Thursday, October 20, 2011
Missouri's Wild Trout Streams 10/18 - 10/19 " Small Stream Attitude"
It was heavily overcast and spitting rain when I awoke for the second time and rolled out of bed on Tuesday morning. The clock read 6:00am and my planned departure time of 5:00 was just a nice thought that was passing through my still awakening brain. The sound of rain being driven against my bedroom window when the alarm jolted my being was enough to warrant a change in the itinerary. The wind was still howling at about 25 mph but at least the rain had slackened off enough that I wouldn't need to white knuckle the steering wheel for the 3 hour drive ahead.
I threw a few last minute items in the truck and Joe and I were on the road by 6:30 , headed South to spend a couple days playing around with some of Missouri's resident little wild rainbows and maybe get in a little brown trout action on Missouri's famed Taneycomo tailwater as well. The drive down was uneventful , if you dismiss the fleecing I endured at the gas station along the way. We pulled into our first destination to skies that were still overcast and a strong North wind gusting but no sign of any recent precip and none threatening. A perfect fall day , the first time since spring where a jacket and stocking cap were much appreciated in blocking the cool blustery winds. I packed a light lunch to be eaten streamside and then Joe and I headed downstream to where I planned to stop and slowly work my way back upstream.
This little stream is a real jewel and it appeared as though I might have the stretch I was on to myself , which recently is getting harder to do. I always enjoy my time here and while the fish I catch are generally small , if you go into it with the right attitude there are trophies to be found in every pool. Even the most diminutive of trout can bring a smile to my face that some might reserve for specimens much larger. It's all about perspective and recently I've decided that size isn't neccessarily a required criteria to determine if a fish is a trophy or not.
Joe and I fished our way upstream , catching several small rainbows out of about every likely looking hole we stopped at. While small in size these fish are some of the prettiest little wild rainbows you'll find anywhere and each one holds your gaze longer than the last as you take in their stunning beauty.
The day couldn't have been any better , the crisp smell of fall in the air and a beautiful wild trout stream to explore with my best friend , life is good. We shared a quick lunch streamside and somehow even the normally scorned pre-packaged sandwich seemed perfect on this day.
The day was made all the better when I landed my personal best wild rainbow , a true twenty inch fish and what I would consider a real trophy from these waters. This little creek never ceases to amaze me and that fish made me stop and think how special these waters really are.
A stunning fish and I took the time to sit back and savor the moment after releasing her on her way.
When we arrived back at the truck it was time to hit the road and make tracks for our destination for the night , Table Rock State Park.
The remainder of the afternoon went quickly and after getting a basic camp set up we only had about an hour to fish below TR dam before the sun set over the hillside. They were running water as I'd expected so Joe and I just stood on the bank and I was able to land a few stocker bows from a couple of easily accessible spots.
I was hoping for water off conditions in the morning and the chance to chase a few brown trout around below the dam. We finished off the evening with a dinner of homemade vegetable soup and a couple of slices of bread and then sat around a fire until the cold winds blew the last glowing embers into submission.
The next morning , after making a quick pot of coffee for the thermos , camp was taken down and packed away in the truck. The temperature was hovering in the mid thirties and the wind was blowing out of the North , perfect weather once again. We headed below the dam with hopes for water off but instead found a strong two units online. Par for the course for me , it seems someone inside the dam doesn't want me to get any fishing in whenever I come down. I played around on a couple of small seams that I could hit from shore without wading and caught a few more rainbows but this wasn't the experience I was looking for.
If I couldn't sight fish to large browns as I'd hoped then I might as well be back on my wild trout stream where I felt more at home. Back in the truck and on the move again we traced our steps back to the same stream we had fished the day before. It was almost lunchtime when we arrived and our time was more limited than the previous day as we had the three hour drive home to factor into our afternoon. The weather conditions worked to our advantage once again and we didn't see any other anglers while we were on the water. As for the fishing , it couldn't have been any better , every little pool held another trophy.
Posted by HighPlainsFlyFisher