White River & Norfork Fishing Report
March 3, 2010
Is the high water finally winding down?
I haven’t been out on the water since my last report, but I do have a little bit of news to pass on. First of all, I am postponing my expedition trip down the White River. Fly orders have been coming in pretty quickly, and I do want to thank everyone who is keeping me busy. I also have the chance to fish with Summer on Saturday, and sine I rarely get to spend a whole day on the water with my girl, I had to take advantage of this opportunity. The White will always be there to explore, so waiting a week or two is no big deal. By then, temperatures may be warmer and who knows what the water levels will be.
Bull Shoals and Table Rock Dams continue to run at the 50% of capacity level, but Bull did shut down for four hours last night [first shut down in months], so changes are slowly occurring. Over the years I have noticed that during the month of March, it always seems like one or two units will run around the clock at one of the dams. In 2000, the Corp ran water on the Norfork all day long, even though the lake was five feet below pool. Usually, this load will be taken care of by Bull Shoals, and I’ve never seen a “predetermined” release at Beaver during this month. I know that after saying this,something weird will occur, but I do want people to understand why the water may be running water some days during March, even when the lakes are at or below pool. There are so many different scenarios that dictate how the Corp and Southwestern Power manage power production. I will be touching on this subject in an upcoming article.
The Norfork has been off most days from 10 or 11am through 6pm, so there is a definite window of opportunity to get out and wade over there. We may start seeing a similar pattern emerge on the White and Table Rock over the next week if the weather stays dry.
With respect to the Norfork, remember that the water takes four hours to drop out completely at the Ackerman Access, but the area is shallow enough to wade within an hour and a half of the dam shutting down.
This section is always popular, but you can get a little solitude by heading upstream while the water is still falling. Always be aware of the water coming back up – an increase in flow is difficult to recognize during the drop period.
In an effort to diversify and increase my Web site’s exposure, I will be posting partial articles on my blog up to five times a week. Some of these pieces will be similar to what I usually post, but others will be lighter or delve into the details of a very specific subject.
The full versions of these articles can be found on the articles page.
I will keep everyone updated, and never hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions or just want to chat. Fishing will continue to get better through March, but keep in mind that our waters are more congested than normal this time of year. Try and be patient if someone accidently gets too close, and everyone’s experience on the water is better when boaters and waders get along. It can be hard sometimes – believe me, I know. Finding a little space away from the crowds will not only lead to productive fishing, it also helps maintain sanity. Low water is a novelty right now, so everyone wants to see what all the commotion is about. The “new” will wear off in a few weeks, but still, March is a month where a lot of families head to the Ozarks for spring break. The prospect of good fishing will bring people to the trout fisheries in this region, but I rarely notice the masses when the bite is hot.
Don’t forget to check out my streamer presentation at the Sow Bug Roundup in Mountain Home on the 18th, 19th and 20th of this month. Let me know if you need more information. This event is like a fly fishing convention, and it is definitely worth the time. There will be plenty of great tiers to meet and lots of cool gear to try, so be sure to come to the Sow Bug Roundup if you get the chance.
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