Words, photos, and film by Drew Ross
Do you ever wonder what it would be like to fish and probably never see another person? Fortunately, that's a reality for me. Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge, known to locals as the "refuge" is a 65,000-acre cypress swamp located in Southeast Arkansas. In fact, it's often described as the most remote location in Arkansas, which is why it's one of my favorite places to kayak fly-fish.
Yes, you heard me correctly, I prefer to fly-fish in the "refuge.” It's not the easiest method but the challenge of working a streamer in and around all the natural obstacles is a lot of fun. However, the best part is you never know what will eat. Bass are always the primary target, but I've caught gar, drum, and bowfin in these waters. One look at it and you can instantly see it's a fishy place and super fun to streamer fish.
When I pull into the parking lot and only see one or two trucks with their boat trailers, I know it's going to be a great day because I'm probably not going to see another person. It's almost a guarantee I'll be the only one kayak fly-fishing!
Gear That Got It Done:
Jackson Kayak Mayfly
Bending Branches Angler Pro kayak fishing paddle
Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchor
Astral V-Eight PFD
Costa Fantail 580p sunglasses with amber lenses
Orvis Dri Release Pullover Hoodie
Orvis Guide Sling Pack
Reel 1 – Orvis Hydros SL, Rod – Orvis Clearwater 9.6' 6wt, 250g sink tip fly line.
Reel 2 – Orvis Hydros SL, Rod – Orvis Recon 9' 9wt, 350g full sinking line.
Flies – Weightless flash style streamers ranging from 3-5 inches.
Heavy/short leader 2ft of 30lb Seaguar Fluorocarbon.
Rising Fish Big Nippers
GoPro Hero 4 silver
C-Tug Kayak Cart
About Drew Ross:
Drew grew up in Arkansas, floating rivers in the Ozarks and bass fishing across
the state. After a six-year enlistment in the Navy he moved back to his home
state in 2007. In 2010 he sold his bass boat and purchased his first kayak and
life hasn't been the same. Drew shares his adventures through the various
"Looknfishy" social media sites on Facebook and Instagram
More by Drew Ross: Hit Trees For More Bass