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Exploring Arkansas November 2006

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Collier Homestead, Indian Rockhouse, Spring River Fly Fishing
The Homestead Act of 1862 gave many families a chance to acquire land and begin a new life in the Ozarks. The Collier family from Kentucky settled near the Buffalo National River, as many did. The restored homestead gives those of us in the 21st century a look at the way life once was in this part of the country. Exploring a Native American bluff shelter at Buffalo Point is also on tap, as well as trout fly fishing on the Spring River near Hardy.

TRANSCRIPT

THE HOMESTEAD ACT OF 1862 ALLOWED FOR MANY A FAMILY TO BEGIN A NEW LIFE IN THE OZARK OZARKS. AND SO IT WAS WITH THE COLLIER FAMILY FROM KENTUCKY TO CAME HERE TO TYLER BEND ALONG THE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER IN THE EARLY 1900s. AND SO THIS IS WHERE WE BEGIN THIS WEEK'S SHOW. AND THEN WE'LL TAKE YOU A LITTLE BIT DOWNSTREAM TO BUFFALO POINT IN THE LOWER PORTION OF THE RIVER, AND TAKE YOU ON A HIKE TO A NATIVE-AMERICAN BLUFF SHELTER KNOWN AS THE INDIAN ROCK HOUSE. AND THEN WE'LL WRAP IT ALL UP WITH A LITTLE TROUT FLY FISHING ON THE SPRING RIVER NEAR HARDEY. BUT FOR NOW, LET'S START OUT NEAR HARDEY. BUT FOR NOW, LET'S START OUT HERE AT THE COLLIER HOMESTEAD. ♪ 

TELL US WHAT IT MEANT AT THAT TIME, AND ESPECIALLY FOR FAMILIES COMING HERE FROM, I GUESS, A LOT OF THEM FROM THE APPALACHIANS OVER TO THE OZARKS. 

THAT'S CORRECT. OVER 270 MILLION ACRES, OR 10% OF PUBLIC LAND WAS SETTLED THROUGH THE HOMESTEAD ACT OF 1862. AND IT WAS STILL GOING IN EFFECT EVEN INTO THE EARLY 1920s AND 30s WHEN THE COLLIERS CAME HERE. AND THE COLLIERS, IDA MAE AND SOD COLLIER WITH THEIR 4 CHILDREN CAME HERE TO ARKANSAS IN 1928, AND THREE YEARS LATER WERE ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ONE OF THE LAST TRACT OF PUBLIC DOMAIN HERE AT TYLER BEND. AND SOD WENT THROUGH THE NECESSARY PAPERWORK A, ACQUIR ACQUIRED 40 ACRES OF LAND. 

IT DIDN'T COST THEM ANYTHING. JUST UPKEEP? 

FILING FEES OF $2, BUT THAT'S ALL THAT WAS REQUIRED. AND THEN AS LONG AS HE PROMISED TO IMPROVE ON THE LAND, WHICH HE DID, AND FIVE YEARS HE WAS GIVEN CLEAR AND FREE TITLE TO THE LAND. HE JUST HAD TO PAY THE TAXES ON IT. 

AND I GUESS THAT THIS IS A TYPICAL HOMESTEAD OF THE AREA. HAD YOU A SMOKEHOUSE, YOU'VE GOT THE WELL HERE, AND ALL OF THE PROVISIONS THAT YOU NEEDE NEEDED. 

THAT'S CORRECT. THE COLLIERS WERE SUB SIS TENT FARMERS WHICH MEANS THEY GREW WHAT THEY NEEDED. IF THEY HAD ANYTHING LEFT OVER THEY WOULD SELL IT TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES. LIKE MANY OF THE OZARK FAMILIES THAT WERE HERE EARLY ON AND THEN LATER INTO THE 1920s AND '30s AND '40s. 

