Arkansas Fly Fishing

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AR - Little Red River : 35.489609, -91.973763
AR - Norfork (North Fork White River): 33.979950, -91.315529
AR - White River: 35.924714, -91.948872
Whiteman's Crk at Ind Dr at Jonesboro, AR: 35.808611, -90.642222
LAnguille River near Colt, AR: 35.144722, -90.878056
LAnguille River at Palestine, AR: 34.972778, -90.885556
Town Branch at Armstrong St. at Fayetteville, AR: 36.043258, -94.136022
West Fork White River east of Fayetteville, AR: 36.053889, -94.083056
White River near Fayetteville, AR: 36.073056, -94.081111
Richland Creek near Goshen, AR: 36.048556, -93.974222
War Eagle Creek near Hindsville, AR: 36.200000, -93.855000
Kings River near Berryville, AR: 36.427222, -93.620833
Long Creek at Denver, AR: 36.389444, -93.315833
Yocum Creek near Oak Grove, AR: 36.454444, -93.356111
Bear Creek near Omaha, AR: 36.449444, -93.075000
Crooked Creek at Harrison, AR: 36.232571, -93.091287
Crooked Creek at Kelly Crossing at Yellville, AR: 36.230278, -92.709444
Buffalo River near Boxley, AR: 35.938889, -93.405000
Buffalo River at Ponca, AR: 36.022500, -93.354722
Buffalo River at Pruitt, AR: 36.059167, -93.137778
Buffalo River at Carver Access nr Hasty, AR: 35.983139, -93.042750
Big Creek near Mt. Judea, AR: 35.938611, -93.072667
Big Creek at Carver, AR: 35.978965, -93.043507
Richland Creek near Witts Spring, AR: 35.797222, -92.928889
Buffalo River near St. Joe, AR: 35.983056, -92.747222
Bear Creek near Silver Hill, AR: 35.940000, -92.713333
Buffalo River near Harriet, AR: 36.067778, -92.577500
White River near Norfork, AR: 36.223611, -92.300000
Bennetts River at Vidette, AR: 36.422778, -92.118333
Big Creek near Elizabeth, AR: 36.357500, -92.112500
White River at Calico Rock, AR: 36.116667, -92.143056
North Sylamore Creek near Fifty Six, AR: 35.991667, -92.213889
White River at Allison, AR: 35.939167, -92.114167
White River at Batesville, AR: 35.760278, -91.641111
Black River near Corning, AR: 36.401944, -90.541389
Black River at Pocahontas, AR: 36.254167, -90.970278
Mammoth Spring at Mammoth Spring, AR: 36.497778, -91.535556
Spring River near Mammoth Springs, AR: 36.460341, -91.526807
South Fork Spring River at Saddle, AR: 36.352222, -91.633611
Spring River at Town Branch Bridge at Hardy, AR: 36.313611, -91.482778
Spring River at Imboden, AR: 36.205556, -91.171667
Eleven Point River near Ravenden Springs, AR: 36.346389, -91.114167
Black River at Black Rock, AR: 36.102500, -91.097778
Strawberry River near Poughkeepsie, AR: 36.111111, -91.449444
Black River at Elgin Ferry, AR: 35.765556, -91.300278
White River at Newport, AR: 35.605278, -91.288889
Tuckerman Ditch at Tuckerman, AR: 35.726500, -91.200472
White River near Augusta, AR: 35.294444, -91.394167
Middle Fork of Little Red River at Shirley, AR: 35.656667, -92.292778
S Fk Lit Red Riv us of Gulf Mt WMA nr Scotland, AR: 35.547050, -92.707667
South Fork of Little Red River near Scotland, AR: 35.569722, -92.621944
South Fork of Little Red River at Clinton, AR: 35.586944, -92.451389
Little Red River near Dewey, AR: 35.438056, -91.745833
Big Creek near Letona, AR: 35.361972, -91.801028
Little Red River at Judsonia, AR: 35.267500, -91.639722
White River at Georgetown, AR: 35.128889, -91.449722
White River at DeValls Bluff, AR: 34.794444, -91.444722
Cache River at Egypt, AR: 35.857500, -90.933056
Cache River at Patterson, AR: 35.269722, -91.236389
Cache River near Cotton Plant, AR: 35.035556, -91.322500
Lost Creek at Floyd St. at Jonesboro, AR: 35.850000, -90.721389
Bayou Deview near Brinkley, AR: 34.936111, -91.240278
Spavinaw Creek near Maysville, AR: 36.364523, -94.551330
Spavinaw Creek near Cherokee City, AR: 36.342024, -94.587720
