WHITE RIVER FLY FISHING TECHNIQUES
Typically, winter fishing on the White River means high water. This forces us to run longer leaders most of the time (9'-15') just so we can get our flies to depth needed to catch fish. The flies we use are based on the ever changing conditions that the White gives us, but favorites such as egg patterns/beads, shad patterns, and midges are always in our boxes. Arkansas's White River is definitely one of North America's most productive winter trout fisheries. Numbers of fish and big fish are available, and weather conditions are amazing considering that we are trout fishing December-March!
The White River system is world renowned for its ability to consistently produce quality fish for streamer anglers. Now casting 5"-9" bait fish patterns is not for everyone, but for those willing to go fish big flies, with heavy sink tips might be rewarded with a trip or fish of a lifetime. The allure for streamer fishing for most is all in the challenge. Each move you make must be calculated as it's the action you imply upon the fly that puts fish in the net. Definitely the most aggressive and active form of fly fishing there is, do not try if you have an addictive personality!
DRY FLY FISHING
What everyone thinks of when when you say "fly Fishing". Floating lines, effortless casting, surface eats, it's what we all dream about! The White River's dry fly fishery is constantly progressing and becoming better each season. The river's bug life is still very young due to the dams being built only 70 years ago, but there are plenty of days where I would rival it against any dry fly fishery from the rocky mountain west. Caddis and different varieties of mayflies take most of the spring fishing (April- July), while Terrestrials, such as grass hoppers, ants, and beetles make up the rest of the summer dry fly fishing.
If you go fish the river right now, its probably unlikely that you will see anyone fishing a two handed rod, but used under the right conditions it can be a very effective method to catch trout. The excitement and adrenaline rush can be compared to that of dry fly fishing, or streamer fishing. Most of the time we are using soft hackles, traditional wet flies, or modern intruder style flies, casting down and across and letting the current do the work for you. Adding spey casting to your repertoire will make you a more complete and proficient angler on the water!