Friday, August 22, 2014


This was my second time to be in a boat on the White River with "Papa Bill".  The first time was several years ago on a "sightseeing only" trip that started at the Bull Shoals White River State Park, and went to near Cotter. (The article about that trip is in my blog archives (July 31, 2009) on the right side of the home page).  However, the trip these photos represent had a different purpose---catching rainbow trout!  Having just purchased my required Arkansas fishing license, and additional Trout Stamp", I was ready to go!  Papa Bill already had his boat unloaded and in the water waiting for us, when our group arrived, shortly before 8 am.  The big black thing on the back is a jet boat motor, which is a good choice for navigating the ever-changing depth of the White River!

As is typical for early morning on the White River, there was a dreamy white mist hovering over the chilly waters.

I read that some photographers call the beams of light as seen in this photo, "God Beams", and I would have to agree that God seemed to be pouring out his blessings on us, as we boarded the fishing boat in great anticipation of the day ahead!

Papa Bill had the very difficult task of trying to corral three rowdy ladies---Susie in the front, Diane in the middle, and me closest to the back!

Papa Bill used shrimp, shown in this photo, as the bait of choice for this hot August day. This photo shows him reaching into the "live well", which is used to help the fish "live well", after they have been caught. (Note the pronunciation is different on these two versions of the word "live"!)  Papa Bill provides all the gear and equipment, or one can bring their own, if desired.  The bright pink rod belongs to Susie, and she considers it her "good luck charm", as she caught a giant brown trout with the pink device, immediately after the first time she put it in the water!

Papa Bill is very wisely wearing gloves, because those fish are slippery, and we were going to keep him busy getting the fish off our hooks!

Within five minutes of dropping a line, Susie had used   her hot pink fishing rod to catch this 23 inch gorgeous brown trout!!  It was even bigger than the one she had caught earlier in the summer!

I got lucky as well, and reeled in a four pound rainbow trout---the biggest rainbow trout I had ever caught!

Susie had let out such a howl of delight when she caught the giant brown trout, that it caused the fog to lift, and we could see that we were surrounded by other people fishing, who were no doubt feeling jealous as they could see us reeling in our prize trout!

Not everyone was fishing out of motor boats.  This fisherman was using his kayak.
Our fishing poles were whizzing as we kept reeling in fish after fish!

Midway through our trip, we stopped at Gaston's Dock for refreshments and restrooms.  This gave us the break we needed to continue all that "heavy lifting" of fish into the boat!

Diane is shown in this photo, by the ivy-covered walls that welcome guests at Gaston's Resort ( ).

Not to be outdone, Diane reeled in this nice-sized rainbow to add to our collection.  I imagined that anyone watching us from that gorgeous home up on the bank, were wishing they were out there fishing with us!

Just like the Bible verse Luke 5:6 tell us about what happened with the fisherman did what Jesus said to do, this photo illustrates what happens when we did what Papa Bill said!  "And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking."

In the last few years, I have spent more time floating in my kayak on the White River, than I have fishing it, so it was fun to watch these kayakers from a different viewpoint than normal.

This photo shows a less common type of boat on the White River.  The guide in this photo is rowing, rather than using his motor.  I remember seeing this kind of boat for the first time a couple of decades ago on the Snake River out west, but I guess they are making their way to Arkansas, as well!

fisherman is in a kayak that he propels with pedals, instead of oars.  What a workout!

our time was up, we came back to where we started with a net full of colorful Rainbow Trout, and we were very happy fisherwomen!

Papa Bill cleaned our fish for us, and brought them to us up on the back of the trout dock, where we were having lunch.  That's what I call service.  If you would like to take a trip like this, you can contact Papa Bill at 479-477-0335 or log on to  .  Papa Bill's brochures guarantee a good time, and I can vouch for not only a good time, but a GREAT TIME, as well as "MILES OF SMILES"!!  Tricia