue herons, but we did see some ducks and a few other birds, as well as a young otter.  Hope to see you on the river and Tight Lines to all.


Aug. 27 Report


We launched at 6:30 this weekend and with the coming of Fall that is what 5:45 looked like just a bit earlier in the summer.  The river was shrouded in a misty fog which didn’t lift for several hours.  Due to the fog, we didn’t see much on our way to our first anchorage, in fact we could barely see either river bank and we were in the middle of the river.  We were surprised that we were the only ones on the river.  That changed as the day unfolded, but it was wonderful enjoying the solitude of early morning on the river.  The couple that we took out were celebrating a birthday.  They were engaged, both to each other and in catching fish, which they did to a great degree by limiting out.  Arkansas Game and Fish officers checked our licenses and our catch, and they also thought this couple were doing a good job.  I would like to the thank AG&F for doing what, at times, may seem like a thankless job.  They are keeping our natural resources healthy and available for us in a polite professional way.  The fog finally lifted after we had moved to another spot to fish.  One thing about the fog, it makes the trip back to the launch ramp seem like we are on a completely different river than the one to the anchorages.  We used Power Eggs of different colors, and a bit of Power bait, but the fish seemed to prefer the Power Eggs.  See you on the river and Tight Lines.


Aug. 20 Report

It was a beautiful morning on the river for these clients, following a wedding the evening before.  We launched at 9:30 and to my surprise we were the only boat on the water until much later.  The water was 55 degrees instead of the 85 degrees of recent days, and there were no dead fish floating thanks to the Corps of Engineers having fixed one of the generators.  Norfork has started stocking here again since the fish aren’t dying off.  We went upstream and started fishing at a spot that at one time had good fish, but lately hasn’t done so well.  Since the water conditions have improved we decided to try it.  According to “Pond Rules” we caught two really nice fish, one of which measured right at 17 1/2 inches.  Of course the one we didn’t measure was undoubtedly larger. :)  We fished this spot for a while and moved three more times having great fun.  It rained off and on several times, but just couldn’t make up its mind until we were heading back to the launch ramp.  Then the bottom dropped out.  I found some ponchos on board, and they gave us a little protection.  Of course after we were sufficiently wet and had reached the ramp, it stopped again.  We saw some otters and turtles and of course, the obligatory Blue Herons.  I included some photos of some of the fillets so you can see the difference between “river” fish and “stockers”.  See you on the river and tight lines.


August 10 Report

We launched at 7 for this trip trying to dodge some thunderstorms that never materialized.  We motored upstream, seeing an otter and several blue herons along the way. This was a father-son trip, the father an army chaplain and the son a college senior, though still in his teens.

We anchored and began divining the deep.  Within an hour we limited out with a real prize, an 18-inch rainbow!  We fished with power balls of various colors.  I felt we were quite fortunate considering the water temperature at launch was above 80 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface. This was indicative of an oxygen content too low to sustain trout.  The fish hatchery began stocking again this week after the Corps of Engineers decided to start putting cooler water into the river from a conduit pipe that runs through the dam.

Enough of that. The morning was a beautiful.  Father and son had a good time, as did the guide. See you on the river. Tight lines everyone. 


Aug. 5 Report

We launched at 6:00 a.m. and motored upriver. The water temperature was much better due to the cooler weather and perhaps to some release of water from Beaver Dam as advertised by the Army Corps of Engineers.  There was a recent news release that they were going to start releasing water through some conduits in the dam.  We had several different otter sightings, as well as many bird sightings.  It was obvious that our guests were experienced “Birders” from the various species they identified.  We anchored and began plying our skills, using several different colors of Power Eggs and Power Bait, along with wax worms.  We were eventually successful, and as usual the bite stopped rather suddenly.  We headed back downstream and continued working the fish population.  An interesting observation is that all of the fish we caught were river fish; that is, the meat was all bright pink, just like the salmon they are very closely related to.  I wonder if the stocking rate has dropped dramatically?  Our guests were good friends who like to try something new every year and this was the year for trout fishing!  A good time was had by all, including this guide.  See you on the river and tight lines.



