View Full Version : White River Arkansas

09-16-2008, 08:26 AM
Anyone ever fished there? I noticed it's only 5 hours or so from Nashville and I'm thinking about going. If anyone has any info on a remote location that has public access, I would appreciate it. Also, fly shop info etc.



09-16-2008, 08:30 PM
I wondered why the fly fishing section of BPS had "White River" on everything, so I went home and Googled it. I don't think I saw one bad comment about that river, so I say go for it. Google is your friend, but I'd also look for personal comments, too.

09-16-2008, 09:18 PM
Headed there in November, be my first time in the area

09-16-2008, 09:55 PM
Hardly any remote locations on the river, but Wildcat Shoals may be an area that you won't see a lot of people at. Also, the area below the bridges at Cotter. Mountain River fly shop will be your stop there in Cotter, or Blue Ribbon flies in Mtn. Home.

Good luck,


09-16-2008, 10:02 PM
Visit the Norfork River while you are there. If you are looking for a guide you can do no better than John Gulley ( http://www.flyguide.com ), Orvis Guide of the Year (1998?), one of the best competition casts in the world, etc.

09-17-2008, 09:41 PM
Been there several times. If you're wading there is a place about halfway down the Norfolk, I forget the name, but the guy charges $3.00 to park and you can walk up to several good spots from there. The White is harder to wade, with only a couple good access points. Blue Ribbon shop will definitely be helpful. Do a search on this site. I think I posted from a couple trips. Definitely some big fish in the White. Here are a couple sites to get you pumped.

Good luck,



09-17-2008, 09:57 PM
It's McClellan's. The map and a few other good ones are available at,


Half the fun is the prep. Have a good one.


09-17-2008, 10:19 PM
Wow guys...THanks for all of the info! I will look into it. I heard that the White is best in the Summer while the water is down. I guess I should call some outfitters and ask a few questions.

09-17-2008, 10:22 PM
I wondered why the fly fishing section of BPS had "White River" on everything, so I went home and Googled it. I don't think I saw one bad comment about that river, so I say go for it. Google is your friend, but I'd also look for personal comments, too.

Yeah, White River makes some good rods and reels. I think they are an offshoot of Orvis. They make some cheap stuff too though, so always check with your trusty outfitter to compare rigs.;)

09-17-2008, 10:31 PM
Regarding McLellan's--they closed their access on Jan 1 08. There are now only 3 places to access the Norfork --at the dam/state park, at an access referred to as the Handicapped Access, and at the confluence with the White. Too bad, as McLellan's was awesome. However, you can still get there in a boat and then get out to wade if water is down. Remember though that the water comes up extremely quickly on the Norfork when they start generating and it can be very dangerous when wading.

Speaking of water--both rivers had major flooding in March and April, and the lakes are still way above their power pools levels, so generation has generally been extremely heavy all summer. Recently it has abated somewhat, but will probably go back up as soon as water levels drop downstream in the Newport AR area.

The White is a wonderful river with 50+ miles of great trout water and lots of access. A couple of other great guides are John Wilson, Davy Wotton, and Mark Poulous. Winter fishing is some of the best there is. Two great stores to get info from --Blue Ribbon Flies and Mountain River Fly Shop. Good luck!

09-18-2008, 12:14 AM
THanks MKCTN...I am looking forward to making the trip.

09-18-2008, 04:22 PM
If you make it there in 5 hours from Nashville, you drive faster than me! :eek:


