North Fork of the White River

 

Annual Prospects Report

Driving Directions:

On the North Fork, MDC maintains the Hebron, Blair Bridge, and Patrick Bridge accesses in Douglas and Ozark counties within the Ozark Region. For directions to these accesses visit mdc.mo.gov/atlas.

Smallmouth bass can be caught in good numbers throughout the North Fork of the White River. Most of the fish will be 12-15 inches. However, there are decent numbers of quality fish which exceed 15 inches. Jigs, crankbaits, and soft plastic baits are good choices for catching smallmouth bass (soft plastics cannot be used in the Blue Ribbon Trout Area). Goggle-eye also occur throughout the river. These fish can be caught on the same type of lures as smallmouth, but generally smaller versions are more productive. Be sure to concentrate fishing efforts in and around aquatic vegetation, boulders, and rootwads. In-stream and riparian habitat has been naturally changed by a record 500-year flood experienced in 2017.  In 2018 anglers can expect to catch quality trout in a variety of lengths, but overall should expect fewer numbers of trout, when compared to the past three years. The Blue Ribbon Trout Area (from Rainbow Spring to Patrick Bridge Access), is still the best-bet for rainbow trout.  Also, there are a fair number of trout greater than 18 inches in this area. Anglers will continue to notice that the body condition of these fish is very good. Wooly buggers and prince nymphs bounced along the bottom are traditionally good wet fly patterns, while Adams and elk hair caddis dry flies work well when fish are surface feeding. Crayfish and minnow imitating crankbaits as well as various spinners are also effective. Brown trout fishing within the Red Ribbon Trout Area (from Patrick Bridge to Norfork Lake) is fair. In 2018 anglers should expect the majority of brown trout to range from 12-15 inches, but also expect fewer numbers of brown trout, when compared to the past three years. To catch more brown trout, try fishing during the sunrise and sunset hours. Stocking of brown trout will continue in the spring and fall, and the population should continue to improve and provide anglers with quality fishing opportunities. Anglers can also expect more abundant numbers of black bass and other warm-water species in this stretch of river due to the recent spring and early summer high water events.

 

Latest Report

all species slow.

Water Surface Temp

70º

Water Type

dingy

Water Level (Range)

normal
North Fork of the White River

Region

Ozark

Information

417-256-7161

Best Bets

From annual prospecting surveys

The weekly fishing report is updated every Thursday from the start of April to the end of September.