Catch a Rainbow!
Single Day Float Trips - Guided
Fishing Trips with Cotter Trout Dock
If you have never been on a guided
trout fishing trip, you may think that people who
go on guided fishing trips are all "serious"
fishermen looking for trophy trout. As
you can see by some of the pictures on this site,
our guides know where the big ones are and how to
However, most of our guests are really looking for
great day fishing, like to catch a lot of trout
and mainly have fun. If you check out the testimonials page or TripAdvisor
talk to anyone who has been here, you will see
that our guides provide this in abundance! Note: Our Testimonials
page is kind of out of date and not being added to very regularly as we
have been encouraging our customers to use TripAdvisor instead.
Our "day" guided fishing trips range in length from a half day trip (4 hours), to a full day
(8.5 hour) trip covering about 10-12 miles to near or below Crooked
Creek and then working our way back to the dock. We usually fish
downstream from the dock as that is where we believe the better fishing
usually is, but sometimes we fish upstream if we know it has been good
fishing that way. The guides have individual opinions and
knowledge about where they think is best.
Some people fish two or more days or
maybe one day plus a half day; whatever you want
to do. Our usual guided fishing trip leaves the dock
at 7:00 a.m. (or later/earlier if you want) but the guides are used to coming in to the dock at 3:30.
All trips are fully outfitted with all you need
for a safe,
comfortable excursion. Our boats are
wide Jon boats equipped with comfortable swivel
seats and all safety gear. If you have your
own rods/reels bring them; otherwise we have
plenty available at no charge.
A large cooler with ice is on each boat.
Soft drinks of your choice are provided, along
with bottled water.
There are two choices for lunch: our box lunch or
our shore lunch. A box lunch includes sandwiches made by Debbie,
chips, fruit and a desert item. A box lunch is included in the
price of our full- day trips. For info on shore lunches please
click here or on the "Shore Lunch and Camp Trips Meals" button in left column.
Actually, there is another
choice..tell us if you want something else and we
will do our best to provide it. Our normal
rates for full day include a box lunch of
excellent sandwiches (2 per person), chips, fruit
We are famous for our excellent shore lunches cooked
by your guide on the riverbank over
charcoal. With either lunch, your guide can
set up a "roll-up" table and the swivel
chairs from your boat; you do not sit on the
ground (unless you want to). Some
people just eat a sandwich in the boat and keep on
Cotter Trout Dock Guides
Your Cotter Dock guide is more
than a fishing master. He also baits your hook,
manages your tackle, drives the boat, cooks and
serves lunch and otherwise ensures your comfort
and success all day long.
fishing trips on the cold, clear waters of the
Arkansas White River and North Fork River is an
experience unique to the Arkansas Ozarks. Our
professional guides are highly qualified with many
years experience on these rivers. They're courteous,
They know where to fish, how to fish, and what bait,
lures or flies to use. They catch fish in
either high or low water conditions, all year long.
All of our guides are experts with
lures or bait. We also have a number of great fly
fishing guides Some are both. They don't expect you
to be an expert. For newcomers, these professionals
will bait your hook, cast and take the fish off
while you just reel 'em in.
Our guides conduct trips for the novice and the
experienced fisherman alike. We encourage you to
bring your children. The guides accommodate angling
friends, families, or business groups.
Scenery is a big part of the float trip experience,
and the White River
system has plenty of it.
Single Day Guided Fishing Trip
Relax in a comfortable chair as an
experienced guide pilots your "John " boat leisurely
down the river. Savor the solitude and spectacular
rugged mountain scenery that unfolds with each bend.
You may find an arrowhead on the gravel bars as
quite a few of our guests have. Your guide will tell
you interesting historical facts and local folk lore
- like the stories of the lost mine and the
rough-and-tumble days of the railroad.
While you're enjoying the scenery, you'll also be
catching lots of rainbow, brook, brown, cutthroat
trout, or smallmouth bass. Catching forty or fifty
rainbows in a day is not uncommon.
Some folks chose to release all their catch, but you
are allowed to take out five per person per day for
a two day limit. Fish that you want to keep are
cleaned by your guide and packed with ice in
styrofoam coolers at no charge (or in your own
cooler if you bring one) for your trip home.
day guided fishing trips cover 10-12 miles of
river, are conducted by a great guide and are
outfitted with boat, motor, chairs, cushions, life
jackets, lunches, soft drinks, ice chest and bottled
These trips usually permit about 8 hours of fishing
depending on your lunch choice.
You relax and fish. Your Cotter Dock guide does the
work. Quietly drift along catching trout, or you can
anchor over the big holes.
River - Producer of Several Line Class Trout World
cold, crystal clear White River flows from Bull
Shoals Dam 17 miles above Cotter, our starting base.
For the next 60 miles its chilled waters are perfect
for rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout, as well as
providing natural air conditioning that keeps you
comfortable even during July and August.
The White River receives regular trout stocking,
plus it has good populations of native trout. The
scenery is primarily Ozark forests and bluffs with
some open fields. There are homes along the river
banks in some areas, but for the most part the
scenery is primitive.
You'll see several types of animals, birds, and
wildflowers along the way. We recommend the Arkansas
White River for those who's primary interest is
catching lots of trout.
Fork River - River of World Trout Records
4.5 mile branch of the White River has produced two
All-Tackle world record browns, and limit catches of
rainbow trout are commonplace. The North Fork also
produced the Arkansas State record brook trout. At
times, it can be fairly crowded.
Cotter Trout Dock often fishes the North Fork as
part of an overnight float trip, but single day
float trips can also be arranged.
Buffalo National River was America's first National
River. If you want the quintessential Ozarks
experience, we highly recommend an overnight camping
trip on the Buffalo, which is a warm water fishery.
The small mouth bass fishing is excellent, the
scenery indescribably spectacular.
Cotter Trout Dock is one of only a handful of
concessionaires authorized to conduct guided fishing
trips on the Buffalo by the National Park Service.
Only 100 to 115 boats operated by concessionaires
can be on the 100 mile float trip area. This
regulation preserves the pristine quality of the
Buffalo River experience.
Rugged and remote, the
Buffalo River is nearly inaccessible terrain and
therefore is best fished as an overnight camping
trip of 2 or more days; however we do lots of single
day trips on the Buffalo River. The best times
to take a guided fishing trip on the Buffalo River
is from mid-March to the end of June depending on
water levels. Because the Buffalo is a free-flowing
river, water may be too low or too high for fishing
at other times. But it just depends; every
year is different and quite often we can do late
If you want to try
something really different; you might like to fish
for "Arkansas Tarpon" on the Buffalo River.
OK, that's my name for them; they are actually Gar
fish; but they often jump clear out of the water
when hooked and they always fight. They are
Click on the images!
Ron and Debbie
P.O. Box 96