Sunday, June 28, 2009

Night Fishing Taneycomo

June 21: Night Fishing Taneycomo

Sean and I left Springfield at 11 PM and drove to Taneycomo to fish the waters near the Shepherd of the hills hatchery. The lake level has finally stabilized allowing the Army Corps of engineers to turn the water off during the night. We arrived before midnight with seven vehicles in the parking lot. Two vehicles left before we were in the water. We fished between #1 and #2 outlets. Sean’s first trout of the night was a twenty-four inch rainbow. My largest trout for the night was twenty-two inches. The trout were in excellent condition and fought hard. There was a fog covering the lake with plenty of clothes needed to keep warm. We caught a combined 55+ trout for five hours of fishing with several in the 16-20 inch range. This was an A+ night of fishing. For people who know me, I am sure they know the fly that worked this night.

May and June Road trips

Late May and June, I had little time for fishing and spent considerable time driving down the highway to several destinations; Lake Charles, New Orleans, Mountain Home and Lake of the Ozarks.

May 15-19: New Orleans and Lake Charles
New Orleans and Lake Charles were a combination trip with my wife and son staying in the New Orleans for the weekend as I traveled west on I-10 to Lake Charles. The Gulf Coast Council had their third annual conclave at the Lake Charles civil center located downtown near the lake. It was an outstanding facility with the plenty of space and classrooms for seminars. I saw familiar faces from past Southern Council conclaves and rekindled friendships with old and new acquaintances. I had a short visit with Bob Talbert; I have known Bob for a few years and enjoy his stories and humor. Bob introduced Rusty and Carol Dunn from Lafayette LA to me, what a treat. Both have studied and passed their CCI. They spent considerable time on the road to fishing destinations through out the United States in their camper. I stayed two nights at a near by hotel. I attended the conclave Friday night, Saturday and Sunday morning. I spent the entire day on Saturday tying flies and had the opportunity to attend a few seminaries on Sunday. Sunday afternoon I drove back to New Orleans to spend a few days site seeing New Orleans with Ann, my wife and son (Sean).

June 3, 4, 5: Eleven Point River
Jim and I left Springfield early Wednesday morning driving Hwy 60 east through fog and several rain showers. The raindrops on the windshield reminded us of last year fishing and camping trip on North Fork enduring three days of rain. After several hours of driving, we pulled into Greer Federal campgrounds on the Eleven Point River. The sun broke through as we set camp and pitched tents. An hour later, we placed a canoe into the water and spent the rest of the day fishing. We caught a few trout on favorite stretches of water with Jim catching a glimpse of a panic deer swimming across the river to escape dogs running its trail. I had a close encounter with a cottonmouth snake. I was walking the edge the stream along a boggy bottom in tall grass when a tail of the wary and camouflaged serpent was spotted near my boot. I stopped and remain motionless until his head was seen. He was positioned with his white opened mouth and fangs directed toward me. I immediately did a hop and skip in the opposite direction with Jim watching my dance to escape a possible strike; he is probably still laughing. We fished until 5 PM with Sean shuttling us back to camp from Turner’s Mill.

That evening, Jim and his son (Jake) prepared a steak and potato dinner; it was outstanding. We finished the evening around a campfire and retired after 10 PM.

The next morning, we ate a hearty breakfast. Jerry Richard came by to drop off a canoe for Jim and Jake. We fished the entire day with a few trout caught and released. It was almost noon went I looked upstream and saw another deer swimming midstream towards us. The deer finally found it’s footing and stood next to one of our canoes were the young deer surveyed the situation for a few minutes before entering the thicket and out of sight. We fished until 6 PM and shuttled back to the Greer campsite. That evening we had fried white bass for supper. As night fell on us, we stoked our campfire with vegetable oil since the wood was wet and listen to the sounds of night.

Friday morning, we decided to break camp. Jim and Jake decided to drive back to Springfield by way of Alley Spring and possibly Montauk State Park to fish. Sean had to get back to Springfield to take care of some business. I made plans to attend a fly-casting and instructors school in Cotter AR for the weekend. We took out time breaking camp. Jim and Jake left by 10 AM. Sean and I left before 11 AM. I followed Sean to Mansfield where I turned south on Hwy 5 to Mountain Home and Sean continued to Springfield.

June 5, 6 7: Mountain Home AR 2009 Fly-casting and Instructors School
I attended the 2009 Fly-casting and Instructors School which was located at Fulton’s Lodge on the White River near Cotter. This is a small lodge on the White River, close to Wildcat Shoals. Chuck Easterling and Bill Gammel have been instrumental to the development and inspiration to additional education opportunities for the CCI’s and MCCI’s in the southern region. It is to their credit that the opportunities to advance our casting and teaching abilities have lead forward by their example and time.