IT'S JUST AMAZING TO LOOK AT THIS TO SEE HOW THOSE FOLKS SURVIVED BACK THEN. YOU CAN READ ABOUT IT, BUT ACTUALLY COMING HERE TO LOOK AT SOMETHING LIKE THIS, IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. 

RIGHT. THE COLLIERS LIVED HERE UNTIL 1960. THERE WAS NO RUNNING WATER OR 1960. THERE WAS NO RUNNING WATER OR ELECTRICITY. ♪ 

THE EVERYDAY LIFE OF THE COLLIERS WAS A SIMPLE LIFE, BUT WITH A LOT OF HARD WORK CONSIDERING THE CHORES WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE AROUND A TYPICAL OZARK HOMESTEAD. ALONG WITH RAISING HOGS AND CATTLE FOR MEAT, SOD COLLIER WORKED AS A RIVER GUIDE ON THE BUFFALO FOR EXTRA INCOME. AFTER THE COLLIERS SOLD THEIR HOMESTEAD IN 1960, THE LAND WAS USED TO RAISE CATTLE AND GROW HAY. DURING THE MID-1970s WHEN THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE BEGAN ACQUIRING LAND ALONG THE BUFFALO RIVER, THE RESTORATION ACQUIRING LAND ALONG THE BUFFALO RIVER, THE RESTORATION OF OTHER HOMESTEADS FOLLOWED. ♪ 

THE BUFFALO RIVER IS KNOWN FOR ITS WONDROUS BEAUTY AND THE RIVER AND PEOPLE LIKE TO COME AND FLOAT. AND WE ENJOY AND WANT PEOPLE TO DO THAT. BUT ALSO THERE IS A CULTURAL HISTORY THAT WE INTERPRET HERE AT BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER, AND IT'S FOR PEOPLE WHO LIVED HERE STARTING BACK IN THE EARLY 1700s ON UP UNTIL PRESENT DAY. AND AS YOU SAID THEIR HOMES SCATTERED ALL ALONG THE BUFFALO RIVER OF THOSE WHO LIVED HERE BEFORE. AND IT'S OUR JOB TO PRESERVE THOSE AS BEST AS WE CAN, AND INTERPRET THEIR STORY. 

I GUESS THAT WE NEED TO BE THANKFUL THAT THIS RIVER WAS NEVER DAMMED UP. 

IT WOULD HAVE LOST AT LOVE THE HOMESTEADS, AND WOULD CERTAINLY HAVE BEEN LOST IF THE HOMESTEADS, AND WOULD CERTAINLY HAVE BEEN LOST IF THAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED. ♪ 

IF YOU TAKE THE RIVERVIEW TRAIL ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HOMESTEAD FOR ABOUT A QUARTER AFTER MILE OR SO, IT WILL LEAD YOU TO TWO MAGNIFICENT SCENIC OVERLOOKS OF THE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER. IN ALL, THE ENTIRE SETTING PROVIDE AS WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE IN BUFFALO RIVER CULTURAL HISTORY AND SCENIC EXPERIENCE IN BUFFALO RIVER CULTURAL HISTORY AND SCENIC BEAUTY. ♪ 

BEFORE THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ACQUIRED THE BUFFALO RIVER BACK DURING THE EARLY '70s, BUFFALO POINT ON THE LOWER PORTION OF THE RIVER WAS ACTUALLY A STATE PARK. AND BEFORE THAT, SAY SOME 10,000 YEARS AGO, NATIVE NATIVE AMERICANS USED TO LIVE IN BLUFF SHELTERS ALL ALONG THE BUFFALO RIVER VALLEY. IT'S TO ONE OF THOSE BLUFF SHELTERS WHERE WE'RE GOING TO TAKE YOU HERE AT BUFFALO POINT SIMPLY CALLED THE INDIAN ROCK TAKE YOU HERE AT BUFFALO POINT SIMPLY CALLED THE INDIAN ROCK HOUSE. ♪ 

