published October 16, 2009 by Ben Adams


During the recently held Federation of Fly Fisher’s Southern Council Conclave there were a few incidents that came very close to being tragedies. As you know, we have suffered through two high water years in a row. There has been precious little wadable water during the last couple of years and there is a lot of pent up demand among anglers to get in a little wade fishing.

On Thursday morning, several anglers were fishing low water below Bull Shoals dam. They were doing well. This section is popular with fly fishers because of the quality of the fishing and the proximity to the dam which has a horn that is blown five minutes before generation to warn of rising water. This makes it one of the safer places to wade on the White River. As they were fishing, they noticed that the water was rising. It came up fast and they had to scramble for the bank. Luckily everyone made it. They looked up and noticed that three gates were open. About that time, they heard the horn and two more gates were opened.

This incident was not too serious but could have been worse. The powerhouse operator is supposed to sound a horn before generation begins. It was not done until the additional gates were opened.

Read more of Arkansas Fishing Guide John Berry’s column in the Arkansas Fishing Forum.

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Ben Adams

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