published December 16, 2009 by Ben Adams

Fishing the Spring River

We have some pretty tough fishing conditions here in North Central Arkansas. The lakes are unseasonably high. In an effort to bring Bull Shoals and Norfork under control, the Corps of Engineers are running both dams at near maximum levels and have opened several flood gates at each dam to increase the flows further.

As a result, both the White and Norfork rivers are extremely high and treacherous to boating. Wading is out of the question. We have had some very cold temperatures that have put the smallmouth down on the Buffalo River and Crooked Creek. It is time to consider alternatives. One inviting nearby option is the Spring River.

The Spring River is formed by the outflow of Mammoth Spring in North Central Arkansas and is the second largest spring fed river in the world. Although there are two dams on the Spring, they are relics of the Rural Electrification Program and are no longer used to generate electricity. Therefore, this is a free flowing river and is not subject to the fluctuations of our tail waters. It is very popular with canoeists, particularly novices. It can get quite congested during the summer but the boating crowd thins significantly as soon as the temperatures drop. You will see few if any canoes this time of year.

The trout water runs from Mammoth Spring State Park to Many Islands Campground near Hardy, a distance of eleven miles. In addition to brown and rainbow trout, I have also caught walleye, bream and smallmouth.

Come inside the Arkansas Fishing Forum for the rest of the column from fishing guide John Berry.

About the Author

Ben Adams

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