Illinois River at Savoy, AR: 36.103056, -94.344444
Mud Creek near Johnson, AR: 36.122808, -94.162561
Osage Creek near Cave Springs, AR: 36.281466, -94.227984
Spring Creek at Sanders Ave at Springdale, AR: 36.195667, -94.135889
Spring Creek at Hwy 112 nr Springdale, AR: 36.243778, -94.239139
Osage Creek near Elm Springs, AR: 36.221944, -94.288333
Illinois River at Hwy. 16 near Siloam Springs AR: 36.144722, -94.494722
Illinois River South of Siloam Springs, AR: 36.108611, -94.533333
Flint Creek at Springtown, AR: 36.256111, -94.433611
Baron Fork at Dutch Mills, AR: 35.880000, -94.486389
Poteau River at Cauthron, AR: 34.918889, -94.299444
James Fork near Hackett, AR: 35.162500, -94.406944
Arkansas River at Ft. Smith, Ar.: 35.391758, -94.432437
AR River at James W. Trimble L&D nr Van Buren, AR: 35.348889, -94.298333
Jones Creek at Winfrey, AR: 35.735833, -94.103056
Frog Bayou at Winfrey, AR: 35.722222, -94.113611
Jack Creek near Winfrey, AR: 35.704444, -94.091667
Frog Bayou at Rudy, AR: 35.525833, -94.271389
Mulberry River near Mulberry. AR: 35.576944, -94.015278
Spadra Creek at Clarksville, AR: 35.468333, -93.463056
Big Piney Creek at Highway 164 near Dover, AR: 35.505833, -93.181389
Little Piney Creek near Lamar, AR: 35.450000, -93.338056
East Fork Illinois Bayou nr Hector, AR: 35.533778, -92.930722
Mid Fork Ill Bayou Upstream of Hwy 27 nr Hector,AR: 35.532556, -92.948056
Mill Creek near Hector, AR: 35.505278, -93.003056
Illinois Bayou near Scottsville, AR: 35.466389, -93.041111
Huckleberry Creek nr Augsburg, AR: 35.393056, -93.220556
Arkansas River at Dardanelle, AR: 35.226111, -93.149444
Petit Jean River near Booneville, AR: 35.106944, -93.923611
Dutch Creek at Waltreak, AR: 34.986944, -93.613056
Petit Jean River at Danville, AR: 35.058611, -93.395556
Petit Jean River near Centerville, AR: 35.074167, -93.200000
West Fork Point Remove Creek near Hattieville, AR: 35.324722, -92.873056
East Fork Point Remove Creek nr Morrilton, AR: 35.284167, -92.681111
Arkansas River near Morrilton, AR: 35.126944, -92.731667
North Fork Cadron Creek near Quitman, AR: 35.394167, -92.296944
Cadron Creek near Guy, AR: 35.298611, -92.403889
Cypress Creek nr Birdtown, AR: 35.270833, -92.630278
East Fork Cadron Creek near Enola, AR: 35.218333, -92.279444
Cadron Creek West of Conway, AR: 35.114722, -92.524722
Fourche LaFave River Near Gravelly, AR: 34.872500, -93.657222
South Fourche LaFave River near Hollis, AR: 34.911944, -93.056111
Fourche LaFave River near Aplin, AR: 34.956667, -92.985000
Maumelle River at Williams Junction, AR: 34.876111, -92.774444
Maumelle River near Wye, AR: 34.878889, -92.685556
Bringle Creek at Martindale, AR: 34.881111, -92.681111
Lake Maumelle at State Hwy 10 near Wye, AR: 34.875278, -92.653889
Yount Creek near Martindale, AR: 34.889722, -92.646667
Reece Creek at Little Italy, AR: 34.930000, -92.593056
Maumelle River at Maumelle Dam at Natural Steps,AR: 34.863056, -92.485278
Arkansas River at Murray Dam near Little Rock, AR: 34.793056, -92.358333
Arkansas River at Little Rock, AR: 34.749722, -92.269167
Fourche Creek at Univ. Avenue at Little Rock, AR: 34.706944, -92.344444
Rock Creek at 36th Street at Little Rock, AR: 34.724167, -92.358889
Fourche Creek at Lindsey St. E of Little Rock, AR: 34.718703, -92.213481
Arkansas River at Pine Bluff, AR: 34.290278, -91.995556
Bayou Meto near Lonoke, AR: 34.736667, -91.915833
Arkansas River at Pendleton, AR: 33.978611, -91.384444
Red River at Index, AR: 33.551944, -94.041111
Rolling Fork near DeQueen, AR: 34.047500, -94.412778
Little River near Horatio, AR: 33.919444, -94.386667
Cossatot River near Vandervoort, AR: 34.380000, -94.236389
