Fine fishing opportunities plus whitewater canoeing and kayaking
Whitewater canoeing on the Mulberry River
It's easy to catch "the big one" while enjoying Southern river fishing in Arkansas's more than 9,700 miles of streams, including the mighty Mississippi River, the state's namesake Arkansas River and the cliff-lined Buffalo National River.
While both calm and whitewater canoeing and kayaking are popular activities in Arkansas’s floating river spots, there’s a lot more to do than just float.
Some, like Sylamore Creek
at the Blanchard Springs Recreation Area and the Caddo River
around Norman, provide the state's best swimming
holes. Arkansas campgrounds
, cabins and resorts can often be found along
Arkansas's waterways, which frequently have day-use picnic areas and parks
with easy-access boat ramps.
Arkansas rivers have some of the nation's best trout-fishing
waters. The world-record German brown trout for 19 years (1992-2009) was
caught on the Little Red River, and the White, North Fork and Spring
rivers also yield brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout. The entire
stretch of the Arkansas River within the state is popular among anglers
seeking largemouth bass. Several big-time tournaments are held annually
on Lake Dardanelle and other reservoirs formed by the river. Meanwhile,
scenic streams in the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains offer anglers
excellent river fishing for smallmouth bass.
Boating and water sports provide excitement on many of the state's larger rivers, and most agree that any time spent on an Arkansas floating river is a lot of fun! For many, streamside hiking trails provide peace and quiet for listening to the talk of small mountain streams and viewing plant and animal life. Arkansas, it seems, has a stream for every occasion, whether you want to blast through rapids on a whitewater canoeing or kayaking adventure, roll peacefully down a prime floating river in a tube or canoe, or land a record-breaking trout. You can also hone your paddling skills at a whitewater park in Malvern (Ouachita River) or Siloam Springs (Illinois River).