Trout Fishing, Cotter, Arkansas
Bob Watts, Trout Fishing, Cotter, Arkansas

Here’s a picture of a fly fisherman in the Cotter Big Spring Park around 1955.  OK, so this picture is not as colorful as the ones on the website, but trust me — the man in the picture is about as colorful as it gets!  That’s my Dad, Bob Watts.

I guess this place is just in my blood, because I never knew my Dad had ever fished the White River when Steve and I got the place… He started fishing here sometime after the dam was finished and the first generator was turned on in 1952.  Trout had been introduced, but there were still a lot of small mouth bass in the river — they didn’t disappear overnight, I’m told…

The dam was built between July 9, 1947 and July, 1951, with its dedication on July 2, 1952 by President Harry S. Truman.  On Labor Day in 1952, Senator John McClellan “threw the switch” and cranked up the first generator.

Anyway, Dad would come down here and camp alongside the river when it was much more primitive than it was today, and even managed to get kicked out of some of the finer local establishments of the time…  (He’s not giving details, however.)

Also, you’ll have to excuse Dad for harvesting the fish in this picture — people weren’t as “conservation-minded” back in those days…

Looking at this photo reminds me of why I love my Dad so much!  From the time I was small, Daddy taught me to love fishing and have a real appreciation of nature.  Having this man as a father is what turned me into the White River Trout Diva, I’m sure!

Little did he know that almost 50 years after this picture was taken, he and Mom would be able to live with us here for 4 years.  Mom & Dad live with my sister now, but his real home will always be here on the banks of the White River.

Life comes full circle…