I admit, part of this reads like a sales pitch, but it’s true. Wintertime is a good time to visit the Lower Mountain Fork River in McCurtain County for trout fishing.
I received a news release last week announcing that most McCurtain County cabins and lodges have lowered their winter rates in January and February by as much as 25 percent to entice visitors to the area.
I don’t really need any additional enticement to go. I just need the time.
The Lower Mountain Fork River and Beaver’s Bend State Park gets tons of tourists during the summer, but the best trout fishing, of course, is in the winter and spring.
The trout are lethargic in the summer heat and are much more active in the winter.
“Cold, cloudy, windy, wet and just downright winter weather can produce a lot of fish and some big fish,” said Jesse King, owner of the Three Rivers Fly Shop in Hochatown.
“The trout fishing is great all year long, but winter provides more fishable water, less crowds and the most predictable dry fly fishing of the year. November through February is my favorite time to fish the Lower Mountain Fork.”
The Lower Mountain Fork River will get an extra 1,200 to 1,500 trout during the next 10 weeks in addition to the regular stockings of fish it receives every two weeks from the Wildlife Department.
The state buys its trout from a Missouri hatchery. But it will receive more hatchery-raised trout from an Arkansas hatchery over the next few weeks thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Wildlife Department gets the extra trout for free from the feds in mitigation to help offset the negative impact to wildlife caused by dams on state waters.