As a native Arkansawyer growing up in the Ozarks and an avid fisherman, it was almost required that I become a trout fishing guide. I complied back in 1992 and served a tour of duty on the White river for over 15 years. Enjoyed every minute of it by the way. Met a lot of great people and helped them catch many beautiful Rainbows and Browns using various methods.
Guides get asked many questions on a variety of local topics. One of the most common questions was, "When should I come back to catch a big trout". Easy answer - February or March. Winter time is the best time for big trout whether spin or fly fishing. Why?
The White and North Fork rivers are tail waters. The rivers flow from the bottom of a lake through the bottom of a dam - thus the cold water all year long. The key to great wintertime fishing is the results of the lakes "turning over". The cold surface temperature of the lake drops down through the lake - in the process, it sends millions of threadfin shad into shock. Many of those shad are then sucked through the dams into the rivers when water is flowing.
The large trout of the rivers of course feast on these shad creating the best time to catch trohpy fish on Arkansas' White or North Fork Rivers. Pack up your warm clothes - dress in layers so you can peel some clothes off when it warmes in the afternoon. Book your guide or lodging and come to Arkansas for world class trout fishing.