Little Red River draws anglers from across the country

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published July 18, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated July 17, 2013 at 2:28 p.m.
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Nick Hillemann

Lowell Myers of Pangburn fly-fishes on the Little Red River. Myers offers guided fishing trips on the river under the name of Sore Lip ‘Em All guide service.

Lowell Myers grew up near the Little Red River, and now the clear water, trout and trees line the “walls” of his office, which is the river.

“I’ve been guiding for about 20 years,” said Myers, who is a guide for Sore Lip ’Em All guide service in Pangburn.

Myers has a fly-fishing background and said he enjoys taking people out on the river he grew up on to show them his hobby.

All year-round, people from all over the United States come to fish on the Little Red River, Myers said.

“I’ve guided people from Colorado, California, Virginia and Washington,” Myers said.

The trout-fishing season lasts all year, and the primary draw for people who come to the Little Red is the “world class trout fishing.”

“We have about 50 miles of fishable trout water, and it’s all good fishing all the way down the river,” Myers said.

The water, which is 58 to 60 degrees during the summer, comes out of the bottom of the Greers Ferry dam, Myers said.

Fishermen can catch brown, cutthroat, brook and rainbow trout on the river.

“People love to come to the river and catch fish,” Myers said. “They enjoy being out here in nature.”

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stocks the Little Red River with rainbow trout and brown trout every year, Myers said. Of all of the types of trout in the river, Myers said, brown trout get the biggest.

“Sometimes they’re fat and are 10 to 15 pounds,” Myers said.

Myers said on that a daily basis, he sees different types of waterfowl, otters, minks and, of course, trout.

The trout can only survive in cold water, Myers said, and he encourages catch-and-release procedures while fishing on the river.

A half-day fishing trip for Myers begins at 8 in the morning and lasts about four hours.

“When I take people out, I always ask them, ‘What do you see?’ and ‘What do you hear?’” Myers said. “There are so many things you can hear and see, and it’s absolutely free.”

Of all of the sights and sounds that surround Myers daily, he said his favorite is a fish at the end of his line.

“The river is right in central Arkansas, and it’s close to [Little Rock],” Myers said. “The world-record trout came out of this river,” he said, referring to the 40-pound, 4-ounce specimen pulled from the river by Howard “Rip” Collins in 1992 that was the world-record holder until 2009.

Some days, Myers books an all-day fishing trip, which lasts up to eight hours.

“Sometimes the life of a guide is hard work,” Myers said. “We have to get ready an hour before we go out, and you go out in all different types of weather.”

When he guides on the river, Myers said, he sometimes plays the role of a counselor for his customers.

“I hear all kinds of stuff from people,” Myers said, “but the people are wonderful. They’re always happy to be out here on the water, catching fish. The people are typically happy.”

Canoeing and kayaking also draw some people to the river, but fishing is “it,” Myers said.

Although his line of work is difficult at times, he can’t imagine doing anything else, he said.

“I’m living the dream. I really am,” Myers said.

For more information on the Little Red River, call the Greers Ferry Lake Visitors Center at (501) 362-9067.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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