White River

Stairs at Roundhouse Shoals

Posted by John Berry on August 22nd, 2013
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The main reason that I chose to live in Cotter, when I moved to the twin lakes area, is the large amount and quality of fly fishable water, within the city limits. There are several great spots to access the river. All are pretty easy to get to. My hands down favorite place to fish in Cotter is Roundhouse Shoals. There is a long broad shoal there that provides great trout habitat and some great fly fishing. It was named Roundhouse Shoals because it is across the road from the rail yards that once had a roundhouse, where they could repair locomotives. It is a direct connection to Cotter’s past and present life as a rail center.

Roundhouse Shoals is a mere four blocks from my house and I could literally walk there. Of course I choose to ride in my car because waders can get a bit warm particularly in the summer. There is a road that follows the river there for quite a distance and there are several pull outs where you can park and easily access the river. It is a great place to nymph fish and my favorite spot to fish dry flies during our big caddis hatch every spring.

The only problem is that there is a steep bank separating the parking area from the river below. For years, the only way down to the water was to scramble down the bank. I have personally noticed that the bank seems to get steeper, as I get older. My wife, Lori, has noticed the same thing.

Recently the North Arkansas Fly Fishers (affiliated with the Federation of Fly Fishers), our local fly fishing club, installed a flight of steps from the parking area down to the river. They funded the project and did the work themselves. What was once a tough scramble up or down a steep bank that was better suited to goats is now a comfortable stroll on a broad set of steps. The North Arkansas Fly Fishers has made my life easier.

This is not the only thing that they have done for us. They put on the Sowbug Roundup, the best fly tying show in the area, every spring. I have tied flies and given seminars there every year since I moved here. It is a great place to learn about fly tying and link up with some serious anglers. The North Arkansas Fly Fishers commits a portion of the proceeds from the show to fund a scholarship program for local college students.

The club meets every third Tuesday at 7:00 PM in the Van Matre Senior center. All are welcome. There is a program and raffle at every meeting. Lori and I attend whenever our schedule permits it.

If you fish Roundhouse Shoals, I know that you will appreciate the steps. Thank You north Arkansas Fly Fishers!

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