Cossatot River near DeQueen, AR: 34.045000, -94.212500
Saline River near Dierks, AR: 34.096111, -94.085000
Saline River near Lockesburg, AR: 33.962222, -94.061667
Red River at Spring Bank, AR: 33.089444, -93.859444
Board Camp Cr nr Wolf Pen Gap Rec nr Nunley, AR: 34.485972, -94.117861
Gap Cr nr Wolf Pen Gap Rec Area nr Nunley, AR: 34.484111, -94.126139
Board Camp Creek nr Nunley, AR: 34.503556, -94.141556
Ouachita River near Mount Ida, AR: 34.610000, -93.697500
Whittington Cr at Whitt. Pk at Hot Springs, AR: 34.513444, -93.080417
Whittington Cr at Tunnel Ent at Hot Springs, AR: 34.517167, -93.057500
Hot Sprngs Cr US of T.E. at Glade St at Hot Sp.,AR: 34.523611, -93.054444
Hot Springs Cr DS of Grand Ave at Hot Springs, AR: 34.502778, -93.050556
Ouachita Riv at Carpenter Dam nr Hot Springs, AR: 34.443333, -93.023333
Gulpha Creek at Hot Springs, AR: 34.508889, -93.009167
Gulpha Cr at Ridgeway St at Hot Springs, AR: 34.494000, -93.006500
Ouachita River at Remmel Dam above Jones Mill, AR: 34.426111, -92.890833
Caddo River near Caddo Gap, AR: 34.382778, -93.606111
Little Missouri River near Langley, AR: 34.311667, -93.899722
Antoine River at Antoine, AR: 34.038889, -93.418056
Ouachita River at Camden, AR: 33.596389, -92.818056
Smackover Creek near Smackover, AR: 33.375278, -92.776667
Moro Creek near Fordyce, AR: 33.792222, -92.333333
South Alum Creek nr Jessieville, AR: 34.795556, -93.006944
Alum Fork Saline River near Reform, AR: 34.797500, -92.933889
Saline River at Benton, AR: 34.567778, -92.610278
Saline River near Sheridan, AR: 34.116111, -92.405556
Hurricane Creek below Sheridan, AR: 34.228611, -92.372500
Saline River near Rye, AR: 33.700833, -92.025833
Saline River near Warren, AR: 33.606775, -92.010692
Ouachita River at Felsenthal L&D (lower): 33.056111, -92.120833
Bayou Bartholomew nr Meroney, AR: 33.953219, -91.733417
Deep Bayou near Star City, AR: 33.963125, -91.692447
Bayou Bartholomew at Garrett Bridge, AR: 33.866389, -91.656111
Bayou Bartholomew near McGehee, AR: 33.627778, -91.445833
Bayou Bartholomew near Portland, AR: 33.235556, -91.535556
Boeuf River nr Eudora, AR: 33.124167, -91.347778
Bayou Macon at Eudora, AR: 33.100278, -91.254444
White River (Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery Access and Boat Ramp): 36.597911, -93.293562
White River (Cooper Creek Access and Boat Ramp): 36.620784, -93.245796
White River (Rockaway Beach Access and Boat Ramp): 36.698994, -93.159184
White River (Empire Park Access and Boat Ramp): 36.657387, -93.132829
White River (Beaver Dam Access and Boat Ramp): 36.423366, -93.842644
White River (Riverview Camping Area Walk-in Access): 36.426200, -93.838268
White River (Pines Camping Area Walk-in Access): 36.432406, -93.834180
White River (Parker Bend Walk-in Access): 36.431016, -93.821659
White River (Bertrand Access and Boat Ramp): 36.440123, -93.833977
White River (Houseman Access and Boat Ramp): 36.462823, -93.814967
White River (Jim Griffin Access and Boat Ramp): 36.362700, -92.581217
White River (Forrest and Nina Wood State Park Access): 36.363046, -92.585611
White River (Bull Shoals White River State Park Access): 36.355025, -92.594209
White River (Big Spring Walk-in Access): 36.350529, -92.591354
White River (Dew Eddy Shoal): 36.349566, -92.590013
White River (Partee Shoal): 36.348220, -92.547221
White River (Bruce Creek Shoal): 36.350276, -92.535664
White River (Three Chutes): 36.344165, -92.527881
White River (White Hole Access and Boat Ramp): 36.330157, -92.534799
White River (Bronie Yurkonis Walk-in Access): 36.328670, -92.563920
White River (The Narrows): 36.334830, -92.558450
White River (Tucker Shoal): 36.320983, -92.568480
