Monday, May 7, 2012
5/02 - 5/05 Current River "Floating , Fishing and Drinking...Cinco Trip Part Deux"
For the second year in a row I had the good fortune of being invited to attend a good friends small fishing trip that happens every year on Cinco De Mayo. The location has been moving around the last few years but this year it was happening at one of my favorite Missouri rivers , the Current. The number of attendees changes as well depending on those inevitable unforeseen circumstances we all encounter , this year there were five of us. Kevin , Terry and myself all arrived on Wednesday and got the party started , while Don and Mike graced us with their presence on Thursday evening. As with most multi-day get togethers that happen in the circles I run in , the week was filled with lots of killer camp grub , adult beverages on occasion and some fishing (of course). The first day was spent dividing our time between setting up camp , fishing and drinking. Not neccesarily in that order. We did a little wade fishing around the Tan Vat access since it was conveniently located right across from our campground. This river always seems to fish pretty good and this trip was no different , we were able to land a good number of rainbows and browns by nymphing and throwing small streamers. Nothing of any real size was caught , but no one fished terribly hard and it was a good start to a long weekend of fishing. The day ended the way all perfect days should , a good meal..a little drink and then a nightcap of stories around the campfire. Thursday we had plans to float from Parker Access down to Cedar Grove , a short distance of about two miles but long enough for a good afternoon of fishing. We didn't need to rush with such a short float so we spent some time around Tan Vat again first thing in the morning before breakfast. There were a few more people around than I expected to see on a weekday but I guess that's what you get when the weather is predicted to be so nice in early May. No worries for us as we were just killing a little time before hitting the river anyway , once on the water and floating we knew we'd have the place pretty much to ourselves. By the time we got the vehicles shuttled and gear loaded on the boats it was around 10:30 or so , with only a couple miles to float we didn't need to rush and took the time to enjoy the scenery and fish pretty much every likely looking hole we passed. The Current is indeed a beautiful river and at times it was hard to stay focused on fishing and not just sit back and take in the sites. As expected we didn't encounter any other floaters or fishermen and thoroughly enjoyed our short float , catching numerous bows out of most areas we fished. It was getting close to 4:00 when we finally pulled the boats up on the bank just below the Cedar Grove access , a little hot...a little tired and a lot thirsty! We downed a few cold beverages in the parking lot before heading back to pick up our other vehicle and settling around camp for the evening. I'm not real sure what "normal people" do for fun , but damn I sure can't imagine a better way to spend the day. Friday we had the whole crew on board and again planned to spend the day floating , this time a little longer stretch from Baptist to Parker. While still not a long float , this one was about 5 1/2 miles so we decided to forego the early morning wade fishing and head out after a big camp breakfast. We were pushing off by 9:00 , two canoes and me in my pontoon with nothing to do but take in some of the rivers beautiful scenery and try and catch a few fish along the way. Time always flies by when you're doing something you enjoy and it seemed like we'd barely gotten started when a quick glance at my watch told me it was already a good time for a lunch stop. There's something about eating outdoors , especially on the water , that just makes everything taste so much better. The food may not have been anything special but the scenic view from streamside made up for that in spades. After lunch the beer started tasting better , which probably didn't help out anyones luck with the fishing. I do know that everyone caught enough fish to make for a great day as everyone was nothing but smiles at the takeout. After getting the five guys and three boats all loaded into our one shuttle vehicle we headed back to pick up our other vehicles and then make our way back to camp. After unloading boats and gear we all kicked back for awhile and traded stories of the days float over a couple of ice cold beverages. Most everyone was satisfied to just sit around camp relaxing for the remainder of the evening but of course I had to be the oddball and decide to hit the river again for an hour or so before dinner. My hopes were to throw streamers up until it got too dark to see what I was doing and hopefully stick one of the big browns that I know inhabit the river. For the first time I actually had the entire access to myself , for as far as I could see both upstream and down there wasn't another soul. This is the kind of fishing that I enjoy most , an evening to wade the river tossing streamers for browns in complete solitude. Used to be I'd have said that most of my time spent stalking trout was done with nymphs and indicators but I've since seen the light. There's just something about swinging or stripping a streamer through the water column with the anticipation that the predatory nature of that fish is going to make him give chase and attack. It's a feeling you just don't get when nymphing or for that matter even dry fly fishing and it's what I seek each time I hit the water. Now if I just had a story and picture of the big brown that I landed that evening the tale would be perfect , unfortunately stories don't always end that way. I will say that my biggest fish of the weekend (he'd have went 5# pretty easily) gave me every opportunity that night , I was stripping an articulated sculpin pattern when a nice brown came from behind a boulder and swiped at the fly. He missed with his first attempt , then came back again and inhaled the fly , my adrenaline level was so high at that point that I set too hard and promptly snapped the 3X tippet I was using. Lessons learned...don't go after an elephant with a BB gun (I knew better than to use wimpy 3X while fishing for the big guys) and shit happens (sometimes the big ones get away , such is fishing). I finished out the evening catching a couple smaller browns and several rainbows before heading back to camp for dinner and a beverage. That night we ate like kings , wild pig loin cooked over an open fire..sweet corn cooked in the shuck..firepit baked potatoe and a pot of settlers beans. It's a good thing these trips only happen once a year or I'd have to renew that old fitness membership again! Saturday I had the task of getting packed up and hitting the road once again. The rest of the guys were staying another night but I had other engagements that required my presence back at home. It didn't take long to get everything packed back in the truck , although I just know that one of these trips I'm not going to get everything back in that I took out , it's always a little tighter fit on the return trip. I said my good-byes and thanked the guys for inviting me along. I hope they'll contemplate putting up with me next year when the time rolls around once again. Even though I had a 5+ hour trip back home the day was still young and I hadn't gotten my fill of fishing just yet (nor will I ever!) so I decided to hit the Baptist access for an hour or so before I had to get serious about the ride back. A couple last rainbows were landed before calling it a wrap , that's how I like to finish off a good fishing trip. Another great one in the books for 2012 , here's to the next , whenever and wherever it might be.
Posted by HighPlainsFlyFisher