Learning about the types of fishes found in the White River

The White River in Northwest Arkansas is popular worldwide as a premier trout & fly-fishing destination. Anglers of all levels of skills come from all around the globe to try their hand at catching a few of the record-size fishes found in the White River. Apart from trout, you will also find many other fishes, which you can enjoy catching with the help of White River fly fishing.

Now let’s take a look at the types of fishes you will find in White River.

1. Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass is the leading & most popular sportfish in White River. They are keenly wanted by anglers & are known for the excitement of their fight, meaning how strongly the fish resists being hauled onto the shore or into the boat after being hooked.

So, if you wish to catch some record-size Largemouth Bass, opt for White River fly fishing.

2. Smallmouth Bass

Nowadays, the smallmouth bass is a very famous game fish & is regularly sought by anglers. Moreover, they are potentially the toughest fighting fish in White River & are commonly the targeted fish in White River fly fishing. Every year, you will find several 5 to 6-pound smallmouth bass & many in the 3 to 4-pound class in the river.

3. White Bass

The primary color of white bass is silver-white to light green. These fishes are found in high intensity in the upriver segment of the White River. Moreover, White bass fishing is very much popular among anglers.

4. Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout is a highly regarded sportfish & is a popular target among anglers opting for White River fly fishing. Adult freshwater rainbow trout range between 0.5kg to 2.3kg, yet some forms might reach 9 kg (20 lb). Many anglers also consider the rainbow trout as the hardest-fighting species of trout because rainbow trout is known for leaping while hooked & putting up a vigorous fight.

5. Brown Trout

Usually, brown trout are stocked between the size of 6-9 inches & behave much differently compared to rainbow trout. They are naturally warier, tend to feed in low light conditions, & are more selective about what they eat. If you have opted for White River fly fishing, you will find the largest concentration of Brown trout on the White River right under the Bull Shoals dam.

6. Brook Trout

The brook trout has a color of deep green to brown, with a unique marbled pattern of lighter colors across the flanks & back & extending to the dorsal fin & often to the tail. The typical length of a brook trout varies from 25 cm to 65 cm & weights from 0.3 kg to 3 kg. The brook trout is also a popular game fish among anglers, particularly fly fishers who opt for White River fly fishing.

7. Cutthroat Trout

Cutthroat trout were first introduced in the early 1980s in the White River & since they are prized as a sportfish, particularly by fly anglers. The color of cutthroat trout might vary from golden to green to grey on the back.

Cutthroats are highly catchable on almost any trout lure or bait. They can range from 6 inches to 40 inches in size, depending on habitat & food availability. Moreover, their tendency to feed on aquatic & terrestrial insects makes them an excellent quarry for the fly fishers who have opted for White River fly fishing.

8. Crappie

Fishing for crappie is famous all over much of North America, especially in the White River. Crappies are also frequently targeted & caught during the breeding period by fly anglers. They may achieve a length of about 12 inches (30 cm)—rarely more—& a weight of about 4 pounds (2 kg).

9. Tiger Muskie

Tiger Muskie grows well in the cool, fodder-rich water. Now, the tiger muskie is stocked regularly in White River, & anglers go to great lengths to catch a tiger muskie, but it’s not a simple fish to catch. Some anglers say that it takes around 10,000 casts to catch a single tiger muskie. Moreover, the tiger muskie is popular as a sport fish as it might reach sizes over 50 inches (130 cm) in length.

If you want to catch some record-size tiger muskie, opt for White River fly fishing today.

10. Catfish

Both Channel & Blue catfish are found everywhere in the White River. Therefore, anglers enjoy fly fishing at the White River to catch some record-size catfish. The upper White River is well known for the assortment of catfish (flathead, channel, & blue) & even sunfish.


Walleyes are popular among anglers. Walleyes grow to about 31 inches (80 cm) in length & weigh up to about 20 lb (9 kg). They are largely olive & gold in color. Moreover, the walleye’s dorsal side is olive, grading into a golden shade on the flanks. In the fall & spring, walleyes are located near the shallow areas due to the breeding grounds, & they are most often located in shallow areas during high winds due to the dark, higher oxygenated water at around 6 ft deep.


We truly hope this blog will help you understand more about the type of fish present in the White River. So, if you are at the White River, now there will be no doubt in your mind about which fish is which.

Call to Action:

Whenever you decide to go fishing at White River & you want a guide, then White River Fishing Guides are here to help you get the most out of your fishing! For more details about our guide call us at (870) 656-0471.

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