The focus of the school was on two-handed casting. The guest instructors were Al Buhr and Bob Middo. Al is an extremely well known two-handed instructor and instrumental in establishing the standards for the THCI. The respect for Al’s ability is evidenced by the demand for his instruction and testing expertise not only in North American but also in Europe and Asia. I had some time to listen to Al’s tell stories of his camping and fishing adventures in his home state of Oregon. The best story was his sitting in his campsite, after sunset in front of a campfire. When a young cougar came along, entered his site and sat across from him. Al decided to act big and loud to scare the cat away; only to have the cat lay back his ears and snarls at the aggressive act. Al retreated to his tent shaking like a young pup. One can only appreciate the story with Al giving every detail with emotion and suspense. Good stuff!

Bob Middo is a MCCI, THCI, a long-standing member of the Long Beach Casting Club, and serves on the Casting Board of Governors and the THCI Committee. Bob is the salt-water guy going for strippers and tuna. Bob is a very gifted caster and fun to be around.

Both instructors were exceptional and provide the foundation for improvement to better casting and introduction to the two-handed rod. These classes also focused on the practical application of a long rod which will included “beach casting” (saltwater), use on tail waters (species other than salmon and steelhead) and the use and advantages of switch rods.

If you have an opportunity to meet or better yet get some instruction from one of these fine gentlemen, you will be in for a real treat.

June 12, 13, 14 Women in Nature
Rod Pennington, Kevin Smith and I returned to Windermere Resort as members of the instructor staff for the Discover Nature Women Summer Workshop. There were 82 participants at this year event. We taught three sessions of fly tying with an introduction to in stream macro-invertebrate. Kevin Lohraff is the Outdoor Skills Education Coordinator from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

A big “Thank you” to all of you for teaching Fly Tying at our DNW event last weekend. I appreciate you giving your time, energy, and expertise to our participants. I saw many smiles and heard many positive comments, and women expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to learn a new outdoor skill. I realize you took time from your family, friends, and yourself in order to teach your courses, and I just wanted you to know I appreciate everything you did to make the event successful. Thanks, Rod, for sending your awesome bear photos. Bears remind us that we people are not so crazy to go to such great lengths to get those fish! Thanks, Kevin, for promoting our event and for recruiting your family. I really hope they enjoyed it. Thanks, Kim, for letting me tangle up your spey rod and for giving me the fly. I loved our fishing time together. I will send you copies of your course evaluations soon.

Thanks again!
Kevin M. Lohraff
Outdoor Skills Education Coordinator
Missouri Department of Conservation

May White Bass fishing

May 4-6, 2009: Sean and I had planned to camp and fish with Kevin Smith and others on the Little Red River, a tail-water below Greer Ferry Lake in Arkansas. But with a six-inch rainfall that weekend in Arkansas, I called and canceled on Sunday afternoon. I have a problem starting a campout in the rain. The streams were high, so I spent May 4th in the garden and mowing the yard. Many of the streams had peaked from the weekend rain but continue to be too high to fish: the Little Sac peaked at 11.5 ft on Saturday and still at 7.0 ft on Monday. It was too much water for me to paddle against. So, my next plan was to return to Bull Shoals Lake and fish below Power Site Dam.

Here is the site to view the Little Sac River real-time data:

Here is the site to view the Bull Shoals Lake below Power Site Dam real-time data:

Bull Shoals Lake has been on the rise since the beginning of April here are some levels on several fishing trips.

Bull Shoals Lake levels
4/07/09 653.2 ft and rising
4/14/09 654.2 ft and rising
4/19/09 655.6 ft and continues to rise
5/6/09 662.0 ft and continues to rise almost nine feet!

May 5: White Bass Pot Hole
Sean and I left Springfield for Forsyth to fish Bulls Shoals Lake. It was overcast and it rained most of the day. We took to the water in a kayak and canoe with oars. Sean picked up several white bass in the 14-16 inch range with many of the fish on the small side released. We fished in the boats tied to trees fishing to the brush that is mostly submerged.

May 6: White Bass Pot Hole
We returned to Bull Shoals Lake (Pot Hole). It was a sunny day with a few clouds. The gate on power site dam was opened with the current heaver then the day before. The lake is on the rise! We caught twenty white bass and a large mouth, and a crappie

May 10: (Mother’s Day) White Bass Little Sac River
It was to be the last trip for spring white bass. Sean and I took the canoe and kayak to Little Sac River near Morrisville near the Taylor Bridge. The water was high and dingy. We took the water crafts upstream to the power lines. The river conditions: Little Sac 4.4 ft Stockton Lake 872.2 ft
Sean had made a promise of fresh fish for a dinner date the next day, so the pressure was on to find fish. We did find a few fish in small pockets of water since the stream was running fast and high. Several of the white bass were over sixteen inches and we managed to pack out a dozen.