This Arkansas fishing guide service is owned and operated by Matt Millner. Matt started Rising River Guides in August of 2017 when he and his fiancé (now wife) Eleanor left northwest Colorado to head back to the familiar rivers of the Ozarks that Matt cut his teeth on, and so Eleanor could follow her dreams of starting an organic vegetable farm. Rising River Guides eventually got too busy for just Matt to handle so he started focusing on outfitting and expanding the guide service. Today Rising River Guides runs hundreds of boats a year with the most professional, knowledgeable and passionate guides on the river. We can cater our trips to meet your needs no matter what they are. Whether you have a large group or are a solo fishermen, we can accommodate it. We enjoy teaching kids the joys of a life outside, watching people catch their first fish on a fly rod and helping hone the skills of seasoned anglers.
Most of our trips start off in the boat, whether that be a jet sled or a drift boat. We feel this puts the angler at a greater advantage for putting their flies in front of more fish thus improving the cast to hook up ratio. Occasionally during low water periods you can twist our arms to get out and do some wade fishing. Our primary focus is the trout waters of north Arkansas (The White River, Norfork River and Dry Run Creek) but we also offer trips on the Little Red River, Crooked Creek, Kings Rivers and North Fork of the White.
We provide a top tier experience for our guests. We fish premium gear and equipment out of top shelf boats. We feed our guests a quality homemade shore lunch with good ingredients. We take pride in our craft and pledge to offer you the best experience you can possibly have on and off the water.
Meet the crew below!
Matt was one of the lucky ones who was raised on the water. His family loved to spend their free time exploring the Ozarks. “A family that camps together stays together,” his dad, Joe, would say. Joe was passionate about fly fishing and had Matt proficient with a rod by the time he was in the third grade. After high school Matt headed west to southern Colorado to play in the big mountains and cold rivers. Eventually he landed in a more practical place to start a guiding career: Heber Springs, Arkansas. The Little Red River was like a magnet to him spending every possible minute learning its every rock, seam and pool. Matt went on to spend ten years learning the Little Red, The White, The Norfork and dozens of other creeks, streams, lakes and blue lines in the area. During that time Matt also spent several seasons guiding on the Illiamna Drainage of Bristol Bay. Later Matt would move to Steamboat Springs, Colorado to become partners in an outfitting operation guiding on the Yampa, Colorado, and Roaring Fork, as well as the Flat Tops wilderness. While in Colorado, Matt also was a guide instructor for a state certified guide school, teaching aspiring guides the ropes to becoming safe and professional fly fishing guides. Matt ultimately made his way back to his roots and launched his own guide service right here in Cotter. Matt has a diverse bag of tricks and over a decade and a half of experience as a full time guide. Matt fishes all R.L. Winston Fly Rods and he is honored to be one of 200-ish world wide pro staff members for them. Instagram: @millnermoves, @risingriverguides
Bryant grew up fishing the lakes and wetlands of south Louisiana for largemouth, red fish, and speckled trout. In 2010 Bryant moved to Colorado for the clean mountain air and to explore the expansive waterways of the wild west. After settling in the Rockies, he quickly realized that the fly rod was the weapon of choice. In 2012 he moved to Steamboat Springs and started fishing the Yampa and Elk River and began exploring the lakes and streams of the Flat Tops wilderness. When fellow Rising River Guide Jeremy brought up enrolling in guide school in 2017, Bryant jumped on board and never looked back. Bryant guided for 5 seasons in Colorado’s Yampa Valley and enjoyed fishing the Green River (a little further west) on his days off. He had found his passion.
Towards the end of the summer in 2021 Bryant and his two huskies packed up and moved to Norfork, AR to start his Arkansas fishing guide journey with Rising River Guides and to be closer to his family in south Louisiana. The allure of year-round trout fishing and floating were irresistible! Bryant is an avid fly tier and spends almost every evening at the vise. He is a very patient guide that is always willing to teach and sharpen the skills needed to cast the fly rod and catch fish proficiently. Join Bryant and Rising River Guides for your next fishing trip and a great day on the water!
Jeremy grew up with a fishing rod in his hands. His journey first began on the lakes, ponds, rivers and streams of central Virginia with his father and uncle. Jeremy then fell in love with the art of fly fishing, which later became his passion and reason to wake up in the morning. Jeremy moved to the Rocky Mountains in 2010, and shortly after became a guide for Yampa Valley Anglers. He guided trips on the Yampa, Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers, alongside Matt.
