The Bull Shoals Lake and the White River tailwaters allow some of the best fly-fishing opportunities.

To overcome the challenges of trout fishing in the cool waters of the White River, here are some proven White River fishing strategies for both new and experienced trout fishing lovers.

The water

You need to learn to adapt to the ever-varying water levels. The water level keeps changing depending on the water being released through the Bull Shoals Dam.

The water temperature is consistently around 50° and is ideal for trout to thrive. However, extremely hot or cold temperatures may impact trout. Be ready to adapt your approach as well as the tackle you choose.

The fish

For the best fishing experiences, it is important to understand the water and its inhabitants. Fish are particularly drawn to specific areas along any stream or river where food, shelter, and oxygen are abundant.

For example, the trout remain behind bank edges, rocks, and logs for food to drift by. They also rest and feed in eddies or places where the water slows down and changes direction. White River levels can change frequently, creating longer runs, wider bank edges, deeper pools, faster eddies, and stronger ripples as the water rises and falls.

Setting Up and Rigging

You can catch trout with spin fishing and fly fishing. Both approaches are different in setup, technique and strategy.

For a trout setup, a spinning or spin-cast reel with an ultra-light or light action rod and 4-6 lb. test line is good. Use low visibility fishing line, adjusted for the seasons.

The two commonly used bait fishing techniques are the slip sinker rig and the three-way rig.

Best Practices

Trout are delicate fish. Avoid touching trout with your hands. To hold the fish, wet your hands and use soft, wet netting material. Remove the fish from the water only for unhooking and taking a picture. When releasing the fish, gently hold it in the water first and then let it swim away.

Follow the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Guidebook to abide by the rules and regulations.