Rainbow Drive Resort

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White River Trout Fishing

Many trophy trout have been caught in the Rainbow Hole right in front of Rainbow Drive Resort!

As the only resort located on the world renowned "Rainbow Hole" you’ll find uncrowded access to one of the best fishing spots on the Bull Shoals tailwaters. Average trophy fish weigh in at 5-20 pounds with the exception of the 32 pound monster brown trout caught in January 2006 and a smaller 28 pound brown trout caught a couple years before.

The deep waters of rainbow hole have always been one of the premier fishing spots on the White River not only for catching trophy’s but also the "pan frying size" best eating rainbow trout. Each month rainbow hole is stocked with thousands of rainbow trout. In fact, the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission uses our private launch ramp to stock the trout. These stocked rainbow trout average in size from 11- 14 inches and weigh in at 1-2 lbs.

Each year the upper twenty miles of the White River is stocked with over a million rainbow, brown, cutthroat and brook trout. All this makes it easy to catch your limit. Our dock staff will happily give away free advice to ensure you catch fish……it’s not good for our business if you don’t!!

Fishing is good year around. This father and son enjoyed a successful spring fishing trip together.

Rainbow Drive Resort and Campground is located 12 miles down stream from Bull Shoals Dam. When there is no generation from the dam, wading the shallow sections of rainbow hole is very productive. Wildcat Shoals is only 1/4 mile upriver from the resort if you like shoal fishing. When water is being released from the dam, it takes about 4 hours (on average) for the water to travel down river to rainbow hole. This gives anglers the opportunity to fish the best of both worlds - low and high water. Because water levels change daily on the White River, every day provides new places for the trout to move to and hide. To ensure you catch the trout you want, we always recommend hiring one of our first rate – top notch guides.

family with trout
Children discover that trout fishing is a whole lot of fun and a great way to spend time with Dad.

Guided Trout Fishing Services

Why fish with our guides? We guarantee you’ll catch trout! Guide services, both fly fishing and conventional spin fishing, are available. We are proud of our guides and confident with their abilities that they will help you catch more trout, bigger trout and have a great time. Most of our guides have well over 20 years experience fishing the White and North Fork Rivers. In fact, guided trips on average catch 30 to 75 fish per day. To ensure action-packed trout fishing, our guides have the flexibility to fish where they think the hottest fishing is going to be that particular day. Many of our trips depart from our dock right here on Rainbow Hole because it is consistently such a great place to fish. Others will travel to different sections of the rivers to find the type of fishing you choose.

men with trout
Any time of year, any water conditions, and in almost all weather conditions our professional guides know how to catch trout

cheryl with trout
It's not just the men who enjoy trout fishing with Rainbow Drive Resort guides!

Professionally guided fishing trips begin at 7:30 AM with hot coffee and fresh out-of-the-oven cinnamon rolls, muffins, or fresh baked breads. Your guide will meet you at the resort. This will give you time to discuss your fishing goals and then you're off to catch those famous White River trout! A scrumptious, filling deli lunch, refreshment cooler, and thermos of coffee is provided with full day guided trips. (No lunch is provided on half day trips.) Old-fashioned shore lunches including fresh fried trout, hush puppies and all the fixins’ are also available.

When we reserve your guide, our professional office staff is able to match your skill level to the guide that will best meet your needs. Our guides are experts at fishing with young, first time anglers to the most experience pros. For your safety and protection, all guides are licensed through the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and insured. For your convenience and to ensure your safety, all guided trips need to be reserved through our office.

Guided Fishing & Boat Rental Rates

Rainbow Drive's dock and rental river john boats

Jon Boat Rentals for Fishing on Your Own

Should you choose to fish on your own, we have well maintained, fully outfitted fiberglass jon boats for rent at our covered dock. All boats are equipped with 3 or 4 padded swivel seats, anchors, drag chains, net, paddles and life jackets. 9.9 hp outboard motors with a full tank of gas are available for rent or you can bring your own. Our motors are in excellent working condition and start easily. To ensure you have a safe and productive fishing day, instructions on boat and motor operations will be given as well as safe boating lessons. We will also point out the best fishing spots. When you’re done fishing at the end of the day, our friendly and helpful dock staff will gladly clean your fish or help you photograph and release any trophy trout you may have caught.


