Fly fishing norfork tailwater

About Norfork Tailwater

Norfork Tailwater is a beautiful river located in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, United States. It is known for its excellent fly fishing opportunities and is a popular destination for anglers from around the world.

Fly Fishing Techniques

Fly fishing in Norfork Tailwater requires a combination of skill and knowledge. Here are some essential techniques that will help you have a successful fishing trip:

  1. Understanding the water: Spend some time studying the river. Look for deep pools, riffles, and areas where fish are likely to hide.
  2. Casting: Practice your casting skills before heading out. Being able to deliver the fly accurately is crucial for success.
  3. Matching the hatch: Pay attention to the insects that are present and try to imitate them with your flies. Matching the hatch will increase your chances of attracting fish.
  4. Using nymphs: Nymph fishing can be highly effective in Norfork Tailwater. Use small, weighted nymphs and fish them close to the bottom of the river.
  5. Using streamers: Streamer fishing can also be productive, especially when the water is murky. Use larger, brightly colored streamers to attract aggressive trout.
  6. Drift fishing: Master the art of drift fishing. A good drift is essential for enticing trout to bite.

Best Times to Fish

The best time to fish in Norfork Tailwater is during the spring and fall months. During these seasons, the water temperature is ideal, and the fish are more active. Additionally, the river sees fewer crowds during this time, allowing for a more enjoyable fishing experience. However, Norfork Tailwater can be fished year-round, and each season has its own unique benefits.

Recommended Gear

When fly fishing in Norfork Tailwater, it’s important to have the right gear. Here are some essential items to bring:

  • A quality fly rod and reel with a weight appropriate for the size of fish you expect to catch.
  • A selection of flies, including nymphs, dry flies, and streamers.
  • A wading staff for stability in the water.
  • Polarized sunglasses to reduce glare and better spot fish.
  • A fishing vest or pack to carry your gear and essentials.
  • Waders and wading boots for comfort and safety in the river.
  • A landing net to safely handle and release fish.

Important Regulations

When fishing in Norfork Tailwater, it’s crucial to follow the established regulations and guidelines. Some important regulations to keep in mind include:

  1. Obtaining a valid fishing license before fishing.
  2. Following catch limits and size restrictions for different fish species.
  3. Practicing catch-and-release to help preserve the fish population.
  4. Respecting other anglers and maintaining good fishing etiquette.



Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, Norfork Tailwater offers an incredible fly fishing experience. By understanding the river, mastering essential techniques, and having the right gear, you can increase your chances of a successful fishing trip. Remember to always follow the regulations and enjoy the beauty of this stunning river.

Explore the Best Fishing Spot in Norfork Tailwater

Fly fishing in Norfork Tailwater offers anglers the chance to experience some of the best trout fishing in the country. The pristine waters of the Norfork River are teeming with a variety of trout species, including brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout. Whether you are an experienced fly fisherman or a beginner looking to try your hand at this exciting sport, Norfork Tailwater is the perfect destination for your next fishing trip.

1. The Norfork Dam

1. The Norfork Dam

The Norfork Dam is an iconic landmark and a prime fishing spot in Norfork Tailwater. The dam creates tailwaters, which provide a constant flow of cold water, creating the perfect habitat for trout to thrive. The deep pools and fast runs below the dam are ideal for fishing, and anglers can expect to catch some trophy-sized trout in this area.

2. Dry Run Creek

2. Dry Run Creek

Dry Run Creek is a unique fishing spot in Norfork Tailwater that is reserved exclusively for children under 16 years old and their accompanying adults. This catch-and-release-only stream is stocked with brown and rainbow trout, providing young anglers with an opportunity to learn and practice their fly fishing skills in a controlled environment.

3. Quarry Park

Located near the Norfork Dam, Quarry Park is a popular fishing spot for both local anglers and visitors. The park offers easy access to the river, with fishing platforms and picnic areas available. The riffles and pools in this area are known to hold some large brown trout, making it a favorite spot for fly fishermen looking for a challenge.

4. Cotter Trout Dock

4. Cotter Trout Dock

Cotter Trout Dock is a full-service fishing resort that offers guided fishing trips and accommodations for anglers visiting Norfork Tailwater. The knowledgeable guides at Cotter Trout Dock can take you to the best fishing spots on the river and provide you with expert advice on fly selection and fishing techniques. Whether you are a novice angler or a seasoned pro, their guides can help you make the most of your fishing experience.

5. Norfork National Fish Hatchery

5. Norfork National Fish Hatchery

The Norfork National Fish Hatchery is a must-visit for any fly fisherman in Norfork Tailwater. This hatchery raises and releases millions of trout each year, ensuring a healthy population of fish in the river. Visitors can take a tour of the hatchery and learn about the fish rearing process, or participate in one of their educational programs. It’s a great way to gain insight into the efforts being made to preserve and enhance the fishing opportunities in Norfork Tailwater.

When planning your next fly fishing trip, be sure to explore the best fishing spots in Norfork Tailwater. Whether you choose to fish below the Norfork Dam, try your luck at Dry Run Creek, or book a guided trip with Cotter Trout Dock, you are guaranteed to have an unforgettable fishing experience in this angler’s paradise.

What is fly fishing?

Fly fishing is a fishing technique that uses a special weighted line and an artificial fly to catch fish. It is a popular sport and hobby for many people around the world.

What is Norfork Tailwater?

Norfork Tailwater is a section of the North Fork River in Arkansas, United States. It is known for its excellent fly fishing opportunities and is a popular destination for anglers.

Where is Norfork Tailwater located?

Norfork Tailwater is located in northern Arkansas, near the town of Mountain Home. It is easily accessible and can be reached by car.

What kind of fish can be caught in Norfork Tailwater?

Norfork Tailwater is home to a variety of fish species, including trout, bass, and catfish. However, it is particularly known for its trophy-sized trout, making it a paradise for fly fishing enthusiasts.

Are there any regulations or restrictions for fly fishing in Norfork Tailwater?

Yes, there are certain regulations and restrictions that anglers must follow when fly fishing in Norfork Tailwater. These include fishing season dates, catch limits, and size limits for certain fish species. It is important to familiarize yourself with these rules before fishing in the area.

What are some tips for fly fishing in Norfork Tailwater?

When fly fishing in Norfork Tailwater, it is important to use the right equipment and techniques. It is recommended to use lighter weight fly rods and reels, as well as smaller flies that mimic the natural insects in the area. It is also important to study the behavior of the fish and the current conditions of the river to increase your chances of success.

Is Norfork Tailwater suitable for beginners in fly fishing?

While Norfork Tailwater offers great fishing opportunities, it is generally recommended for more experienced anglers. The strong currents and big fish can pose a challenge for beginners. However, with the right guidance and practice, beginners can also enjoy fly fishing in Norfork Tailwater.

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