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#11579711 - 05/02/16 10:06 PM Buffalo River
Wishicaughtmore Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 231
Planning a 3 day trip in late June to the Buffalo River in Arkansas. Looking for calm water and good fishing. Does anyone have any experience and suggestions?
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#11579725 - 05/02/16 10:14 PM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
Warhawk Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 205
Loc: Hot Springs, AR
Call Ozark Mountain Trading Company in Cotter, Arkansas. They are a big kayak shop and can give you some tips. I've floated the buffalo a few times, but always by rented canoe and we never picked a particular stretch of the river. Get ready for scenic overload!

In mid summer you may be limited by low water. But the way the rain is coming down lately ... Well I hope you have good river conditions for your trip.

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#11580144 - 05/03/16 08:52 AM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
Matty Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/17/06
Posts: 164
Loc: Plano
I've done this river close to 10 times. We've always done a multi-day trip camping each night along the river. I've used several outfitters but I prefer the Gilbert General Store. Their place is along the river so you don't have to call for a pickup shuttle, you just walk up to your car when you're done. I'd recommend putting in at Mt Hersey (29 miles) or you can do Woolum (20 miles) if you want to go really slow and do alot of fishing. The water is calm unless you're comparing it to something really slow like the Brazos.

1) At that time of year, the river will be crowded on weekends. Go during the week if you can to get a more peaceful, scenic experience and easier to fish.
2) Bring green pumpkin soft plastics ... tubes, curly tail grubs and worms.
3) Plan to eat breakfast one day at Fergusons which is at the turn off the highway as you head into Gilbert. Get the cinnamon roll!

If you need an alternate, I also recommend the Ouachita River in Arkansas. Looks very much like the Buffalo, similar current, clear water, SMB fishing, but less crowded and closer to home.


Edited by Matty (05/03/16 08:54 AM)
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#11580263 - 05/03/16 09:45 AM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
JJ4MEL Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 962
Loc: McKinney, TX
Agree with everything Matty said. For an extra tip you can ask the outfitter to drop you upriver a little further. I have floated this trip about 6 times. Mostly in May. June you're rolling the dice on water level. Bring a weather radio with you. This river will rise FAST. If it rains upstream, just know it will come to you. If the river floods, always remember river right, DO NOT GO LEFT!!

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#11580793 - 05/03/16 02:10 PM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
hook-line&sinker Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 8992
Loc: Bryan, Texas
Gilbert General Store Best river trip ever.. hard to believe it was 16 years ago this coming fall. I'd love to do it again and maybe the Quachita too!
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#11580811 - 05/03/16 02:18 PM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
Cast Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 4771
Loc: North Texas - God's Country
I've done it twice when young. It was a special memory with Dad and Uncle Charles.
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#11585324 - 05/05/16 02:43 PM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
BigBassB Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/18/16
Posts: 210
Loc: Van Alstyne
We went a couple years ago in Sept/Oct cant remember, but did a 3 day float on the lower part of the river. There are no roads in and out of there until you get to the end and we only saw 2 other groups the entire time. It was a trip of a life time. I did a write up on our trip if you want to check it out.

https://thecrackeryaks.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/78/

Caught most of my fish on watermelon craws.


Edited by BigBassB (05/05/16 02:44 PM)
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#11585436 - 05/05/16 03:30 PM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
icthys15 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 43
I'm doing a 6 day trip there at the end of May. I agree that the middle section is your best bet that late in the season because of water flows. If you have your own canoes/kayaks the shuttle companies will move your vehicle while your paddling so you just drive off when you finish. I used Silver Hill Float Service and they were great as well.

The best map I've found is:
https://www.nps.gov/buff/planyourvisit/maps.htm

This map will tell you current flow and recommended flows:
http://ar.water.usgs.gov/buffaloriver/

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#11632011 - 05/28/16 11:19 AM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Matty]
pelageo Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/04/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Granbury
Originally Posted By: Matty
If you need an alternate, I also recommend the Ouachita River in Arkansas. Looks very much like the Buffalo, similar current, clear water, SMB fishing, but less crowded and closer to home.

I'm sold. From a bit of research including your previous post, seems the upper Ouachita around Mt. Ida would be a good, first trip on Arkansas waters. Looking for 3+ week-days on the water. Do you have a favorite stretch and preferred shuttle service in the area?

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#11636949 - 05/31/16 08:55 AM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
Matty Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/17/06
Posts: 164
Loc: Plano
Pelageo,

I recommend using Two Spirits, LTD in Mount Ida (http://www.twospiritsltd.com/). Frank is the owner and he's a great guy. The 4 mile stretch downstream from his place is the best fishing on the river with the swiftest current (no coincidence there). The last few times, I've actually base-camped at Frank's place and fished the 4 mile stretch above his place and/or the 4 mile below each day. The stretch below could take 2 hours or all day depending on how hard you fish it.

If you are set on doing 3 days on the river, I'd go from Oden or Pencil Bluff to River Bluff (~20 miles). Don't go past River Bluff as the river widens and slows up with less structure.

PM me if you're interested in maps with some good fishing spots marked to spend some extra time on.


Edited by Matty (05/31/16 08:56 AM)
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#11642812 - 06/02/16 01:48 PM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
NoconaBrian Online   happy


Registered: 06/25/05
Posts: 21420
Loc: W.F TX
We went when I was about a freshman or so in HS. From what I can remember, crossed with google, I think we did a stretch around Ponca. There was a low water crossing towards the end, the terrain looks similar, but the crossing was different, I remember where we were at had culverts going under. Anyways, we stayed about a 10min drive from the crossing, but the folks were ok enough with me driving after we floated the river, I'd drive down there and fish on the bridge.

Caught tons of smallies, only thing I'd get bit on were 4" or 5" pumpkin seed or watermelon lizards.

I'd really like to go back up there again, that was a awesome trip.
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#11644625 - 06/03/16 09:43 AM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
Brady S Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/17/10
Posts: 742
Loc: Fort Worth, TX
So those of you who have been... How many smallmouth per day were you catching? Any big fish? I'm all about the fishing, not the paddling.
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#11645024 - 06/03/16 12:14 PM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
Matty Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/17/06
Posts: 164
Loc: Plano
Brady,

I've found similar numbers and size between the Buffalo and the Ouachita. I too am much more interested in fishing and much less interested in paddling. Both rivers have a good avg flow that will let you make time down river without much paddling necessary. I'd probably catch about 20/day most in the 1lb range with the occasional 3-4lber out there but not the same quality of size like you'd find on the Devils. The primary species on both rivers is smallies. The Ouachita has LMB too whereas I don't think I've ever caught a LMB on the Buffalo.
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#11645267 - 06/03/16 02:08 PM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
BigBassB Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/18/16
Posts: 210
Loc: Van Alstyne
I've only fished the Buffalo, but a couple of us caught about 15+ smallies each day. Biggest one was 15". Definitely no giants to be found on that trip.


Edited by BigBassB (06/03/16 02:09 PM)
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#11648611 - 06/05/16 01:16 PM Re: Buffalo River [Re: Wishicaughtmore]
Warhawk Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 205
Loc: Hot Springs, AR
This was recently posted on FB, caught in Crooked Creek near Yellville, AR. Crooked Creek is known as a great smallmouth fishery.



Edited by Warhawk (06/05/16 01:34 PM)

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