During the winter of 2020 Jeremy and his family relocated to north central Arkansas to escape the harsh winters and enjoy the natural state. Jeremy loves sharing his knowledge and enjoys interacting with people from all over. Whether fishing with a beginner or an experienced angler you are sure to have a great day on the water. Fly fishing is Jeremy’s passion, and he enjoys nothing more than sharing that with you. Jeremy has also been asked by the R.L. Winston Rod company to be a part of the Pro staff team as well. So you will enjoy a boat full of green sticks when you’re fishing with Jeremy as well.
Taylor has been a licensed Arkansas fishing guide since 2011 and lives in Flippin, AR year round. He has a lot of experience on Ozark trout and smallmouth streams including the Little Red, White, Norfork, Buffalo and Spring Rivers in Arkansas and the Eleven Point and North Fork of the White in Missouri. Taylors fun energy and up beat personality make him an absolute blast to spend a day on the water with. Taylors true passion when it comes to fly fishing is fishing with streamers. If Taylor’s not guiding I can almost guarantee you will find him on the river with an 8 wt in his hand launching big bugs on the banks looking for one of the brown trout that have made the White River so famous. Taylor loves teaching folks about this more advanced style of fly fishing but also loves taking kids to dry run creek, drift fishing for numbers as well sneaking down one of our warm water creeks for Arkansas’ Native Sons the smallmouth. Taylors never met a stranger in his life and his passion for the sport oozes out of him. Get in his boat once and I bet you’ll be back for more good times soon.
Matt is a second generation Arkansas fishing guide, following in the steps of his father who guided on this White River watershed for 25 years. Matt moved to Colorado after high school to be a trout bum and hone in his skills, fishing the iconic western rivers such as the Animas. While the scenery out west is unbeatable the fishing does not compare to what the White and Norfork tailwaters have to offer, so he returned home to Arkansas to start a career as a fly fishing guide and raise his family. Matt is passionate and gives his undivided attention to every angler that steps foot in his boat, ensuring that their adventure is awesome as it can be. Matt has a dawn till dusk work ethic and isn’t afraid of launching early, ending late or doing whatever it takes to help you meet your fly fishing goals. Whether you are a first time angler or have years of experience, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.
Matt is a Thomas & Thomas pro staff guide, so be sure to enjoying fishing with one of their finely crafted fly rods while in his boat.
A product of the Ozark Mountains, Al was born and raised in Harrison, Arkansas. He grew up on the banks of Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River. In his teenage years he was passionate about sports and fishing spin tackle for smallmouth bass. After finding his first fly reel in an old house his parents bought, he bought a rod to pair it with and dove into fly fishing. Later Al attended the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville and started a career in sales. He spent most weekends fishing or camping, and eventually worked his way into the guide world. He truly loves this area and showing off its beautiful fisheries. He is most certainly a streamer junkie, but is a kid in a candy store when the bugs start to hatch. Being an avid fly tier, expect to use plenty of Al tied flies when you fish with him!
Captain Dave was one of the fortunate ones who grew up in a fishing family in Northern Minnesota. He has fished all over the world and guided in many corners of it as well. Dave began his guiding career in 2005. He spent many years polling the flats of Southwest Florida and the everglades in search of Snook, Tarpon and redfish. During the Summers he commuted west to Montana to guide on the Missouri River, the Clark Fork, The Madison and the flathead. He also spent a few years guiding in Chile. After seeing Trout habitats all over the world Dave decided that he loved chasing the Ozark trout the best. Dave is versatile with a drift boat, top water jet sled and ready for any water conditions on any river. Whether you after a relaxing drift boat float in low water or want the Jet boat experience, Dave has you covered. Come spend a day casting with Dave and hear some great stories about his adventures fishing and guiding fly fishing trips all over the world.
Rudy grew up in western Pennsylvania and fished at every opportunity from the limestone streams to Lake Erie Tributaries and every golf course pond in between. While completing his college degree at the United States Military Academy, he was an active member of the fly fishing club to escape the rigors of military academy life. Following his successful Active Duty Army career, he decided to follow his passion and start a new career as a fly fishing guide.
He has a passion for building relationships with clients and works tirelessly to ensure that you have the best opportunity to have success on the river. He is a patient teacher and will work with anglers of all ages and experience levels. Join Rudy for a great day on the water which promises to be full of great fishing and fellowship.
Rising River Guides also works with the best of the best independent Arkansas fishing guides. Fly and Spin. We book large multi boat trips, as well as single boat trips. No matter how big or small your group is we can give you a killer experience with one of the best Arkansas fishing guides in the state. Matt has worked alongside many guides for the last 15 + years and can pair you with who he thinks fits your needs.