This was the first time I had ever chartered or paid for a guide to do any type fishing. I was hesitant but a lot of reviews of the area in general and the Trout Dock
We arrived in Cotter..very small curve in the river..I think it quaint, mid afternoon. After getting settled in at the Cotter Trout Lodge (see review) we strolled down the hill to the Park where the "swimming hole" boat launch, walk in river access and the Trout Dock are located.
The "swimming hole" was clear and cool with water fed from the river. There were folks lounging and kids swinging non stop from the rope swing out over the water.
We wandered into the Trout Dock Store and Offices ( very small cabin type building) and were met by the wife of the husband and wife owner team. She was so so nice and friendly. I made sure my arrangements were made for the next morning and all was in lace. We went ahead and got our licenses and she said she would just add them on to the next days charges. She lent me a rod and reel so I could go fish for a while that afternoon. I bought some bait and a lure and walked into the river and had a great couple of hours. Peaceful cool water.
She told us our guide would be Wayne the next day.
We arrived the next morning at 7 A.M. and were met by her and Wayne. We wasted no time getting to the boat and getting underway all the while she was taking tons of pictures of us everystep of the way.
We met Wayne and off we went. withing 20 minutes we had settled on a a spot and had our first small trout within minutes.
Wayne is very cordial and funny sort of reminded me of a cross between Bruce Durn and Henry Fonda and kept the conversation lively. He will not let a woman bait the hook nor cast the open face reels. He casts it perfectly and hands it to them to feel the tug, set the hook and reel them in.
For the next three hours we fished and caught fish up and down the river. We landed at a peaceful little inlet and had the box lunch they supply. Wayne set up a portable table and the oat chairs and sliced some fresh tomatoes and onions and we had two sandwiches stuffed with sliced turkey and then two smaller sub rolls with bologna and salami, package of chips, package of cookies and drinks.
After about 45 minutes we were back on the boat and moving down river once again catching fish.
In the end we caught 102 trout mostly rainbow and a few cutthroat. Wayne skillfully collected the largest as we caught them and we ended up with the limit of 5 trout each for a total of 10 trout to take home. We fished right up to the last second where we were met downstream about 10 miles. Dylan the owners son met us and loaded the boat and we rode back to the dock which took about 25 minutes.
Once at the dock we were given a very nice calendar with the photos she had take earlier on it. She had spent the time and photoshopped them into a nice memory thing. The bagged our fish and kept them in their freezer uintil we left the next morning.
All in all it was a really good day, the price wasn't bad. I have done less for a whole lot more before.
So for catching fish and just cruising the White River this is the place to go. The folks at the Trout Dock were extremely nice and I will be going back again.
Just go and listen to the quietness of the river countryside with the river flowing around you, cliffs and woods around you and crystal clear water.
Go to the Trout Docks/ They also rent boats and motors if you dont want a guide.
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