July 31 Report

You have to love this business. You meet the most interesting people. People from far away, like today’s client from Spain, local people, like his fishing partner from Bentonville, people at the top of their profession and young people just starting out, newlywed couples and retirees, friends and relatives, just wonderful people period. I love it. We met at the launch ramp at about 5:30 and proceeded to launch the boat. We went upstream to work our way back downstream using Power eggs and Power Bait of various colors, with and without worms. We scored with the first cast and continued until the bite slowed down and until it seemed everyone and their dog decided to fish in our area. We moved downstream and plied our luck at several different locations. We saw a young otter and a raccoon working the shore line as well as quite a few blue herons. The water is still too warm for the trout to do well; they are quite stressed, and there were various dead fish, most likely due to the warm water. During the summer with generation happening, the water is in the 50’s, but since Beaver stopped generating, the water is in the 80’s at the Houseman launch ramp. That is the surface temperature, so of course it is cooler further down the water column. Trout do not do well in water over 65 degrees, I’m told due to the reduction of oxygen in the warmer water. All that said, we had a good time fishing Saturday morning, although we had to return one slot fish back to the water. One of the fishermen is a chef who heads a culinary school and the trout were going to make a great meal for all. The plan was to whip up a surf and turf affair for himself and family, including his visitors from overseas. See you on the river and tight lines.


July 26 Report


 We launched at 7:00 this morning and were quite distressed to see that the rumors about dead fish were true.  Some trout and shad and been adversely affected by the 80+ degrees.  The lack of generation of late has caused trolling to be difficult since “stuff” has not been washed out of the river.

After our initial concern, we motored upstream and were pleasantly surprised to see so many fish on the fish finder that we turned around and started over again, this time trolling.  It didn’t do any good, but we tried.  We saw quite a few Blue Herons and an otter family in our travels.  We began to fish in earnest once we got settled and did some catch and release, at least one of which was not our idea.  We tried our luck in  several different spots and gave trolling another shot, too.  This nice trip was a gift given to a couple of very nice Great-Grandsons, by their very nice Great-Grandfather.   As you can imagine, seven was a little early for a couple of teenagers on summer break.  So glad the trout managed to put a smile on their faces.

See you on the river and Tight Lines.


July 23 Report

We launched a little after 5:45 Saturday morning.  It was cooler and the mist on the river wasn’t as heavy as it has been lately.  Part of that was due to the water temperature, I suspect.  It was over 80 degrees where we launched; this doesn’t bode well for trout.  We went up river and anchored at our first spot.  The fishing was slower than I have seen, but we had some good fish.  Unfortunately, we were not able to land everything we hooked, including one beauty which was definitely over 16 inches.  After a while, we went on further upstream and continued fishing.  We were using Power Eggs and Power Bait, all of varying colors.  At our first anchorage we were supervised by aquatic wildlife which we thought was an adult otter.  He definitely wasn’t afraid of us swimming to within 20 or so feet of our boat.  The smiles in this photo attest to the good time that was had by all.  See you on the river and tight lines to everyone.



July 3

We launched at 5:45 a.m., and thanks to a 24-hour generation, we were into it straight on.  Before I get too far I must say the adults I took out were real clowns. I couldn’t believe it. You’ve never fished until you have a couple of clowns aboard.  :)  In all seriousness, the men I had on board were Bull Fighters who play the roles of Rodeo Clowns in the rodeo that was going in Springdale at the time.  We also had the son of one of the men.  I tried some new bait and it worked better than the last time I was out, so it may be a keeper.  I rotated between Power Eggs and Power Bait with a smattering of other items.  It seems whenever we stopped to fish, there were some takers and then it stopped, so we had to move on.  One of the fellows spotted an otter and we saw several blue herons, but other than that not much wildlife.  As an aside, we saw a coon swimming the river on my previous trip.  That was a first for me.  The men took fish back to the Cowboy camp and were going to have the trout fried up in addition to the catfish that was on the menu for that evening.  All in all, I had a blast with everyone.  See you on the river and Tight Lines.



