Oct. 18 Report

We launched at cold-thirty on Tuesday morning.  Actually it was 7:30, and the temperature was a brisk 39 degrees.  We proceeded upstream at a modest rate so as not to induce hypothermia in our guests.  We were graced with some beautiful scenery.  The leaves were beginning to change; along the river they seem to change first.  A beautiful eagle landed on a tall dead tree, and beneath that we saw a deer and her fawn.  Afterwards we saw a few blue herons, so we knew the experts were after the fish.  We anchored and proceeded to land fish.  The bets were on for the First, Largest, and Most.  The competition was so close that we decided to troll for a bit.  It turns out it was a long bit, but the reward was a really nice rainbow.  Our guests were camping with three other couples and they were taking turns cooking great meals.  It was our guests’ turn, and someone else offered to cook the fish if they were lucky enough to land something.  All will be surprised with a limit of really fresh trout for dinner tonight.  Tight lines and see you on the river.

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Oct. 16 Report

 

We launched at eight due to the cold and the early morning generation.  It was 38 degrees when we launched and the fog was thick as pea soup, as the saying goes.  A water temperature in the high 50’s and an air temperature in the high 30’s make for lots of condensation.  We went upstream and anchored for some bait fishing, but the current was too much so we elected to troll.  We didn’t do any good trolling so went back to anchoring and had to continually reset the lines due to the current.  I have no idea as to why the SPA had to generate for two hours in the morning.  Their advertised two hours actually worked out to about 4 hours.  Fishing was great, we had the river to ourselves and good company.  Catching was terrible; it was close to the worst day of my guiding career.  On the positive side, my guests used open-faced spinning reels for the first time, and the lady learned how to cast them.  She was a pro by the end of the trip.  The gentleman kidded her about throwing away her Zebco.  They both decided they liked the braided line better than the monofilament.  For the cherry on top we caught a slot and had to release it.  It would have been easier had we caught a slew of rainbows and had to release one instead of catching a few and having to release one.  Regardless, we made sure they left with plenty for a good meal.

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Oct. 14 Report

We launched about 7:30 from Houseman Access and proceeded upstream at a slow enough speed that my guests wouldn’t freeze.  At the house before we left, the temperature was 67, but before I got to the ramp it was 57 and the water was 58.  We didn’t troll due to having three on board and tangled lines being the likely outcome.  We were treated by a sighting of an Osprey, a king fisher and a blue Heron during the trip.  Back to fishing!  We anchored upstream and commenced our efforts at catching.  You can imagine my elation when all three guests immediately caught fish simultaneously!  This trip was more of a celebration of life than putting fish in the well, but talk about a fast start!  We used various colors of Power Bait and Power Balls.  All of the fisher-people on board were relatively new to trout fishing, so we had some gear and techniques to get used to.  They did great all around, including the use of open spinning reels and Ultra lite rods and tackle. We practiced casting and everyone learned very quickly and did a masterly job.   We tried several different spots including going up up to Bertrand launch ramp and back down river stopping a couple of different places.  Before you know it, our morning was up and we had three new trout catchers on board!

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Oct. 13 Report

 What a beautiful day to be back on the river!  We launched from Houseman at 7 a.m. and began trolling down river.  Since nothing was happening, fish-wise, we turned back up river and continued trolling.  A couple of raccoons entertained us with their riverside dining atop a rock. We had to wonder how they got to that rock from the bluff behind them. This time we had some good strikes and caught a couple of trout.  Since we had arrived at a good anchorage, we switched to bait fishing with several colors of Power Bait and put a several fish in the well.  Our luck was good despite having to toss back a few that fell into the slot area.  We decided to try a couple more anchorages and finished our limits for the day.  As if the day needed to be any more beautiful, we had the pleasure of seeing otters swimming and blue herons skimming over the water.  Hope to see you on the river to enjoy fall in the Ozarks.

