Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December: State park waters


This past weekend was spent at Montauk State Park with Ralph Eichholz, Warren Wilkerson and Rod Pennington. There was a state MTFA business meeting on Saturday at noon, so we rented a cabin for two days; leaving three days to fish.

Dec 2, 2011: Friday morning, we moved into cabin 12, put items away and took to the water. Warren and Rod started below the lodge and fished to the dam. I started at the dam and worked the water up stream. Ralph came in later that afternoon and did not find us; so he drove up to the spring and fished the upper water. There was a Baetis hatch with the trout taking them cautiously, Rod fished with a white and cream dry fly and had better success than my BWO. Warren fished with a zebra midge and did well before breaking off. We did not see Ralph until after 4 PM; he fished with soft hackles and did well. He tried a rainbow of colors with the trout willing to take them all. He was thrilled with his success. That evening, we pan fried some quail that Rod and his son bagged earlier this year, with mash potatoes and peas. Dessert was a cake my wife sent. There was more than enough for everyone, with some quail left over. (It was served with breakfast on Sunday).

Dec 3,2011: Saturday, after breakfast we again went to the water. Ralph, Rod and I started upstream of the lodge. Warren went to the dam. There were fish moving on top with little success taking them with a dry. Upstream 50 yards, I saw a trout over 24 inches, giving chase to other trout. I took out a meat and potato fly and swung the fly in front of him and then stripped it quick. The trout gave chase four times and took the fly once only to feel his teeth and not setting the hook. It was after 11 AM, I had to stop for some time to conduct the state MTFA meeting.

After the meeting Ralph had to return to Springfield, Rod, Warren and I went back to the fly’s only area. I moved up stream farther that the day before. There were a half dozen fishermen moving down stream throughout the afternoon, with little interference. Again, it was hard fishing a take with many of the trout hitting short or I was too impatient setting the hook too quickly…hard to figure.

I quit at the sound of the horn, 4 PM and walked back to the cabin. Rod and Warren had already returned and out of their waders. That evening we had Alaska fish, coleslaw and fries. The rain was starting to fall and it rained through the night.

Dec 4, 2011: Sunday, we had our breakfast, packed out our gear and turned in the keys. We drove to the other side of the river. Warren decided to give the catch and release area a try. Rod and I walked back to the water and fished the same general area. I moved much faster up stream wanting to fish familiar water and find trout more willing to take a dry. Rod was fishing the weed banks and taking trout with a cream and white hackle dry, I was trying everything in my box; finding a few trout with a caddis. I saw two trout near 24 inches moving behind a down tree with a washed out trough. I switched flies and tied on a black jig with one of the trout giving chase and taking the fly.

The rain fell for a few hours and stopped after 1 PM. Rod had left the water and had to return to Springfield. I had moved up past the down tree and saw more Baetis duns on top. There were a few trout giving chase and I had only a few small flies left. Here I had some moderate success taking trout with a dry fly. The large sycamore tree is a roost for a hundred buzzards/vultures. The ground under the tree was white from the droppings and had a distinct odor.

I fished until 3:50 PM and decided it was last cast last fish for the trip and walked back to the truck. I found Warren fishing in the catch and release area, where he had a good day of catching trout.

Everyone had a great trip. Ralph has a blog with a favorable report of his experiences. I will plan another trip this winter back to Montauk.




DEC 9, 2011: A trip back to Bennett Spring S.P. The day was cool, the radio reported a temperature of 33° F at 11 AM while driving I-44. The sky was overcast with a light breeze. I did find several cooperative trout; a dozen above the dam. The wind was blowing upstream and blew the Baetis mayflies back into the slough. After 2 PM, the hatch had diminished. I moved to the stone bridge and fished back to the dam. The trout were more cooperative and I took trout to 4 PM; I had a trout on when the horn blew. I finished with 34 trout to hand for the afternoon. I did see eagles flying high, deer and turkeys on the drive home. There were maybe a dozen fishermen seen for the time I fished, for most of the time I fished with no one in sight. Good day to fish.

Dec 16, 2011: It was a cloudless day with early temperatures in the mid-twenties. When I arrived Bennett Spring State Park at 10 AM, it was already above freezing with a predicted high of forty-five degrees. A student from MSU, Zach Schmitz met me at the park. Zach had finished finals at school and had a day to fish before returning to his family’s home in Kansas City. This was Zach first experience winter fishing and has some concerns keeping warm.