THE INDIAN ROCK HOUSE TRAIL IS A 3 1/2 MILE ROUND-TRIP HIKE WHICH TAKES THREE TO FOUR HOURS DEPENDING ON HOW MUCH TIME YOU SPEND AT EACH OF THE VARIOUS POINTS OF INTERESTS ALONG THE WAY. PARK RANGER MARK ROBINSON TELLS US ABOUT THE FIRST ONE CALLED THE SINKHOLE ICEBOX IN WHICH FOG CAN SOMETIMES BE SEEN RISING FROM THE HOLE WHEN THE COOL CAVERN AIR MEETS THE WARMER OUTSIDE AIR. 

IT'S ABOUT 57 DEGREES, 56, 57 DEGREES DOWN THERE UNDERGROUND. WHEN THAT COLDER AIR COMES UP AND MEETS THIS AIR, SOMETIMES WE'LL HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF FOG. SO IT PROBABLY DID REMIND SOMEONE OF AN ICE BOX, AND WATCHING THAT FOG ROLL OUT OF SOMEONE OF AN ICE BOX, AND WATCHING THAT FOG ROLL OUT OF THERE. ♪ 

THE SECOND POINT OF INTEREST ALONG THE TRAIL IS A 25' TALL WATERFALL, AND THE AMOUNT OF WATER FALLING WILL DEPEND ON WHAT TIME OF THE YEAR YOU MAKE THE HIKE. I GUESS THIS IS ABOUT ALL THAT WE CAN EXPECT IS A TRICKLE AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR. I GUESS THE OPPORTUNE TIME TO VIEW THIS WATER OR ANY KIND OF WATERFALL IN THE OZARKS IS SPRINGTIME. 

YEAH, SPRING, AND SOMETIMES WE'LL GET HEAVY 

YEAH, SPRING, AND SOMETIMES WE'LL GET HEAVY RAINS IN THE FALL. ♪ 

ALSO ALONG THE TRAIL IS AN ABANDONED ZINC MINE, ONE OF MANY ABANDONED DREAMS OF THE LATE 1,800 ZINC RUSH. 

IT STARTED ABOUT 1880. PEOPLE STARTED LOOKING AT THE MINING PROSPECTS IN THE AREA. AND THEN IT REALLY PEAKED ABOUT WORLD WAR I, AND THE ZINC THAT WAS MINED HERE IN ARKANSAS MOSTLY DOWN AT RUSH ABOUT THREE MILES FROM HERE WAS USED IN THE WAR EFFORT. THEY USED ZINC TO MAKE THE BRASS SHELL CASINGS. ZINC AND COPPER. BRASS SHELL CASINGS. ZINC AND COPPER. THIS ONE DIDN'T PAYOFF. ♪ 

ANOTHER ATTRACTION ALONG THE WAY IS THE NATURAL BATHTUBS, OR I GUESS YOU COULD CALL IT A STONE HOT TUB EXCEPT THAT THE WATER IS NOT EXACTLY HOT. AND I FORGOT MY MR. BUBBLE. A SMALL CAVE ON THE TRAIL YOU MIGHT SAY IS A SORT OF A PRELUDE BEFORE THE BIGGER INDIAN ROCK HOUSE. SO, MARK, THIS SMALLER CAVE WAS ALSO USED AS A BLUFF SHELTER THEN? 

YES. EVERYTHING WAS HERE THAT THEY NEEDED TO SURVIVE, AND THIS IS A GOOD SHELTER. THEY HAVE WATER OUT HERE, AND PLENTY OF WILD GAME. AND THEY USED MOST OF THE ROCK SHELTERS SEASONALLY. 

TAKE A LOOK INSIDE HERE. SHELTERS SEASONALLY. 

TAKE A LOOK INSIDE HERE. IT'S PRETTY NEAT. 

SO, MARK, THEY HAD KIND OF LIKE A NATURAL SKYLIGHT COMING IN HERE. THAT'S A PRETTY NEAT EFFECT. 