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Oct. 7 Report

I launched at dark-thirty and we shoved off about 7:00 a.m. as it was getting light. It was a little chilly and we wanted to reduce the air blowing around us, so we decided to proceed at a reduced SOG (speed over the ground).  Of course, in order to be productive as possible, we decided to troll.  First, we dragged a Rapala and a Flickershad.  The Flickershad turned out to be the most useful.  We boated a couple of very nice Rainbows, one of which was at least in the slot category, if not even larger.  Since we were not keeping any fish today, they were released back into the deep after their exercise.  We anchored and fished with various colors of Power Balls and some Power Bait.  After a bit, we proceeded further upriver and found another anchorage and enticed even more rainbows aboard.  During our expedition, we caught two fish that didn’t seem to want to recover after being released, so they went  into the live well to visit the freezer later that morning.  The day ended with no generating, no rain, and a nice day's worth of good fishing. Tight lines and see you on the river.

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Oct. 5 Report

We launched yesterday morning as soon as we confirmed by radar that we could get in a little fishing before the rain started again.  After Tuesday's rain and the forecast for more,  we were not too sure how the day would play out.  Beaver Dam has been generating for days, if not weeks, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Needless to say, this has not done much good for the fishing for some time now.

Our launch was just after 8:00 a.m. and we proceeded upstream, trolling as we went.  I marked plenty of fish but they thought they had better things to do than cooperate with our efforts.  This trip was a surprise birthday present for the gentleman on board, who was delighted with the gift from his girlfriend.   We caught our first rainbow who was dubbed Pinky, due to his pink coloring, the lucky Birthday Fish.  We left that anchorage and went upstream a bit more and anchored again.  We had the best luck throwing at the shear between the fast current and the still water.  Even that was nothing to write home about, but better than other areas.  We noticed the rain was thinking about starting again so we went back downstream and tried a few other places closer to the launch ramp.  We elected to return to the ramp and hauled out about three minutes before the rain really picked up.  The couple enjoyed the trip and nature of the river and left with enough fish to dirty the skillet.

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Sept. 17

We launched from Houseman Access at 6:45 to try to get a jump on the generation schedule from Beaver Dam.  Speaking of generation scheduled from Beaver, perhaps the schedule is Eastern Time Zone instead of our local Central time zone because  generation is consistently an hour early according to CST.

Never the less, we launched and proceeded up stream at a leisurely pace.  It is truly fall according to the weather.  If one were to dress for the predicted 85 degrees, one would certainly be underdressed for the 65 degrees one experiences, or for the the forty-some degrees indicated by some of the temperature gauges that are close to the river.

We stopped at our first anchorage and caught rainbow very quickly, but things really slowed down.  We started with Berkley power bait and transitioned one fisherman to Berkley power balls, but the bite didn’t improve.  We moved upstream, anchored again, and very quickly caught a rainbow, but that quickly went into the forget-me mode.  I am not sure if the trout union went on strike or they had a really early breakfast, but the bite was lousy.  I have to praise my guests; they did a marvelous job.  One was relatively new to fishing, or might I say catching, and the other was more experienced, but I was proud of both.  We moved again and again.  The generation caught up with us, so we stored our ultralite rods and took a quick trip upstream to see a couple of things then started downstream, trolling.  We caught a nicer trout but the lines got tangled and he escaped the grill. 

Time caught up with us so we put away our trolling rods and took a peek at a spring that puts about 38 million gallons of cold clear water into the White River per day.  We cleaned the trout, preparing them for a visit to the grill later on that day.

Tight lines and happy fishing!!

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Sept. 16

 Today’s report does not involve fishing.  The clients on the boat just wanted to tour the beautiful White River.  With that in mind, we launched before 2:00 in the afternoon.  Generation was already in progress from the dam so we proceeded down river from Houseman.  Our first stop was at Blue Springs where the guide gave a bit of information on the history (and temperature) of the springs.  Moving on we enjoyed the the scenery and wildlife and the pretty homes along the river bank on our way to the little Golden Gate Bridge at Beaver.   We saw some shad trying to escape a denizen of the deep only to play into the talons of a denizen of the sky, a bald eagle.  We made our way under the bridge and talked about the abandoned railroad trestles before turning around and checking out the scenery a few minutes more on our return to Houseman. 

