AR HeadHunters

Guided Fly Fishing on the White and Norfork Rivers

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Brad Smith

Call or Text: 479-283-8490


Guided Fly Fishing Trip-What to Expect

If you’ve never taken a trip with a fly fishing guide you might not know what to expect.  Where will we fish?  How will we fish?  Will the water be low or high?  The fun part is the guide doesn’t always know either.  The White River Tailwater system is a complex grouping of several agencies working together to maintain power and flood control over a large geographical area.  While “forecasts” are available through SWPA they aren’t always adhered to. 


Due to travel, most trips are going to be booked in advance leaving you to fish the available water at the time of your trip.  The advantage to booking a guide trip on the White River is the length of the system allows opportunities to follow prime water downstream for the style of fishing a client would like to hone in on.  We constantly monitor water flows and understand the dynamics of fishing a tailwater fishery.    


 Sometimes the water just isn’t available to fish the way a client would like, big articulated streamer fishing being the most affected.  That doesn’t mean the day should be a bust.  Lower flows means opportunities at sight fishing to large fish, potential for dry fly fishing and in general just makes the river a prettier place to enjoy.  The ability to adapt to given water situations is the main reason to hire a fly fishing guide to learn the nuances of the river. 


Angler ability also plays a major role in how a day will be fished.  Everybody wants to come throw big streamers until they actually have that eight weight rod in hand with a sink tip line throwing a six inch plus fly.  Honesty about your casing ability will really make your day more rewarding.  If you’re interested in a streamer or hopper trip make sure you put in the practice to make sure you’re prepared to maximize your day on the water.  A morning of indicator fishing followed with an afternoon of hopper or streamer fishing is a great approach to maximizing your time on the water.   


Nymph fishing is the mainstay of the White River Tailwaters and is a skill that anybody can pick up with a few quick pointers.  If you want a great introduction to fly fishing that anybody can do this is the way to get started.  No real casting skills are required so your guide can have you on fish from the start of the day.  In the summer especially, flows begin to increase with the heat of the day opening up opportunities at hopper or streamer fishing as your casting improves through the day if that is something that interests you.  Otherwise we just increase the tippet length, add a little more weight and fish on.  A two day trip is a great way to get introduced to fly fishing as you have time overnight to think about the skills you picked up during the day with still another day to employ them.


Taking a guided fly fishing trip is a great way to cut the learning curve whether you’re taking your first trip or ready tackle a new skill set.  There’s no better place to cut your teeth than the cool waters of the White River.  We have dates available in July and August.


AR HeadHunters

Brad Smith    

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