White River Arkansas - Fly Fishing Guide Service For Trophy Brown Trout

Our Winter Destination Trip For Big Brown Trout - Jan/March 2018


Updated Info For 2017, Open Dates, Fishing Report & White River Photo Gallery - May 1st 2017 (click here)



Barney and Dean with a couple of beautiful White River Brown Trout from Feb 2014.  Streamer fishing is what produces these giants this time of year!


We are now filling up the calendar for the winter of 2018 and as always so looking forward to our stay this coming winter in Arkansas.  Since the Winter of 2009 I have been fishing this awesome river and it is one of finest rivers in the country for true trophy brown trout!  Again this winter 2018 I will be offering guided float trips for our stay in late January thru mid March.  This post spawning period is the best time of the year for BIG trout!  I'm also planning on fishing the White River this fall during the pre spawning period which is another excellent time for big brown trout.  Along with our guiding here in Northern Michigan, the Au Sable River, Lake Huron and Arkansas we truly have a year round pursuit of trophy brown trout 12 months a year!

I have setup accommodations for lodging and meals at Wildcat Shoals Resort http://www.wildcatshoals.com/ or http://www.whiteriverargetaway.com/ both are on the banks of the White River about 10 miles downstream from Bull Shoals Dam in northern Arkansas near the city of Mountain Home.  Right in the middle of some of the best trout waters of the entire White River!  Many of our clients like to come for 3 days of fishing so we have setup a package deal of 4 night lodging and 3 full days of float trips with all meals included for $1395 per angler.  Trips can sure be customized to meet your travel needs and we do also offer full day float trips at $400 for 2 anglers.  Adding extra nights of lodging and or days of fishing is not a problem.  We do welcome group trips and are setup to handle up to 8 anglers per day.  All of our boats handle up to 2 anglers.  We do provide all the fly fishing equipment and I bring a nice selection of rods for those looking to check out new streamer rods and nymphing setups.  We also provide all the flies that are needed.  We use some best local guides on the White River: John Holesten, Trakker Young, Clint Wilkinson, Larry Babin along with some of our Michigan guides that fish the White River every winter.

For our Winter trips a deposit of $200 per angler is needed to reserve date.  Half down deposit is needed by Dec 1st 2017.  Remaining balance is due at the time of your trip.

Any questions or to book your trip just email us at kelly@michiganstreamside.com or call at 989-889-5374.

Arkansas White River guide service


This time of year in Arkansas is setup perfect for the anglers that love to streamer fishing and the hunt for BIG BROWNS!  Our typically setup for streamer fishing is a 9' 8wt with a 24' 300 grain stink tip and 5-8" long streamer.  In these winter months the White River is noted for some higher water due to power generation in the cold weather.  This is prefect for our big flies.  At times there is low water periods and then its time to break out the 9' 4wt with 5x and 6x tippets and lots of midge and scud patterns.  Low water periods also sets up well for night time mousing and streamer fishing.  Above is the boat I will be using this year and it is just the prefect boat for the big White River - 18' Stealthcraft power drifter with 60/40 jet on the back.  Rows great, extremely comfortable to fish from and goes fast to cover lots of water in a day. 


Lodging and meals on the banks of the White River at http://www.whiteriverargetaway.com/


We stay right on the banks of the White River for a beautiful setting and view.  Lots of room for hanging out/relaxing after fishing and for our meals.  Our typically day starts with a nice breakfast that we prepare all right there.  Big breakfast and then its off to river to float and fish all day!  Lunch is on the river or at times depending on the section we are floating we can stop by Wildcat on the way by.  After fishing all day its a nice meal back at the lodge and we like to grill steaks, roast in the slow cooker, pork tender loins, etc and have a nice sit down meal.  Our float trips are not on the clock of 8 hours and plan on fishing a full day or even some night fishing.