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Sept. 14 Report

We launched at Houseman at a few minutes past 7 and motored upstream to our first  anchorage.  The bite was slow but we managed to catch our limit.  We returned two of them to the river, one too large and one too small, keeping only three.  We tried four different locations but the story was the same, slow bite.  By this time the current had increased considerably due to the generation so we finished the morning by trolling.  Even though we marked plenty of fish on the fish finder, no one was interested in playing.  

The trip was probably more informative for me than my guest.  He was interested in experiencing the more refined trout, as compared to the large catfish he was used to and to the sharks and rays he has been stalking for the last several years.  This gentleman makes his own rods and I enjoyed learning how he configured his terminal tackle for hanging onto sharks weighing multiple hundreds of pounds.

It was a beautiful day and we both really enjoyed the river.

 

 

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Sept. 7 Report

 

The latest fishing clients decided to celebrate their anniversary with a guided fishing trip here on the White River.  We launched from Bertrand access at 7 a.m.  As we trolled upstream we had several bites and landed a nice trout, thanks to our flicker shad.  Along the way we had some entertainment provided by our resident river otters and beaver.  We trolled to our first anchorage, changed to bait, and started fishing.  We did feel a bit pressed for time since one never knows when the generation will actually start, regardless of the published generation schedule.  The bite was rather slow but we stuck it out for a while then weighed anchor and proceeded to our next favorite fishing spot.  The bite was still a little slow but better than the first anchorage.  Generation had started by then and the current began to pick up at our location.  We decided to troll our way back to the Launch ramp and happily caught several trout on the way.  As often happens in a boat, you think you have a minute to take off a jacket or switch to sunglasses, but that is the moment you get a strike.  What do you do?  You hold the glasses with your teeth and use your hands to reel in a fish.  The Rapala worked better for us during this bout of trolling.  Since another boat occupied the ramp, we stopped by the interesting Blue Springs area for a bit.  Soon it was our turn to trailer the boat and drive to the shop for cleaning and bagging a nice day’s catch. 

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Sept. 5 Report

This trip began with a 6:45 a.m. launch from Houseman Access.  Our first move was to head upstream and begin trolling.  The first catch of the day fell in the slot, so we had to repatriate and troll a bit more.  We arrived at the spot where we wanted to anchor and fish, so we dropped our hooks, fore and aft.  Catching started out a little slow but picked up, so we had a nice catch in the live well.  We started with Berkley power bait and quickly switched to Berkley Power Balls using wax worms occasionally, but everything seemed to work as to color.

The generation schedule “suggested” the start time was 1:00 even though they have been starting at 9:00, I guess to confuse us.  Well, they doubled down today and started at 8:00 a.m. Why in the world they would start so early on Labor Day weekend, knowing there would be a lot of fishermen out baffles me. We wrapped up the bait fishing and began trolling again all the way back down to Houseman.  It was time to haul the boat out and proceed back to the shop to clean a good day’s catch.  See you on the river.

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Sept. 3 Report

We launched at 6:45 a.m. from Houseman Launch Ramp and proceeded upstream to our anchorage spot. We didn’t spot the grumpy beaver, but were treated to the antics of 4 otters. As cute as they were, we attended to our fishing.  We did well using Berkley power balls of various colors and configurations.  We hoped to come close to our limit and beat the generation scheduled for 10:00 a.m.  As has happened often lately, generation began at 9:00 a.m.  We decided to troll downstream pulling first a couple of Rapala lures then switching to a couple of flicker shads.  We were successful trolling and ended the day with our limit.  We met some LSU fans and exchanged prognostications of LSU vs.Tennessee, all in good fun of course.  We saw some deer, blue herons, kingfishers, and of course those lovable otters. Tight lines and see you on the river.