We were in the water by 10:30 AM; a mild wind was blowing upstream. There were a small number of midges (white) and small mayflies (BWO) present in the slough in the aqua vegetation. I started with a #18 caddis imitation just to try something different and made two casts and released two small trout. Zach fished with some #20 BWO patterns. We both found some cooperative trout taking flies and fished the area above the dam until 2:30 PM. We walked down stream to the stone bridge and worked back to the dam. The light was very bright in our eyes and it was difficult to get the trout to see or take our flies. We caught a few more trout and finished at 4 PM.

Zach had a good day of fishing and managed to keep the cold away. It was a decent day of fishing with a fair hatch.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November: Winter fishing at Bennett Spring S.P.


I enjoy Bennett Spring State Park in the winter. There can be an outstanding mayfly hatch that appears in the afternoon and at times will last several hours through mid-January. The trout have been in the stream long enough to recognize these insects as food and will actively seek them out along the edges and near the aquatic plants.

The number of people fishing may be a crowd of twenty on a Saturday afternoon in zone 1 or a stretch of water all to you on a Friday or Monday. A snowy day may find you all alone in the park with a few eagles perched on the Sycamore tree over the stream.

A mayfly hatch is common with a #20 BWO; imitating celery green body, a white tail and white legs Baetis emerging from the slough or back waters near the concrete access structures. I use a 4 wt 10 ft rod with 6X or smaller tippet. You will find me wading upstream looking for trout hunting these insects. Even if you never tried to fish a dry fly, these trout are blind to the many mistakes a fisherman starting out may make.

For more information of these mayflies check out: http://www.troutnut.com/hatch/180/Mayfly-Baetis-Blue-Winged-Olives

Nov 14, 2011: Rod Pennington and I made plans to fish Bennett Spring S.P. I called Frank Moran and invited him to fish with us. Since, I have not been at the park recently, there was concern if the BWO hatch would be present. Monday morning, I woke at 6 AM. Started some coffee and tied a few flies hoping to match the hatch of the day. I met Frank at 10 AM, with Rod driving alone since he would have to leave early. We fished Zone 1, just above the dam. The water level was normal for this time of the year with some changes due to erosion and the holes in front of the dam filling in. There were a few BWO seen throughout the day, with a minimal hatch event. The trout seem to be looking for duns. There was a mild breeze blowing upstream, providing some cover for the trout with a cloudy day. Frank’s first cast of the day, brought to hand a nice 14-inch rainbow with others to follow much smaller. Rod and I had a good day with a total of 25 trout released. Rod left early, Frank and I stayed until 4 PM. An eagle flew into view at 3:30 PM and perched on a limb over the stream. I was able to walk to him and capture a nice video of this eagle in flight.
video

It was good to get back to the stream and hope to get back at least once a week.

Nov 21, 2011: Rod and I made our plans and returned to Bennett Spring S.P. There was a light mist with a dark sky. The wind was light with a smooth stream surface. The temperature was in the mid-forties. There were few a fishermen around with no one in close proximity. I returned to a pattern of habit and started at the dam and fished to the concrete access ramps. A pair of eagles were seen near the spring on our drive in and later sat on the Sycamore tree across the concrete access ramps.


There was a sporadic hatch with low numbers of mayflies. The dreaded white midge was present and we saw a few black adult caddis. We released from hand twenty trout with most of my hook ups on a #20 parachute BWO. We saw a few groups of turkeys in field on our drive with the deer in hidingsince opening day for gun season.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October: Eleven Point River

Oct 18-19: Ralph Eichholz and I camped and fished the Eleven Point River near Greer. The weather turned wet and cold for the two days. There was falling precipitation most of Tuesday, which delayed setting up tents at the Federal campgrounds. We left the gear under cover and looked at the springs nearby. Our first hike was to Greer spring. There were no other visitors and the trail was wet. After a two-mile hike, we came upon the spring. We spent time viewing the flowing spring and taking a few photos.

On the way back to the campsite, we decided to look at Greer spring creek flowing into the Eleven Point River, which is half mile upstream from HWY 19 Bridge. We found the Ozark trail and walked up stream to the branch where the spring flowed into the river. I did see a golden eagle perched in a tree. It flew away as soon as it was spotted.

After a few pictures, we walked back to the truck and drove to our campsite for lunch. After lunch, Ralph decided he wanted to look at another spring since it was still raining. We drove ten miles to Turner Mill access to look at the spring and the past community of Surprise. The mill wheel sits in the spring waters as a marker to a community seventy-five years ago.

