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strykerdm 02-14-2013 02:53 PM

White River Trip advice
Howdy all, I'm new to fly fishing and still trying to learn things so I had a few questions. The wife and I are going on a trip in march to spend a few nights at Bull Shoals-White River State Park in Arkansas. I was hoping to do some fly fishing. My question is, would I be wasting my time trying to fish by ourselves out there or should we fork out the money and do a guided trip? Found one trip that runs about $400 for an 8 hr day, but I'm curious as too how necessary it is. Do I have any chance at all or catching anything by myself? Any advice would be great. Thanks in advance.

mcnerney 02-14-2013 04:07 PM

Re: White River Trip advice
Personally for me when I go to new water I try to hire a guide if it's in the budget, but that being said $400 is a lot of money for most folks. If you can get inside information (where to fish, what to use, etc) from someone that has actually fished there, then you might be able to catch some fish, but going in blind will make it very difficult. Going with a local guide that fishes that river daily can make for an awesome experience, not only can they help you with your fly fishing skills, they know where to put you so you have a high chance for success.

jcw355 02-14-2013 05:20 PM

Re: White River Trip advice
Since your new, I would get the guide. The time I used a guide I put him with my nephew because he was new. It made his trip, otherwise it would have been a lot tougher plus I wouldnt have got to fish as much. You will be so much more advanced in your flyfishing getting the guide.

littledavid123 02-14-2013 06:00 PM

Re: White River Trip advice
I would suggest booking the guide for a half day trip (save some money) and before giving the deposit, ask if he/she can show you a few good places to fish from shore. If he is not willing, find another guide. I wouldn't expect him to show you his best spots, but it is a big river and plenty of shore fishing opportunities.

Gastons may have guides whom are cheaper, but make sure and ask for a guide who seriously fly fishes, not one of their typical power bait guides. May want to talk to some guides who work the Norfork river (35 minutes down the road) a very cool river to fly fish in fact I am going there tomorrow.


mcnerney 02-14-2013 07:34 PM

Re: White River Trip advice
You might also check with Steve Daly's Fly Shop "The Ozark Flyfisher" on the White River.
Dally's Ozark Fly Fisher

littledavid123 02-14-2013 07:52 PM

Re: White River Trip advice

Originally Posted by mcnerney (Post 526939)
You might also check with Steve Daly's Fly Shop "The Ozark Flyfisher" on the White River.
Dally's Ozark Fly Fisher

Thanks Larry, I couldn't remember the name when posting earlier, I too recommend calling them.


stl_geoff 02-14-2013 08:30 PM

Re: White River Trip advice
A half day would be good, even a full day would be worth while. There are some really nice big browns in the stretch of water right on the back side of the dam. Big streamers are good to have in fly box, sculpins are always needed, there might be some caddis' coming off that time of year.

scott11t 02-15-2013 09:51 AM

Re: White River Trip advice
I really like that area! I went fishing there last weekend. It has been a little crowded there lately so make sure you get out early. My favorite run to fish is the one right behind campsite 9-12 I believe. If your comfortable drifting I have a lot of luck with zebra midges and what I call a creamy beaver. Its a cream colored sow bug tied with red thread. Make sure you use your split shot.

If drifting isn't working try throwing a wooly down stream and stripping it up, letting it sit for a few seconds in between strips.

There is also a great run by the dam. However, this time of year it gets crowded.

There is great fishing all through the park. As a beginner I liked fishing faster kind of covers your mistakes.

I'm actually going there again this coming weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

strykerdm 02-15-2013 11:33 AM

Re: White River Trip advice
Thanks for the advice. The wife and I are still getting together the rest if the supplies for the trip, so I'll just have to see what kind of budget is left afterwards. Maybe enough for at least a half day trip. I also talked to the guys at Dally's and the Blue Ribbon Fly Shop yesterday and both seemed good with similar prices. I'll have to see. A least I also talked to the guys at the fishing shop at bull shoals park and they seemed very friendly and gave me lots of good advice, so hopefully one of them can point me in the right direction when I get there.

In the mean time, I'm trying to learn fly tying so I'll be tying lots of olive wooly buggers for the trip:). I might try to learn some midge patterns or scud patterns too...any other patterns useful on the white river that a novice tyer might be able to learn in a few weeks?

scott11t 02-15-2013 12:02 PM

Re: White River Trip advice
San juan worms are easy to tie and catch a lot of fish. Maybe some egg patterns as well.

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