I just wrapped up a whirlwind tour of the Little Red River in northern Arkansas. November and December is typically the time of year when the Brown Trout move into the shallow shoals to spawn. We planned this trip so that we could both sight fish and streamer fish to some trophy class fish. Well, as with just about every fishing trip, Mother Nature and the Army Corp of Engineers had other ideas regarding our fishing trip.
The river is at historic low flows with no hydro-generation to speak of for a while now. This coupled with 3 days of unsettled weather with conditions that varied between 70 and sunny to low 30’s with heavy rain, made for some unusual conditions. So we made the best of the conditions and covered a lot of water looking for a big fish in some skinny water.
The Brown are typically well into the spawn by now, but they are just getting started this year. So, the coming weeks leading into Christmas should provide some fantastic fishing conditions. Swinging big streamers at the heads of the pools just downstream from any shoal will find some fish, especially in the early morning hours. Once the sun gets up, start looking for fish moving around above and below the redds.
Sight fishing with sowbugs, midge, and egg patterns will turn some of these fish, but nothing works better than persistence when hunting a trophy class fish. In the 3 days we fished, we saw one fish that was over 10 pounds and a good ½ dozen in the 5-8 pound range. Although we didn’t get any of these larger fish, there were plenty of fish in the 18-22 inch range that made for some great fishing overall.If great BBQ and wild Brown Trout sound good, then I would really recommend making a break for Little Rock, AR. Take the short 1-½ hour drive north up around Heber Springs and get lined up with the folks at Ozark Angler for help regarding the how, what and where to make the trip more successful.