It was near 3 PM, we returned to the campsite to set up the tents; the rain had stopped. There was time to fish, so we slipped into our waders and walked to the bridge; a short walk from the campsite. The stream was clear with a flow of 450 cfs with the gage height 3.3 ft at Bardley, MO near the 160 bridge; normal for this time of the year.

We caught a few trout with one fish under eight inches; indicating a wild trout. We fished until 6 PM, almost dark and walked back to camp. Dinner was prepared in the dark and we ate at 7:30 PM. The wind started to come out the north with possible frost in the AM. It was going to be a cold night to sleep in a tent. We made a campfire that evening and enjoyed it, turning in at 9:30 PM.

It was a cool night, but without frost. A moderate wind blew most of the night. The next morning, coffee was started at 7 AM. We finished breakfast and broke camp by 9 AM, and placed the canoe in the water. I drove to Richard’s Canoe to set up a shuttle and planned to takeout at 5:30 PM. We shoved off at 9:30 AM, stopped for a short time at the first island below Greer.

Since we were to float the entire 5 miles section in eight hours, we had little to waste and kept moving along most of the day. We caught fish in waters where I had success in the past trips. We discovered at 1 PM, a Hyde boat with two fishermen and a guide was in front of us all day; thus an excuse for not catching more Trout.

We managed a dozen for the day. There was a brief period for the sun to shine, getting a few photos. For most of the day, it was cool, windy and overcast. It was good to get back to the Eleven Point and I was thrilled Ralph had a good time with this trip.

Oct 26, 2011: The regular season at the state parks will end Oct 31, Rod and Jim made a few trip earlier in the month and wanted to get in one more before the end of the month. Rod asked me if I wanted to go, even though I was scheduled to work the afternoon; I accepted.

The day was cloudy with occasional rain through out the morning. We fished the waters below the rock bridge. The colors of autumn were present, but dull due to the blanket cloud cover obscuring the sun.

Jim, and his to sons, Jacob, and Jessie, with Rod and I rode together from Springfield. We were in the water before 8 AM, and fished to noon. I threw dry flies with very few takes. The #16 wooly bugger, proved to catch more trout. I did switch to soft hackles and found a few more takes. We left the park before noon and returned to Springfield, had lunch at 1 PM and made it to work on time.

It was a short trip, but a delight to get out.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Alaska in September

This was my third trip to Kodiak Island. Rod Pennington, Bill Taylor, Sean Schultz and I made our plans and took a ten-day holiday. Our plan was to fish for Coho (AKA Silver Salmon) at Saltery Lake Lodge with a deep sea trip thrown in. We left Springfield on Friday, September 16th and flew to Dallas in the morning, to Anchorage in the afternoon and landed on Kodiak Island at 11PM. We fished on the U-Rascal Saturday, the next morning with Capt Chris Fiala.

Here is a U-tube video of his boat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNYiGe8NOVQ.

This was my second trip with Chris. We fished the south side of the island across from a missile silo site near Ugak Island.

There were eleven of us on the boat with crew and another party from Edmonton.
We caught a few halibut, a limit of Rockfish and several lingcod.

The crew was Dave and Rebecca, a brother and sister from Seattle taking a break from college.

The weather was almost perfect with a light wind and some wave action. The afternoon saw clouds building over the Island. We fished until 6 PM, dropped the catch off at Island Seafoods for processing and returned to our hotel. Web site for Islandseafoods.com

On Sunday we met Doyle Hatfield in the lobby of the Best Western and shuttled to the water-port, Kingfisher Air to board a floatplane operated by Saltery Lodge.

Bill Franklin was our pilot, a co-operator of the operation at Saltery Lodge. The flight was worth the price of admission as we flew below the mountain peaks under the cloud cover through the American River valley pass to Ugak Bay and up the Saltery River.

We landed on Saltery Lake where the lodge is located which is in absolute wilderness.

Saltery Lake Lodge from Bread Loaf Mountain-Photo Sean Schultz IPhone

Photo Sean Schultz IPhone

Sean and I arrived after 10 AM, unpacked our gear and broke out our fly rods. We had some time before lunch to fish. Sean and I walked the shore of the lake to test the waters and scout the waters for fish and water conditions. There was a light rain with the lake on the rise. We fished for an hour before taking a break for lunch.

