Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Ozarks Streamer Smallies...Again
I just can't seem to shake this urge to chase smallmouth here recently. I've always considered myself a wannabe Trout Bum and for as long as I can remember that's what the majority of my time has been spent chasing. In the last few years my method of choice has changed though , I still enjoy the occassional dry-fly fishing and nymphing is always the old standard if you really want to catch some fish ,but for my money give me a big box of meaty streamers and an agressive fish that's looking to kill something! While the streamer fishing can be a little tough for salmonids this time of year with the low and clear water , the smallies are just getting warmed up and seemingly chasing down just about anything you put in front of their face. I guess it's not really as much about the type of fish as it is the type of fishing that's so appealing to me when it comes right down to it.
That being said , when I talked to a buddy last week and the idea of a one day float on the same river we overnighted on several weeks ago came up ,I was all in. After doing a little investigating we ran into one small issue , with very few accesses on that section of river our only viable option was to float the same 18 miles that we did in two days...in one day. While that's a lot of water to bite off for a one day trip we weighed our options and came to the conclusion that it was worth the effort , we'd been itching to get back down there and as hard as it can be to get schedules to mesh it seemed that it was now or never.
I left the house at dark-thirty so that I could meet the boys at the ramp by 6:00 for an early start.
We all showed up in the parking lot within five minutes of each other and quickly got the boat loaded and pushed off. We discussed ahead of time that there wouldn't be much down time on this float , someone was gonna have to be on the sticks at all times to keep up a decent pace so that we weren't taking out in the dark.
The first few miles were a little slow , this upper section sees more fishermen compared to the lower section where access is an issue. We picked up a fish here and there and just enjoyed being on the river with some good company for the most part. I always love floating early morning and watching Mother Nature waking up all around you.
Once we got a few miles under our belt the fishing started to pick up considerably , better numbers and more quality fish began making it boatside. The fly of choice seemed to be the double deciever again today , we tried several other patterns but the fish just seemed to want something with a big profile.
To conserve time lunch was taken in shifts , the guy on the oars would grab a bite and then switch off when he was done so the next guy could dig around in the cooler. If you've never tried to eat and row a driftboat at the same time , it can be a little tricky if you're timing isn't right!
We stuck with it and kept up a good pace all afternoon , I think we only stopped the boat one time the entire day. As is usually the case , the fishing ebbed occassionally throughout the afternoon but for the most part was pretty consistent. We didn't land anything as big as we did on our first trip although we lost a couple that might have compared. You know how it is...the big ones ALWAYS get away! We did have a better day for numbers of fish though so it was all good.
We floated around the bend and into sight of the boat ramp a little before 6:00. Twelve hours on the water with good friends and a flyrod in your hands...that's my kind of day.
Posted by HighPlainsFlyFisher