White River (Wildcat Shoals Access and Boat Ramp): 36.308364, -92.573946
White River (Wildcat Shoals): 36.310214, -92.557524
White River (Rainbow Hole): 36.313158, -92.546911
White River (Hightower Creek): 36.309752, -92.537741
Whtie River (Old Denton Ferry): 36.295727, -92.525452
White River (Fallen Ash Creek): 36.279650, -92.532456
White River (Cotter Access and Boat Ramp): 32.266618, -92.543400
White River (Roundhouse Roadside Walk-in Access): 36.266541, -92.530708
White River (Roundhouse Shoal): 36.266395, -92.528005
White River (Armstrong Hole): 36.266029, -92.523289
White River (Redbud/Jenkins Creek Shoal): 36.257488, -92.480146
White River (Rim Shoals Access and Boat Ramp): 36.258302, -92.474217
White River (Rim Shoals): 36.253888, -92.470831
White River (Crooked Creek): 36.236084, -92.469057
White River (Shoestring Shoal): 36.222451, -92.469387
White River (Dry Creek): 36.222331, -92.463910
White River (Ranchette Access and Boat Ramp): 36.204150, -92.478000
White River (Rough Hole): 36.195161, -92.476332
White River (Warrior Creek): 36.178868, -92.465075
White River (Buffalo Shoals): 36.178014, -92.452543
White River (Buffalo City Access and Boat Ramp): 36.164888, -92.440326
White River (Smith Island): 36.171673, -92.429663
White River (Cunningham Creek): 36.183202, -92.425136
White River (Nellie's Apron): 36.182719, -92.423193
White River (Perry Creek): 36.194565, -92.376997
White River (Cartney Access and Boat Ramp): 36.191350, -92.381280
White River (Cartney Walk-in Access): 36.193849, -92.382112
White River (Barren Creek): 36.197098, -92.371386
White River (Shipps Ferry Access and Boat Ramp): 36.213673, -92.356590
White River (Big Creek): 36.219120, -92.341936
White River (Matney Mountain Shoal): 36.211432, -92.323443
White River (Riverview Access and Boat Ramp): 36.209262, -92.291348
White River (Norfork Confluence Access and Boat Ramp): 36.210294, -92.288609
Norfork River (Dry Run Creek): 36.247595, -92.242282
Norfork River (Norfork Dam Access and Boat Ramp): 36.246335, -92.243220
Norfork River (Long Hole): 36.236880, -92.246254
Norfork River (Otter Creek): 36.225081, -92.255397
Norfork River (Ace in the Hole): 36.224689, -92.257311
Norfork River (Mill Dam Eddy): 36.222320, -92.264180
Norfork River (Admiral Hole): 36.223909, -92.277474
Norfork River (Bill Ackerman/River Ridge Walk-in Access): 36.224249, -92.276840
White River (Steamboat Shoal): 36.172378, -92.300258
White River (Goose Creek): 36.172378, -92.300258
White River (Deadman Hole): 36.166285, -92.312967
White River (Pumpkin Patch): 36.162178, -92.261347
White River (Herrons Creek): 36.159332, -92.263809
White River (Red's Landing Access and Boat Ramp): 36.161004, -92.255639
White River (Sneed's Creek Access and Boat Ramp): 36.157000, -92.231800
White River (Monkey Island): 36.140724, -92.223935
White River (Moccasin Creek): 36.134091, -92.206604
White River (Moccasin Shoal): 36.131832, -92.198084
White River (Tan Trough Creek): 36.121930, -92.189704
White River (Mill Creek): 36.114760, -92.193206
White River (Chesmond Ferry Access and Boat Ramp): 36.108038, -92.189234
White River (Jack's Creek): 36.100811, -92.189916
White River (Racetrack Shoal): 36.104435, -92.169317
White River (Calico Access and Boat Ramp): 36.115980, -92.142137
White River (Cat Creek): 36.090441, -92.125689
White River (Piney Creek): 36.052034, -92.072367
White River (Piney Chute): 36.051136, -92.072746
White River (Optimus Access and Primitive Boat Ramp): 36.042292, -92.066917
White River (Wideman Creek): 36.034546, -92.053539
White River (Boswell Shoals): 36.030153, -92.054745
White River (Mt. Olive Access and Boat Ramp): 35.996922, -92.092297
White River (Bone Island): 36.021184, -92.082100