June 18


We launched at 6:00 am to try to get ahead of the generation schedule.  It was beautiful this morning with a lot of fog. Seeing bank to bank was not possible in some spots.  We went anchored upstream and got bites quickly, but only one fish.  We tried just about every bait we had and even though we got bites we didn’t get any more fish  :(  We change locations and the story was the same, bites but no fish.  The bites were slow, but they were bites.  We tried trolling with some proven lures and were equally frustrated with trolling.  We could see the fish on the fish finder but they refused to come out and play.  The wildlife was not as plentiful as usual. The Blue Herons were absent, but we did enjoy seeing a turtle and a momma duck and her babies.  See you one the river and Tight Lines.


June 14

Happy Flag Day! Linda and I are back home after doing some traveling. I understand the fishing picked up while we were gone, so perhaps the timing is just right for getting back at it. I do apologize to any of you reading this post who attempted to reach me and didn't get through or did not get a response. My phone just did not work well in most places we visited. Sometimes I tried to return a call, but the call could not be completed. A few email or text messages seemed to work, though. Anyway, it is always good to be home. Hope to see you on the river!

May 19 Report

We launched about 6:15 Friday morning.  It was foggy, to say the least.  In places, we couldn’t see from one side of the river to the other.  For a change there was some surface activity, so we motored upstream to the spot that seemed the busiest.  The water was clear, and we saw a turtle swimming.  It is not unusual to see them sunning, but swimming doesn’t happen that often.  We anchored and had a blast.  The fog slowly rose as the fish  began to bite. It wasn’t long before we had our first catch.  Unfortunately, just as it was getting close to the boat the fish released itself.  Well, that’s fishing.  We switched off baits, using both Power Bait and Power eggs, all of various colors.  After the bite dropped off, we motored to another spot that had larger fish but slower bite.  Of course SPA started generating an hour before scheduled, and we didn’t even hear the horn. Oh, well.  We were able to catch a rainbow that was over 16 inches, yea!  It was about time to go, but we took a look at Blue Springs and were treated to the sight of quite a few walleye.  Shame, but we had to go.  One interesting note discovered during the fish cleaning process is that every fish caught today was female. And as an aside, the birthday girl had a great day, and we are hoping this couple's daughter doesn’t wait 3 years to come back down to Arkansas.


April 30 Report


Surprise!  Yep, that was my Friday morning.  I was sitting down to breakfast just before 7:30 a.m. and went out to get the paper.  When I came back, my phone let me know that I had a voice mail.  I listened to the recording, and it was a friend asking if I could help out on a fishing trip AND the clients were waiting.  Oh, my gosh.  Of course, I said yes and started hustling.  The boat was ready for two but I understood there might be three, so I threw in some extra gear.  At the meeting place, we introduced ourselves. We proceeded to the launch area and got the boat in the water.  It was a beautiful day!  Generation did make fishing with ultra-light tackle quite a chore, but we persisted.  We caught a beautiful slot, which we sadly returned to the river.  We also trolled, but the bite wasn’t good at all.  I have done some drift fishing  before with little success, so did not try it Friday.  I have come up with some new ideas though and will try it again shortly.  The guests were wonderful, as most are, and we had a great time.  Although they were not originally my fishing clients, they wanted their photo posted online, so we are happy to share their smiles.  


April 25 Report

We launched at 7 in order to beat the generation.  It was a little early for our guests but we really needed to beat the generation.  It doesn’t mean there are no fish when generation is going on, but using Ultra-lite rigs is a bit more difficult.  We saw otter and osprey and basically had a good time. Fishing was slow but definitely much better than the day before.  One of my previous guests has become quite a fisherman.  In fact, he and his wife went out and bought their own boat.  He reported that he couldn’t catch a thing using Berkley power bait, and that is saying something! We did, not a lot, but some.  We finished up trolling down river.  At that point, a warm kitchen and some hot coffee sounded great!


