Last time I wrote about my and Roger's...

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We drove on down Hwy 16 to...

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Combs, AR, about three or four miles and crossed the river again...this time it had much more water in it. I thought, "that's enough water for me and my Jon boat," so we unloaded the boat there.   At 9am down the river I go. Roger drove my car to the take out point. I remember thinking that the same water I see here will eventually go by my place, some 400 miles downstream. There had been a rain a few days before and the color was milky green...just right for good smallmouth fishing. I knew I had a long way to travel, but every time I would stop  to fish, I would get good strikes, and caught several nice bass.  There were many treacherous places in the river, where the water would make sharp turns, for example. I'm a good river-runner, but came close to sinking on several occasions. On through the day, fishing and traveling the river. Finally, after about 30 miles, comes LAKE SEQUOYAH, just east of Fayetteville. It was nice to have sufficient water to navigate. Wyman Bridge, below the dam, was a terrible put-in spot...a mud bank requiring brute strength to pull the  boat. 

Exhausted, on down I go a few...

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more miles. Time for camp, on a nice gravel bar in the middle of nowhere. While my trip is minuscule in scale, I wondered if Lewis and Clark spent days like this in their wilderness explorations?  The next day I continued my journey. There was a fog lingering above the water that made the already majestic, meandering river even more beautiful. I caught a couple of nice Kentucky Bass. Around midmorning the river started getting deeper and wider...a sure sign I had entered BEAVER LAKE. It's a foot race now--my little 15 h.p. motor and flat bottom boat being overwhelmed by the large pontoon and bass  boats. The wind came up in the afternoon producing whitecaps, and I was wishing I had one of those larger boats.

The generators were off as I started...

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below Beaver Dam (1965). My shallow running Jon boat was invaluable to cross the shallow shoals in the river. Several one to three pound trout were plainly evident, so I threw my floating rainbow pattern Rapalla landing a few nice ones. After about five miles I notice the river deepening and widening...again knowing I had entered a  lake...this time TABLE ROCK LAKE (1958). Very little wind this time...the lake was like glass, and it was beautiful passing all the bluffs and coves. I lost my bearings once...at the James River Arm of the lake. Amazing how one can get "turned around," but finally on toward Branson. I couldn't help wondering (and wishing a little bit) what the river would have looked like traversing through these lakes--had the lakes not been built.   Again the  generators were off below Table Rock Dam, and a few miles navigating the tail waters, I was in LAKE TANEYCOMO...which seemed more like a river than a lake to me. On down past the original town of Branson, and on down to Powersite Dam (1913)...very small, and beautiful, where the water simply flows over the top and into BULL SHOALS LAKE (1952), the largest of the lakes.

I would pass by places...

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and wonder if they might be "Big Sister  Creek," "Music Creek," or "Dry Run"...all names I remember my dad mentioning as favorite spots to fish when he first came here after completion of Bull Shoals in 1952. On to the Dam in a few hours and I'm very close to home since Newlands is just on the other side. I guess the five dams on the White River were put in for flood control, power generation and recreation...in that order. With all the recreation I had witnessed, it is hard to believe power generated by 14 generators would have a higher priority.--Charles Newland.           Read more about the White River Basin.

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