Over the years, there has been a long standing tradition here at Rim Shoals Resort. It began in the early 1950's after the completion of the Bull Shoals Dam. Ray and Ruth Brainerd began construction of the original Rim Shoals Resort. Ray was working construction on the dam project and owned the property at Rim Shoals. After the dam was completed, Ray disassembled the work shacks that were used during the dams' construction and floated them down stream to Rim Shoals. Along with the work shack material, he also floated any leftover materials from the dam using them to start building Rim Shoals Resort .
Ray Brainerd and his brother Richard were both river guides for Jim Owens out of Branson MO. Before the Bull Shoals Dam was built, Jim Owens was considered the premiere fishing outfitter on the White River when it was still a warm water stream. The Brainerd's took their knowledge of the river & their guiding experience applying it to Rim Shoals Resort. During this time, any road to Rim Shoals was very primitive, nothing more than a wagon trail. Ray took it upon himself to build the road with his own equipment from Highway 62 east of Gassville to Rim Shoals. That original road built by Ray is currently known as County Road 4 which connected Highway 62 to the wagon trail lane to Rim Shoals which is now County Road 58. That road was on the opposite side of the railroad tracks going through the Missouri & Iron Mountain Railroad tunnel built at the turn of the century . Along with the road, the Brainerd's built a dock, pie shop and a few cabins in the early 1950's and thus began the tradition of Rim Shoals.
During the mid 60's the Brainerds sold the resort to Ken and Jenny Smith. Soon after the Smiths bought Rim Shoals Resort , a local teenager by the name of Gary Flippin came into the picture. Gary grew up in Cotter just upstream from Rim Shoals. Gary worked on the dock and as a river guide in the mid 60's for the Smiths and found himself in love with the White River and Rim Shoals. It was during this time that the Rim Shoals area was being recognized for its record rainbows and superb biological habitat attracting world class fisherman like Dave Whitlock.
Rim Shoals Resort consistently stayed in business from its inception until 1992 when the area received a record setting snowfall that winter. With Bull Shoals generating all 8 units and the weight of all the snow, the original dock and store broke away from the river bank and became history.
In 1993, Gary and Paula Flippin acquired a piece of land just up river from the original resort that was the Brainerd's crawfish ponds. After a year of working with the County and State agencies, the property was approved to begin construction. Over the next few years they installed a dock, a small metal building for an office, and keeping that tradition alive...started Rim Shoals Resort again. Because of the underwater habitat at Rim Shoals producing some of the largest trophy fish, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission allocated 1.5 miles of the Rim Shoals section of the White River as a catch and release trophy area.
And, as they say "the rest is history". The Flippin's continued the tradition of providing fishermen with a place to stay while they sought out their trophy trout. After nearly 20 years, Rim Shoals Resort has grown into a full fledge, premier trout fishing destination.//
Being born & raised in Cotter, Arkansas, Gary grew up on the White River. As a young child, Gary started fishing the White River with his older brothers and has never stopped. During his young teenage years, Gary spent summers helping Jenny Smith at the original Rim Shoals Resort.
After a year of college he decided he would follow his dad and brother's tradition of working for the railroad. So, in 1973 he started his 41-year career with Missouri Pacific later becoming Union Pacific Railroad. Giving up weekends, holidays and eventually family time was a difficult decision as a young adult, but he will tell you he made the right choice. Gary is a bit of a local legend in our area with his vast knowledge of the White River. He has fished, floated, or camped every inch of it from the dam to Norfork. If you can ever catch him sitting still long enough you might just be fortunate to enjoy one of his many stories he tells about his river experiences. Paula has always said Gary's first love is the White River......and she's his second.
Returning home from south Florida in 1985, Paula never imagined she would be running a resort on the White River. Born & raised in Mountain Home, Arkansas she grew up loving water sports on Norfork Lake, but never fished. But meeting Gary Flippin would change all of that. One of the first things Gary taught Paula about fishing the White River was how to run a 20' Jon boat. She learned how to take a boat off the trailer, run it up and down the river, and put the boat back on the trailer. And it has come in handy many times when fishermen have been stranded on the island due to rising water. Most days you'll find Paula in the shop talking water, wading & fishing. When she's not at Rim Shoals, she spends her spare time finding homes for abandoned dogs & volunteering for the Cotter Gassville Chamber of Commerce. She says her job is unlike most because her customers arrive in a great mood & leave in a better one!