April 21 Report

And I thought the last trip was challenging?   Well, this one takes the cake.  The couple on board was here for a relaxing getaway and some trout fishing, but they didn’t bargain for things to turn out like they did today.  The weather, the fish, and the  SPA, conspired against us for sure.  Just as last week, a front moved in to challenge the fish and us.  It was cold and blowing something fierce.  At one time coming back upriver, the waves were as high as the gunnels with a touch of white caps.  It wasn’t that way everywhere, but when we were on a part of the river that was going in the same direction as the wind, wow!  The SPA decided they need power just about all day so the generating started early in the morning, taking a break for a few hours in the late afternoon and then starting again.  We had a few good bites, but in so far as catching goes, it was one of two most disappointing trips I’ve had in six years.  We did see an otter on the trip and the people on board were most pleasant companions in a tough situation!




April 16

 I think that I, and I hope our brave fishing clients, have recovered from our trip on the river Saturday morning.  The wind was horrific, the temperature was frigid, the fishing was great, and the catching was not so good.  We launched at seven A.M. and proceeded upstream to one of my favorite spots and immediately wet a line.  We had some action, but only after having our patience tried to the limit.  We kept having to reset our lines due to the wind blowing the ultra lite rigs in spite of casting either into the wind or away from the wind.  Wind kept repositioning the boat, dragging both anchors. :(  We did see more Osprey on this trip than I've seen before at any one time.  In fact, we saw them diving into the river after fish, so we knew we were in the right spot.  We hauled anchor and found a place to tie up so the wind wouldn’t blow us around but the fish refused to come out and play.  Our guests did go home with some trout to try for dinner for the first time, so that pleased us.  See you on the river and tight lines.


April 8 Report


Yesterday was a challenge for sure.  We had two hardy and brave souls on board for an afternoon of fishing. We didn’t launch until the temperature had risen to just freezing.  The forecast was for 14 mph winds, but I think the wind exceeded even that.  The generation had stopped but the flow continued as the river attained stasis.  We went upstream and anchored and began our quest for fish.  I might also mention that a front moved in the night before and there was still snow in a few places on the bank.  The fish didn’t care about the snow but the front and the generation sure had them dialed back.  We fished but the bite was worse than slow, so we went upriver further than I had been since last year.  Did I mention we have had a lot of rain and the river is a foot and a half above full pool?  We anchored again and the contest was on, full swing.  One participant got more bites and the other got more fish.  It was intense for a bit, but the bite went away and we moved again.  Might I say we did great relative to a lot of other fishermen we came across.  The sunshine made the scenery beautiful despite the cold so it was a great day for one and all.


March 25 Report

We launched at a few minutes past 7:00 a.m. from Houseman Access. The weather was warm and the sun was coming up.  What a beautiful day for fishing!  Obviously others thought so because there were several fishermen on the river at that early hour.  We went upriver to one of our favorite spots, seeing an Osprey along the way.  We anchored and began fishing with various colors of Berkley Power Balls and were somewhat successful.  After a bit, we weighed anchor and proceeded further up stream where we saw a huge otter on the bank.  At this anchorage, we caught a few more rainbows.  We relocated again when we saw a juvenile otter and another Osprey.  After a bit more bait fishing, we decided to start trolling.  We ended our trip with these two good friends having caught their limit, but had to return one of our catch to the river when he proved to be in the slot.  We did see what appeared a buzzard convention, more of the black headed buzzards than I have ever seen at one place and one time.  Cleaning today’s catch proved interesting.  Trout caught earlier this season had their bellies full of snails.  Today’s were full of insects! 

Tight lines and see you on the river!