Nathan and Sheila are the camp cooks and they do an excellent job with the meals.

At lunch we met the other guests: There were seventeen of us with groups from England, Edmonton, Pittsburg and retired Col. Taft.

We met our guide for the week his name was Lem.
A native of Singapore, after his tour in the army came to America to attend college and is now a physical therapist in Wisconsin. He has been in the United States for sixteen years. His family moved here a few years ago with his brother and parents living in Wisconsin.

After lunch, we decided to fish Lake Creek for Dolly Varden. Dollies are a char with similar color patterns to a brook trout. The Dollies will position themselves behind the spawning Sockeye Salmon to eat the eggs floating down stream. A set up with a bead will catch the aggressive char.

On our journey up stream I saw eagles perched on trees over the water with one willing to stay still for a picture.

We managed to catch sixty-two dollies in four hours and returned to the lodge at 5:30 PM. On out trip back to the lodge, we startled a pair of buffalo napping in the grass along the creek bank.

We had supper at 6:30 PM and became aquatinted with the other guests by introducing ourselves. After supper we saw a bear down the lake near the upper hole, which is the beginning of Saltery River. That evening after supper we walked to the mouth of Lake Creek to fish with little luck. Several Canadians came down and walked into the stream without waterproof boots, getting their feet wet to fish the current and found a few arctic char and Dolly Varden. We turned in at 9 PM.

Monday: it rained all night, the lake was on it's way up. There was a significant wind gust in the morning blowing to the west with a few white caps on the lake. The area we fished had some shelter from the wind. Our group had the first hole, also called the upper hole. Rod and Bill started at the upper hole and continued to fish down stream. Sean and I started at the mouth and fished our way into the lake finding silver salmon running along the lake's edge. We waded waist deep and threw to shore taking a number of salmon; several of these weighed over thirteen pounds. Rod reported seeing a bear at the lower hole. Sean and I released eighteen silvers before lunch. It continued to rain throughout the day with the lake coming up eight inches.

Photo Sean Schultz IPhone

We stopped for lunch and it continued to rain through the day. Sean and I returned to the mouth of Saltery River and fished the lake repeating the same path from the morning. Again we found cooperative salmon with six Silver Salmon caught in the first hour after lunch.

It was a great day of fishing with Sean and I releasing thirty-four salmon and our group catching forty-three Silver Salmon and a few dollies on our second day of fishing. It does not get much better. The lake did rise a few more inches and a boat took us back to the lodge side to finish our day of fishing.

Tuesday: after breakfast we returned to the lake. The lake dropped six inches over the night and we found less salmon. The current moved to mid lake, away from the lakeshore and we found fishing more difficult. Sean did pick up a Silver Salmon the first ten minutes and he kept working the lakeshore. I found a few dollies using my spey rod and fished the cove.
Photo Sean Schultz Bread Loaf Mountain IPhone
Sean went around the point and waded to the base of Bread Loaf Mountain. He decided to climb Bread Loaf Mountain and made it 1/3 the way up before retreating back to the lake for lunch.
Photo Sean Schultz Bread Loaf Mountain IPhone
After lunch, Sean decided to stay back at the lodge; he was worn out from his climb. Rod, Bill and I spent the afternoon in the lower hole. The water was colored with a good flow.

There were plenty of fresh Silvers moving up from the salt, since many of the fish we caught had sea lice attached to the fish and were bright chrome colored. We caught sixteen Silvers and twenty-six Dolly Varden and fished until 6:30 PM.

Wednesday: the day started with an overcast sky with periods of rain. Lem took us down river in a suburban to the Slough hole. The trail was wet and full of water. A dozen buffalo blocked our path and delayed us. They had no fear of the vehicle and did not step out of the way. We took the opportunity to take a few photos from our seats.
Photo Sean Schultz IPhone

After a five-minute encounter, we drove another 100 yards to park the vehicle. The buffalo stayed away and laid down in the trees nearby. We took our rods and checked a few holes with a few dollies caught, no salmon seen.
Photo Sean Schultz IPhone
Thirty minutes later we had a bear encounter, he walked around us for twenty minutes as we took pictures and video. The bear was not comfortable with out presences.

