Dad had always loved to fish, especially for rainbow trout. We would drive to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado for camping trips to follow this passion, and for hiking and camping. It was a long drive back then, and he came up with his own fishing, camping, and golf resort along the Platte River near Lexington, Nebraska.
He fashioned a sort of grappling hook to the back of his John Deere tractor and cleared out willows and snags from an old streambed. Then he bought a gravel pump and proceeded to pump out a six foot deep channel with clear water seeping in from the sand. Some low check dams were placed at intervals to regulate depth and separate different fish pens. A truck with a large tank holding fingerling trout and water came one day and emptied its contents to the uppermost fish pen.
Water would appear to boil when Purina trout chow was cast into the water and the fish quickly grew. Additionally he built a 9-hole, sand green golf course around a lake left by the construction of Interstate 80 that coursed nearby. Camping sites were established around the lake and the sign in the photo above was built along the golf course by the interstate.
It prospered for a time and was even visited by the governor of Nebraska with the idea of establishing a state park or commercial resort there. Ultimately it was acquired by a church conference and an auditorium and cabins were added to enhance the area. It is now known as Camp Arrowhead and is located near Lexington, Nebraska. The golf course and trout farm no longer exist, but the camp has remained active for over 55 years.
One thought on “Platte River Venture”
Your dad was certainly a “can do”, “make it happen” kind of guy, wasn’t he? Your love of hiking most certainly comes from him.