Craig, Doug, and I got back from our “White River” trip about 1:30 today (6/23). What started as a trip to fish the fabled tailwaters of Bull Shoals’ White River, ended as a 3 day trip to a forgotten trout river in northern Arkansas — the Spring River (near Mammoth Springs). We arrived in Mammoth Springs Friday evening around 5:00pm and were fishing by 5:30pm. We fished till about 8:30pm and had an alright evening. I caught 4, Craig caught 1 or 2, and Doug caught 1 (a very colorful brown) (it was his first time fly fishing). It wasn’t the number of fish that was impressive (obviously not because we didn’t catch that many), nor was it the size (average size was about 12 inches), but it was the scenery and the river itself that made for a great evening. It is an absolutely beautiful river. We fished the Lasseter Access of the river and not once were we crowded. The river is a natural spring fed river with constant 58degree water. There wasn’t a part of the river that didn’t look like it would not have fish. It was ALOT different than fishing any of Missouri’s streams. So about 8:30 we got on the road to head towards Cotter, Arkansas, and His Place Resort. We arrived at His Place Resort around 10:30pm or so and unloaded the truck, had some beer with the neighbors and checked on the # of Generators running — it was 8. We woke up about 5:30 and checked the status of the generators, it was still 8, so we decided to do some smallmouth fishing on Crooked Creek, near Yellville. We arrived at Crooked Creek around 7:00am and quickly got directions to the Kelly’s Slab access. The water looked great. We started fishing our way downstream from the access, and within 30 minutes Craig hooked in to a good smallie — but that is all he did was hook into it. On the first run, the fish took off and snapped his line. From the bend in his rod, and the way it took line — it was a decent fish. We fished for the next 4 hours without a bite. Tired, hungry, and wet, we decided to head back to Cotter and check the generation status — still 8 generators. It was decision time — should we stay or should we go. We decided to cancel our second night at His Place Resort, and get a room in Hardy, Arkansas and fish the Spring River Saturday evening and sunday morning. Craig had a decent evening on Saturday — landing 4 or 5.
I only brought to hand 1 or 2, but LDR’d several and missed more than my fair share of fish. We fished till bout 6:30pm. We were tired and hungry, and in desperate need of showers, so we headed back to the hotel room. We were on the river by 5:30am this morning, and had the river completely to ourselves for about an hour, then the bait fisherman showed up. But once again, we were never crowded (and didn’t fish within 75 yards of another person the whole weekend). I took 5 fish today and Craig took 5 as well. We quit fishing around 9am and got on the road for the long trip back. We caught fish on a little of everything: cracklebacks, beadhead cracklebacks, copper johns, pheasant tail nymphs, mohair leeches, wooly’s, and (Mike_S you should close your ears) I did take one fish on a San “the don” Juan worm. It wasn’t a successful weekend in terms of number of fish caught, but we did get to fish a new river. The river itself was absolutely beautiful, and I did talk to a gentleman that was stringing up his fly rod, as we were leaving, that had caught a 6lb Brown and his friend had taken a 9lb rainbow out of the river. So the river does have big fish potential. The trip was definitely a success. — Matt Tucker