YEAH.  EVERYTHING THEY NEEDED. THIS COULD HAVE SERVED AS A FIREPLACE. THERE'S ANOTHER ONE OVER IN THE BIG ROCK HOUSE. 

THAT'S MUCH MORE IMPRESSIVE? 

YEP. IMPRESSIVE? 

YEP. I THINK SO. ♪ 

FINALLY, WE REACH THE HIGHLIGHT, THE GRAND FINALE OF THE ENTIRE HIKE, THE MASSIVE AND QUITE IMPRESSIVE INDIAN THE ENTIRE HIKE, THE MASSIVE AND QUITE IMPRESSIVE INDIAN ROCK HOUSE. 

MY GOODNESS! MARK THIS IS QUITE THE IMPRESSIVE SITE HERE. 

IT IS. THAT'S THE REACTION THAT MOST FOLKS HAVE. (LAUGHTER)  

I CAN SEE WHERE QUITE A FEW FAMILIES COULD HAVE INHABITED THIS AND SURVIVED HERE. YEP. HERE. YEP. FASCINATING. 

THIS BLUFF SHELTER WOULD INDEED HAVE MADE THE IDEAL HOME WITH COOL SPRINGS IN THE REAR OF THE CAVE, A NATURAL SKYLIGHT FOR A CAMPFIRE, AND A YEAR-ROUND CONSTANT TEMPERATURE. THE ONLY THICK MISSING WOULD TEMPERATURE. THE ONLY THICK MISSING WOULD HAVE BEEN SATELLITE TV. 

MARK, WHEN YOU COME HERE WITH FOLKS AND KIDS, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY ASK YOU ABOUT THIS BLUFF SHELTER? 

THEY'LL ASK WHO USED IT? WHEN IT WAS USED? HOW LONG IT'S BEEN PROTECTED, THINGS LIKE THAT. THEY ESTIMATE THAT THIS WAS USED AS MUCH AS 10,000 YEARS AGO BY NATIVE AMERICANS WHO FOUND EVERYTHING THAT THEY NEEDED RIGHT HERE AGAIN. BUT I LIKE TO PUT MYSELF IN THEIR POSITION AND THINK OF HOW I WOULD GET MY FOOD AND WATER, INCLUDING MAKING THAT TOOL WHICH HAD YOU TO HUNT DEAR AND RABBIT. 

IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE THINKING OF SOMEONE EXISTING AND LIVING HERE 10,000 YEARS AGO. YOU START THINKING ABOUT IT, THAT'S A LONG TIME. 

YEAH. 

IT'S NOT LIKE 50 OR 100 YEARS AGO. 

WELL, EVEN 500 YEARS AGO, THAT WAS A LONG TIME AGO, IT'S NOT 10,000, BUT EVEN 500 YEARS AGO THEY WERE STILL LIVING THE SAME WAY THEY DID 10,000 YEARS AGO. SAME WAY THEY DID 10,000 YEARS AGO. I GUESS. 

VERY LITTLE IS KNOWN ABOUT THE PRIMITIVE PEOPLE WHO LIVED HERE SOME 10,000 YEARS AGO. IN FACT, THEIR EXACT IDENTITY IS YET TO BE DETERMINED BY ARCHAEOLOGISTS. 

THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MAKES IT INTRIGUING, I GUESS, IT'S STILL A MYSTERY. THEY CAN ESTIMATE AND MAYBE EVEN GUESSTIMATE ABOUT WHO WAS HERE AND WHAT THEY DID AND HOW LONG AGO THEY WERE HERE, BUT THEY WERE DEFINITELY HERE. THEY LEFT A FOOTPRINT. 

I GUESS THERE HAS BEEN QUITE A FEW ARTIFACTS IN PAST YEARS THAT HAVE BEEN FOUND HERE BY SCIENTISTS AND ARCHAEOLOGISTS? 

