Riverside Retreat Fly Fishing


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 to 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

Fishing Trips
/ Boat
1 - 2 anglers
4 hours - 8 hours
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 ... moremore 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.
Riverside Retreat Owner and Fly Fishing Guide - I enjoy guiding as much as I enjoy fishing myself…..well, nearly as much. I feel like small child on Christmas morning when I help someone ... moreput together a good cast, a solid presentation and see their face when they are rewarded with a fish that they might not have caught the day before.

I ‘m not any smarter than you, I get skunked occasionally, only fishermen who have honesty issues, catch fish all the time. However, I am guilty of “‘growing the size of my fish”. I’m observant and I’ve have been afforded the opportunity to spend a lot of time on the water. I’ve read a lot about catching fish and I’ve listened to a lot of people who were good at catching fish. My interests revolve around what is necessary to know to catch fish, and how to impart that knowledge.

I've have been lucky enough to have fished the Gulf of Mexico’s coast from Vera Cruz, Mexico to Key West, FL . and most of the western states for trout. AK for trout & salmon, British Columbia for salmon, steelhead and sea run cutthroats. Belize, the Bahamas, and Mexico Yucatan for saltwater flats species, and even the blue water once off the Keys where I caught dorado (dolphin fish) and cast to a sailfish, got eaten twice, but couldn’t get the fly to stick. I’ve fished most of the clear water creeks, rivers and streams of Arkansas. The blue water experience aside, I’ve caught just about everything that swims in these waters but the coveted permit, where my score is: 14 shots; 7 follows, 2 looks, 3 “I’m ignoring you” and 2 explosive spooks.

I'd love for you to come and share your fishing stories with me.
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