Fly Tying and Eagle Watching

Jill M. Rohrbach

Ever since Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area opened its 17,500-square-foot visitor center last year, northwest Arkansas has been blessed with new and excellent workshops and programs. Other than the visitor center, this 12,055-acre natural park has limited development.

The center serves as a located for students, family and friends to enjoy informative interactive exhibits, relax overlooking the wildlife viewing area, attend educational activities and explore adjacent hiking trails.

Here are two upcoming events worth taking note of:

Sallyann Brown to Lead Fly Tying Workshop

Nationally known fly fishing expert Sallyann Brown, will lead a fly tying workshop on Saturday, Oct. 30 from noon to 4 p.m. Learn the twelve basic techniques for tying all types of flies. Subjects covered will include how to tie knots, apply weights and hackle, how to spin deer hair, tie on dubbing, tails, wings, eyes and legs. Tie your own fly to take home or decorate your favorite fishing hat. All equipment will be provided. Minimum age 12 years. Cost: $35 per person. Class limited to 10. Call for reservations: 479-789-5000.

Eagle Watch Tours

Eagle watching season on Beaver Lake begins in November, and runs through February. Park staff and veteran volunteers are ready to take to the waters on the park’s 28-foot pontoon boat in search of our national symbol. Five eagle watch tours are scheduled for November beginning Saturday the 6th. Other tours are scheduled for November 11, 13, 14, 18, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28. All of the two-hour cruises will begin at 3 p.m. and originate at Rocky Branch Marina.

According to Hobbs interpreter Rachel Diersen, “We have never been skunked. We have always seen eagles on our tours as well as migrating osprey, and local great blue herons, ducks, kingfishers, and red tailed hawks.”

Cost: Adults $10.00 + tax. Children 6-12 $5.00 + tax. Reservations required. Call: 479-789-5000

In addition to programming, the park offers four hiking trails: Pigeon Roost with primitive backpack campsites near Beaver Lake (8.2 miles); Historic Van Winkle Trail with ADA accessibility and interpretive panels (.5 miles); Shaddox Hollow Nature Trail (1.5 miles); and the 23- mile Hidden Diversity Multi-Use Trail with multiple loop length options for hikers, non-motorized bikes and equestrians. The park also contains a 100-yard public shooting range and is the only park with permitted season hunting.

Hobbs is located about 10 miles east of Rogers. Visit for maps and detailed park information.

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