White River Fly Fishing

The White River, located in Cotter, Arkansas, is a premier destination for fly fishing enthusiasts. The river is known for its high population of rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. The White River is also home to the state record cutthroat trout, a fish that weighed 10lbs 2 ounces and was caught in 2018. The White has 80 miles of declared trout water and is home to some of the largest brown trout in the country, thousands of beautiful Rainbows every mile and some awesome Cutthroats.

The water below Bull Shoals Dam is cold and clear even during generation. The dam has 8 generators which are run for flood control and power demand. A minimum flow is used when the generators are not running to keep the water cold and oxygenated. 

Don’t be intimidated by the higher water levels. It pushes predator fish into easier to access places allowing for great hopper and streamer fishing. When the water is low it makes for a super fun drift down the river with a little more of a relaxed feel.

Best times to
fish the white river

Fly fishing the White River can happen year round due to the temperate climate. Bull Shoals Dam feeds the White River and keeps the river in perfect condition for insects and fish alike, which makes for excellent trout fishing! The best times to go fly fishing on the White River are generally from early spring to late fall. During the Spring, the caddis and mayfly hatches are in full swing, providing an abundance of food for the trout that inhabit the river. 

The warmer temperatures of the spring months also make the river more inviting for anglers, as the water is more comfortable to wade in. But, the fly options aren’t limited to dries here year round.

Nymphing and streamer fishing are great options that have produced many large browns and rainbow trout. 

Because of the variety of insects here, and the water conditions, it lends itself to be the perfect habitat for trout. This place is home to brook, browns, rainbows and cutthroat. Depending on the places you’re fishing, you might find yourself pulling in a “grand-slam” and catching all of these amazing fish. 

If you’re new to fly fishing or just want to experience the best White River fly fishing trip, we would love to be your guide on this amazing fishery. Whether you’re going after size or number, we can help anyone.  Regardless of knowledge or experience, we promise you’ll have a fun and effective day on the water here.

Click the button below book your trip today or contact us with any questions!

Norfork River Arkansas

Essential information for our
white river fly fishing trips

What to expect on our
white river fly fishing trips

Our White River fly fishing trips are set up with the angler in mind! One of our biggest goals is to turn every client into a friend when they leave. After all, fishing is better with friends! 

From the moment you contact us to book a trip until the moment you leave, your fly fishing excursion on the White River is tailored to your abilities and desires. No matter if you’re a beginner or experienced angler, the White will be an unforgettable experience for you. 

Whether you want to go for trophy trout on streamers, or you just want to catch as many fish as possible, our guides are sure to help you with whatever your desire is! We also love working with new anglers and teaching as well! Our trips are geared for everyone to be able to catch fish and enjoy this great sport. 


white river fly fishing
Hatch patterns

The White River is one of the most popular fly fishing destinations in the United States, attracting people from all over the world. The river is home to a diverse population of fish species, including rainbow, cutthroat, brook and brown trout, as well as a wide variety of insects that serve as food for these fish. Outside of the trout, the White is home to walleye, catfish, bass and sunfish as well. Because different insects hatch at different times of the year, you’ll need to carefully select your flies to match the natural food sources available to the fish at any given time. 

Our hatch chart provides valuable information about the timing of these insect hatches, and which flies are best suited to imitate these insects. By using our hatch chart to narrow down your fly choice, you can greatly increase your chances of success on the river. A well-chosen fly can make all the difference between a day of casting with no bites and a day of reeling in fish after fish.

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