Tag Archive: Shad Kill


Malcolm Royse had a golden day at Bull Shoals Dam on Valentine’s weekend.

30,000 cfs of water running, temps in the 20’s and a shad kill, l guess a good combination so far as the fishing and catching.


Aside from the numerous rainbows 6 trophy Browns came to the net, who could ask for more.

Who said that the 13th is a unlucky day?


Killer fly, no less the DW dying shad, fished with 10ft – 5wt at varying depths.

Way to go Malcolm!


(Posted by Teresa “TBird” VanWinkle February 2016)


A beauty of a fish...Winter White River Rainbow- Davy Wotton photo

A beauty of a fish…Winter White River Rainbow- Davy Wotton photo

It’s that time of the year here in Arkansas; you never know if its Winter, Spring or Summer weather, for sure the warmer days are most welcome.

For many the opening day at Bull Shoals Dam heralds the new season on the White River. Not surprising there was a good deal of traffic, boats and wade fisherman.
Good numbers of trout were caught including many fish in the 15 to 24 inch range, both browns and bows.

Typically we do see for the first couple of weeks depending on generation levels which have been low to zero more fishing pressure than normal, that will slow down as the fish become wiser and more difficult to catch.

Will we see a shad kill this year, hard to say, that depends on both lake level temperature and high water generations, which given the current lake levels are not likely, you never know what South West Powere are likely to do. Only way to know is check on the South West Power web-site for predicted generation levels for the next day.


Water temps currently being released from the lakes are in the region of 48f which is good for this time of the year, more or less trout will feed all day, generally a little better in the PM time as water temps rise due to the increase in atmospheric temperatures.

At this time the overall best options to catch when fishing lower water levels are combinations of midges, sowbugs, scuds, GRHE, PTN’s. Soft hackles, wet flies and even dries may well work; in fact this past week l saw a number of very early caddis on the water, maybe a hint of expected large caddis hatches this coming Spring, lets hope so.
I would say the only thing that may screw that up is if we see big rains and high water generations, given current lake levels then it would have to be some serious rainfall.

Other options would include when wade fishing, olive and tan woolly buggers and other smaller streamers. If drift fishing on higher water levels then may be some larger streamers, all be it those browns are very wary when low flows are running.

Northfork River has been fishing well for wade anglers. Here again, the deal is to fish fine and small, by that l mean flies in the region of 16 to 22 attached to 5x and 6x tippets.
Bear in mind that the hold-over resident fish are not so easy to fool as are the newbie stockers. Use longer than normal leader tippet section from 12 to 18 ft, indicators need to be small and if possible avoid hi-vis indicators, white, tan, olives are way less likely to spook fish. If you wish to learn more then obtain my new “Midge Magic” DVD to learn all about midge fishing.

You may also encounter fish feeding on midge at the surface, here again drag free presentations are the order of the day, midge and mayfly emergers and dries are what is needed to fool some of those fish.
Same applies also for the White when generation levels are low or zero.

Many anglers have got used to the past high water years, the way its looking not likely this year. Many zones on the river are not as easy to navigate as they once were, channels are gone, islands have been washed down-stream with the effects of creating long shallow gravel bars and loss of deeper water habitat. That in turn has created difference zones where fish now choose to hold during low water levels, its one of those deals that you have to get out there and find them, as often as not the easy access zones will be heavily fished with the result of way lower catch returns.

The White river is for sure a ever changing river and one you need to become familiar with for your best options on any given day.

Lets all look forward to a great Spring on the rivers with hopefully some great top water action.


Seeing Double? Ed Garner has a smile for a good reason, look at this beautiful lady!

Ed Garner, Glouster, Mass. Bull Shoals Dam Trophy Bow

There are days when the fishing at BSD is off the charts and last Thursday was one of those memorable days for Ed and Tom.

85 fish, 3 to 5lb Bows as fat as pigs and a number of good browns, way too many to take pics of all. One of those days that the fish would chop and change to fly choice as water conditions changed.

One minute it could be combinations of midge and sowbugs, the next shad flies, then maybe some surface fished patterns, and of course at times the DW worm variations. I doubt a trout fishery in the country would compete with that kind of action, unreal.

Simply the deal is this, we know the fish are there, you just have to figure out how to catch them, such is the fishing at BSD like no other for the entire White river system. But is can also have its dour days when catching can be a tuff deal no doubt of that, even then some fish will be caught. Fact of the matter is trophy browns can be caught any place on the river, not so the case for trophy bows. Its BSD that holds that glory.


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