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Old 02-12-2009, 10:52 AM
fishosopher fishosopher is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Excelsior, MN
Posts: 129
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Default Re: Another White River question: Boats

The White River, as I'm sure you know, is a tailwater. Therefore, you have to be aware that the water level can rise rapidly when the damn releases water. Also, the water currents frequently change the bottom of the White R., meaning that the navigatable paths that a boat must use often change.

Having fished it several times over the years, I would be reluctant to take a boat out on my own. But I would go out with a guide, have him or her orient me, and then take a boat out. Two in the boat so you can push it off a sandbar would be helpful.

I'd describe the boats they use as "john boats." They are flat bottomed, shallow, retangular boats with a smal motor on the back. I dislike fishing from canoes (I never seem to have a partner who knows how to manage the canoe while I fish) and from float tubes. I always thought a "john boat" (I hope that's the right term) would be a useful thing to have.

Just north of the White there is a wonderful river called the Northfork (literally the north fork of the White). It has very good trout and smallmouth fishing. You have to know where the underground springs (cold water) flow into the river, because that's where the trout are. Elsewhere fish for smallies and you'll catch a variey of fish. You'll need a boat, probably a rental canoe...just get out when you see a place you want to fish.

Not far away is the Little Red. There's an excellent article on it in the March 2009 issue of "Fly Fisherman" magazine.

The Arkansas Ozarks are a beautiful part of the country and a special place to fish.
We're all in the same boat. We all come 'ere and we don't know why. We all go in our turn and we don't know where. If you are a bit better off, be thankful. And if you don't get into trouble an' make a fool of yourself, well, be thankful for that,'cos you easily might.--J.B.Priestley
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