YEAH. I THINK THAT THE LAST MAJOR EXCAVATION DOWN HERE WAS IN THE '70s, MIDDLE '70s. SO IT'S BEEN GONE THROUGH PRETTY WELL. PEOPLE STILL CASUALLY COME DOWN AND DIG A HOLE LOOKING FOR THINGS. 

WE NEED TO REITERATE THAT FOLKS CAN'T COME AND DIG FOR ARTIFACTS IN A NAGS PAL PARK. 

NO. EVERYTHING HERE IS PROTECTED. IT'S NICE WHEN YOU COME ALONG HERE AND WALK ALONG THE TRAIL AND YOU SEE AN ARROW HEAD, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. IT'S NICE WHEN THAT IS STILL HERE FOR THE NEXT PERSON TO COME ALONG AND SEE. 

WELL, THAT'S A FASCINATING PLACE. THAT'S FOR SURE. IT IS. 

IT IS. CAN YOU JUST IMAGINE BEING HERE ALL BY YOURSELF. IT KIND OF MAKES YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT WAS HERE AND WHO WAS HERE. 

YEAH. 

WHAT WE'RE GOING TO LEAVE 

YEAH. 

WHAT WE'RE GOING TO LEAVE BEHIND. 

WELL, YOU MAY HAVE YOUR LITTLE RED RIVERS AND YOUR WHITE RIVERS, BUT SOUTH OF THE ARKANSAS/MISSOURI LINE NEAR MAMMOTH SPRING IS THE SPRING RIVER WHERE FLY FISHING FOR TROUT YEAR-ROUND IS EXCELLENT. WE'VE HOOKED UP WITH OUTRIGGERS, AND JEFF WILL TAKE US ON TOP OF THE BIG ONES, ISN'T THAT RIGHT? 

YES, SIR. WE'RE GOING TO TRY. 

ALL RIGHT. WE'RE GOING TO TRY. 

ALL RIGHT. LET'S DO IT TO IT. ♪ 

WE'RE GOING TO DO WHAT'S CALLED DEAD DRIFTING. ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THAT? 

DEAD DRIFTING? NO, NOT REALLY. 

OKAY. IT'S BASICALLY WE'RE GOING TO USE THE INDICATOR TO LET US KNOW THAT A FISH HAS GOT THE BAIT. SO WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO CAST IT UPSTREAM ABOUT LIKE THAT. WE WANT TO KEEP OUR LINE MENDED UP ABOVE SO THAT THAT INDICATOR SITTING STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN LIKE THAT AND NOT DRAGGING IN THE CURRENT. AND WE'LL JUST WATCH THAT INDICATOR COME DOWNSTREAM LIKE THAT. IF IT HAPPENS TO HAVE A FISH ON IT, IT SHOULD PULL IT UNDE UNDER. SO IF YOU'LL JUST CONTINUE TO TRY TO WORK IT TO THE UPPER PART OF THE CAST, AND AS SOON AS IT HITS THE WATER, IT'S BEST TO BRING IT UPSTREAM LIKE THAT TYPICALLY I WILL KEEP MY HAND ON THE LINE AND NOT THE REEL. IF I GOT A FISH, I WOULD PUT HIM ON THE REEL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. IF YOU GET A SET OF HOOK SET, BASICALLY, IF YOU WILL JUST PULL YOUR LEFT HAND OUT AND YOUR RIGHT HAND LIKE YOU ARE TRYING TO PICK UP A CAT, YOU YOUR RIGHT HAND LIKE YOU ARE TRYING TO PICK UP A CAT, YOU SHOULD GET THE HOOK SET. ♪ 

BEFORE WE GET TOO FAR ALONG, A FEW IMPROMPTU FLY CASTING TIPS FROM MR. JEFF. 

