Wednesday, September 14, 2011

9/12/11 "Niangua River Float Trip"

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It's finally that time of year when the one hatch that I try to avoid at all cost is wrapping up , the aluminum hatch. With school back in session and the cooler days we've had recently I figured it'd be safe to venture out and float one of our beautiful Ozark rivers this last Monday.
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Myself and newfound fishing buddy Brian hit the road at 4:30 headed for the Niangua River to try our luck at catching a few raceway rainbows on a beautiful early fall day. We stopped off at NRO and made arrangements for our vehicle to be shuttled and then headed up to the boat ramp above the spring to get set up and on the water.
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It didn't take long to see that the fish were in a very cooperative mood on this day , we had our first fish in the net before we even got past the spring hole.
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It was a beautiful day to be on the water , the morning started off cool and clear and warmed up nicely to around 85 degrees before the day was over. It was a very comfortable 85 though, floating down a spring-fed river with your legs dangling in the cool water and a canopy of shade in many places made the temp seem just about perfect.
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Seeing as we had a relatively short float back down to NRO we took our time and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the river as we fished our way downstream. Apart from one small group of floaters we didn't encounter another fisherman on the water once we got past the conservation access area , however the remnants of a long summer season were evident by the beer cans and strings of colored beads that littered the stream bottom in many places. It felt good to know that those people wouldn't be back for a good six months , leaving the river to folks who actually appreciate it for the wonderful resource it is instead of raping and pillaging it every weekend (that's my rant for the day!).
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The fish definitely didn't disappoint on this day , we caught fish out of pretty much every hole we stopped to fish. If it looked like it should hold fish then it probably did. Fly selection didn't seem to be paramount , Brian and I both used larger beadhead nymphs under an indicator and I threw some pine squirrel sculpin patterns as well and all were catching fish. For the first time in several trips to the Niangua we caught numerous small browns along with the bows.
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It's great to see the browns still being stocked in the stream, but without any type of protection through new regulations I'm afraid that the majority of them end up on a stringer enroute to a hot oil bath. A shame really as the Niangua has the potential to be a much better fishery if only the powers that be would treat it as a fishing resource and not just whore it out to canoe outfitters for six months out of the year. That's another whole topic of discussion though so we'll just leave it at that.
We didn't catch any big fish , everything was just average stocker size, but their abundance and willingness to eat made for a great fishing trip.
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We spent the entire day out on the river , stopping for a quick streamside lunch about midday and making several pit stops along the way to enjoy a cold adult beverage.
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We pulled the boats up onto the gravel bar at NRO around 5:00 that evening , feeling right with the world after a day spent relaxing on the river . We popped the top on a couple more cold ones to toast an awesome day and then loaded up the gear and headed back to KC. On the ride home we found ourselves already discussing our next adventure and where it might take us.
Here's to good friends and great fishing!!
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10 comments:

  1. Damn wish I could of made that one. This weekend might be ggod as the temps will keep most people away.PBR ????

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  2. I'm done with the aluminum/bikini hatch on my water too. It really seems to be much more than usual, and I've had trouble fishing at 4 o'clock on a weekday! Nice fish though and looks like a great time! JGR

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  3. Kevin - Coming from a guy who drinks Busch I don't wanna hear any shit over drinking PBR!! Ice cold tall boy on the river...good stuff man.

    JGR - Around here it seems to get worse every year. They pretty much take over several of my favorite rivers between Memorial Day and Labor Day , all I can say is good riddance (for six months anyway).

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  4. It would be nice to get out on a bigger river like that, I love the driftless area up here, but haveing a few more larger rivers wouldn't hurt!

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  5. Blake - Head on down to Missouri , plenty of floatable rivers and I'd be glad to hook you up with the info you need. You've got it pretty good up there though , but I wouldn't like the closed season.

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  6. Those are some nice looking fish....

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  7. Mr Q - Appreciate it...thanks for reading.

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  8. Nice fish. Looks like some beautiful water. It really is a shame what some people do to a river isnt it? I am hoping to get out more myself now that everyone is done cause Summer ended. Great post.

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  9. Only you would compare Bush to PBR. LOL!
    That might be this weekends plan! No Canoe hatch and weather reports are looking pretty good!

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  10. HighPlainsFly FisherSeptember 19, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    J and M Flies - Appreciate it , it's that time of year to get out and enjoy the cooler weather and lack of crowds for sure. Thanks for reading....Jeff

    Kevin - Give me a call if you decide to do the Niangua , not sure what the weekend holds yet for me. And you and I both know you're not turning down a cold PBR out of the cooler next time we go fishing , that'd be like a fat kid turning down a brownie!!

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