Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fly Fishing the Little Red River

We’ve been planning our trip to the Little Red River for about three months. I was part of a group who were invited to spend a weekend at a friend's riverside home on the Little Red. Usually we take a spring trip and this time we slipped away a little early in the year to do a bit of fishing in one of Arkansas’ most celebrated trout rivers.

The Accommodations & the Drifter

We were on the road headed West just after lunch on Thursday, with a quick stop in Memphis to pick up the keys, as well as the guy who owns the keys, we were on the road headed West again. We managed to make a few stops along the way, including a stop to check out the new Supreme boats at a local dealer. These are nice rigs with plenty of space and an excellent design to draw very little water. The side trips delayed our progress a little, but we made it safely and in time to do a bit of night fishing with Big Ugly Streamers.

The Pyramid....A Possible New Location For Bass Pro

We Had Plenty of Windshield Time. Glad To See Arkansas

Friday morning we stopped in the Little Red Fly Shop for a few flies and some information about the float of the day. I was a little worried about the wind, but we figured with all the turns we would be OK for at least part of our float…The part of our float that had the least wind was after dark and what seemed like well beyond after dark and just before first light the next morning.

The Arsenal Hanging Up & Ready To Go

We launched the drifters from JFK Park about 11:00 a.m. for a 19,000 mile OK, OK, a 10 mile float. Yep, it was already late and we knew we had potential to be on an unknown river after dark. A little adventure is sometimes needed to keep life interesting. Throw in a few slaps of a beaver’s tail and you know exactly what I mean by “adventure”.

The Little Red River and Sugarloaf Mountain, Arkansas

There are some long flat water stretches on the Little Red which are tough on a fly fisher person, but there are also a good number shoals, stumps and other structure to make the float very interesting. One of the best parts of our float was below Cow Shoals. There are cold water springs, lots of structure and uneven bottom. Throw in a few bends, runs and shoals and you get me drift. We caught the majority of our fish in this section. But, the scenery of the river through this area was as good as a river East of the Rockies and West of the Smoky’s gets.

There Were A lot of These....Geese and Docks

On the more technical side we threw big nasty streamers into the wind, most of the day Friday, with some luck. Throwing to the bank and stripping back worked pretty good. Swimming the fly with various retrieves worked the best…..again. To pick up the numbers of fish we threw nymphs, midge patterns and/or sow bugs. Sow bugs became compassionately know as “Flat Bastards” Only, because sow bug sounds a little too bland for our taste. Naturally I threw a #12 BHPT with a big tungsten bead. After a while I only switched out the dropper to other patterns and consistently the #12 BHPT would out fish all the other flies I tried.

All Natural Brown Trout With Very Big Pecks

The Little Red and the hospitality were outstanding. Below are a few pictures of our trip, with rest to follow in Part II later this week. We have some trips on the books, in and around Middle Tennessee, so look for those reports as well. I hope you enjoy the photos and report.


This Guy Never Moved The Entire Weekend

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful pics! But it doesn't appear the fishing is as good as on the Caney. Browns look small. Is this correct?