Bob Mitchell: Fishing trips at Stubblefield Camp

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

When weather turned warm years ago, there was one favorite place for young boys to take an outing—Stubblefield Camp near Eagle Rock. The camp was actually a place to start fishing trips on the White River, which flowed down a steep sand bank. The site was well suited for six boys to occupy two cabins at the resort. The Stubblefields were very hospitable and great hosts under the existing conditions.

We actually made the outing three years running, possibly because we had taken good care of the property. There was no drinking from the group; their only vice could have been smoking.

Since none of us were old enough to drive, we made the trip to White River courtesy of Maud Wilson and one other vehicle that took our necessities southwest of Eagle Rock. Maud was an excellent swimmer and enjoyed the trip, especially a dip in the hole of water that was adjacent to the camp.

Fast water above and below the principal hole of water offered the opportunity to float for a ways down the White and then we would either wade or swim back up to the camp, especially if it was anything near meal time. Actually, mealtime could be about all parts of the day, but by yourself, it was a self-fix and clean up afterward.

In the party were Maud’s son, Trolinger, John Koon, Charles Chumbley, myself (the youngest of the group), Bill Barber and another happy camper that memory doesn’t recall.

Pranks were abundant

Being the youngest of the group resulted in several of the pranks being instigated on me. A couple included a bullfog put under the covers while I was sleeping. Needless to say waking up was no trouble in this instance. Another time I was being awakened by something pulling on my big toe, which was a string attached and the other end being held outside.

There were others that were practiced most evenings, and no one was missed during the outing. And it had to be taken in the best humor possible. There wasn’t any difficulty among this group. These incidents were part of the nightly discussions usually held around a campfire, with Stubblefield furnishing the firewood.

Camp location

The camp was isolated from almost everything. It was just downstream from the mouth of Wooly Creek. The camp location is now covered by Table Rock Lake.

There are two important facilities in the area now, just upstream is Holiday Island, an extensive McCullough Corp. development, both commercial and residential and featuring an 18-hole grass green golf course. Just below Wooly is the Royal Ranger facility for the Assembly of God Church.

The church facility each summer brings youngsters and their sponsors from a wide area throughout the country. Natives and newcomers alike have been known to watch for vehicles from outside the region license plates pulling trailers to see where the soon-to-be campers were from.

Since they were mostly young people, fast food stops are usually their choice when arriving in Cassville.

Some rewards given

Stubblefield operated a guide service on area rivers for those who chose this type of fishing. There were opportunities for rewards from some folks when we gave them assistance. It could have been for helping them load a boat down the sand bank if their trip originated in the backdoor of their cabin. If being transported a vehicle often needed moving or a load put aboard a boat.

The city folks would occasionally join us around a campfire and always participated in the conversation. Their era accounts often included times of military service or exploits of travel, hunting or fishing in other regions.

Lake covered camp

Located at the upper extreme of Table Rock, Stubblefield acted as most “lake or river” people did as they sold real estate that was above the reservoir take line and moved to other areas, some outside the area, others, like Stubblefield, who moved to the Big Creek arm of the lake, which is below Campbell Point.

More about Covid

For several weeks now, science and medicine have been telling us that a third shot combating the Delta strain of the coronavirus will be available soon. This booster shot will be another step in the fight against this deadly disease.

Hopefully, there will not be opposition to this step in the right direction that millions have seen fit to use in protecting themselves, their family, acquaintances and the general public.

I believe these people making this decision know what they are talking about, which was proven by initial setbacks of the pandemic.

I urge you to keep following the advice of those professionals who know what they are talking about.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State University’s Regional Media Hall of Fame.