Full Day Trips Include: Half Day Trips Include:
  • 8 hours of fishing
  • continental breakfast
  • deli lunch
  • refreshment cooler
  • thermos of coffee
  • rod(s) & reel(s)
  • natural bait
  • hooks & sinkers
  • 1 scented bait per boat
  • boat & motor guide
  • 4 hours of fishing
  • continental breakfast
  • refreshment cooler
  • thermos of coffee
  • rod(s) & reel(s)
  • natural bait
  • hooks & sinkers
  • 1 scented bait per boat
  • boat & motor guide

We sell Arkansas Fishing Licenses & Trout Permits


Rainbow Drive rents canoes right on the river bank

Canoe Rentals

Canoeing is an inexpensive way to enjoy the scenic White River. We offer canoe float trips of 5 or 10 miles and you get to decide when and where you’ll be picked up. This way, you can fish while you float, stop along the way to relax and watch the wildlife or just take a break from life.

Since safety is a priority, we recommend two adults per canoe for sufficient space for your gear and proper balance. With lower water flows, we will allow an adult with two smaller children or three small adults to share a canoe. When heavy generation is occurring on the White River, canoe trips will be postponed.

Frequently Asked Fishing Questions

Q: How's the Fishing?
A: In all honesty, fishing on the White River is always good. Even if you have never fished for trout before, we can almost guarantee that you'll catch fish.

Q: When is the best time to fish the White River?
A: That really depends on how you like to fish. You can always catch fish on this river. If you're looking for trophy trout, based on the pictures on our bulletin board, most big fish are caught in February, March, April, and August.

Q: Water conditions?
A: The White River is managed by the Corp of Engineers at Bull Shoals Dam. The Corp of Engineers release water into the river based on flood control and energy demand. When they "turn the river on", the current of the river will depend on how many generators were required to operate. We usually see more water being released or generated February through July. The beauty of our location is that we are far enough down river from the dam that when water release begins, it takes about 4 hours for the water to reach our dock. That gives our anglers the opportunity to fish both low and high water conditions.

Q: Can I Wade into the river to fish?
A: Wade fishing in front of the resort is excellent, water conditions permitting.       

Q: Can I fish off the Bank?
A: Yes!!! We even see folks catch trophy trout off the bank.

Rainbow Drive Resort bait shop
Bait Shop at Rainbow Drive Resort

Q: Can I catch as many fish off the bank as I can from a boat?
A: If they are generating any water at all, you really need to be in a boat to maximize your opportunities. However, when the river is low you can catch just as many fish off the bank.

Q: Where do they stock the River?
A: The most popular point for stocking the river (in our opinion) is right off our ramp in front of the resort. Additionally, there are several points along the river where fish are stocked.

Q: What size of fish will I catch?
A: Most people catch pan size trout. There is an abundance of trophy trout in the river. In fact, several big fish have been caught in Rainbow Hole, which is right in front of the resort. Your chances of catching a trophy are good, but out of respect for the fish, "they didn’t get big by being dumb".

Q: What bait should I bring with me?
A: You really don’t need to bring any bait with you. We have a fully stocked bait shop on the property that has all the bait you’ll need to catch those famous white river trout.

Q: What’s included with the boat that comes with the resort?
A: Our 20" jon boats include padded swivel seats, one net, two paddles, two anchors, one drag chain, one throw cushion, and life vests.

Q: What size motor should I bring?
A: We recommend an 8 to 25 horse power motor.

Q: Should I bring my own boat?
A: A boat is included with your cabin. If you do bring your own boat, use of the public launch ramp a mile up the road is required or you can launch at the resort for an additional fee.

Q: Fishing license costs:
A: Anyone 16 years of age and older must have a fishing license and a trout permit in order to fish on the White River. For the latest fishing regulations please visit the
Arkansas Game & Fish Web site. You can also purchase a fishing license and trout permit online.

Q: How many fish can I keep?
A: Regulations can change from year to year. For the latest fishing regulations please visit the

Arkansas Game & Fish Web site.

Q: Do I need a guide?
A: We always recommend a guide if you’ve never fished the river before. That way you’re almost guaranteed to catch fish and learn how to safely fish the river.

Voluntary Catch & Release Program
We are strong supporters of the voluntary catch and release program. Any fish that is 18" or larger becomes eligible for a printed certificate and pin to display on your fishing hat or vest. You will also receive a complimentary 8 x 10 photo.

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Rainbow Drive Resort
669 Rainbow Landing Drive
Cotter, AR 72626

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