Here is a link to bear video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-i4U0vIzZY
After the bear moved up stream and out of view, we returned to the suburban and Lem took us up stream to Jim's Hole. Again we spread out and found a few dollies in the area. Two Canadians from the lodge came from up stream, getting separated from their group by a bear on the river. The bear was defensive, shook his head and pounded the gravel bar with his front legs, letting them know to move on and get out of his fishing waters. They retreated around the bear and made a wide path through the brush. It was almost noon and seven of us packed into the suburban and returned to the lodge. On our way back another suburban with Geoff behind the wheel was looking for the Canadians. All of us returned safe with plenty of bear tales.

After lunch, Sean decided to fish Lake Creek. The rain had stopped with the sun breaking through the clouds. A rainbow was seen to the north with Sean standing under it as he fished.

I let Sean know where to find us, as he wanted to stayed at Lake Creek. I returned to the upper hole, where four spinner fishermen stood throwing their hardware. I walked past them and into the lake, not looking back. In a short time, I found a Silver Salmon on the opposite bank. The lake was still a little high with cloudy water; I could see my boots a foot under. A light wind scuffed the surface of the lake. I continued to wade the shoreline waist deep in lake water working my way to the cove. Later, Bill came from the lodge and Joe ferried him across with a boat. Bill worked out his line and on his first cast hooked a Silver Salmon.
See YouTube video of Bill fighting a Silver Salmon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyMUYjKkkuQ
Bill continued to find cooperative Cohoes missing the set of the hook but getting them to jump and making all kinds of commotion. I found four more Silver Salmon that afternoon.

Sean joined us after 5 PM. Bill left with Lem in the boat, Sean and I stayed until 6 PM with Sean picking up another Silver Salmon in the sand. On our way back to the opposite shore we saw a bear swimming across the river at the upper hole and lost sight of him. Toby, a member of the English group came back to look for a pair of sunglasses he lost and he saw the bear. We waited for the bear but it must have made its way to the brush.

Rod fished the lower hole with only a few people around and did well landing four Silver Salmon and losing that many. He witnessed an interesting event. A fellow with an expensive Sage rod fished just below Rod. This fellow hooked and was trying to land a Silver Salmon without assistance. He took his rod and tried to lift the ten pound fish out of the water and onto a steep gravel bank only to shatter the rod. The fish slid down the bank. The fellow threw down his rod grabbed the salmon only to get the hook in his thumb and to top it off, the silver salmon bit his finger... That is a bad day.

Rod may contact Sage to let them in on the story, since the fellow has little respect for a good rod. We finished the day with eleven silvers two sockeye and forty-six dollies.

Thursday: We described this day of fishing as a Rock day on Rough Creek. Rough Creek is on the west side of Bread Loaf Mountain. Since the water flow had been high, no one had fished it, therefore very little fishing pressure on this small stream. It was not accessible in the lower reaches due to the high water in Saltery River.

Lem packed a few sandwiches and water and we took the boat across the lake to the southeast corner of the mountain and hiked in waders forty minutes along the southern base of the mountain to the other water shed. The creek was gin clear, the banks had exposed rock, gravel and washed out trees. Rough Creek is a free stone creek with snow from the mountains giving it a good flow, with a significant rain will rise quickly and washout. You would not want to be in the creek with rising water.

Lem instructed us to fish the pools and eddies and with Polaroid sunglasses looking into the pools. When a cast was made up stream, watching your fly, you would see the salmon take your fly. It was something to see a silver salmon flash the pool; a bright flash indicating to set the hook. It was great, unbelievable fishing in an absolute wilderness setting. We fished twelve pools in five hours and released thirty-seven silver salmon. It did rain most of the afternoon, but it did not diminish our enthusiasm for the fishing. It was a memorable experience. We fished until 3:30 PM and returned to the boat.

It was a difficult walk going through bogs, steep terrain and tall grass. It took us a little longer on the return hike, as we over shot our target and had to blaze a trail at the base of the mountain back to the boat. Lem said it was the scenic route with no extra charge. The waders were wet on the inside due to excessive heat and sweat. It was worth the discomfort.

It was almost 5 PM and we decided to finish the day in the lake. Lem took Rod and Bill in the boat to the other side and they fished the lower hole. Sean and I walked the waters edge back to familiar waters in the lake. We each caught another silver and Rod landed two more at the lower hole. We returned to the lodge at 6:30 PM.

Friday: this was our last day to fish, the sun broke through with only a few clouds overhead, and a rainbow was seen near Bread Loaf Mountain on our walk to the river.

