By Matt Peters
There is no better way to experience the outdoors than to go wade fishing on the White River, which provides an abundance of wading opportunities. You need waders, boots, some under garments and thick socks to stay warm, and you are ready to go.
Sara Hulett of Mountain Home met me in Cotter for an afternoon of fishing. She had never been wade fishing for trout, and after some quick casting lessons, she had under control the 7-foot medium-action spinning rod I handed her. With a little coaching, she got the feel for the inline spinner, a “rooster tail” I rigged up for her. Once she got the hang of casting and retrieving the lure, we waded out a little further, moved around, and worked our way downstream.
It didn’t take Sara long to catch her first fish, and once she did, she kept catching them. She caught 10 beautiful rainbow trout and missed a few other bites in just over an hour of fishing.
“I have lived in Mountain Home my entire life and never went wade fishing before,” Sara says. “I can totally see myself doing this more.”
Sara lives on Lake Norfork, and most of her previous fishing was from boats. She found wade fishing peaceful and relaxing. You don’t have the noise or the equipment and hassle of boats and gear. With one rod and a little bit of fishing tackle, you are good to go.
The White River is full of rainbow trout. You will enjoy catching these spunky 1- to 3-pound fish on spinning gear. You need an inline spinner, like a Blue Fox, Rooster Tail, or Mepps, and 6-8# line. Cast the bait straight downstream or 45 degrees down and across stream, and make the bait swim back to you just below the surface.
Sara found one sweet spot where she caught three fish back-to-back. Once you find an angle or direction the fish seem to like, keep working it. Where there is one fish, there are likely more.
Spring is almost here. If you are itchy to get outdoors, find a local fishing outfitter, get the right wading gear, and get knee deep in the White River. You’ll be glad you did.
M! FM 2013