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Cotter Trout Dock Sign

Established 1954
Catch a Rainbow!

Single Day Float Trips - Guided Fishing Trips with Cotter Trout Dock

                              River-Arkansas-CotterTrout DockIf 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 get them. 

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 and 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  Note: Our Testimonials page is kind of out of date and not being added to very regularly as we have been encouraging our customers to use TripAdvisor instead.
Fall foliage-White
                              River-Arkansas-CotterTrout DockOur "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 and desert. 

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 fishin!

Cotter  Trout Dock Guides 

                                Flippin-Professional Fishing
                                Guide-Cotter Trout Dock

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.

Guided  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, pleasant outdoorsmen.

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.

                              Miles-Pofessional Fishing Guide-Cotter
                              Trout DockAll 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

                              fishing tripgroup-Cotter Trout
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.

                                fishing trip-White River-Cotter Trout

Single 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 water.

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.

White River - Producer of Several Line Class Trout World Records

                                Trout-Cotter Trout Dock-Arkansas

The 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.

North Fork River - River of World Trout Records

This 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

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The 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 fall trips.

Arkansas Tarpon

Gar fish
                              teeth-Buffalo River-Arkansas-Cotter Trout
                              DockGar fish-Buffalo
                              River-Cotter Trout Dock-ArkansasIf 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 definitely different!
Click on the images!

Contact Us

Ron and Debbie Gamble
P.O. Box 96
Cotter, Arkansas 72626