Three friends, Twin Bridges
by Drew Nelson
(Fayetteville, AR, USA)
White River in Arkansas
I have so many fishing stories I had to decide on the one trip that was only 15 minutes from our house. My two friends and I have fished everywhere in AR and parts of Missouri. On this day we decided to stay close to home and try out some fly fishing with the white bass.
It was early May, 2012 and the white bass spawn season was 1-2 months old so we had to get a move on. They head south to spawn and hundreds line up on the bank of the White River south of the tail waters to take home any fish caught legally. That day, instead of fishing for rainbows on the tail waters of the northern part White River near Beaver Lake, we thought it would be special to rig up our fly rods with bass flies and our local shop outfitted us with the perfect fly. After clipping off our leaders and finding the highest weighed tippet possible, we headed off.
We fished for 5-6 hours on the most beautiful Arkansas sunny day and had no luck except for a few for the first 2 hours. This spot on the White River is known for its two bridges because another river diverges off to form excellent fishing for white bass, whose normal home is miles away. After wading past all the bait fishermen, kiddos and foreigners we finally found our "honey hole" and ripped some white bass on our jerry-rigged rods and ultra heavy flies. We caught 15 or so white bass between the three of us after just simply casting directly upstream on the mildly flowing river and gently stripping on our rods.
Man was it the greatest day ever! We were the only guys out there with a fly rods and (felt like) we put the old vets and rednecks to shame. We hiked 2 miles that day and finally found our spot- away from the crowds so we could focus on our love of fishing and work on our craft.
Hopefully we inspired just one person that day to put down their open reels and pick up a fly rod. Fly fishing is especially great because half the fun is trying exciting new ways to present your fly to test your mental and physical limitations. I urge all fishermen to come to Arkansas and visit any part of the White River (esp. Cotter) to test the open waters.
We left the cameras in the Subaru on this trip but I included this picture on the way out.