Arkansas Ozarks Fishing-White River-Bull Shoals-Norfork Lake-Buffalo-North Fork

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Brown Trout

Brown trout are usually stocked at a size of 6 to 9 inches, behave much differently than rainbows. They are naturally more wary, they tend to feed at night or in low light conditions, they are more picky about what they eat, and they appear to have much better reproductive success in tailwaters, primarily the White River. Brown trout start out feeding on macroinvertebrates. but soon shift to fish and grow quickly, essentially year around. They also have a long lifespan. In recent years, the Arkansas Game & Fish and fishing outfitters have become increasingly protective of the Browns and have put voluntary and legal restrictions on harvesting them. When you put all those factors together, you get one of the best Brown fisheries in the world. The White and North Fork Rivers have produced many of the world line-class records. The second largest Brown ever caught by any method was taken in the North Fork River, and it was a world record for several years, weighing 38 pounds 9 ounces. Both the White and the North Fork have produced a slew of 20 to 30 pounders, including a 33 pound and a 34 pounder. The largest Brown ever caught was taken in the Little Red River, Arkansas, about 80 miles south of Mountain Home.

Browns generally move upstream to spawn which occurs primarily in November through January. The largest concentration of spawning Browns is on the White River just below the Bull Shoals dam. Because of tremendous fishing pressure, and increasing handling mortality of big Browns, this area was closed to fishing during the spawning season by emergency order of the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission on November 1996.