Guide Keeps Ozark Traditions Alive
In the 1930s and ’40s, fishing guides Charlie Barnes and Jim Owen offered clients 250-mile float trips down the White River from Branson, Missouri to Cotter, Arkansas. The boats they used, invented and hand-crafted by Barnes, were known as ‘jackboats.’
After the river was dammed in the mid-twentieth century, these boats all but disappeared on the White. Kyle Kosovich of Longboat Outfitters was always intrigued by the design of these classic watercraft, but it wasn’t until friends surprised him with the raw materials that he finally pursued his dream of building and guiding from one.
From the stern of one of these Ozark longboats, Kosovich specializes single day or overnight trips where his clients get to experience a truly old-fashioned experience on the rivers he grew up on. Kyle also takes great pride in educating his clients about the ecology and the value of the region’s wildlife. Said Kosovich, “We’ve got to work together to keep our rivers clean and pure.”