FIRST OF ALL, THE BASICS ARE THAT THE LINE IS REALLY WHAT IS CARRYING THE FLY. YOU KNOW, IT'S TOTALLY OPPOSITE OF A CASTING SITUATION WHERE YOU TIE A LURE ON AND THE LURE PULLS THE LINE. IN THIS CASE, THE LINE IS WHAT IS CARRYING THE FLY. SO WE HAVE TO CAST THE LINE INSTEAD OF THE LURE. I'VE GOT A KNOT HERE ACTUALLY I NEED TO GET RID OF BEFORE I START CASTING. SORRY, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT EITHER. I JUST NOW FOUND IT. THAT'S CALLED A WIND KNOT. I JUST NOW FOUND IT. THAT'S CALLED A WIND KNOT. 67 

ALL RIGHT. SO KNOWING THAT THE LINE IS WHAT'S CASTING THE FLY, WE'VE GOT TO LEARN TO CAST THE LINE ITSELF, AND THE FLY WILL GO ALONG FOR THE RIDE. SO THE BASIC CAST FOR THE BEGINNER IT'S BEST TO START WITH NOT A WHOLE LOT OF LINE OUT. AND THE PROPER GRIP IS IMPORTANT. I LIKE TO KEEP MY THUMB ON TOP THE ROD. THERE ARE VARIOUS GRIPS, BUT SIMILAR TO A GOLF SWING OR A GOLF GRIP. SO WHEN YOU ARE POINTING THAT THUMB, YOU ARE BASICALLY POINTING WHERE YOU ARE CASTIN CASTING. AND WE TAKE OUT A LITTLE BIT OF LINE, THE MORE ADVANCED THAT YOU GET, THE MORE LINES THAT YOU CAN SHOOT THROUGH THE GUIDES, AND THAT'S A LITTLE BIT PRACTICED THERE. GUIDES, AND THAT'S A LITTLE BIT PRACTICED THERE. BUT CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT? 

IT'S KIND OF A UP, STOP, AND LET THAT LINE COME ALL THE WAY OUT BEHIND YOU. YOU REALLY WANT THE LINE, AND YOU WANT TO FEEL IT COME ALL THE WAY BACK AND STRETCH OUT BEHIND YOU BEFORE YOU START YOUR FORWARD CAST. SO YOU WANT TO BRING IT UP PRETTY ABRUPTLY, ABRUPT, STOP RIGHT THERE, YOU FEEL IT LOAD IN THE ROD, AND BACK TOWARDS. SO IT'S KIND OF A 10 AND 2 POSITION REALLY IS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT. STOP BACK, UP, AND SLOW IT DOWN AGAIN ON THE FORWARD SWING, STOP IT RIGHT THERE, LET THE LINE STRETCH OUT, AND THEN FOLLOW DOWN. WHEN YOU BRING IT UP LIKE THI THIS, YOU WAIT UNTIL YOU FEEL IT PULL ON THAT ROD. FORWARD, STOP AGAIN ABOUT 10:00 I GUESS WOULD YOU CALL THAT AND LET THAT LINE STRETCH BACK OUT IN FRONT OF YOU, AND THEN JUST DROP IT TO THE WATER. THAT'S THE PROPER CASTING METHOD RIGHT THERE. 

NOW WE WERE READY TO CATCH SOME TROUT. 

KEEP YOUR HANDED ON THAT LINE RIGHT THERE. 

YOU JUST PULL ON THE LEFT? 

YEAH, PULL ON LEFT AND THE RIGHT IF THAT THING GOES UNDE UNDER. RIGHT IF THAT THING GOES UNDE UNDER. DO IT. 

HOW ABOUT THAT? THAT'S WHAT I'M SAYING. 

HOW ABOUT THAT? 

THERE YOU GO. (LAUGHTER)  

YOU PICKED UP ON THAT RIGHT AWAY. JUST SLOW DOWN A LITTLE BIT. I WOULDN'T REEL HIM ANYMORE IN THERE. YOU ARE GOING TO BE AT THE THERE. YOU ARE GOING TO BE AT THE INDICATOR. 