In 1995, the Arkansas state legislature officially changed the state’s nickname from The Land of Opportunity to The Natural State. This is a fitting choice, and tells you just exactly how much the land has to offer to a fly fisherman. Not only will you find a robust trout population, but while you’re casting your line you’ll be surrounding by incredible scenery. Arkansas is an abundant blend of mountains, woodlands, valleys, plains, and sparkling streams and lakes that are teeming with wildlife.

While Arkansas doesn’t have an official state fish, they certainly have no shortage of the finned creatures. Bass fans will find smallmouth, largemouth, spotted, stripes, yellow, white, and hybrid striped. Trout – a favorite of fly fishermen everywhere – although not native, are also prolific, with brook, rainbow, brown, lake and an unusual species called cutthroat, which take their name from a bright orange swathe of color under their jaw.

So grab your rod and your favorite flies and choose from among the best fishing holes Arkansas has to offer.

Where to Go?

The biggest problem fly fisherman will have in this state is choosing from among the dizzying array of waters that dot and cut through the landscape. You’ll be hard pressed to find a corner of the state that is not graced with some form of aquatic activity – from Beaver Lake up in the far northwest corner all the way to the Mississippi curling up the eastern border. The imposing Arkansas River serves as a centerpiece, slicing directly through the center and dipping slightly southward as it meets up with the Mississippi. Among the 9700 miles of streams and rivers, and 600,000 acres of lakes, here are a few great places to start.

The White River

This highly acclaimed anglers’ paradise is one of a few – if not the – most popular fly fishing area in the state. Four dams in north-central Arkansas make up the tailwaters that give the White River such a widespread reputation for good fly fishing. All of these dams are stocked with rainbow and browns, and three have brookies and cutthroat as well.

Beaver Tailwater – this fishery is created by the Beaver Dam near Eureka Springs. This seven-mile long corridor of chilly waters is home to rainbow and brown trout, as well as white bass, walleye, some stripers, and hybrid bass. Boat access is available through Dam Site Park and at Houseman Access just east of Busch, and wading accesses are available at Dam Site Park and Parker Bend.

Bull Shoals Dam – this stretch is the longest of the White River tailwaters, at 90 miles in length. These waters offer three catch and release areas, and an abundance of pools, pockets, and runs. It’s not uncommon to hook a 16-20-inch trout, and you can keep up to five per day including no more than one brown (24 or inches or longer), two cutthroat (16+ inches), and two brook (14+ inches). There are no length limits on rainbows. Public access is available via Bull Shoals White River State Park below the dam.

Little Red River

This tailwater created by the Greers Ferry Dam is home to a national fish hatchery, and is located less than an hour’s drive north of Little Rock. It contains wild trout which reproduce naturally, and you can also find rainbows, cutthroat, and brookies here. Vegetation and sow bugs abound, which cause the tailwater to produce some impressively sized specimens. Access is plentiful, there are several public points all the way from the dam to about 30 miles below it.

Dam tailwaters require that you be alert to changes in the water level – when the generators are active, the water rise can rise quickly so if you notice any changes make sure you’re able to move to the bank quickly.

