Playing it safe on our tailwaters
White River fly fishing guides should always put safety first, and this is the approach we take at FlysandGuides.com Fly Fishing Guide Service. A day of fly fishing on the White River may involve wade fishing for part of the day, and float fishing out of a drift or river boat for the other part of the day. The White River and Norfork Tailwater in Arkansas and Lake Taneycomo, near Branson, Missouri are dynamic rivers that deserve respect.
Please – if you do not hire a White River fly fishing guide, at the very least, read through this website in order to gain a working understanding of the many variables that come into play when fly fishing any of the Ozark Mountain Tailwater trout fisheries. Keep in mind that the most dangerous situations occur when the water changes from being low to becoming high due to dam releases for power generation.
Fly Fishing Safety
The White and Norfork are extremely dangerous rivers in the respect that water flows can change at the drop of a hat. One minute you’re wading a peaceful stream and the next minute a flood hits. There is no way to predict releases like at other dams, but they do tend to get into flow patterns. Still you must expect the unexpected. There are warning horns at the dams, but they are not very loud. Check markers like rocks frequently to see if the water is rising. Always have a “plan” on getting to your access point.
When boating, keep in mind it takes years to learn how to effectively control a boat for fly fishing while also fishing yourself. For this reason it is recommended that someone always be in charge of running the vessel. Before getting out in a boat on high water anglers should seek experienced help. It’s too easy to get into trouble out there.