who owns the river bottom?

The headwaters of the Arkansas, image via Wikipedia

Western river property laws seems a mystery of their own, and often an unfriendly welcome to the travelling wade fly fisher. In Colorado at least a legal battle over access to the Arkansas River could finally get its day in court this fall, and this piece from the High Country News brings it all together.

The first rock hurtled past Roger Hill’s head and plunked into the Arkansas River on a summer day in 2012. Hill, then 71, stood hip-deep in the flow, clad in waders and clutching his fly rod. Atop a steep bluff, a woman — whose name, Hill later learned, was Linda Joseph — glowered down at him. Hill was trespassing on private property, Joseph shouted, and flung another rock. “If she’d hit me with a baseball-sized rock from 50 feet up, honest to God, it would have killed me,” Hill recalled. Hill retreated, but the dispute was only beginning.

HIGH COUNTRY NEWS “The Colorado stream case that could revolutionize river access”