The Little Red River is an icy cold river full of trout, and an excellent trout fishing spot. The river is a tailwater of the Greers Ferry Dam at Heber Springs, where the US Fish and Wildlife Service keeps a trout hatchery. The Little Red’s population of rainbow trout is thanks to this hatchery, but it also has a healthy wild population of brown trout. While the river also has low numbers crappie, bream, and largemouth bass along with its thriving trout, the water is too cold for many native species.
The Little Red River offers many miles of trout fishing opportunities in the stretch from Greers Ferry Dam to Heber Springs. Ensure you are fishing more than 100 yards away from the Dam and have a trout permit. On the upper sections of the river, there are resorts, marinas, boat launches, and hiking trails ideal for reaching private fishing spots.
Mid-October to November is the prime fishing time for brown trout as they are heading up the river to spawn. The average size of wild brown trout is 5 to 8 pounds, but 20-to-30-pound fish are possible – the record is 40 pounds!
Rainbow trout can be caught using baits such as corn, nightcrawlers, and cheese. Fly fishers use sowbugs, wooly buggers, and emergers. When the water is higher, try a heavier fly. Make sure you are not fishing in a catch and release area if you want to keep your daily limit of 5 trout (only one over 16 inches can be kept).
If you catch a walleye between 20 and 28 inches long, it must be released. You can take home 6 walleye per day, but only one can be longer than 28 inches.
Little Red River Fish:
Little Red River boat ramps:
The following boat ramps provide access to Little Red River.