Photo Sean Schultz IPhone

We walked to the lower hole only to find it full of fishermen; Rod left before us and found a spot. Bill fished the stretch between the upper and lower holes. I took the high bank of the upper hole only to see a bear walking the opposite bank. I was able to get some video of the bear walking the bank with little concern for the fishermen on to opposite bank. After the bear left, I slid down the bank and slipped into the water and found three Silver Salmon midstream. Several ATVs drove in and several fishermen from our lodge decided to leave. I went across to the other bank and waded back to the lake to find Sean. The lake returned to normal levels but too shallow for salmon in the sand. We worked our way to the cove and found better conditions mid-lake and hooked a few more Silver Salmon. The opposite shore was populated with the Brits, lined up throwing spinners and Spey lines finding a few fish. Bill Franklin came in by ATV with his son and grandson to check the roads and do some fishing. They were in the boat encroaching the Brits throwing their lines across the Spey lines. Charlie, one of the Brits gave the boat a verbal thrashing. It was quite entertaining.
Photo Sean Schultz IPhone
We stopped for lunch at noon. We found out Bill went into water over his waders and returned to the lodge to dry out. Rod was fishing the lower hole and caught a few Cohoes only to have the Germans from the other lodge throwing spinners over his line with a fish on the reel; Rod had a few choice words for the fisherman. It seems to go with the territory when the fish are in significant numbers.

After lunch we decided to get out of the sunshine and return to Lake Creek to fish for dollies. We started at 2 PM and made our way up stream. Sean was the first one in the creek and made his way quickly upstream to some favorite spots. He had a pair of bald eagles fly over his head and was marveled. At 4:30 PM, we decided to return to our favorite, mid lake above the upper hole for a last cast, last fish for our week trip. Sean and I went to the lake and Rod made a beeline to the lower hole. Rod caught a Silver Salmon on his third cast, he decided one more and caught two more before calling it a last cast. I found a Silver Salmon in the mid lake and stopped at 5:30 PM satisfied with my last cast. Sean stepped into my spot and at 6 PM was getting concerned because we would stop fishing at 6:15 PM for a prime rib dinner and we did not want to be late. At 6:10 PM. Sean hooked his salmon for his last cast, last fish for the trip.

As we waded across the lake we saw a small bear moving near the upper hole and was running in circles. Later, we found out Lem was fishing that hole and saw the bear. He was not concerned with the little bear until another bear showed up, much larger and scared the little bear. The little bear almost ran over Lem in his desire to get out of sight and out of the way of the bigger bear…All in good fun. We caught thirteen silvers, forty dollies and a sockeye salmon.

On Saturday, we had two more encounters with bears. A bear on the front lawn was scratching himself on a dead pine tree. The bear was walking the lakeshore when the plane came in. The bear took off running and nearly ran over a member of the Pittsburg group. He took a picture of it running at him but it was all a blur. Good fun.

We saw another bear on the opposite shore near bread Loaf Mountain as we left. We heard the news that a plane went down Friday night. An Otter had crashed near the airport killing the pilot, with the two passengers surviving. Small plane crashes are common events in Alaska, but one should know 10% of Alaskans have a pilot license and flying is a common mode of transportation in this state.

If you tallied our numbers you know we caught 123 silver salmon and 173 dollies. We were more than satisfied with this trip and hope you enjoyed reading the blog

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

July: Eleven Point River

7/26/2011-7/27/2011: Eleven Point River… Jim and I drove to Greer and rented a canoe from Richard’s Canoe Rental for an over night trip on the Eleven Point River. The water was up at least four inches as a result of the epic rain in May and the river continues to flow high due to the charged springs. In past years the MDC will annually stock this stretch of water the first of July, even though it is a Blue Ribbon stream. The ability of the trout to naturally reproduce is not sufficient to keep the number of trout in line for satisfactory fishing according to the MDC.The water down stream near

Turner Mill is stocked once a month. We took our time fishing the islands hooking some nice rainbow trout, again on a clouser fly dangling in the holes. As we fished our way down stream we saw many changes as a result of the high water and fast currents with familiar campsites gone due to gravel bars lost to the river. There were some outstanding fishing in some of the runs with six to a dozen trout were caught and released. We camped above Little Hurricane creek. It was very hot out of the water with temperatures in the high nineties.

One of the most memorable sights was a spicebush covered with butterflies.


We could not wade in some of the areas due to the fast flow. It was great getting back to this river, which I consider the best in Missouri.