PUT HIM IN THE WATER FOR A 

PUT HIM IN THE WATER FOR A SECOND. 

NOT TOO SHABBY. 

THAT'S A NICE LITTLE TROU 

NOT TOO SHABBY. 

THAT'S A NICE LITTLE TROU TROUT. 

THERE SHOULD BE SELF VAL MORE FISH IN THIS HOLE. WE HAVEN'T SPOOKED THEM UP TOTALLY. THERE IS MORE DIFFICULT CASTING UNDERNEATH. THERE IS ONE RIGHT THERE! DON'T LOOK AWAY! DON'T LOOK AWAY! FOCUS, MAN, FOCUS! 

A FEW MINUTES LATER I TOOK JEFF'S ADVICE. I FOCUSSED. 

NOT THAT ONE, MAN. YOU PUT THE WHAM JAM DOWN ON HIM. I THOUGHT IT WAS A LARGE-MOUTH BASS FOR A SECOND. (LAUGHTER) BASS FOR A SECOND. (LAUGHTER) 

JUST LEAVE HIM RIGHT THERE A SECOND. I'M GOING TO GET MY EQUIPMENT HANDLER. OH, THAT'S A GOOD ONE THERE. THAT'S A MUCH BETTER FISH. WELL, HE'S FAT ANYWAY. JUST KEEP BACKING UP A LITTLE WELL, HE'S FAT ANYWAY. JUST KEEP BACKING UP A LITTLE BIT. 

BOY I TELL YOU WHAT, I'VE GOT SLIPPERY FINGERS TODAY. (LAUGHTER)  

THAT'S A LITTLE BIT BE (LAUGHTER)  

THAT'S A LITTLE BIT BE BETTER IS SIZED ONE THERE. 

I WILL HAVE TO SAY THAT THE SPRING RIVER HAS ALWAYS BEEN PRETTY GOOD AS FAR AS SIZE AVERAGE GOES. IT'S ALWAYS BEEN ON THE HIGH SIDE COMPARED TO A LOT OF THE -- I MEAN, THESE ARE HATCHERY FISH. A LOT OF FISH GET LEFT OVER IN THE WINTER, AND THEY CHANGE COLORS, AND THEIR FINS GET REALLY CLEAN. WE MAY CATCH SOME LIKE THAT TODAY. BUT THE HATCHERY MAKES ADJUSTMENTS I GUESS BASED BASED ON THE WHITE RIVER NEED AND THEY CHANGE THE WHOLE HATCHERY FROM I GUESS THEY WERE THESE LONG CHUTE-TYPE TANKS, AND NOW THEY'VE GOT THEM IN A ROUND DEEP TANK. THEY PUT A LOT MORE FISH OUT, QUANTITIES HAVE GONE UP EFFECTIVELY, BUT IT HAS AFFECTED OUR SIZE AVERAGE. WE USED TO AVERAGE 11-13" TROUT, NOW WE'RE MORE LIKE 9-TESTIFY. THAT'S THE ONLY DISADVANTAGE. WE HAVE A LOT OF FISH, BUT WE HAVE LOST A COUPLE OF INCHS IN AVERAGE. WE'RE STILL GOOD FISHING. ANY TIME THAT YOU CAN CASH A 5-10-POUND FISH IN THIS RIVER, AND I'VE OUT CAUGHT SOME REALLY NICE BROWN TROUT OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, TOO. A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE THAT WE HAVE THE BROWN TROUT. HOPEFULLY YOU WILL CATCH ONE OF THOSE TODAY. 

THAT'S WHAT I MEAN, PEOPLE THINK OF THE LITTLE RED RIVER, THE WHITE RIVER, BUT THEY HARDLY THINK ABOUT I GUESS -- OR DO THEY ABOUT THE SPRING RIVER? 

