Float or wade the North Fork River

/ Boat
1 - 2 anglers
4 hours - 8 hours
Chris J
The North Fork River is much smaller than the White River. It averages 35 -50 yards across and at low water 80% of the river can be waded. The North Fork tends to have low water levels more often than the White River so it is popular with fly fishermen, who enjoy wading. Within this Arkansas river’s catch & release areas, the fishing is technically demanding, often requiring anglers to fish tiny flies on light tippets. 3 wt to 4 wt 9’ rods are the right stick to use.

With the low, clear flows the fish can be spooky of poorly executed casts and drifts that aren’t natural. Scuds and sowbugs are found in the North Fork Riverand represent the largest portion of its year round food base. Midge hatches are present nearly all year long. The river also has hatches of Blue Wing Olives,White Sulphurs, Crane flies, and Caddis. In the late summer, terrestrial patterns such as beetles and ants work well. There is very little open pasture next ot the North Fork and grasshopper patterns are not a major thing. Your guide is there to match your skills to a technique that will produce fish on that day. 

Full Day trips include a fresh custom made deli sandwich, the world's greatest brownie, chips and soft drink of your choice (requires 48 hour advance notice). Cold bottled water and soft drinks (of your choice, if provided) will be on board.  You are welcome to bring your favorite adult beverage for moderate comsumption. Smoking on board is not a problem.
What is Included:
Drinks & Snacks
Rod & Reel
1 - 2
Daily8 hours
1 - 2
Daily4 hours
Fishing Waters
Within Arkansas, the tailwaters of the North Fork River begins flowing from the Lake Norfork Dam and continues for 4.9 miles before entering the White River. It is famous for it's ... moregreat fly fishing.
Near the heart of the Ozark National Forest, Cotter is the self-proclaimed Trout Capital USA, a distinction it deserves. Set on a bend in the White River and considered by many to ... morebe among the finest trout fisheries in the country, it is a small town as steeped in history as it is in fish. Surrounded by natural beauty, a thirty minute drive from Cotter will get you to the Norfolk River, short hand for the North Fork of the White, which is also ranked as one of the best trophy trout rivers in the lower 48. Within 2 hours it’s possible to reach the famous, blue-ribbon Little Red River, a 100 mile long tributary of the White.

Initially settled by Native Americans, the early 1800’s nearby discovery of gold and other minerals put the Cherokee in conflict with ambitious entrepreneurs. Andrew Jackson’s 1835 Treaty of Echota forcibly moved tribal members west of the Mississippi via the now infamous Trail of Tears. By the late 1890’s, Cotter had become the central distribution point for sending mining products by steamboat to other cities in the region and by 1905, it’s permanent population had reached 600.

Ironically, its current population of about 1000 is not much greater, but the City’s focus is quite different. Today Cotter is known for its scenic location on the high bluffs of the White River and its commitment to sportsmen and tourists. No other area in the country can come close to Cotter’s record setting trout catches or champion fly fishing status. The town’s proximity to wilderness and the state’s highest mountain, Mt. Magazine, make it a natural draw for outdoor enthusiasts.

If you are traveling with family members or friends who do not share your desire to fish, there are many other things to do. These include:

The 165 mile long Highlands Trail as well as Pedestal Rock and Alum Bridge Cove Natural Bridge Trail

Kayakers and canoeists can enjoy the upper Buffalo River, designated a National Scenic River and National Wild River

Mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, and camping, as well as other outdoor sports, are widely available.

Folk music at festivals in Mountain View Ark.; Country music in Branson, Mo.

There are many ways to reach Cotter, including:

Fly into Little Rock’s Clinton National Airport and drive approx. 3 hours.

Fly into Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (Fayetteville) and drive 2 ½ hours

Fly into Jonesboro Municipal Airport and drive approx. 2 ½ hours

Fly into the Branson, Missouri Airport and drive approx. 1 ½ hours

Fly into Memphis, Tennessee International Airport and drive approx. 4 hours
I love guiding. For me, helping someone catch a fish is really fun. I love the rivers I guide on, the fish in them, and the Ozark Mountains they pass through. Everyday, it is my goal ... moreto make your day on the river, the absolute best it can be.

The only thing that separates most fly fishing guides on the White River is patience, passion, and attitude. Most all know where to find the fish. Most know how to change techniques with the constantly varying tailwwater conditions. All guides deal with that stuff everyday. The good guides want you to truly have an enjoyable experience and will make every effort to do that. The others will give you a "copy of the day before" and figure that is good enough. Whether you choose to book with myself or another outfitter, my wish is for you to have a great day on the river.

Most trips are conducted in a motorized 20 foot White River style boat. It is spacious, stable and made just for the local waters. While drifting, I control the boat with oars, just like a drift boat. I still enjoy wading and if you wish to and river conditions allow it, that's how we will fish. 

Our local waters primarily hold 10" - 15" Rainbows. Rainbows 18" - 20" are caught on about 20% of the trips. The White River and North Fork Rivers hold trophy Brown Trout. While requiring a higher skill level, these fish can be caught while drift fishing nymphs or throwing large streamers. Brown trout in the 22" - 24" size are caught on approximately 25% of trips with skilled anglers. Our waters also have a few Brook Trout and Cutthroat. A very easy & productive to fly fish is to use a nymphing rigs while drifting in a boat. While it requires a higher casting skill level, chucking larger streamers for big browns can be a fun game for those thrill seekers! Our waters will never have a geat reputation as a 'Dry Fly' fishery but beginning in April - early June we have a good to great caddis hatch, followed by a white sulphur hatch. Once summertime arrives grasshoppers can take even the large Browns. Winter fishing is mostly centered around sowbugs, scuds and midges. Late February - May is normally the best time for large streamers and big fish.

I also love to chase smallmouth bass on the fly. We have 2 great smallmouth streams with the Buffalo River and Crooked Creek close by. Strict regulations on both fisheries provide smallmouth in the 13" - 18" range. I also have a couple of 'secret' creeks I guide on. Smallmouth fishing is best between April and mid-June.

Just 15 minutes from our resort is the little stream of Dry Run Creek. This creek is designated as a special regulation fishery for those 15 and
under and for the disabled. The fishing is done with single barbless flies only and is all catch & release. Not only are there a lot of fish, they can be huge!
Dry Run Creek is the perfect place to teach a young fly fisher how to fish moving waters. Casts are short and easy and they can concentrate on perfecting the drift, strike detection, hook set, and fish playing skills. These fish are not exceptionally easy and you have to use the right flies & techniques. Bring the kids, bring the camera, fish will be caught!

Come make some memories! Chris
Cancellation Policy
  • Cancellations made 14 days before will be fully refunded.
  • Cancellations made 7 days before will be refunded 50% of the amount paid.
  • Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.
Payment directly with Float or wade the North Fork River.
0 reviews   0 comments
Well Planned

Discover Your Own Fishing and Hunting Adventures

With top destinations, guided trips, outfitters and guides, and river reports, you have everything you need.