Flip’s 5

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NWA OUTDOORS - Story by FLIP PUTTHOFF

Editor’s note: Flip Putthoff has been re­port­ing on the re­gion’s great out­doors for al­most 40 years. He’s agreed to share some of his fa­vorites haunts for his fa­vorite ac­tiv­i­ties start­ing to­day in NWA Out­doors.

Sum­mer is a good sea­son for a float down an Ozark stream. The wa­ter is fine for swim­ming. Fish are ea­ger to bite. There is plenty of day­light for early birds, or for those who sa­vor an evening drift.

Here are five sum­mer­time trips, in no par­tic­u­lar rank­ing, guar­an­teed to float your boat.

1 White River be­low Beaver Dam

No, we’re not rank­ing float trips, but if we were, this would be No. 1 in our book. Why? Be­cause the wa­ter is ice cold and feels grand on a warm sum­mer day. The river is scenic and full of rain­bow trout. It’s suit­able for novice pad­dlers, and there’s al­ways plenty of wa­ter be­cause of re­leases from the Beaver Lake Dam.

A trip from the dam ac­cess to House­man Ac­cess is seven miles. Ber­trand Ac­cess is right in the mid­dle, three miles down­stream from the dam. Shorter floats from the dam to Ber­trand, or Ber­trand to House­man are pos­si­ble.

2 In­dian Creek

This lovely stream in south­west Mis­souri doesn’t get much traf­fic, even on week­ends. Not many outfitters rent boats on In­dian Creek. The stream is easy to nav­i­gate and fish­ing for small­mouth bass is su­perb. The wa­ter is clear for swim­ming. There are plenty of gravel bars for pic­nics and swim breaks.

A good float is the five mile trip that starts at an ac­cess up­stream from In­dian Creek Camp­ground. Put in at the ac­cess along In­dian Creek Road where there’s a room­sized boul­der by the river. In­dian Creek Camp­ground rents boats and does shut­tle ser­vice.

3 Kings River

The Kings River has clear wa­ter and su­perb fish­ing. There are sev­eral floats avail­able, de­pend­ing on wa­ter level. A pop­u­lar trip is the seven miles from Rock­house Ac­cess to Kings River Outfitters. A long float takes in 11 miles from Kings River outfitters to the U.S. 62 bridge ac­cess. Or, float from U.S. 62 to a pri­vate pay ac­cess at the Grand­view Bridge on Arkansas 143.

4 Illi­nois River

River rats can take a float trip or just play in their boats at the Siloam Springs White­wa­ter Park along the river. The wa­ter is stained to clear, with good fish­ing for small­mouth and large­mouth bass.

A good float trip is a six-mile trip from the Arkansas Game and Fish Com­mis­sion ac­cess south of U.S. 412 to the white­wa­ter park.

5 Buf­falo River

Dur­ing sum­mer, float­ing the Buf­falo means pad­dling the mid­dle and lower stretches of the stream. As with any float trip, try to go dur­ing the week to avoid crowds. This is es­pe­cially true on the Buf­falo. The Buf­falo dur­ing sum­mer is a par­adise for swim­ming.

Floats are doable most of sum­mer from Tyler Bend to the White River.

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette file photo

In­dian Creek fea­tures a gen­tle cur­rent that is suit­able for pad­dlers of all skill lev­els.

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette file photo

John Chap­man of Fayet­teville kayaks July 10, 2016, at the Siloam Springs Kayak Park just south of Siloam Springs.

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