New 2017 regulations for the Little Red River

Several changes have been implemented in the 2017 trout management regulations. Here is an overview of the new changes: • The 16- to 24-inch protected slot limit for all trout species on the Little Red River has been removed, and a five-fish daily limit with only one trout over 16 inches allowed is now in place. • The no culling regulation has been expanded to cover all species of trout on the Little Red River. Once a trout of any species is caught and placed on a stringer, in a fish basket or in a live well, it must be kept and counts toward an angler’s daily limit. • Mobility-impaired anglers may now fish on Collins Creek downstream of the wooden vehicle bridge in JFK Park. • The JFK and Mossy special regulations areas have been converted into year-round catch-and-release areas. • The Cow Shoals Seasonal Catch-and-Release Area is now a year-round catch-and-release area. • Fishing times at Cow Shoals Catch-and-Release Area are from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset from Oct. 1-Dec. 31. For more information and view the complete 2017 Arkansas Game and Fish Trout Fishing Guide book go to:...
“It is what it is” with water conditions on the Little Red River

“It is what it is” with water conditions on the Little Red River

Spring is a great time to trout fish on the Little Red River. The trout haven’t been pressured by anglers over the winter months, hatches are abundant making trout active, some “leftover” browns from the fall make their way back to their home water and the beauty of everything blooming along the river banks makes it a great time to shake off the winter’s cold. However, there are times that spring fishing conditions on the Little Red River can be frustrating or challenging at best. It’s not so much about the “fishing”…. it has more to do with water release from the Greers Ferry Dam in Heber Springs. The dam was constructed in 1965 by the Army Corps of Engineers for two purposes: flood control and power generation. The Corps of Engineers regulates flood control downstream with the dam by holding or releasing water and the Southwest Power Administration regulates the two hydropower generators to produce electricity for Arkansas and the surrounding states when needed. With the storm systems and the rain that frequent Arkansas in the spring, flood control becomes a priority. It’s a balance between the lake level and releasing water into the Little Red as to not flood the farm land downstream. Most of the water release is determined by a formula that is based on historical analysis, weather forecasts and current conditions. Unfortunately, trout fishing is not part of the formula when it comes to how much and when water is released. The Southwest Power Administration will post a predicted water release schedule after 3pm for the following day (weekend scheduled release is provided on...
Take Advantage of the Cold Days; a Guide’s Perspective

Take Advantage of the Cold Days; a Guide’s Perspective

Winter arrived a little late here on the Little Red. Valentine’s weekend brought more ice and cold weather than flowers and candy. Over the past few weeks there have been more geese on the river than boats. As far as I can tell, geese don’t provide near the fishing pressure that people in boats casting a Trout Magnet or fly do. So by the time Ol’ Man Winter decides to release its grip and the warmer weather of spring arrives, the fish should be hungry, less pressured and ready to be sore lipped. In some ways I welcome the winter break, but there is always maintenance work and preparation to be done as a guide. One area I focus on is rod and reel maintenance. I normally re-spool my Trout Magnet reels every couple of months during spring and summer, but with winter maintenance I take a little more time to give them a good cleaning, oil them, make sure all screws are snug, and then put fresh 2lb SOS line on. Fresh line eliminates “line memory” (where the line holds the shape of the spool) and eliminates kinked or stretched line that has been used and abused during the busy fishing season. I will clean and oil fly reels and clean the sticky residue (that has formed from strike indicators) off the rods. Fly line is examined for nicks, cuts and wear. If needed, it will be replaced with new RIO line. If line replacement is not necessary, it is cleaned and conditioned. New knotless tapered leaders are placed on the fly lines. On a “warmer winter day”...