Browns are cousins to the rainbow, brook, cutthroat and lake trout...and all are
part of the action in Arkansas's cold mountain waters. While browns are the
largest, rainbows remain the number-one catch. Jim Miller of Memphis, TN reeled
the state-record rainbow from the White River, near Mountain View, on March 14,
1981. It tipped the scales at 19 pounds, one ounce.
Trout fishing was virtually unknown in Arkansas until U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers dams at Norfork, Bull Shoals, Greers Ferry and Beaver were built and
created ideal habitat downstream. Since the beginning, National Fish Hatcheries
at Norfork, Greers Ferry and Mammoth Spring have supplied stocking trout for one
of the state's most successful fishing industries. The combined in-state
hatcheries produce over two million trout for Arkansas waters each year.
Arkansas boasts over 150 miles of trout-filled streams for fishermen. The White
provides over 90 miles of habitat downstream from Bull Shoals, the Little Red
offers 30 miles below Greers Ferry Dam and the Spring River adds another 20
miles, south of Mammoth Spring. Trout are also found in several lakes, including
Bull Shoals, Ouachita, Hamilton, Catherine.
Fly-fishing is popular in the tailwaters of all the state's big dams, but
anglers must stay alert for sudden changes in river stages due to power
generation at each site. Johnboats, flat-bottomed rigs with comfortable chairs,
are the preferred mode of fishing travel below the larger dams. Guide services,
full-service marinas, resorts, camping and cabins are all available in most of
the trout zones of the state.
The trout fishing industry plays a vital role in Arkansas outdoor recreation and
travel. The season never closes. In fact, some of the largest catches are made
during the cooler seasons. Regulations and catch-and-release districts are
outlined in information available at sporting goods stores, marinas and wherever
licenses/permits are sold.
For more information about trout fishing, contact the Arkansas Game and Fish
Commission at (501) 223-6300; or visit their Internet site at
www.agfc.com. For help in
planning other important elements of your fishing trip, or to order the Arkansas
Fishing Guide, call the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism at
1-800-NATURAL, or visit the website at