I’ve picked up a few White River Fly Rods from Bass Pro, but until recently I didn’t know a whole lot about the fishery of the same name located in Northwest Arkansas.
Turns out the White River is a stellar fly fishing destination that is worth knowing about, which is why we focus our next “From the Guides” piece on Jim Sinclair of the The Beaver Dam Store (beaverdamstore.net, 479-253-6154) – the area’s first full-service fly shop, located within casting distance of the White River in Eureka Springs, Ark.
“We are known for rainbow trout year round and world class brown trout in the fall,” Sinclair said. “This part of the White River has done very well with large numbers of 20-plus inch walleye, too.”
About the White River
The White River spans more than 720 miles through Arkansas and Missouri, originating high in the Boston Mountains (Ozark-St. Francis National Forest) of northwest Arkansas.
From there, the river loops through southwest Missouri and Branson, where the river is dammed by the Powerside Dam to create Lake Taneycomo. The river also goes on to form Table Rock Lake and Bull Shoals Lake before meeting up with the Mississippi River Delta near Batesville, Arkansas.
Lake Taneycomo, Beaver Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, and Table Rock Lake are man-made lakes or reservoirs created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the authority of the Flood Control Act of 1938. In all, a total of eight dams impound the upper White River, with six of those dams coming in Arkansas and two more standing in Missouri.
Notable tributaries of the White River include: Cache River, Bayou des Arc, Little Red River, Black River, North Fork River, Buffalo River, James River and Roaring River. Additional cities that offer decent fishing access to the White River are Newport, Arkansas; Augusta, Arkansas; Calico Rock, Arkansas; Batesville, Arkansas; Branson, Missouri; and Hollister, Missouri.
White River Fly Fishing Gear
In terms of gear for fly fishing the White River, Sinclair says his all-around favorite rod for the fishery is a 8-foot-6, 3 weight.
But if you don’t go with a 3 weight, Sinclair says you can go all the way up to a 6 weight on this system.
White River Fly Fishing Tips
Sinclair also likes to go with a light line, to make sure nothing gets in the way of his fly and the sometimes finicky trout of the White River.
“The lighter line you use, the more bites you get,” he said. “Flourocarbon tippett is best.”
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