ABOUT CROOKED CREEK
Crooked Creek has a reputation of being one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in the state, if not in the country. Beginning in the Ozark highlands, it meanders over 80 miles before its confluence with the White River.
Over its course, Crooked Creek offers a variety of float and wade fishing for wild, native smallmouth bass, largemouth, carp, and an assortment of panfish. Smallmouth growth rates average higher on Crooked Creek than anywhere else in the state. Anglers can expect to tangle with lots of bass in the 10” – 15” range, with opportunities for 18” or bigger fish.
The entire length of Crooked Creek flows through private land, so access can be difficult. A handful of AGFC public accesses are scattered up and down the stream. If you are looking for a great place to start fishing/floating Crooked Creek try the Kelley’s Slab access just west of Yellville for starters. There is a variety of water up and downriver from the bridge, with trails provided by the AGFC. All fish caught along the AGFC property must be released, allowing smallmouths to grow to impressive sizes on this stretch.
Smallmouth fishing on Crooked usually gets going when the water temperature gets above 55 degrees. This can be anytime in March, depending on weather and flows. Fishing usually stays good through late October. Minnows and crawfish are the two main staple foods, and Duane Hada’s Craft Fur Clouser and Creek Crawler are two must-have patterns.
Topwater fishing is also available through the summer, and various popping bugs and divers work great. There is simply nothing better that seeing a 3lb smallmouth smash your surface fly in clear water!
FISHING CROOKED CREEK
The best fishing on Crooked Creek is harder to reach, and it really pays to hire one of our experienced guides who knows the whereabouts of these wild, beautiful fish.
Navigating through the dense growth, structure, and log jams up and down the river can be tricky too, so floating with someone who is intimately familiar with Crooked is a good idea. Smallmouths are very susceptible to fishing pressure, and it doesn’t take much to send the bass into specific, hard-to-reach areas.
If you are interested in learning how to catch these wild, native fish on Crooked Creek, contact the shop and we can get you set up with one of our experienced guides.
A float down one of the country’s best smallmouth streams, catching hard fighting bass on a fly rod is the experience of a lifetime!