White River Bull Shoals to Sylamore

Cotter, Arkansas

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White River ran free until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a series of dams in the late 1950s. The impoundment of the river produced both negative and positive results for paddlers. The dams rendered sections of the White River unrunnable, but below Bull Shoals Lake it is almost always floatable due to the daily water releases for power generation. The canoeing is good for 79 miles to Sylamore. The White River has also become one of the most famous trout streams in the nation, and anglers in guided johnboats are its most common users. Be wary of the guides on the river, especially if you happen to stop on the same gravel bar for lunch or camping. They will tell some of the biggest fish tales that you will ever hear! The White River is wider than most Ozark streams, but the crystal-clear water flows at a good pace. In most places, the river bottom is visible even in deep holes where the big trout like to hide. The fishing guides claim that the biggest trout stay in the same holes for life, never moving more than a few hundred yards. The banks are lined with trees, bluffs, and fishing camps. If you are looking for a pure wilderness experience, you will not find it on this part of the White River.

White River: Bull Shoals to Sylamore Professional Review and Guide

"White River ran free until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a series of dams in the late 1950s. The impoundment of the river produced both negative and positive results for paddlers. The dams rendered sections of the White River unrunnable, but below Bull Shoals Lake it is almost always floatable due to the daily water releases for power generation. The canoeing is good for 79 miles to Sylamore. The White River has also become one of the most famous trout streams in the nation, and anglers in guided johnboats are its most common users.

Be wary of the guides on the river, especially if you happen to stop on the same gravel bar for lunch or camping. They will tell some of the biggest fish tales that you will ever hear! The White River is wider than most Ozark streams, but the crystal-clear water flows at a good pace. In most places, the river bottom is visible even in deep holes where the big trout like to hide. The fishing guides claim that the biggest trout stay in the same holes for life, never moving more than a few hundred yards. The banks are lined with trees, bluffs, and fishing camps. If you are looking for a pure wilderness experience, you will not find it on this part of the White River."

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Cotter
Distance: 74.4
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 5 sections range from 5 to 9 hours
Class: Class I
Local Contacts: Bull Shoals State Park
Local Maps: USGS Cotter, Mountain Home West, Buffalo City, Norfork, Norfork Dam South, Calico Rock, Boswell, Sylamore
Driving Directions: Directions to White River: Bull Shoals to Sylamore

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May 2018