Nov. 28 Report


We delayed launch until eight this morning.  After a good Thanksgiving of being stuffed and the weather turning off cold Friday and even colder Saturday morning, eight seemed fitting.  Unfortunately, I left my hat at the house, so needless to say, with my cold head I was not in great spirits.  Yet, the sun was shining, and it was a beautiful morning.  We decided to try for some bigger fish by trolling instead of starting out with bait.  We trolled downstream a little bit, during which time we saw a really nice buck.  It must have been modern gun season because we heard what sounded like cannons going off.  Soon we turned around and started upstream trolling a little further.  We only caught "stick bass" and leaves while trolling.  Since that wasn’t so successful, some bait fishing seemed the way to go.  The first couple of stops were not tremendously lucky.  We had decided from the git-go that we were only interested in larger fish since a supper was already planned without depending on fish, so quantity wasn’t a big deal.  It hurt, but the slot we caught had to be returned.  A couple of others helped to make up for it.  First was a beautiful rainbow measuring over 18 inches.  Another keeper measured 12 31/32 inches (whew!).  A few fish a little smaller rounded out the day.  We used Power Eggs of different colors, but the winner today was white.  We saw several eagles and a large blue heron during the day.  I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.  By the way, the river has dropped even further so be careful.  See  you on the river and tight lines everyone.


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Oct. 28 Report


We launched at 7:30 for this trip, prepared for rain, shine, cold, and wet weather.  We were not disappointed!  It was a two-fer celebration, both an anniversary and a birthday.  Our good time was not deterred by temperatures in the forties with mist off and on.  We just wiped off our glasses and went on with things.  After launch, we proceeded upstream and were graced with the presence of an otter, an osprey and both an adult and a juvenile bald eagle.  The blue herons did not want to be left out either.  The loud mouths of the forest, crows, did their best to harrass the eagles.  We anchored and began plying our skills at fishing.  There were definitely some scores to settle from past fishing experiences.  The gentleman said the lady took no prisoners on their last fishing experience.  We baited the hooks, cast them out and dared the fish to show themselves.  Bait for the day was Power Eggs of different colors and Power Bait as well.  It was an interesting morning with plenty of surface activity, and we were rewarded with several rainbow willing to come out and play.  We fished until the bite slowed then went to another spot, then to another, and then to still another.  The wind picked up, the mist grew heavier and it got colder, all of which would have been tolerable but the fish absolutely refused to bite after mid-morning.  Someone flipped a switch and, boom, the fish were gone.  Was it the barometric pressure, the weather, or what?  Beats me.  In fact, it became unpleasant enough that we called the trip a bit ahead of time due to the shivering.  Regardless, the morning was beautiful in its own way, the trip rewarding and the company a joy.  See you on the river and tight lines.



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Oct. 15 Report


What a morning for a father-son fishing adventure.  We launched at 7:00 a.m. in 48 degree temperature and the precipitation held off until very late morning.  The first place we anchored wasn’t very fruitful.  It reluctantly gave up only a few bites and a single fish, so we took the hint and motored further upriver.  We anchored at a place I haven’t fished in a some time just to give it a shot.  We were rewarded and decided that we were on the right track, baitwise.  After a time, we motored further upstream to finish out our limit, then closed up for the day.  We had our limit and had returned one slot to the river.  Another surprising thing was that the bite might have been slow to begin with, but it didn’t drop off at the usual 8 or 9 o'clock morning break.  The wind picked up somewhat a few times but that was about it.  A very pleasant morning.  We had tried both eggs and paste of different colors.

The river apparently did not appreciate our success as she tried to kill us on our way back to the ramp.  Motoring downstream we passed a good sized tree when we heard a cracking sound.  A tree limb about 4 inches in diameter and about 6 feet long came crashing down and missed us and the boat by a scant few feet.  Wow, that was a close call.  To polish off the day, we met with several boats.  The first one had a big engine and was running at top speed.  It was obviously being piloted by a nautically challenged individual.  It is common courtesy to slow down when meeting or overtaking another boat or a fisherman.  In addition, I have been told the tailwaters are a no wake zone.  Well, this boat didn’t pass us to the right as the nautical rules dictate nor did he slow down.  The river got its revenge, I am thinking, since the last thing we heard was the rather sickening sound of the boat running aground on a gravel island.  We were then confronted by a few other boats that didn’t believe in slowing down.  Well, it was high time we left the river with our day’s catch. 
See you on the river and tight lines.


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October 12 Report



The trip yesterday, October 11, was a doozy.  It was fun to have a nice newlywed couple out for an adventure.  We launched at 7:00 A.M. just as it was getting light.  The temperature was a balmy 41degrees, just 9 degrees above freezing, but you couldn’t tell it by me, I was frozen.  The water temperature was 9 degrees above the air temperature.  The wildlife must have thought it was on the chilly side as well.  We only saw a couple of birds and one otter, all of which were very still and looked cold.  We saw plenty of surface action and a lot of fish as we were heading upstream.  It turned out that the fishing was good, but the catching lacked a lot.  The front had a big impact on the catching despite our efforts using both power eggs and power bait of various colors   See you on the river and tight lines everyone.



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OCT. 2 REPORT


We met at 6:45 a.m. on a foggy, but pleasant morning.  Our clients had chosen to celebrate a birthday with a morning on the river.  First, we motored upstream and anchored.  The fishing turned quickly into catching.  One client onboard started our warm-up, then both caught some really nice rainbows 🌈.  We continued with the power eggs of different colors until the bite went off the cliff a little after eight.  Eight to nine often seems to usher in a lull in the bite. We tried switching to power bait to see if the slow down was due to the bait or to us!  The fact that the moon has been super bright the last few nights has probably been a contributing factor.  We went further upstream and caught a few more.  Although two nice slots had to be put back into the river so they could grow even more, we decided we had reached our limit with nine in the boat.  What a great birthday dinner—fresh fish!  

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Sept. 29 Report


We launched at 7:00 from Houseman Access on a beautiful, chilly morning.  An otter greeted us right away as we motored upstream to try our luck.  For the first time this year, it was a morning to  bundle up.  I noticed we all kind of pulled our hands up in our sleeves.  We anchored upstream and began catching those beautiful rainbow 🌈 trout with the bait of the day, various colors of Power Eggs.  We caught one slot that we had to return to the river and 10 other great fish.   The catching went on steadily until the bite dropped off about nine a.m. which happens regularly.  We moved upstream to see if other fish had gotten the memo that it was time to knock off the bite.  Since they were still biting, we finished off the limit and proceeded back to the launch ramp.   Nice day of catching for these fishermen from my hometown of Lubbock, TX!



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Sept. 20 Report


This has proved to be a good week for fishing.  We launched at 7 a.m. under the supervision of otters. One was at the ramp and the others were a bit further upstream.  We human fisher people went upstream and anchored.  The day was beautiful, foggy, but beautiful.  The only impediment to this gorgeous late summer day was some heavy equipment that seemed stuck in reverse.  That beeping noise was definitely a form of pollution.  However, it didn’t seem to disturb the fish.  We caught and released 4 slots throughout the morning, but limited out nevertheless.  The clients on board were experienced at fishing in the northern part of the US, but this was the first time our anglers had fished for trout.  After a discussion of ways to prepare the trout, we cleaned and bagged fillets for them.  Once frozen, these fish would make the trip north to be the centerpiece of a family dinner.

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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. 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

 
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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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!