Top Ozark Tailwaters
The North Fork River, (sometimes called the Norfork River) below Norfork Dam, once held the world's brown trout record of nearly 39-pounds.
The North Fork River is a nutrient-rich tailrace, perfect for wade-fishing and stalking trout. The North Fork is less than five miles long but is amazingly rich with rainbow trout to 15-pounds and brown trout on par with the White.
In the warmer months, the North Fork is a haven for trout that run up from the increasingly warmer waters of the White River. Like the White River, the North Fork has riverside resorts along its course that provide lodging, boat rentals, guides and meals.
But the riffles and pools combined with the various trout havens like ledges, cracks, and drop-offs create a fly fisher's dream. Emergers, nymphs, wets and streamers are consistent producers, but the North Fork has some good dry-fly action. Midge fishing is good year-round. Spin casters find that everything from small jigs to largemouth bass stickbaits can be productive.
This short river is best fished from a drift boat when the water is up, best wade-fished when the generators aren't running and the water is low and clear. Usually, Norfork Dam only runs two generators but even with just those two, when the siren sounds, get to high ground.
If you've brought children under age 16, make sure to visit Dry Run Creek, a special regulations creek adjacent to North Fork, loaded with rainbow and browns, some of them huge. Anglers can only use single-hook, barbless artificial lures and flies on this fun fishery. Only handicapped anglers or children under 16 may fish Dry Run Creek.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication