Jim Owen and Charlie Barnes ran a float fishing business back in the good ole days when floaters could travel 250 miles from Branson, MO to Cotter AR on the original White River using boats like this. It was said that you could float for 31 days on the White River and never cover the same water twice. Once at the end of trip in Cotter the boats rode back on a railroad flat cars. The Ozarks Longboat disappeared when the White River was dammed as it became a series of lakes.
Now Longboat Outfitters is bringing it back! The longboat not only floats like a dream, it grew out of one. The dream: to offer float trips like the Jim Owen offered in boats like Charlie Barnes built, but made with modern materials, we plan on educating the passengers on the ecology of our streams and the importance of conserving the great rivers that remain in the Ozarks. The dream first started when we recruited an old river rat boat builder, a set of plans, and garage at least a foot bigger that a 20′ johnboat. Add that to a winter of wood working and we turned out the sweetest boat that ever floated an Ozark stream. You have to experience it to believe how beautiful, safe and comfortable this boat is. Pictures and even standing by it on the trailer won’t do. You’ve got to stand up and fish, take pictures and jump off the bow into the cool river to get the full flavor of what the exactly the Longboat represents; history, a way of life, and an adventure held only by the few and fortunate.
Contact us and you can experience the Ozarks the way our “forefloaters” did!
– Kyle Kosovich
The Ozarks are an angler’s dream and this dream is where Longboat Outfitters’ owner and guide, Kyle Kosovich was raised since he was just a tadpole.