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.

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