I remember the first time I heard about the lower Buffalo River and its promise of scenic vistas and fighting smallies. I was listening to a friend give his best verbal description of the area, the float, and the fish he had caught. To say I was intrigued would be a gross understatement, so I began to look into it. Well the ole Google told the same story of beautiful views and good fishing. So this year at my annual trout fishing trip some buddies and I planned our first annual Buffalo River trip for mid May.

Planning the trip was as pretty exciting. We mapped out our float plan from Rush Landing to Shipps Ferry, which consisted of two overnight stops at Big Creek, and Elephant Head Rock. This comes out to around 10 miles the first and second day and a short 5-6 miles the last day. This totaled to around 28.5 miles give or take. We used Wild Bill’s Outfitters to shuttle our vehicles to Shipps. They did a wonderful job and were very informative about the river.

Now I have fished for largemouth bass for as long as I care to remember, however the smallmouth bass is completely alien to me. I grew up in Southwest Arkansas and aside from accidentally catching a few smallies at Albert Pike one time I had no idea what to throw at these river monsters. Back to Google and every fishing forum I could find and now I am a bonafide expert smallmouth fisherman, insert sarcasm. So I head to Bass Pro in Little Rock and I buy the following: watermelon red wacky worms, watermelon red tubes, watermelon tubes, bluegill super flukes, baby brush hogs, and a few X-raps. I ended up catching fish on every one of them.

I can’t say enough good things about this float but I do suggest you grab some buddies and go do it. We were blessed with amazing weather and good fishing but had I not caught one fish I would have enjoyed the peace and beauty of the river. I had the best three days and went from catching smallmouth on the Buffalo to trout on the White. I videoed the whole trip with my Go-Pro session. Please check out the video below and see for yourself. Let me know if you have any questions about the trip, I will answer as best I can. Thank you for reading, now see it in real life in the video below.

Jarrod “East” Norwood


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