Arkansas Winter Fly Fishing Report
White & Norfork River trout fishing report - May 1st 2017

Arkansas White River Bull Shoals Lake Level
 May 1st - This is graph of Bull Shoal Lake level today and its climbing!  Top power pool is 695 and flood gate will come on before it reaches that level.  Currently there is some flooding in lower river south of the dam below Crooked Creek, Buffalo River and the Norfork river but from Bull Shoals down to Cotter river is in ideal conditions right now with clean water.  It so nice to see Bull Shoal Lake filling back up and the low water of this past winter ending!  There is some big water coming soon and then it will be time to break out the big streamers!  Right now they have been running 1 generated the last few days - this is ideal and fishing has been very good.  Currently caddis hatch is still going and Caddis dries and pupae/emerger have been producing good action.  During times of no bugs its back to nymphing or streamers.  Midges in #18-22, pheasant tails #18 and scuds #18 have all been producing lots of trout of late.  With current water flow you sure can get in some good streamer fishing and night time mousing.  Hard to best our Great Lake Deceivers in joint 6" in rainbow, cotton candy or brown trout.   This size is ideal with this level of water.  Also some big natural sculpin patterns will produce now like our Conrad Sculpin and Woolheads.

March 13th 2017 - Finally getting to posting some of our photo from our stay on the White River since the last week in January and getting out a current fishing report for the White River.  Had a great time this year and planning on staying a full 2 months next winter.  Would like to thank all of the guides that helped make our trips so successful: John Holesten, Trakker Young, Clint Wilkenson, Larry Babin, Phil Croft and Eric Swies.  It sure was a different winter weather wise in the Ozarks this year!  It felt like summer most of the time to me and lots of low water.  Typically pounding our big streamers all day was not that productive with most days water levels being run at minimum flow and no power generation.  We did get some good morning high water on the Norfork River and that did produce a few big trout on streamers.  What did produce on the White River during the day was nymph fishing.  Lots of small midges, pheasant tails, scuds and sow bug were producing lots of trout in and around the shoals/riffles like pictured above.  We did hit a few big browns with streamers in the White River in low water and most were either in from fast water or in low night around dark.  After dark fished very well on many nights and produced some big trout!  Floating lines and rainbow patterns did well in the dark but what produced the best was mousing with just a slow drag across the surface.  Currently the caddis are hatching and good numbers of trout have been rising.  Seen some good hatches in the early afternoon and also just before dark for rising trout.  Dries, emergers and nymphs have all been producing well.  Small streamers around these riffles have also produced some nice browns and it works well on a floating line.  A bead head olive woolly bugger and JJ Special were two of my favorites.  If your looking for guided trip this spring or summer we can sure set that up for you.

Arkansas White River fly fishing guide service

Norfork River Arkansas nymph fly fishing midges

White River Arkansas

White River Arkansas night time trophy trout

Arkansas White River Fly Fishing Guide Service

Arkansas White River trophy brown trout

White River night time mousing

Norfork River Streamer Fly Fishing Trophy Brown Trout 

Arkansas Guided Fly Fishing Trips

White River guide service fly fishing

White River fly fishing guide service

Arkansas White River Streamer fly fishing

White River fly fishing guide service

White River night time mousing guide service  White river fly fishing


Jan 1st 2017 - Here is a current report for the White River "Straight OUTTA Cotter" from guys that are on the river everyday John Holsten and Trakker Young.  John & Trakker will be working with us on some of our group trips starting at end of January and going thru the first half of March.  If your looking for float trip before that time frame I can sure setup that with these excellent guides.

Greetings to our friends in Michigan and beyond!  With Lake levels on both Bull shoals and Norfork lakes just below power pool, low to moderate water releases from both hydroelectric facilities should be expected, primarily  around "rush hour" periods with minimum flow releases to be expected in-between. As of recent, the streamer bite during periods of generation has been good on both tailwaters and getting better everyday. There are still fish on "redds" at this time, more specifically on the upper White but that should change shortly. The down river bite below "Rim Shoals" is heating up nicely with most depressions vacant and very hungry Brown trout hunting the banks aggressively. We look for the streamer bite to heat up on the upper river in the next two weeks. Here are a couple streamer eaters from last week on both the White and Norfork rivers. We will have a more detailed report on what to expect here in February by mid January.  Happly Holidays respectively!  John Holsten Trakker Young 