09-18-2008, 05:29 PM
5-7 whatever...:biggrin:

fly fisherman DK
09-18-2008, 06:14 PM
Below the bridges at Cotter is a great place to fly fish, but if you are going to fly fish the White a boat would be the better option. The Norfork is a great place to fly fish and has great wading access at the dam where Dry Run Creek runs into it. It's a shame you can't fish the main stem of Dry Run Creek since it is 16 and under. Dry Run Creek is catch and release only so it is filled with absolute monsters!:eek: A few years ago I caught one in there that my dad and I estimated to be 15 pounds. Anyway, another great place to wade on the Norfork is the handicap access. There is a lot of good looking water their. I would preferrably fish the handicap access over the access at the dam because the area at the dam gets hammered with fishermen. I hope you have a great trip while you're their, and try to catch one of the monster White River browns.:biggrin:

fly fisherman DK

10-25-2008, 12:29 AM
I hear the dissolved Oxygen levels are low, effecting the fish and currently preventing any stocking. Anyone know how long this will last? Planning a trip in Mid- November

10-25-2008, 09:51 PM
Won't be taking a boat or hiring a guide. I will just have to do my best by gleaning info off the internet.

10-26-2008, 12:11 AM
As you have probably figured out ; low water will probably determine which river you fish. This time of year the White is usually high and at 8 generators will make the Clinch on high flow look like a kiddey pool. On the flip side my friends say the White River shad kill is fishing the best they have seen in 6 years.

Your best bet for low water this time of year is the Little Red, and then followed by the Norfork.
1-870-431-5311 will give you the current flow on the White and the Norfork
1-501-362-5150 will give you Greer's ferry Dam which controls the flow of the Little Red.
Neither of these will predict future flows they simply tell current conditions and when the generation began or ended. This will give you and idea of how far down stream you need to go to still find low water. Thus we have the art of "chasing low water."

This being said If I could fish only one river and had my choice. it would be the Norfork hands down. When the Norfork is on low water you can wade the entire length of the river from the dam all the way down to where it enters the White River.
There are a lot of insect hatches, and other food sources in the river. You can also catch Brook , Cutthroats, Browns, Rainbows, and Cutt-Bows there. Not to mention that excluding the current world record the past 4 world record Browns came out of the Norfork .

Have on hand lots of size #16 and #18 Ozark Scuds and Sow bugs, and also like to use Olive Micro-Boogers, and Black Zebra midges in #18's and #20's all under a strike indicators. If you do not to use strike indicators life on the Ozark tailwaters is going to be very hard on you.:frown:

Jim Liscomb at Two Rivers fly shop is the guru of the Norfork and the best guide on both the Fork and the White. 1-870-499-3060

Dale Fulton at Blue Ribbon Flies is also a wealth of information. 1-870-425-0447 Dale sales a handbook by the North Arkansas Fly fishing Club that WILL be the best $6.99 you ever spent in relation to the Ozark tailwaters. It will tell you how to get to public accesses not on most maps, and give you estimated high water flow times from the dam to each access. which gives you a leg up on "Chasing Low Water".

I have heard that Dale has sold the shop, but the new owners are first rate folks.

The Pine Lodge is a cheap place to stay. it is modest , but clean. 1-800-440-4195 Or you can camp at Bull Shoals State Park.

Dancing Bear
10-26-2008, 08:02 AM
Bull shoals reservoir is still 22' above power pool. They are having heavy generation around the clock to bring it down. They estimate the middle of December before it is down to power pool. This has been going on since April- May. They are also experiencing lake turn over right now causing low dissolved oxygen. The reports are slow fishing until the water clears up. Check out Ozarkanglers.com. A guide named John Berry writes a weekly report on the White and Norfork. He gives a lot of good info. Hope this helps.

10-26-2008, 11:35 AM
Thanks for the info, guys. I will check it out.


10-28-2008, 06:43 PM
Yes, thanks for all the information.

11-15-2008, 11:19 PM
Just got back from 3 days in Arkansas

White River- running 8 generators, water high, NO wading opportunities. Fishing was good from a boat. Fishing deep ( 10 ft ) on a pink San Juan Worm.

Norfolk River- The Corps has turned off all generators and is doing an oxygen injection into the water just below Dry Run creek. Fishing is good to excellent in this tailwater with the big ticket being zebra midges. Word is they are going to keep the water down on the Norfolk for several more days.