White River Fishing Report

Recognized as one of the most renowned trout rivers in the country, this 722 mile  river flows northward from Arkansas into Missouri. It starts in the Arkansas Boston Mountains that tower above the Ozark- St. Francis National Forest near Fayetteville. A tributary of the Mississippi, it is the source of several tributaries including the North Fork River, Little Red River, Black River, James River and the Bayou des Arc, and drains over 27,765 square miles of river basin.

Thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers, there are several dams and reservoirs affecting its character and flow. The river is most famous for the 30 mile tailwater  below the man-made, Bull Shoals Lake, although fishing throughout the upper river and Lake Taneycomo are also excellent. What makes the portion below Bull Shoals special is the cold water discharge from the dam, providing ideal trout habitat.

Wild browns are abundant and are supplemented by the State with rainbows, cutthroats, and brook. Fish are usually in the 12 to 16 inch range, although much larger fish are easily found. Some well traveled anglers argue that typical browns here out measure the largest browns found elsewhere. Many Arkansas state trout records have been broken here. Imagine reeling in a 19 pound rainbow or a 30+ pound brown. It’s possible on this section of the White.

Access to the river is excellent. Anglers can fish these waters from the banks or by wading or floating. Since water levels vary according to electric power demands, the river can suddenly become high and swift so a bit of caution is advised. One great feature is that it can be fished during the winter months when other streams may be closed.

Before wading, check the number of turbines running at the power station since it affects conditions on the water.
Additional Information
Boston Mountains
Desha County, Arkansas
722 miles
Seasonal Conditions
SpringPale evening duns, spotted sedges, light cahill, terrestrials, midges, crawfish, scuds, sculpins, minnows and sowbugs, march brown and sulphur, cinnamon sedges
SummerWhite drake, terrestrials, midges, crawfish, scuds, sculpins, minnows and sowbugs
FallBlue winged olives, terrestrials, midges, crawfish, scuds, sculpins, minnows and sowbugs
WinterBlue winged olives, midges
Latest Guide Fishing Reports
Guide Reports
Due to wild-run rivers flooding over, the White River’s catchment dams are on the rise which means we should be prepared for higher discharges. Overall, things have been steady around ... more3000 cfs, but we could see higher levels with the lake continuing to rise above power pool. This may not be the best news for wade fishermen, but it’s good for float trips.

The caddis hatch is strong this season. Right before the last rain we had success with dries such as Elk Hair Caddis and CDC Caddis. We can expect continued success as long as the caddis hatch continues.
Fishing Water Report:
Thursday, 27 Apr, 2017
Fish Caught:
4-8 fish
Flows are steady at about one unit most of the day and sometimes higher at night. As long as you’re on stable water that is not rising or falling, the green algae stays mostly confined ... moreto the bottom, and allows for fairly clean drifts. Indicator fishing with various caddis pupae and midges is very productive, and dry fly opportunities are there if the wind doesn’t whip up too strong. A huge variety of flies will work when trout are feeding as heavily as they are now, but for starters, look to Prince Nymphs, Tailwater Soft Hackles in Caddis Green, Sunday Specials, Ruby midges, Super midges, E/C Caddis, Lawson Caddis, Hi-Tie Caddis, and small Olive Wooly Buggers.
Fishing Water Report:
Thursday, 28 Apr, 2016
Current Forecast
Water Flow
River Water Temperature
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Fishing Quality
Water quality