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#12766750 - 05/23/18 02:19 PM White River
twstephens77 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/08/14
Posts: 210
Loc: College Station, TX
My brother and dad will be taking our first trip to the White in a couple weeks, and we are all targeting larger fish rather than going for numbers. I will be fly fishing and they will be using conventional gear. Anyone have any tips they're willing to share? Thanks in advance and tight lines!
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#12766766 - 05/23/18 02:40 PM Re: White River [Re: twstephens77]
COFF Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 12297
Loc: Carrollton
Where are you going to be staying? There are some monster browns and big rainbows for the first couple of miles below the Bull Shoals dam. The further down you go, the numbers will go up and the size will go down. Past Cotter and you may not see a fish over 12".

It is a deep and fast river, so wading is difficult. Boats are pretty much a must, and a guide is highly recommended. Ron Yarborough is maybe the best guide I've ever fished with anywhere.

Hoppers early in the morning over the grass beds. Big articulated streamers on a 8-10 wt full sink are good for big fish. You won't catch many, but hang on for the ones that you do. When it gets hot you may have a shad kill, and that supposedly is the best time to fish.

Take note of the catch and release zone under the dam, and the signs on either side of the river that mark the no fishing zone (it's maybe 50 yards under the dam). Game Wardens are pretty serious about it.
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#12766775 - 05/23/18 02:51 PM Re: White River [Re: twstephens77]
twstephens77 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/08/14
Posts: 210
Loc: College Station, TX
We are staying down below the Norfork confluence. We were planning to just wade/fish from the bank, but we may rent a canoe or something. Kind of on a tight budget so we'll see. Are the chances of catching a big one really that bad down from Cotter? What about right after the Norfork confluence? Also my fly rod is a 6wt, so is that going to be enough?
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"You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first."
- C.S. Lewis

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#12766802 - 05/23/18 03:17 PM Re: White River [Re: twstephens77]
COFF Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 12297
Loc: Carrollton
That's actually further down than I have ever fished. I've got family in Mountain Home, so its always been up by Bull Shoals for me. I've always heard the Norfork is pretty good fishing too, so maybe it picks up again there at the confluence.

If you want a quick sightseeing opportunity, drive up to Salesville and go to the trout hatchery. Dry Run Creek goes right by there and it is truly amazing. It is a catch and release only area for disabled people or kids under 16. Walk a hundred yards along the bank and you can literally see 500 or more trout that are 30+ inches. Seems like you couldn't get your foot wet without stepping on one in some spots.
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#12766809 - 05/23/18 03:23 PM Re: White River [Re: twstephens77]
twstephens77 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/08/14
Posts: 210
Loc: College Station, TX
Good to know! We'll have to stop by there and see that. I've only trout fished New Mexico so I've never even seen ONE trout over 30"...
_________________________
"You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first."
- C.S. Lewis

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#12767140 - 05/23/18 07:48 PM Re: White River [Re: twstephens77]
DLALLDER Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/23/02
Posts: 1690
Loc: pittsburg,tx
Have you thought about the Little Red at Heber Springs. Wadeable and some very good browns & rainbows in it.

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#12767238 - 05/23/18 08:50 PM Re: White River [Re: twstephens77]
twstephens77 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/08/14
Posts: 210
Loc: College Station, TX
I considered it, we may head over there one day. Is it more wadable overall or just in that one spot?
_________________________
"You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first."
- C.S. Lewis

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#12767980 - 05/24/18 11:08 AM Re: White River [Re: twstephens77]
ArlingtonTroy Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/23/11
Posts: 29
Two Rivers Fly Shop is right at the confluence of both rivers. My buddies and I have rented canoes from them in the past and floated down the Norfork. They will rent them to you for $75.00 (if I remember correctly) for the whole day and that includes shuttle to the dam and pickup.

Once you get a 1/4 mile from the dam (first big curve to the left) you will be fishing by yourselves and will rarely see any other people. There are several REALLY nice spots and runs starting in this area that hold nice size fish. You can pull the canoe up to a shoal and hop out to wade fish. We have caught several over 20" and even caught a few cutts as well. A little further down the river there is a small waterfall in the shape of a horseshoe that holds large browns and rainbows. I had one on here that I estimate was 25" or bigger a couple years ago that broke off as I was trying to net it. I recommend this canoe trip highly, we do it every time we are in the area because the fishing is so amazing. Gray scuds and black/red midge patterns have always worked best for us.

On a side note, make sure if you beach your canoe on a shoal or whatever that you tie it off to something stable or even put it a little
higher up on dry land than you would expect. If they start releasing water, it rises fairly quickly and the canoe will try to leave you stranded (I know from experience, luckily we caught up to it).

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#12768247 - 05/24/18 02:02 PM Re: White River [Re: twstephens77]
twstephens77 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/08/14
Posts: 210
Loc: College Station, TX
Awesome advice, thank you sir! I was looking at fishing the Norfork one day, and that likely just solidified it!
_________________________
"You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first."
- C.S. Lewis

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#12768645 - 05/24/18 07:15 PM Re: White River [Re: twstephens77]
JCG57 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/08/02
Posts: 1482
Loc: DFW
There is a park immediately below the dam on the Norfork that has very good wade fishing access to the river. At least 400+ yards of accessible shoreline and plenty of parking close to the water.

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#12770383 - 05/26/18 11:33 AM Re: White River [Re: twstephens77]
Robert Hunter Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 3916
The lower access on Mordor very wadable as well! Sow bugs and scuds in Uv color or with purple as well as purple pheasant tails and rainbow warrior have done well. You will have a shot at a grand slam as well as an opportunity to catch a Bonneville cutthroat. Hope y’all do well
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