Crazy “Art” Project over the Arkansas River
By: Bob Streb (Guide & Author of “Bobber Talk“)
-Ramblings, dribble and puzzling observations from a Rocky Mountain fishing guide
So how would you feel if a couple of artist type’s offered your community a boat load of money to show their art in your back yard? The hitch is their art is approximately 40 miles long and it’s going to cover your favorite trout stream. Seriously, two frenchies, Jacques and Jean-Claude want to hang draperies to form a roof over miles of the Arkansas river. I’m not sure if they are French, maybe they are Canadian but most Canucks I’ve drank with have more sense. Of course there is a lot to be discussed and approved, the BLM is going to have miles of paper work on this one. So what’s it worth? The artist’s estimate 560,000 visitors and 195 million to the state in travel revenues. That more than doubles the visitor numbers for rafting in the area. And they estimate people will spend 4-5 additional days in surrounding area’s with their jingle. That’s money to my fishing guide ass, but then again they are not proposing making my favorite trout stream a dome stadium. I did not read anything about how long the “art” would be displayed or what time of year, I assume not winter. They did say that they were working with all the recreational businesses that depend on the river to make as little negative impact on their lives as possible. Maybe they will pay all the raft guides summer rent (camp site and fire wood fees) and put them on salary for chillin instead of rowing the river of no sun. I know I would not be the only one hemorrhaging if the Eagle was their mark. I could just see it, no sun screen, sunglasses optional and side arm cast’s only. I’m sure when the wind howls those drapes are going to flap so loud I would have to supply ear plugs. If this thing is planned right, they could run some electric and we could do night floats. “Oh no sir we do trips 24-7 now that we have a roof and you can leave your 400 dollar rain jacket home”. Just think of it, fishing mice could become a daytime affair and the blue wings would hatch all season. Sam’s 7’ 5 weight would be the rod of choice anything longer and you couldn’t even roll cast. Occasionally I float under a bridge or a power line and I feel compelled to let peeps know that it’s “in play”, a roof would just put me over the edge. You can get all the facts and read more about it in the latest issue of Trout.