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txspecks04

Let's Talk Ar!

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I have been fishing creeks here in northwest AR, southwest MO, and northeast OK for about 5 or so years now and all are beautiful and enjoyable. Fishing for smallmouth in small Ozark streams is definitely my favorite type of fishing; something about hiking a small creek in the summer and catching a few fish just makes the world seem like a better place.

This summer I am going to try and focus in a bit more exclusively on my home state of AR. Anyone else out there that knows AR smallmouth waters very well? I have fished the Illinois river and several of its tributaries in the past, and I have fished the Kings River (Marble access I believe) a couple of times. I have read that the Kings River and the Buffalo are great places to go fish for smallies; my experience on the Kings hasn't been too great, but I have not really explored it enough to make a real judgment.

I'd love to hear what the rest of you think about AR smallmouth fishing...I primarily flyfish but I do pick up the spinning gear on occasion when I am going for a quick trip or if I am taking my dog with me.

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Crooked Creek is good, but a long drive.

Kings gets a ton of fishing pressure, you really gotta work but quality fish are there.

War Eagle maybe the most underrated,

The Illonois is pressured like the Kings, lots of meat hunters over there at the Illlinois.

Frog Bayou is down at Mountainburg, its lightly fished and full of snakes.

Big Piney is another long drive to Russellville, but worth it.

Spring River is similar to the Elk in terms of idoits, fish there during the week.

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Thanks for the input guys!

Ron, I too have heard some pretty epic stories about Crooked Creek. Fished it once several years ago and caught a lot of fish; it was a great day and though nothing of real size came to hand, I am sure they are out there.

TrophyFishR, have you fished Frog Bayou much? That is the only one that I have never even heard of before; looks like it is just a bit north of Fort Smith on 540. Snakes don't scare me all too much, just have to be a little more cautious in snaky areas. War Eagle is one that I need to be using, as I don't think it is all too far from me; do you know of good access points on War Eagle? I have never actually fished out there before...

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Spavinaw Creek is one of my favorites but you have to be careful there are these annoy salmon looking fish that occasionaly eat your bait and if you are expecting a couple pound SMB and latch into a 2 to 6lb trout it gets interesting fast. Not saying there are alot of trout in there but I do get a few each year and they are large.

There are just so many creeks around its hard not to want to try each one out.

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Thanks for the input guys!

Ron, I too have heard some pretty epic stories about Crooked Creek. Fished it once several years ago and caught a lot of fish; it was a great day and though nothing of real size came to hand, I am sure they are out there.

TrophyFishR, have you fished Frog Bayou much? That is the only one that I have never even heard of before; looks like it is just a bit north of Fort Smith on 540. Snakes don't scare me all too much, just have to be a little more cautious in snaky areas. War Eagle is one that I need to be using, as I don't think it is all too far from me; do you know of good access points on War Eagle? I have never actually fished out there before...

Yeah, check google earth around Mountainburg and Rudy.

There's several places where the county road crosses Frog Bayou.

There's some big bass in that creek.

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Thanks for the heads up TrophyFishR, I'll have to check that out sometime.

I agree F&F. I know there is a ton of water around here and I don't think I am making good use of all of it. Where do you access Spavinaw? I have fished out there a little bit, but I was under the impression that this creek is primarily on private property. I didn't find too many smallmouth in there, mainly trout (and, yes, some quite large trout); maybe I fished a different section than you have?

Feel free to shoot me a PM if either of you guys are ever interested in hitting the water (I see that both of you are relatively close to me here in NWA).

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Nice Thread Tx...

We have only lived here for 4 years and I am just now starting to really get into smallie fishing in NWA. Have not touched a lot of the water you mentioned yet.

I have fished Kings twice...once in the summer from Rockhouse to Trigger Gap...we only caught 1 fish all day but it was prime floating season and there were just too many floaters out. I think that stretch would be pretty good if you floated it in April/May before it gets over-run. Lots of nice runs in there...

Last June I floated and fished from the Hwy 62 bridge to Grandview (private access that you can call ahead and park on for a small fee) and we did very well...I think we floated it in late June and it would have been a bit better in late may/early June. We floated on a Friday and did not see another person on the water (we were the first ones there right at sun-up).

I think the deal with the Kings is the lower section is better...but you have to watch and float on weekdays or early season before all the people get out there.

What I am looking for is someplace within 30 min of Bentonville...I have fished a bit on Big Sugar up in BV and caught a couple of Blacks but no smallies...I want to explore that some more this summer. Also heard the War Eagle can be very good and have that on my list to explore this summer...I have fished below the Mill some for whites and caught a few very nice large mouth but nothing bronze yet....

Not to hijack the thread but...What fly patterns do you like to use? I am primarily a flyfisherman as well and I am loading up my box right now....tying some fish skulls, some clousers, and working on some new sculpin patterns with the new sculpin helmets.

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BF, If you really want to catch smallies walk the dam at Beaver Lake. Or get a kayak and float around the Beavertown bridge... TX I have permission to be on the alot of the properties around spav. I Chuckle alot catching 8pnd bows and browns from it but pure C@R as AGFC doesnt stock it because of the public access problems. Those are old trout in there.

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I'm a trout man but if you stay above dam #3 on the spring river you will find smallies and non of the "other stuff" you find below dam#3. What I call the upper Spring River is from dam #1 to dam #3 and you can land bow's , browns, brookies, gogleye, walleye, and smallmouth bass without having to put up with the loudmouth b,butt that come out in the summer.

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It would be a long drive for you, but probably one of the best smallmouth rivers in Arkansas would have to be the Eleven Point in Randolph county. It's in the Ozark foothill in Northeast arkansas, and not talked about near as much as the river is up in Missouri, but the AGFC have ran shock test, and determined that per square mile of water, there are more smallmouth in there than any body of water in the state. I fish it there, and in Missouri, and it's a great river. I've never tried Crooked Creek, but plan on trying it sometime this year. Like you, it's a long drive for me, and the Eleven point and Current are much closer. I flyfish for smallies as well, it's very addictive once you find the pattern that works. Good luck, Bret.

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