Saturday, August 21, 2010

August: Still Hot in Missouri

August 14, 2010: Rod wanted to know where the best place to fish in August. I could only suggest Taneycomo at night and early morning, but the trip was canceled due to a round the clock generation as a result of the hot weather and a demand for more power. We decided on Montauk that 11 PM that night and ruled out Taneycomo. I arrived at Rod’s residence in Rogersville at 6 AM. The house was dark with no movement on the grounds; I finally realized Rod wanted to meet at his office in Springfield. I did not arrive his office until 6:20 AM.

Rod invited Ryan, who is with Lincoln Financial. Ryan is from Fort Wayne IN and does bass fish but has not been out to fly fish. So, Rod invited Ryan to introduce him to fly-fishing. So, we were late getting started and it was decided to fish Bennett Spring State Park. It was after 7:30 AM when we arrived; the park was very crowded being the final weekend before back to school for most students. We delayed our fishing in the park and drove to Bennett Spring access downstream from the park on the Niangua. It was before the weekend canoe hatch with fifty to seventy-five canoes at the water’s edge ready to be launched. We had an hour with plenty of space for Ryan to practice his casting. There were a few small long-ear sunfish splashing and a few taking our flies. A short time later the wave of canoes and rafts started and we decided to go upstream and fish above the low water bridge at Moon Valley access.

We found the fishing to be better at Moon Valley with long-ear sunfish willing to take our flies. Pictured below is Ryan with a pair of boots he borrowed from Rod’s son at fell apart at the seams.

The day was clear, with a bright hot sun. At noon, the temperature was past ninety degrees and it was getting to be very uncomfortable. We decided to return to Bennett Spring State Park, have lunch and finish the day on the cool spring creek waters.

After lunch, Rod and Ryan fished below the dam in Zone 2. I went down stream farther and worked my way upstream looking for trout taking dry flies. The best trout for me on this day was a 15 inch brown trout taking a #20 BWO. I manage eight. Rod had more success stripping a wooly between the dam and the stone bridge by releasing a dozen rainbow trout. Ryan did have a good time and his casting improved the longer he fished. Rod provided more ideas and tips on getting started with equipment and essentials to fly-fishing.

We called it a day by 7 PM and returned to Springfield with a few turkeys seen on the way home.

AUG 18-19: I was to meet Jim and Linda Scheve at Montauk State Park. I made a stop in Rolla for a meeting at Phelps CO hospital for a work related visit in the morning. It was noon when I found Jim and Linda under a shade tree preparing lunch. We had made arrangements to stay the night in Cabin #7 near the dam.

The park was very quiet, with families back to work and school. The day was pleasant with a blue sky, full sun and temperatures in the low eighties. We were able to get the key to the cabin after lunch and moved our gear into the place near the dam. It was after 1:30 pm when we were ready to fish; we walked to the waters above the dam and slipped in the water above a few fishermen. There was some surface activity along the weed edge, but with the sun hitting the water and shadows from our fly line alarmed the trout; it was difficult finding a take. We moved upstream into shallow and broken water finding the trout more cooperative.

Jim primarily fished these waters and I moved farther upstream. The water upstream has more cover with mature trees along the bank providing shade most of the day. I continued to move upstream and ended the day fishing above the power line. It was getting late in the day, the whistle was scheduled to sound at 8 pm but we decided to quit at 7:30 pm, allowing plenty of time to dine at the lodge which closes at 8:30 pm. On the walk back to the cabin, I crossed paths with some beavers and a pair of deer and captured their images on video.

We made it to the lodge before 8 pm for dinner. We returned to the cabin later that evening and turned in for the night. I woke the next day without an alarm clock at 6:30 AM. The whistle sounded at 7 AM, Jim and I started a short time later. We fished the waters above the power line and continued to fish upstream. During our walk to the water came across a feeding deer.

There were many trout behind the structure and suspended in the holes. Again, it was difficult getting them to take. I find fishing when the trout are in plain sight with a dry fly very challenging and frustrating. Jim and I fished until 10 AM and returned to the cabin to pack out. At 11 AM, we had a lunch and decided to fish the blue ribbon waters out side of the park. We drove and parked about 0.5 miles from the blue ribbon waters and fishing the Current River within the park boundaries. We had better catching with some of the trout caught being Parr with distinct bars on their sides. There were several Northern-banded water snakes in this stretch of water that we had to side step to get around. We fished for several hours and decided to return to the parked vehicles and check on Linda.

Jim wanted to check out the spring. We drove and parked near the hatchery, and then we walked upstream to check out the spring. We fished finding only a few cooperative trout. It was after 5 PM; Jim decided to call it a day. He and Linda wanted to get back to Springfield. I continued to fish until 8 PM. There was a period between 6:30 and 7:30 when the dry fly worked. It similar to a renegade, which is brown and white, this fly was black and white and I’m calling it a Polecat. It was very effective in shallow broken water in low light. I called it a day at 8 PM, called my wife letting her know I was late for supper and would stop on the drove home. I was a good trip and enjoyed the time spent with Jim and Linda on the Current River in Montauk State Park.

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