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Top Trout Fishing Waters in Arkansas

Explore the Top Trout Fishing Waters in the state of Arkansas including the Spring River, Little Red River and the White River.

When it comes to fishing, Arkansas has no shortage on fantastic lakes, rivers and streams full of all species of game fish. However, Arkansas may be most famous beyond its borders for the outstanding trout fishing waters found there.

Trout fishing has only been around in Arkansas since the 1950's, when the first trout fishing waters were created by the construction of several dams in the northern part of the state. Prior to that time, there was only one naturally occurring stream cold enough to support trout. In the years since, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has worked diligently to build a strong trout population in 11 different cold water locations, stocking 1,971,530 trout fingerlings in 2010 alone.

The popularity of Arkansas trout fishing has grown in recent years due in part to a number of record trout catches. Most notable are the world record brown trout and state record rainbow trout catches that have occurred in Arkansas's lakes and streams.The world record brown trout came from Arkansas' waters in May 1992, with a massive 40 lb 4 oz fish from the Little Red River. Arkansas has also produced a 31.5 lb and 33.5 lb brown trout, as well as a 19 lb rainbow trout.

So where do you find these monster trout? Thats easy, in the Top Trout Fishing Waters in Arkansas!

Here is a look at the Top Trout Fishing Waters in Arkansas.

Spring River

Spring River

Prior to 1950, Arkansas trout fishing was basically limited to the state's only major cold-water stream, the Spring River. The Spring River begins at the 58-degree, 9-million-gallons-an-hour flow of Mammoth Spring, which is located on Arkansas at the Missouri state line. The Spring River stretches 57 miles to the south, and is home to some of the most scenic terrain in the country. Rainbow trout were first stocked on the Spring River around the turn of the century, and flourish today in the states only natural cold water stream. 134,644 trout were stocked in the Spring River in 2010. For more information on the Spring River click here.

Little Red River

Little Red River

The Little Red River is one of Arkansas' premier trout fishing destinations. The Little Red emerges from the icy cold waters beneath the massive dam at Greers Ferry Lake. Trout were introduced to the Little Red River in 1966. Rainbows, browns and cutthroats are caught for some 35-river miles below the dam. Howard "Rip" Collins caught a 40-pound, four-ounce world record brown trout on the river in 1992, a mark that stood until 2009. 

The Little Red River offers 29 miles of prime trout fishing waters. Brown trout running 5 to 8 pounds are common, and a 20- to 30-pounder is always possible. The shores of the river are home to several world class fishing resorts and several guide services. For more information on the Little Red River click here.

White River

White River

The White River stretches over 700 miles in length, making it one of the states longest rivers. The source of the White River is in northwest Arkansas, in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest southeast of Fayetteville. The river flows northwards from its source in northwest Arkansas, loops up through southwest Missouri through Branson, Missouri. From there the White River empties into Bull Shoals Lake where it travels back into Arkansas, and then heads generally southeast to its mouth at the Mississippi River.

Below Bull Shoals Dam, the White River is internationally known for premier trout fishing. Flyfishing is extremely popular on the White during low water periods. The Game and Fish Commission stocks hundreds of thousands of rainbows in the White River annually, and more than 90 percent of them are caught each year by anglers who come here from all corners of the globe. For more information on the White River click here.

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