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Northwest Eureka Springs
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“The Riverman’s Guide to the Kings River”


A new book highlighting a treasured local waterway was released recently. The book, written by local restauranteur and noted river enthusiast Doug ‘Riverman’ Allen, is titled “The Riverman’s Guide to the Kings River” and is available now via his website, Amazon and some local booksellers around the state.

Allen, well known locally as the owner of Jose’s Bar & Grill in Tontitown (formerly located on Dickson Street in Fayetteville), grew up on the river, and the new book is his ode to his favorite place on earth.

From the new book:

I was born and raised in the hills of Northwest Arkansas. My home on Onyx Cave Road was just a couple of dirt road miles away from the beautiful Kings River just outside the quaint little tourist town of Eureka Springs. I grew up with a family of Arkansas fishermen and biologists that had a huge passion for anything related to bodies of water and fish. In my lifetime I have fished creeks, farm ponds, lakes and especially rivers. My summers were spent swimming, canoeing and fishing most stretches of the Kings River that meanders slowly and peacefully through the beautiful Ozark Mountains. Over the many years I’ve gotten to know the Kings River like the back of my hand. I feel its pulse. I long for it when I’m away. It’s a huge part of who I am. Although I now live in Fayetteville Arkansas with my family of river rats, I can often be found kayaking, guiding or wade fishing on the beautiful Kings River in the spring, summer and fall.

Allen said that his hope for the new book is to “guide and teach those who wish to learn, experience, and enjoy” everything possible about the beautiful Kings.

Allen teaching ‘Riverman School for Kids’

The book delves into a host of topics, including a brief history of the river, the surrounding area, and some geological information about the terrain. It also includes detailed river guides and maps of each section, recommended floating areas, and of course, plenty of tips for catching the smallmouth bass that are plentiful in its waters.

Like any good fisherman, of course, Allen doesn’t give away all his secret spots.

“All my favorite and the best fishing spots are Riverman secrets, but I give you all the tools, such as maps and methods to find your own favorite fishing hole,” he said.

In addition to his personal time on the river, Allen has served as a guide for others. He has also led “Riverman School for Kids” the past couple of summers, teaching kids about the river, how to catch bait, how to operate a rod and reel, and more.

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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