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Sept. 1 Report

 

We launched at 6:45 a.m. at Bertrand and went downstream heading to our first anchorage.  We were looking for the otter family that hangs out in the Spider Creek area and saw what we thought were some otters.   By the time we got close enough to identify the animals we saw they were ducks.  We proceeded, somewhat disappointed, downstream to our anchorage.  We started fishing, but heard a big splash behind us and couldn’t figure out exactly what it was.  Maybe a big turtle slipping off the bank into the water rather clumsily?  We continued fishing using first power bait, then power balls and wax worms.   It didn’t seem to make much difference as to what type of bait we used or what color/flavor because they bit on everything. What a day!  That big splash continued as we were fishing and we finally spotted a beaver.  He was near the shore and swam up to within 15 feet of our boat before diving for good.  After we got close to our limit we trolled further downstream using both Flicker-shad and Rapala lures.  As was the case with the power bait, it didn’t seem to make much difference what we used; we caught fish.  Even though we had a string of nice-sized fish we didn’t catch any fish over the 16 inch mark.  It would be safe to say we had a great time!  Tight lines and see you on the river.

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August 23 Report

Today's launch was at 7:00 a.m. at Bertrand Launch Ramp.  The ramp doesn’t have as much sand as it has in the past several months.  The river is getting more shallow as time goes on.  The weather was beautiful with a little mist on the river and cool temperatures.  We proceeded downstream, seeing a bunch of deer with their fawns.  We wanted to see the otter family, but were denied the pleasure.   Only one showed up after we anchored.  We began with Berkley paste and power balls, one on each rod, but did more feeding than catching.  Soon we made the switch to power balls and waxworms for both fishermen, and these folks began to “clean house,” even when we ditched the waxworms.  Power balls alone, of any color, were all we needed.  Sadly, we did catch two slots we had to throw back.  As usual, the bite slowed down mid-morning so we gave the trout just a little more time to get off their coffee break before we threw in the towel and proceeded further down stream.  We anchored at another favorite hole and were rewarded with a few more rainbows, then decided to troll a a bit with some Rapala floaters.  The trolling didn’t pan out too well, but we motored back upstream to give it another chance anyway.  Before we knew it, it was time to head in.   The folks onboard were spending their vacation time, a rare event for them, here in Eureka Springs.  Limiting out today, especially when other folks around us were not boating many fish made the trip extra enjoyable.
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August 17

 

We launched from Bertrand at about 7:00 a.m. and made our usual move, proceeded downstream.  Right away we saw deer, then we saw a family of otters leave the water and climb onto Spider Creek Island.  We continued downstream and anchored.  We began fishing using bright colors of power bait and power balls with wax worms, but wouldn’t you know it, the otters found us again.  We heard some splashing behind us and there they were, friendly and cute, but the fish were not crazy about them.  The bite slowed around 8:30, so we decided to relocate to see if the trout at another location had received the memo about taking a coffee break at 8:30.  It turned out they had but only for a short one.  However, (can you guess where this is going?) the otters showed up again.  I guess they bought us luck though, because we limited out. By the end of the trip it turned out that the color and/or bait form didn’t make a lot of difference.  As to luck, you know what they say, it’s better to be lucky than good, yet I prefer a combination of the two. :)  Wishing you a great day of fishing and tight lines!

 

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August 13

Three generations of family members launched with this guide just before 7:00 a.m. from Bertrand.  Mom, son, and grandson proceeded downstream to try their luck.  This was Mom’s first fishing trip ever, and she caught several fish today.  She did great!  Grandson was no slouch either since he caught his first trout ever.  Son/Dad seemed to have a great time both bringing in his own fish and watching his son and his mother having such a good time together.  The bite eventually slowed so we upped anchor and moved further down stream to anchor again.  The bite was still slow, so after giving the fish a good chance, we moved again believing in equal opportunity for all.  At this anchorage, we did more feeding than catching, so we then headed back to the launch ramp stopping for a very short time to wet a hook one more time and say good-bye to the trout.  We caught fish with power bait paste, power balls, and wax worms today, but garlic scents seemed to be the most powerful attraction.