Mammoth Spring/Spring River

This natural treasure stands out among the crowd of Arkansas trout fisheries due to the fact that its water comes from Mother Nature rather than from a manmade lake. Between the spring and the newly-restored Dam #3 runs 2.5 miles of riffle that may yield you browns, rainbows, brooks, or cutthroats (known as the Arkansas Grand Slam if you catch all four).

The Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery is situated near the dam and is responsible for supplying not only Spring River, but several other locations as well, with a total of over a million rainbow trout per year. The dam improvements significantly increased the hatchery’s production, and further enhancements have been – and are continuing to be – done in order to improve the fishing experience in the area surrounding the spring.

Wading access is available at the spring itself, in addition to Lassiter, Cold Springs, at the dam, and Bayou. While there are suitable wading areas both above and below the dam, you should take precautions due to slippery spots and carry a wading staff.

The Little Missouri

This scenic waterway runs through the Ouachitas Mountains of southwestern Arkansas. The breathtaking natural beauty of the mountainous countryside combines with clear pools, rushing whitewaters, and a variety of fish to create an idyllic fly fisherman’s paradise. Along with the native rock bass, sunfish, and smallmouth bass, the state stocks rainbows in spring and winter at the Albert Pike Campground.

Travel down below Lake Greeson’s Narrows Dam to the Lower Little Missouri and experience the epicenter of “Little Mo” trout fishing. The tailwater also houses sunfish, bluegill, smallmouth, largemouth, and Kentucky bass.

Due to the catch-and-release right below the dam from May 1 until October 15, the fish get wise after a while so you might have to be patient. But the AGFC stocks tens of thousands of rainbows in this area each season so you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting a bite.

Other Fly Fishing Opportunities

For those around the Little Rock metro, there’s Rock Creek in Boyle Park. This little creek offers some good shallow water fly fishing, and the state stocks the park’s pond with catchable rainbows.

Go just a bit southwest of Little Rock and you’ll find Lake Catherine – one of five waters known as the Diamond Lakes. The Carpenter Dam here creates a tailrace suitable to wading and stocked with rainbows.

When to Go?

The White River is known for coughing up trophy fish all year round. During the first six months of the year you’ll have the best luck with sink tips and large streamers due to the high water. In early summer you’ll find that nymph fishing is lucrative and the water depth is usually amenable for drifting. During late summer through December, the river’s tailwaters are typically low, making for good dry fly fishing. As the experts of this popular waterway will tell you, any time of year is good, it is only your method that will change.

The Little Red River and Mammoth Spring are also great any time of the year, even on the coldest days, due to the consistency of the water temperature. Spring yields good rainbow opportunities, while fall is your best bet for the bigger browns. At Little Red, the water is generally too high for wading in the spring so you’ll want to use streamers from the banks.

Little Mo is a favorite in winter and spring – anglers find that the biting is vigorous, making these great times for beginners and those teaching their children to fly fish. The March brown hatch happens from February to May, while light cahills make late summer through October ideal for a dry fly. If you’re going for quantity, February to April yield the most fish, while June to October mean better quality.

​What You Will Need When You Get There?

In general, about a 5 weight 9-foot rod with a 5X or 6X tippet and 9-foot leader will be your best bet.

For fly patterns you’ll want to keep a large variety on-hand, including caddis, scuds, midges, sow bugs, and wooly buggers. Streamers come in handy in locations where the water’s too deep for wading and at the Little Red River where leeches, sculpins, minnows, and shad are common food. July through September sees terrestrials at the White River. As with all of your fly fishing adventures, you’ll do best to hit up some local shops for area-specific ties.

Anglers 16 and older must carry an Arkansas fishing license, except when fishing in a licensed put-and-take pay lake. These may be obtained from the AGFC for $10.50 if you’re a resident and $50 for non-residents. You must also have a trout license for certain waters, so check the rules and regulations to be sure you’re adhering to the law.

There’s no doubt this state has a bevy of choices for fly fishermen to pick from, and not only are the trout and other species plentiful, but the scenic areas surrounding the rivers, streams, and mountains make for a visually stunning experience. Arkansas may not be the first destination vacationers think of but it’s the perfect getaway for those seeking a beautiful environment in which to cast their line.