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. It continuously produces 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 incredible and breathtaking. Bald eagles, hawks, and ospreys glide by at eye level, almost close enough to touch. 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 by itself on the White River. But the White River by itself is reason enough for why people come from all over the country to be there. The White River is a year-round fishery with four species of trout. The fish count per mile is incredible, bordering on unbelievable. But the huge brown trout is what really brings fisherman to the White River. An overwhelming number of guests say that catch their personal best brown trout during their stay at the lodge. Fly fishing just doesn’t get any better, and the beautiful Ozark scenery is another reason to visit.
Food and Beverages
Equally important as the fishing and the scenery is the experience at the lodge. This is an all-inclusive experience, including home-cooked meals from scratch. Five-star quality cooking is the standard at The White River Inn. 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 that are set among the Ozarks. Cotter and Gassville offer breweries, antiquing, shopping, as well as art and photo galleries with 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 as well.
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/
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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 that flows for over 100 miles. The White River produces enough food, from scuds to sculpins, that allows 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 you want to focus on. 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 hatches of an orange-colored mayfly called sulphurs that offer superb dry fly fishing. And don’t forget about the hopper fishing throughout the summer months as well. While fishing while floating is the most popular, 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
2021 Pricing (based on double occupancy)
3 nights / 2 days = $1,950.00 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $2,600.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $3,250.00 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $3,900.00 per person
– Baxter County Airport transportation (charter flights only)
– Guided fishing
– All meals (cooler lunches, waters, sodas, etc on guide trips)
– House beer and wine at the lodge
– Rods/reels, flies, terminal tackle provided by the guide
– River shuttle fees (if applicable)
– Transportation to/from the lodge (rent a car)
– Fishing licenses
– Spirits (BYO)
– Wader/boots (BYO)
– Gratuities fishing guides
– Gratuities for lodge staff
– Lodging taxes (will include upon invoicing)
Terms & Conditions
The 50% deposit is non-refundable. For cancellations inside of 30 days, the full trip payment will be forfeited, and no refund or credit will be issued.