Last winter we did not get a chance to night time mouse the White River due to all of the high water.  I'm sure looking forward to it this winter!  Trakker and John got the night time mousing down now and have produced some giants this summer and fall.  Currently its fishing well when power generation is off or very low.
December 15th 2016 - We are getting everything all set for late January 2017 and our stay on the White River.  So looking forward to chasing big trout like this one above from a past year.  Last year we had the extreme high water and it limited us to day time streamer fishing.  Currently water levels are at a more normal level and of late there has been low water at night.  Low water at night is our time for mousing for giant browns.  We missed out on that last winter and looking forward to that this year.  I'm currently putting together a bunch of info to email out to all those who have trips booked with us in Arkansas and it will be done this week.  Still some dates open for those interested in guided float trips and staying with us on the banks of the White River.  We are set up to handle groups of 8 anglers for guide trips, lodging and meals.  Here is what is open right now: Feb 4,5,6 room for 6 anglers, Feb 7,8,9 room for 2 anglers, Feb 16,17,18 room for 2 anglers, Feb 25,26,27 room for 2 anglers, March 5,6,7,8 room for 8 anglers.  If your looking for a day time we can also set that up for you.  I will be posting regular reports now for the White River every week and more info about our upcoming stay.  If any questions just email me at kelly@michiganstreamside.com  or call/text 989-889-5374
March 4th - Jim and son Casey catching some trout on the White River and Dry Run Creek today.  Casey had a great time learning to fly fishing and catching some wonderful trout on Dry Run!
March 4th - Albert with a giant brown trout streamer fishing on the White River today!
March 1st - 3rd - We had a great time with the guys from Ohio - Ron, Mike, Rod and Jim!  Lots of streamer fishing and some nice browns.
Feb 28th - Hans with a nice brown on the White River!
Feb 25th - Wes and brother with a couple nice brown trout on the White River!
Feb 20th - Some very water and bright sun today but we still caught a bunch of trout!  Kermit got this beauty!!
Streamer fishing the White River!
Feb 12th - Had a great time fishing with Jake today but it didn't have to get so cold!
Feb 10th - A nice White River brown that crushed a CSF Predator Tube fly in brown trout colors.
Feb 9th - Ted with a nice White River Brown Trout!  High winds, cold temps and high water today on the White River.  Water levels came up close to a foot today below Bull Shoals Dam and river is running over 30,000 cfs.  Streamer fishing in these conditions can still be good and we found  a few good browns today.  Just the opposite on the Norfork River today as flood gates were finally closed.  Still running high generation and water is dirty but much improved on this river.  With the high water comes lots of streamer fishing and some big browns!  We will be here in Arkansas thru the first week in March and for those that are looking for guided trips we do have a few days open.  If interested or looking for up to date conditions just email me at kelly@michiganstreamside.com
Feb 8th - A beautiful Cutthroat Trout on the White River today!
Feb 6th - Pat with a brightly colored brown trout!  Streamer fishing has been producing some good browns but has been tough some days also.  Bright sun and extremely high waters have not been ideal.  The key right now is getting streamers down deep.  Been using Airflo Streamer Max in 320 grain of late and this 9wt line does get fly pretty deep.  Great Lakes Deceivers in 6" and 8" have been producing well in rainbow, cotton candy and olive/yellow.
Feb 4th - Pat and Mark with a couple of nice browns on the White River!  Great Lakes Deceivers in Olive/yellow and glow white was our top producer.
Jan 30th - Feb 3rd -  Had a great time with the big group from Michigan!  Myself, Adam Peterson, Tanner Ingle and Ted Pitch took this group of 8 for 4 days and we had a couple pretty days and a couple of slow days of streamer fishing!  Big trout of the group was a 25" brown trout.  Lots of bright sun and high water has sure not helped the fishing of late but streamers are still producing some awesome trout!  In these bright conditions our Great Lakes Deceiver in glow white has been very good.  Also rainbow imitations and over size jointed sculpins like our Slop Mop.
Jan 23rd - Jake with big brown on the White River.  Flood gates came open this week but river is still in good shape for streamer fishing.  This big brown smashed a 8" deceiver in Chart/White.
Dec 31st  2015 - We are stocking up on streamers for our stay in Arkansas this winter and getting ready for the White River!  Many have heard about the major flooding in this region starting around Christmas time from rain storms of 8-12".  Currently Bull Shoals Dam is running 1 to 3 turbines or 1,000 cfs to 6,000 cfs and this is ideal for boat fishing and at times wade fishing.  These flows are considered low water and all is good today but high water is coming.  Incredible flooding occurred after last week's storm on undammed tributaries of the White River - Crooked Creek and Buffalo River.  These tribs come into the White River 25-30 miles below Bull Shoals Dam and this has caused extreme flooding from this point downstream in the White River.  Bull Shoals dam is keeping there flows low to give some relief to the flooding down stream.  Above Bull Shoals Lake there is also lots of water and Beaver Dam and Table Rock Dam have been running flood gates all week but they are starting to turn them off now.  