THOSE RIVERS I GUESS WOULD YOU CALL THEM WORLD RENOWNED BECAUSE OF THE RECORD THAT'S BEEN CAUGHT THERE.  EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT THOSE RIVERS. YOU'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CATCH THOSE KIND OF TROPHY FISH HERE, BUT THE NUMBERS ARE ALWAYS REALLY HIGH. THE CROWDS ARE GENERALLY LOW. NOT EVERYDAY. AND THE WATER LEVELS ARE SO CONSISTENT THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO DEPEND ON GENERATION TO GENERATION, YOU ARE BASICALLY IN THE SAME ENVIRONMENT. SO YOU CAN COME A MILE AWAY AND NOT WORRY ABOUT WHETHER YOU HAVE TO LEAVE THAT DAY OR FISH IN A BOAT. I THINK THAT IT'S A GREAT PLACE TO FISH. LET'S MOVE RIGHT OVER HERE TO THIS OTHER LITTLE SHELL AND SEE IF WE CAN MAKE THEM DO IT THIS OTHER LITTLE SHELL AND SEE IF WE CAN MAKE THEM DO IT AGAIN. 

AND THEN THERE'S THE OTHER EXTREME. JEFF GUARANTEES YOUR LIMIT EVERY TIME. HE IS NOT TAKING CREDIT FOR THIS ONE. (LAUGHTER) THIS ONE. (LAUGHTER) 

ON THIS OUTING LITTLE DID WE KNOW THAT WE WERE ALSO GOING TO CATCH A NEW SPECIES OF FISH. 

THERE YOU GO. GOOD DEAL. WE'RE GETTING IT FIGURED OUT NOW. THAT TROUT DIDN'T STAND A CHANCE. OH. THAT'S NOT A TROUT.L NOW, LET ME TELL BUT THAT. THEY'LL ONLY HIT A SPECIFIC COLOR FLY YOU CAN'T CATCH THEM ON JUST ANY FLY. THEY LIKE THAT ORANGE. THAT'S YOUR TROPHY THERE. (LAUGHTER)  OF COURSE, WE ALWAYS PRACTICE CATCH AND RELEASE. 

AND OFF WE GO! TO LIVE ANOTHER DAY AND FIGHT AND GET BIGGER. 

I LOVE THAT ROCK TROUT. THAT'S THE BEST KIND! THEY'RE BETTER EATING THAN RAINBOW, AREN'T THEY? 

HARDER ON THE SKIN, BUT THEY TASTE A LOT BETTER. (LAUGHTER)  OH, MY GOODNESS. 

THAT DON'T BEAT ALL! 

WELL, I'M GOING TO TELL YOU, WHAT YOU ARE GIVING US A DIVERSITY OF SPECIES, I'LL YOU, WHAT YOU ARE GIVING US A DIVERSITY OF SPECIES, I'LL GIVE YOU THAT. ♪ 

RE WE'VE GOT WHITE TIPS HERE. 

THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT HERE ON THE SPRING RIVER. 

THAT'S RIGHT. HERE ON THE SPRING RIVER. 

THAT'S RIGHT. 

THERE IT GOES! 

SO LET THEM HOOK YOU UP WITH A FLY FISHING OUTING ON THE SPRING RIVER. AND THEN MAKE THE HIKE TO THE INDIAN ROCK HOUSE AT BUFFALO POINT ALONG THE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER. AND THEN CHECK OUT THE COLLIER HOMESTEAD AT THE TYLER BEND VISITOR CENTER ON THE BUFFALO. AND FOR MORE INFO ON THESE AND OTHER DESTINATIONS, VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT AETN.ORG/EXPLORIN AETN.ORG/EXPLORINGARKANSAS. WE'LL SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT TIME FOR ANOTHER EXCITING ADVENTURE WE'LL SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT TIME FOR ANOTHER EXCITING ADVENTURE ON "EXPLORING ARKANSAS."

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