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  1. #1

    Default Upper Buffalo River in late May

    In late May/early June I'll be traveling with a group to float the upper Buffalo for a couple of days. It's not a fly fishing-specific trip, but I'll have an opportunity to do a little fishing. I've never been on the Buffalo before. I'm trying to decide what rod(s) to bring - 9' 5wt? 6wt? I have some short (7.5') 3wts, too. I'd appreciate thoughts and experience-based recommendations. I'm figuring on targeting smallmouth, but won't be terribly picky depending on the bite. Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Upper Buffalo River in late May

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackelroy View Post
    In late May/early June I'll be traveling with a group to float the upper Buffalo for a couple of days. It's not a fly fishing-specific trip, but I'll have an opportunity to do a little fishing. I've never been on the Buffalo before. I'm trying to decide what rod(s) to bring - 9' 5wt? 6wt? I have some short (7.5') 3wts, too. I'd appreciate thoughts and experience-based recommendations. I'm figuring on targeting smallmouth, but won't be terribly picky depending on the bite. Thanks!
    Arkansas' version of the Buffalo? I think there is one in about every state. Regardless, for smallmouth, I would go with at least the 6 weight (if that's the biggest you have). Smallies eat a lot bigger prey than trout, so you will need to be tossing big enough flies that at least a 6 weight will be your best call.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Upper Buffalo River in late May

    Thanks, Mike. Yes, the Arkansas version. I also have 8wt and 9wt setups, but think those are probably overkill. I am looking forward to the trip.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Upper Buffalo River in late May

    Floated the Buffalo a number of years ago. It is a beautiful river; lots of bluffs and great scenery. I wasn't fishing at the time, either. Enjoy the trip.

    steve
    "As no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler" ...Izaak Walton

    "Nothing is as bad as something that is not so bad"...Sr. Percival Blakeney, aka The Scarlet Pimpernel

  5. #5

    Default Re: Upper Buffalo River in late May

    Love the Buffalo...its an American treasure. I wouldn't use more than a 5wt myself except for those really fishy sunfish areas in which a short 3 wt is ideal.

    Wish I was going...great float on that river.
    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Upper Buffalo River in late May

    I'm wondering which section you will be floating. If it's the Ponca to Kyles or Pruitt stretch, which is what most people call the upper Buffalo, don't expect the fishing to be much. That section almost dries up in most summers. If a little farther down you can get into better fishing; Hasty or Carver to Woolum is okay, Woolum downstream is better. You'll catch sunfish up in the Ponca section, but in my experience the smallmouth fishing is really marginal.

    But as an old timer I knew said many years ago when somebody asked him how the fishing was on the Buffalo..."Heck, I don't know. I was too busy gawkin' at the scenery with my mouth hangin' open!"

  7. #7

    Default Re: Upper Buffalo River in late May

    Thanks. The current plan is to float the Ponca section. Given Midwest rainfalls so far this spring, seems like it’ll have water in late May. If not, we will change the plan and float a lower section. Sunfish are fun on the fly as well. Maybe I’ll pack a 3 wt and a 5 or 6.

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