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White River yields gold


Golden Rainbows waiting to be caught

Arkansas Wildlife Editor Wow, what a terrific looking fish! This (See page 9) is the now-renowned golden rainbow trout that has been stocked in the White River below Bull Shoals Dam and as far south as the confluence of the White and North Fork rivers in the past couple of years.

The lucky angler who landed it is Kaden Greenhaw, who caught it earlier this month. The fish weighed 5 pounds and was 23 inches long, and Kaden was fishing with his papa, Randy Greenhaw, near Cotter on the White. Now that's a memory!

Do you have a memory you've managed to capture on your cell phone or through some other device (like maybe an old-fashioned camera; does anyone

Continued on Page 9 FISHING REPORTS (cont.)

use those anymore?)? Want to share it with the Fishing Report and our thousands of readers? Then please send it on to [email protected] and we'll take care of the rest (while we marvel at nature's majesty, like this stunning fish). Golden rainbows are like 'regular' rainbows but with a color variation that makes them stand out in the water.

Typically, fingerling golden rainbows would stand out so much, they wouldn't likely survive the predators in the cool Arkansas trout waters. The AGFC was able to acquire mature golden rainbow trout when it purchased several thousand rainbow trout for stocking from a Missouri commercial trout producer.

They've been a big hit. We can add, though, that of the golden rainbows we saw originally stocked, none measured out THIS large, so obviously there are some goldens putting on some size in their time in the White River.

Lake Poinsett — Lake Poinsett is in the process of refilling, but is rainfall dependent and the region hasn’t had a lot of rainfall lately. The fishing now is predominantly catch-andrelease for bream. They seem to be biting on crickets and worms. Small boats, kayaks or canoes are the only watercraft that can launch at this time.

The gate at the dam at Lake Poinsett was closed last Dec. 1, following the completion of a three-year renovation projection, and the lake began to refilling.

The lake has been undergoing an extensive renovation with a new water control structure, more than 10,000 linear feet of shoreline work, more than 100 habitat structures placed on the lakebed, and nearly 100 trees anchored for fish habitat.

Other forage species that were stocked this spring include fathead minnows, golden shiners and threadfin shad have been added in huge numbers to the lake to build up the food supply for the predators, which will be stocked in 2022.

Crown Lake — Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) has closed for the season and will reopen in mid-February.

Spring River — Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides. com (870955-8300) said the Spring has very low water conditions at 260 cfs (350 average) and clear. On the overcast days the fish are on the bite. On the bright sunny days the trout can hide out.

Overcast day flies have been big nymphs and Woollies. Olive has been the go-to for browns. The white Woolly can be hot also to imitate the shad. On the bright sunny days, Mark says he has seen dries work and smaller nymphs will usually produce the numbers. Dries with droppers are the fun ticket when there’s no action. And some days when it’s sunny, go with anything with gold or silver flash like the Guppie pattern to imitate minnows.

Trout Magnets in hot pink, black and white have been hot. Set the float for just off the bottom and don’t forget the split shot. Trout Magnets have no flavor and are great for catch-andrelease. Gold and silver spoons are hot on good days with a steady retrieve.

Mark says, “Still catching some bigger trout, with a 25-incher landed by our guide Benjamin last week.

The cold temps get the bigger trout moving.”

Smallmouth tend to move upriver as temperatures fall in the winter. With lead eye Woollies being the Flav fly. Olive, brown, white and black. “A great time to get out and fish, but bundle up! “Much easier wading with low water, but do be careful on the slick rocks.

Getting wet this time of year is not good. Get to warm conditions quickly.”

John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the water level on the Spring River is fishable.

This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and North Fork rivers.

Canoe season is over and the canoes are mostly gone. Fish the upper river at the Lassiter Access to avoid them or fish Dam 3 late in the afternoon after they have left the area. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks.

White River — The Army Corps of Engineers reported Thursday that the White River stage at Batesville was at 6.43 feet, well below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage was at its lowest point on a Thursday morning this year, 3.77 feet, also well below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta is fairly steady at 15.00, 11 feet below flood stage of 26.00 feet.

Triangle Sports (870-7937122) in Batesville reports that walleye are fair around Locks 2 and 3 on live bait and jigs.

Lake Ouachita — Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-8322276 out of state) says black bass are good. Try a Carolina-rigged finesse worm or a drop-shot rig for these fish. No reports on walleye, bream or catfish.

Stripers are good on live bait or trolling an Alabama rig. Crappie are still good on small jigs or minnows.

Try brushpiles in the 15-25 foot depth range. Water temperature is ranging 5862 degrees. Water clarity is clearing. Lake level is 567.85 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501844-5418) says crappie are doing well on live bait.

Watch for them to be transitioning toward deeper water for the winter.

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