Spring River

Brent McClane with a nice rainbow trout caught on the Spring River.

Brent McClane with a nice rainbow trout caught on the Spring River.

Description of Water

The Spring River is the jewel freestone stream of Arkansas trout fishing.  There is no generation schedule to worry about, the only thing that needs to be paid attention to when planning a trip to the Spring River is the weather, to ensure the river doesn’t flood out due to nature’s own rain.  It is the most natural of all of upper Arkansas’ trout streams, and is a big freestone stream that is best fished from a canoe, personal pontoon boat, or drift boat.

The trout of the Spring River do not grow to epic proportion, like they do on the tailwaters, but because of that the crowds are alot smaller and sometimes the trout are more plentiful.  I have had numerous trips with 100 fish days on the Spring River, nymphing and swinging buggers.  A little known fact regarding the Spring River is that the AGFC stocks cutthroat trout in the river and they tend to grow fairly well in the spring fed waters.  At one time, the AGFC also stocked brook trout and it was possible to complete the Arkansas Grand Slam while fishing this river (Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Cutthroat Trout), but sadly there have not been any Brook trout stockings in some time.

If you are going to wade the river, be sure to bring a wading staff, as the river bottom is very slick (much like that of the North Fork of the White River in Missouri).  The Spring River has saved many of my trips to the White and Norfork River when they were generating; and is worth a visit on its own.

Popular Access Points

  1. Mammoth Spring Tourist Center Access (Google Earth Download) (Garmin Waypoint Download)
  2. Lassitter Walk-In Access (Google Earth Download) (Garmin Waypoint Download)
  3. Cold Springs Access with Boat Ramp (Google Earth Download) (Garmin Waypoint Download)
  4. Dam # 3 Access with Boat Ramp (Google Earth Download) (Garmin Waypoint Download)
  5. Bayou Access with Boat Ramp (Google Earth Download) (Garmin Waypoint Download)

Maps of Stream

  1. Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Map of the Spring River

Recommended Fly Patterns

  1. Sowbug (Size: 16)(Color: Gray)
  2. Crackleback (Size: 16)(Color: Sulphur or PMD)
  3. Wooly Bugger (Size: 10)(Color: Black, Olive, or Gray)
  4. Tungsten BH Mono-Midge (Size: 18)(Color: Olive, Clear, Black, Brown)
  5. Tungsten BH CopperHead Midge (Size: 18)(Color: Rust)

Stream Specific Links

  1. Weather.com Weather Forecast for Area (Mammoth Spring, AR)

Photos of Stream

07-18-04pic205(resized) 07-18-04pic184(resized) 10-23-04pic35(resized) 10-24-04pic050(resized) 2009-10-04pic013(resized)
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