All of this water is building behind Bull Shoals Dam and the lake is rising toward top flood pool level now.  Over the next week as flooding recedes in the lower river Bull Shoals Dam will start running high power generation to reduce high waters in the lake behind dam.  Hopefully flood gates are not needed at Bull Shoals but you never know.  When it comes to our winter streamer fishing high generations is a good thing for the fishing but flood gates are not.  Currently today in the low flows below Bull Shoals Dam nymphing will work very good - scuds, sow bugs, hares ear, midges will all produce plenty of good trout.  When water is on the rise streamers are what will produce the best browns typically - Great Lakes Deceivers in rainbow and brown trout colors, Slop Mop, Game Changers, Murdich Minnow are all top producers.  Shad patterns in combination with worm patterns are also a great setup right now.  When that heavy water comes its time to beef up to an 8wt or 9wt and heavy sink tips.  I love the Airflo Streamer Max and a 320 grain 9wt sink tip should be ideal.  We will continue to post regular updates and fishing reports for White River this winter.
Feb 22nd - Barney with a beautiful colored up rainbow on the Norfork River streamer fishing today.  Good water all day today but weather remains cold in this region.  The pattern of late has been high flows every morning and that has been good for the streamer bite.  Afternoon its time to break out the nymphing rods.  The mouse bite after dark has been very good but just of late not many have been hitting the river in the recent cold nights.
Feb 20th - Very cold morning today but with a good push of water we had some decent streamer fishing this morning.  Great Lakes Deceivers and Conrad Sculpins were are top producers.  Love all of the rock cliffs on the White River!
Just an awesome Pat Cohen pattern - Slop Mop! It has been one of our top streamers this winter for big trout. The hooks are large but above is a barbless 6" and fly did no damage and sure stayed in well. We are well stocked on these and they can be ordered on our web site at: http://www.michiganstreamside.com/flies_streamers.htm
Feb 15 and 16th - Eric and Cindy fishing in some very cold weather and then came the ice storm with snow.  Made for some tough conditions but we find a few good trout on streamers.
The mouse bite has been very good on nights with low water of late!  Lots of action has come to our all white patterns.
Feb 11th - Stocking trucks have been showing up at the landings of late.  They put in lots of rainbows in the White River this time of year and this is what many of the big browns in this river key in on.  Time to break out the Great Lakes Deceivers in Cotton Candy & Rainbow!  Also Slop Mop in Cotton Candy.
Feb 11th - Been fishing some different streamer lines of late and just love them.  The Airflo Streamer Max is just an ideal line for those looking to cast large streamers.  Will be carrying these lines very shortly!!
Feb 10th - Conditions did not seem so good today but we had some great action streamer fishing the White River!  Bright sun and low water but put some real nice browns in the net.  Top pattern was one of my favorites today and it was glow white in the day light!
Feb 10th - Albert was chef tonight here at Wildcat Shoal Resort and made us some awesome ribs!!
Feb 9th - We spent the morning streamer fishing the Norfork River and Tanner got this giant Rainbow!!  After our water ran out we heading for the White River and Albert had the hot rod all afternoon putting some nice browns in the net.
Feb 7th - Summer like weather this weekend here on the White River!  Water levels are very low and this is ideal conditions to break out our mousing rigs that we love to fish in the heat of the summer in Michigan.  We had lots of action last night with over 20 trout coming to our mouse patterns.  5 good ones were landed and our best one of the night didn't get a photo of as it slip away in river.  On this river a 9wt with a skagit short line is my favorite and makes for very easy casting of our larger mouse patterns.  Low water again tonight and we will be hitting hard come dark!!
Feb 5th and 6th - Chris and Alex floated the White and Norfork River with guide Tanner Engle and got some real nice trout.  Low water has come to the area the last couple days with summer like weather of late and no power generation.  When these conditions come its time to pack away the big streamers and start nymphing.  Got a love rivers that hold Browns, Rainbows, Cutthoats and Brook Trout!  When it comes to nymphs zebra midges (sizes #18-22), sow bug (#16-18), scuds, bead head pheasant tails have all been productive.  Fishing them under indicators with the combination of a micro bead (red, orange, pink) just above nymph has worked very well.  Also streamers still produce in the low water but need to down size things - shad patterns, woolly buggers and lots of natural sculpin patterns.
Feb 4th - Tanner and Tom fished both the White River and Norfork River today following that water generation around!  Good action on streamers and when that water drops it is time to break out the nymping rods.  Light tippets are the key in 5x or 6x with sow bugs, scuds and pheasant tails all producing of late.  We got some cold weather here in Northern Arkansas now till the weekend.
Feb 4th - Ted with some nice browns today in the lower water on the White River.  We dropped drown to small streamers today as water was not nearly as high and had some good action.  Lots of different patterns like Murdich Minnows, smaller Great Lakes Deceivers in Cotton Candy and Shad patterns.