August 9

Sam and nephew Curt, visiting from Missouri, planned a fishing trip for Saturday.  Another guide, Austin, was kind enough to offer his boat and his company, so we started the day with a 6:00 a.m. launch from Houseman, intending to try for some browns.  What do guides do when they don’t have trips booked?   Well, they fish, of course.  Despite the overcast day, we trolled upstream then back down without finding any evidence of browns.   

Not wanting to waste the day, we decided to fish for rainbow.  It took a while to get any in the boat, despite our good luck catching.  A couple of times the trout spit out the lures and once almost got one of the fisherman. One fun moment was after the trout spit the lure in midair Austin quickly netted him before he fell back into the water.  But, alas, the trout had the last laugh.  He escaped through a hole in the net. :(

We anchored and began boating the trout seriously, using power bait, power balls, and waxworms.  All three of us were fishing, but Austin manned the net most of the time.  It was fun when he was untangling a line from the net and another trout was caught, often by Austin on his unattended rod so we would grab the net to capture the trout with a line still entangled.  My nephew caught the largest trout of his life, then he did it again, one well over 16 inches.  Way to go Curt!   Curt also caught a slot which was put back into the river and Austin caught one that we reunited with his mommy.  

I commented that it felt like it was about to rain and in just a few minutes Austin said judging from the rain drops we could see on the river, it is.  Although we were one short of our limit we decided we would forgo the last one had return to the launch ramp.  What a great day for fishing, fun and fellowship!

 

 

August 4

Our early morning launch from Bertrand, 6:45 a.m., paid off today.  We began catching with power bait and power eggs, and later switched to eggs alone.  The fishermen on board caught on quickly to the difference in boating trout compared to the catfish they usually go for.  Trout use a smaller hook and you must be aware of the nibbling they do on your bait.  When they take a bite, setting the hook requires a gentle touch.  We only fished in two spots downriver from Bertrand before we were nearly at our limit.  For fun we trolled back down to the ramp, but with no actual catching.  Here is a surprise to those who have been fishing these high waters for the past couple of months.  I had to pull my motor up in order to cross the riffles at Spider Creek!

July 2

As we launched at Bertrand on Thursday morning, some bank fishermen warned us that the bite was very slow.  That proved to be the case from one anchorage to the next all morning.  Other guides we encountered echoed the same thing.  Hoping to encourage the fish some, we tried various colors and configurations of power bait paste and power balls.  Although the bite was slow, we did pull in some nice-sized fish.  It broke our hearts to toss back two that fell into that unkeepable slot range.  A problem today that kept the guide busy was the number of snags that required replacing leaders.  Where did those come from?

A slow bite has the advantage of allowing some sightseeing.  Today that included a herd of deer and a family of river otters enjoying a swim.  The day was cool and damp, a great day for father and son to celebrate a birthday.  Happy Birthday to Sam the football player from Sam the fishing guide!

 

July 26

Today’s report is compiled from family fishing trips over several days. This lucky guide was able to fish with daughter from Rogers, grandson from Miami, and with son, grandson, and granddaughter from Kansas.  We managed several firsts, thanks to the cooperative fish we found.  Daughter fished and caught fish for the first time.  5-year-old granddaughter, who fished for the very first time ever, caught her LIMIT by feeling the strike and reeling it in.  Grandsons were not new to catching fish, but learned to cast with a spinning reel.  Son caught his limit each day and will treat some friends in Kansas to a fish fry.  Proud Grandpa just guided them to the right spot.

Speaking of the right spot, we fished without moving around much since the place we anchored resulted in a steady catch.  Power balls didn’t seem effective, but we fished with power bait.  The smelly and the bright varieties were the ones that worked this weekend. 

Since the attention span of these fisher-people was on the short side, we cruised the river and managed to site kingfishers, blue herons, an eagle, and a pileated woodpecker.  We found a tree that appeared to me gnawed by a beaver.  What a wonderful weekend to be on the river.  See you there!