White River Arkansas - Fly Fishing Guide Service For
Trophy Brown Trout
Our Winter Destination Trip For Big Brown Trout -
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
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.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
Any questions or to book
your trip just email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 989-889-5374.
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
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.
River trout fishing report - May 1st
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.
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.
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
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
email@example.com or call/text
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
March 4th - Albert with a
giant brown trout streamer fishing on the White
March 1st - 3rd - We had a
great time with the guys from Ohio - Ron, Mike, Rod
and Jim! Lots of streamer fishing and some
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
Feb 12th - Had a great time
fishing with Jake today but it didn't have to get so
Feb 10th - A nice White River
brown that crushed a CSF Predator Tube fly in brown
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!!
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