We launched at 1:00 to avoid some of the cold weather and the generation scheduled in the morning.  A red flag warning had been issued due to the wind and dry conditions.  We went upriver and anchored at a favorite spot.  The fish were reluctant to play and the wind blew hard enough to drag out the anchor.  We gave up after a fish or two and tried to drift fish with a rig I had used on the other side of the state several times with a good deal of success.  No luck with it today, and since we were in a familiar spot it just reaffirmed that the fish were refusing to play.  We trolled downstream, again with no fish and just a strike or two.  At the next anchorage we began to catch some fish.  It was around three which seemed to be the time the fish were returning from their siesta.  They stopped biting about as fast as they began.  We were using a little Power Bait and quite a bit more Power Balls, all of various colors.  Since the bite stopped we tried trolling downstream again, pulling a flicker shad and a rapala.  Although these have often done well in the past, the fish were still refusing to play.  About this time the sun was beginning to go down and the wind seemed to be picking up, but maybe it was the absence of the solar heat the made it seem that way.  We were thinking about anchoring again but my guests opted to go in so that their guide might have some daylight for the cleaning and bagging process.  

 

I have taken the boat into the shop for its annual maintenance and plan on entertaining kids and grandkids for Christmas soon.  Merry Christmas to all.  Good fishing and tight lines to each and every one.

 

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Nov. 25 Report

We started Friday’s fishing excursion at a few minutes after 8:00 so that we might get a bit more sun, and therefore, warmth. Since the fishermen on board had fished here last Thanksgiving weekend, they understood what the weather can do. When I launched about 7:15, mine was the only boat at Houseman. By the time we finished, there were 14 boats that we counted. After watching an otter for a minute, we proceeded upstream and anchored. The wind was predicted to be 14 mph this day, but as usual the prognostications of the weather were a bit off and the wind was the exception that proved the rule. The bite was slow and the wind was a problem, so we moved the anchorage perpendicular to the wind mid stream and fished some more. The fish were begrudging the bite and we moved again to finish off the limit. We did, however, manage to catch 3 slots which was somewhat unusual. By this time the wind was strong enough to move us, in spite of the anchors. After considering heavier anchors, we decided to just to go with the flow and plan on moving with the wind. We used Power Balls and Power Bait of various colors and none seemed to turn the fish on much and the slow bite continued. We tried a lure, mice tails, that worked well in Texas but these hillbilly rainbow up here didn’t seem too impressed. Then again, they were not overly impressed with anything today:).

While cleaning the fish we discussed dad and granddad taking some grandchildren for a fishing experience. Having done that myself a few times, I was happy to share some advice on a place that might be most conducive to the safety of little ones and likely to lead to catching a fish. See you on the river and tight lines.

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Nov. 19 Report

We launched at 8:00 a.m. from Houseman Access after wondering the previous day just what Saturday had in store for us.  The weather looked ominous and I couldn’t get a read on SPA’s intended schedule of generation.  Normally they post the schedule for Saturday, Sunday and Monday on Fridays after 5:00 PM.  This week the site still read Saturday as November 11, though other days and dates were published.  By the time morning arrived we were looking at a possible 20 degree slide in temperature, plus rain and 40 mph wind gusts.  All in all, the day looked challenging to say the least. It was in the high 60’s when we launched with just a little wind on the river.  We saw a bald eagle on our way to the first anchorage and noticed a little more wind as we began fishing.  It didn’t take too long before the first, second, and third fish found the live well.  Either the same eagle or another flew over to welcome us to a good fishing spot.  We tried Power Bait and Power Eggs of various colors and were having a good time.  When using ultra-light tackle one has to be conscious of the wind, especially when fishing perpendicular to to the wind.  The wind can blow the line enough to move the sinker on the bottom of the river, so in cases like that one fishes into or away from the wind.  Today was the first time fishing from that anchorage when the wind was at our backs.  Several times it precipitated on us.  I say that because it really wasn’t raining or misting and the wind picked up so much, there was no telling exactly what it was doing.  We moved to a couple of different spots and the wind was so gusty that our anchors didn’t hold, so we tied up to some stumps.  About then, we were wet and cold (the temperature had now dropped to 47 degrees), and we had caught our limits so we headed to the house.  See you on the river and tight lines.  

 

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Nov. 7 Report

 

How fortunate this trip was Saturday, a gorgeous fall day with mild temperatures.  We proceeded upstream at 8:00 a.m. and noted that there was very little wind and no generation going on.  It was a only bit cool and what felt like heavy mist might have been heavy fog.  One of the guests was a food writer who learned about the huge bonita in Japan just last week, so I thought trout might be anti-climatic.  He said he enjoyed himself, and it had been sometime since he actually had caught fish. The other gentleman was a chef and the two of them were going to have a get-together that evening for 14 chefs.  I bet the fresh trout they are serving will be delicious. These experienced fishermen even jumped in on the fish cleaning.   We had to take a photo since that doesn’t happen often around this cleaning station.  We saw an eagle a couple of different times, an otter, and of course Blue Herons and King Fishers, all in the course of fishing this morning.  We anchored upstream and the guys did great.  They limited out in no time using several colors of Power Bait and Power Balls.  The time we spent trolling was not productive today.  Maybe next time this guide will suggest smaller lures.  See you on the river and tight lines.

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Nov. 4 Fishing Report

After a break to spend time with children and grandchildren last week, we were back on the river for fishing on Thursday.  We launched at 8:30 and proceeded upstream.  According to the SPA (Southwest Power Authority) there was to be no generation all day.  Well, that turned out to be not correct or someone turned on a really big spigot, because there was significant flow.  We anchored and began a trying morning of fishing.  The current continually carried the lines downstream and we continually had to reset them.  On top of that, the wind really picked up increasing our frustration.  Fortunately for this guide, the fish underwater didn’t suspect what was happening on top.  Our guests were real troopers and carried on with various colors of bait, both Power Bait and Power Balls, and ended the morning with their limit.  Sometimes the catching is worth the trouble of the fishing!  

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Oct. 20

 

Well, it was a stealth trip today :)   We received a phone call from the daughter of a couple who were making plans to celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary.  Since they were coming from Minnesota to Eureka Springs, and since they both love to fish, she had the perfect gift idea for them.  When they arrived in Eureka Springs, they were then allowed to open the mystery envelope.  They were delighted with the gift of a fishing trip because trout fishing was their favorite type of fishing, even after having experiences fishing in Alaska, Canada, and several northern states.  We launched at 9:00 a.m., not usually the very best time for limiting out, but hey, it's their anniversary and it was a long drive down here.  We left Houseman going upstream, really enjoying ourselves, and chatting a good part of the way.  We anchored and "released the Krackins” on those unsuspecting trout.  These folks pulled in fish after fish in no time, using both Power Bait and Power Balls.  It was interesting that a couple of other fisherman heard the giggles coming from our boat and came to our anchorage like bees after the honey.  We decided on some trolling for a different experience and looked over a couple of local sights of interest along the way.  What a great time!  They were planning on cooking at least a few slabs that evening, done up in a frying pan with onions and potatoes.   “Them's good eatin’!“ as some would say.  Tight lines and see you on the river.

We are headed north to help look after some of our grandkids for a while, so the posts will be curtailed for several days.

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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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