May 6, 2012: Rod and I had another chance to fish the pothole. There was some generation from Taneycomo coming through the power house with a cold front moving through. It rain on our drive from Springfield but the skies cleared at sunset. I was able to get to the mid-lake gravel bar and found 13-14 inch male white bass before sunset. Rod found a few whites after dark in the same general area. I fished the three trees after 8 PM, without a bite. My first trip in six weeks without hooking up a walleye; I suspect they are retreating to deeper water with the end of the spawn. Rod and I fished until 9:30 PM before calling it a night.
May 10, 2012: I received a tip of gar pike in the James River below Lake Springfield. My wife dropped me off below the dam; it is called the Tailwaters Access on City Utility property. The first warning of the day was a brown recluse escaping from my wading boots as I laced them up. It was in the truck, next to my wife in the driver’s seat as I was getting into my boots no harm but I did dispatch the spider.
I carried the kayak to the water’s edge, returned to the truck to carry the rest of the gear down to the water. My wife waved good-by and took off; she was to pick me up at the Campbell Bridge in four hours. So, she was going to shop until time to pick me up. Within 5 minutes, I realized two boxes of flies were left on the rear bumper of the truck. I immediately called Ann; she called me back thirty minutes later. One of the boxes was found in Kohl’s parking lot a few feet from where Ann parked. The other box was lost, approximately 50-70 streamers; including Clouser minnows, buck-tail streamers, etc. Ouch that hurts; for me time to get back to work trying flies. Ann returned in short time and gave me the box she found; it contained large streamers with a few small gray Clouser minnows.
It was almost 3 PM, I finally shoved off. It was been years since I fished this portion of the river; it had changed significantly with the area around the cave completely different with the main stream taking a different path. I went a little farther downstream and finally had some water to float. The water was low with many of the shoals difficult to pass. I was making a run and the current pushed the kayak into an uprooted tree. I saw it and thought I would be able to paddle through it, instead I crashed into it. Damn, there goes the rod!!The fly rod was caught in the mess of roots and broke, rendering the rod almost worthless. I floated downstream and parked on a gravel bar.
My two piece fly rod is now a four piece fly rod. Sometimes things just happen, and for me it was modifying my 9 ft 8 wt Loomis rod, to a 4’10” fly rod. I took a knife and modified it by inserting the tip section into the butt section and placing a tender twig between the sections to secure it. It actually threw a nice roll cast and finally started to see head to tail movement of gar. The rod worked in a pinch and took a few pumpkinseeds, an eighteen inch channel catfish and two small-mouth bass downstream.
The honeysuckle was in full bloom and the perfume was overpowering in some areas with a field nearby of fresh cut hay. There were several sightings of white tail deer along the water’s edge. It was almost 6 PM and I was making my final push to Campbell Street and saw two eagles fly across and downstream. Rod told me later that pair has been nesting there for five years or more. Ann was waiting for me at the bridge and I took out at 6:30 PM, right on time.
It was a memorial trip with a box of flies lost to the road, a broken fly rod. So, back to the tying bench and considering a new rod one that is six foot with the stiffness to roll cast a sink tip line… more to think about.