Feb 2nd - Enjoying our stay at Wildcat Shoal Resort!  Great place on the river and love our big kitchen for meals.
Feb 2nd - After a slow day yesterday we had a very good day of streamer fishing today.  Finally had some good water today from much higher power generations on the White River.  When that high water came high fishing our big flies produced.  Slop Mop and large Great Lakes Deceivers produced all of our fish.  For these very large flies we are using 8 or 9wt rods with long sing tips - 24' tip in 300 or 400 grains is ideal.
Jan 27th - A beautiful White River brown trout being released!  Had some good water this morning and trout were looking for big streamers.  Great Lakes Deceivers in brown trout & rainbow trout were our best flies.  Shad patterns and woolly buggers also produced some nice rainbowns.





Great Lakes Deceivers and Slop Mops - two of most productive patterns on the White River during the winter months.





The Winter Months On The White River Is Just An Ideal Time For Big Streamers and Big Trout!!

Putting our big streamers to work on the Arkansas's White River!  We our well stocked with streamers for this unbelievable trophy trout fishery.  Many of the same patterns that we use on Au Sable are top producer on the White and a couple we had to change some color combinations.  White River trout love to eat smaller trout (by small trout I mean 7-9"), shad patterns, and big sculpins.  Our Great Lakes Deceivers (rainbow, brown trout, glow), Murdich Minnows (shad, rainbow, brown trout), Slop Mop (tan/olive, grizzly yellow, black) and Sculpin (Conrad, Red Rocket, Circus Peanut).



Abbe is a fixture in my boat in on the White River!  Pictured above she is enjoying the day in one of my favorite areas of the White River - Buffalo Shoal.













 When low water comes its time to start nymph fishing the small stuff!


Low water with power generation turned off on the White and Norfork Rivers.  Made for some awesome nymph fishing.  When the White gets low it is time to break out the 5x and 6x tippets and lots of very little nymphs.  Sow bugs, scuds, pheasant tails, midges and hares ear are all top producers in sizes #16-20.  Also lots of different micro egg patterns.  In the low water streamer fishing can be good but with much smaller streamers.  Shad patterns, sculpins and lead eyed leech patterns are all good!
















White River Arkansas - Our Winter Destination Trip For Big Brown Trout! We offer fly fishing guide service for trophy brown trout along with lodging/meal on the banks of the White River