We’ve been kicking around the idea of fishing in the Southwestern Missouri, Northwestern Arkansas and Northeastern Oklahoma region this year. There are a few rivers that we have been really curious about. Researching the area, it appears that a canoe will be necessary for some of them but that’s fine with me.
Our friends keep telling us to go fish at Noel Missouri for trout but I’m not interested in fishing shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of people. We prefer some solitude when we fish. And at this juncture in our lives…we’re after native smallmouth bass anyway!
Of course, so much will depend on the weather, especially how much rainfall we get this coming Spring. And lets not forget COVID! Heaven help those who try to ignore it and get on with living.
I’ve managed to track down a few fishing reports and poured over several maps so far. It definitely looks promising. Part of our desire to fish new areas stems from the sense of adventure that we like to incorporate into our trips.
We seem to have our fishing gear “dialed in” and are not planning any significant changes this year so it will allow us to focus entirely on destinations. Non-resident annual fishing permits are reasonable for both states at $49.00 each. So approximately $200 and we can fish Missouri and Arkansas for the year. There will definitely be canoe rentals, shuttles, camping fees, fuel, food etc to contend with…but things are already falling into place and we’re excited.
We can’t fast-forward through Winter so we will do the best we can. Hopefully we will be able to squeeze in a couple of recon trips between now and Spring to get a feel for what we will be dealing with.
There’s always a lot of work to do before we ever step into a river!
I’ve fished quite a bit in SW Missouri but I’ve never been to Noel. I may have to check that out someday. My absolute favorite place to fish is a tiny stream that flows through Crane Missouri. It’s quite narrow and sometimes shallow but it’s a great place to (fly) fish for stream-born trout, specifically the McCloud Redband subspecies of Rainbow Trout. If you’re chasing smallies, then you have lots of choices too. Flint Creek, Baron Fork Creek, and the Upper Illinois River in NE OK are all great. The Ouachita River and the Caddo River in Western AR are also great. A guide did a presentation at a Tulsa Trout Unlimited meeting last year regarding the Upper Illinois. It was pretty good. You might search the TU420 website to see if his slides are still there.
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Thank you for the comment and suggestions. We definitely want to check out the Caddo River. I’ve heard lots of great things about the rivers in Missouri and we are really wanting to check some of those out. I’ll look at the TU420 site as well…we’re members but haven’t made any of the outings or meetings due to prior commitments and scheduling conflicts. Lots of options is always a good thing. Take care
I floated Caddo once with a buddy in his canoe. The water clarity was beyond belief. I think I could count the pebbles on the bottom at 8 feet of depth
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