Fishing the Famous White River
Located in Cotter, Arkansas the White River Inn offers all-inclusive, luxury accommodations on the banks of one of the South’s premier blue ribbon trout rivers. The lodge welcomes anglers from all over the world to experience trophy trout fishing on the White River in a laid-back atmosphere. Arkansas’ White River is fabled in many fly fishing circles, continuously producing some of America’s largest brown trout on the fly in a fishery that is accessible year-round.
The 8500-square-foot western red cedar lodge stands firmly on the edge of a 300-foot bluff high above the White River. Guests describe the views from the back deck as breathtaking. Bald eagles, hawks, and ospreys glide by at eye level, almost close enough to touch, while a multitude of hummingbirds and songbirds gather at the deck’s feeders daily — The deck is a birdwatcher’s paradise! By design, the beautiful décor and amenities put the White River Inn in a class of its own. But the White River itself is reason enough to travel here. The fish count per mile is incredible, bordering on unbelievable, with four species of trout available. But the huge brown trout is what really brings fishermen to the White River with an overwhelming number of guests catching their personal best brown trout during their stay. Fly fishing just doesn’t get any better, and the beautiful Ozark scenery is in a league of its own.
Food and Beverages
Equally important as the fishing and the scenery is the experience at the lodge. This is an all-inclusive experience, including five-star, home-cooked meals from scratch each day. Anglers will enjoy a fully prepared hot breakfast and dinner, with lunch being served on the water. When anglers return to the lodge after a day of fishing, appetizers, snacks, drinks, and a fabulous dinner will be served by the hosts or an independent chef. Depending on the season, lunches will either be hot or cold. Beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages are provided as well. The White River Inn can accommodate any dietary restrictions and preferences by making arrangements beforehand. They strive for their guests to remember the dining experience as much as the fishing.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Besides the relaxing accommodations at the White River Inn, Cotter offers numerous area hikes, scenic drives, biking trails, and parks. Nearby are three golf courses set among the Ozarks. Cotter and Gassville offer breweries, antiquing, shopping, art and photo galleries, and great local food options that are close by. The lodge is within driving to Branson and Springfield, Missouri, and everything those areas have to offer.
Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi access is available in the lodge, and they do have ample cell service throughout the property.
How to Get There
The closest major airport for guests to fly into and out of is the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) located Springfield, Missouri which is about 2 hours from the lodge. Some flights are available into and out of the Boone County Regional Airport (HRO) which is about 1 hour west of the lodge. Guests can then rent a car, or the lodge can arrange for a shuttle service to transport you to/from the airport.
Arkansas fishing licenses should be bought before arrival at the lodge. Fishing licenses come in a 3-day, 7-day, or season. Anglers also need to purchase the required “Trout Permit.” They are easily purchased online before the trip by going to https://www.agfc.com/en/resources/licensing/
Yellow Dog provides airline reservations ad ticketing assistance through etcTravel Group, and a full-service airline logistics agent that can help book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, and more. You can click here to request a quote or contact Yellow Dog for more information at 406-585-8667. etcTravel Group offers dedicated support services for all Yellow Dog clients. Service fees may apply when booking or researching tickets, and etcTravel will discuss this with you before sending quotes.
The White River is perhaps one of the world’s most famous brown trout fisheries. The fishery begins below Bull Shoals Dam, which provides cool and oxygenated water for over 100 miles. The White River produces ample food, from scuds to sculpins, allowing trout to grow to trophy-size. The river features long runs, large pools, and numerous riffles that provide exceptional fly fishing opportunities.
While nymphing is the most popular fly fishing method to pick up fish throughout the day, streamer fishing has become increasingly popular. The White River hosts exceptional populations of crawfish, minnows, and sculpins. If you’re looking to catch a double-digit pound trout, then this is the method and the river for you. World-record brown trout swim beneath Bull Shoals Dam and can be caught year-round. While the river has some behemoth-sized brown trout, there’s also a healthy number of fish in the 18-24 inch range.
From March through October, numerous hatches of caddis and mayflies can challenge and keep the dry fly anglers busy. Hatches of caddis begin in March and occur through May. In the summer, the White River experiences a superb sulphur hatch for dry fly enthusiasts in addition to an abundance of terrestrial options! While floating is the most popular approach, there are numerous sections of the river where wading is possible, even during high water. The nearby Norfork River is also a great addition to a multi-day itinerary.
Boats and Equipment
Most guides operate custom-made jetboats. The boats are spacious and provide ample casting room and seating. Guides will provide everything needed to fish – rods, reels, flies, tippet, leaders, etc.
Rates and Terms
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge.
2023 Pricing (based on double occupancy)
3 nights / 2 days = $2,175.00 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $2,900.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $3,625.00 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $4,350.00 per person
- Baxter County Airport (KBPK) transportation (charter flights only)
- Guided fishing
- All meals at the lodge
- All non-alcoholic beverages, house beer, and wine at the lodge
- Rods/reels, flies, and terminal tackle provided by the guide
- River shuttle fees (if applicable)
What’s Not Included:
- Transportation to/from the lodge (rent a car)
- Fishing licenses
- Spirits (BYO)
- Wader/boots (BYO)
- Gratuities for guides and lodge staff
- Lodging taxes (will include upon invoicing)
Terms & Conditions
A deposit of 50% is due at the time of booking for all trip packages and reservations, and final payment if due 90 days prior to arrival. All trip cancellations must be received in writing, and sent to Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, LLC. In case of a cancellation, the deposit is fully refundable less a $200 per person processing fee if the cancellation is made prior to 90 days of arrival. For cancellations within 90 days of arrival, 50% of the deposit will be credited to a future lodge trip to be taken within one year of the cancellation, and the remaining deposit is non-refundable. If a cancellation must be made within 30 days of arrival, 25% of the package price will be credited to a future lodge trip to be taken within one year of the cancellation. In the case of cancellation by the client, both deposit and final payment may be transferred to another guest or angler for those same (original) dates if facilitated and arranged by the client. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these packages. Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance.