After getting the wife on her way towards the airport Friday morning ,Joe and I turned the truck in the opposite direction and headed South to one of our favorite creeks for a couple days of R&R.
It'd been way too long since my best fishing partner and I had gotten out for a weekend, and with the gatekeeper away in Chicago until Sunday this seemed like the perfect opportunity to fix that.
We pulled into the campground right around lunchtime and quickly got the basics laid out for a one night stay.
We then proceeded to throw together something for lunch. French baguette ,roast beef ,sharp colby ,purple onion and some spicy brown mustard...my kind of sammich (and Joe's too!).
Made to taste even better when washed down with my favorite seasonal beer...Pumpkin Blue Ribbon or PBR for short.
With camp set up and our stomachs full ,there was nothing left to do but string up the two- weight and head down to the stream for a few hours.
This place is one of my favorite little Blue Ribbon trout streams , especially this time of year when the summer crowds have all but disappeared.
The water is all small , as are the majority of the fish that live here , but even when the fishing is sub-par it's still a great little place to relax and unwind. Unlike those larger rivers where the constant search for that "bigger" fish can sometimes leave you frustrated , the lack of those expectations when I fish here is always a welcome change. It was a beautiful Fall afternoon and Joe and I enjoyed hiking the streamside trails and stopping to go a round or two with the locals when the opportunity presented itself.
We definitely didn't light the world on fire with our fishing success that afternoon. I probably landed a dozen or so wild rainbows , all about the same size. I'd venture to say that I didn't break the 12" mark all day , but in all honesty I was OK with that.
There was still an hour or so of daylight left when we decided to pack it in and head back to camp. I wanted to get a fire started and give Joe a chance to dry off some before the sun disappeared and the temp started dropping.
Once the fire was blazing away and a couple more adult beverages were imbibed it was time to start thinking about
the evenings meal. One of my all-time favorite camp meals has to be what I call "Camp Succotash". Any recipe that starts off by frying bacon and then proceeding to add ingredients to the skillet is a winner in my book.
A few simple fresh ingredients thrown together and you've got a hearty one pan meal.
The rest of the night was spent with a few of my favorite things...a cold beer , a fine cigar , a big fire and some unbeatable company to share it with. It doesn't get any better.
After watching the flames die down on the last of our ten dollar bundle of wood we retired to a warm tent and got down to some serious relaxing.
Saturday we woke to another fantastic fall day. It's been a long summer and it was a nice change of pace to need the warming qualities of a fleece jacket and a hot cup of coffee to start the day.
One nice thing about this stream is that there are several other small wild trout creeks within an hours drive ,and after the mediocre fishing of the previous afternoon I saw no reason not to check out the conditions on a couple of them that just happened to be on the path back home anyway. With that decision we packed up camp and hit the road , digging through the food box on the way I managed to find a Clif bar to go with the coffee and called it breakfast.
Our first stop was a short fourty minute drive away , a little spring creek deep in an Ozark hollow.
After a quick search through the nymph box I was rigged and ready to hit the trail again.
We had this particular stretch of water all to ourselves on this morning and just took our time enjoying the surroundings and catching a few small wild rainbows again.
We fished until our internal clocks told us it was getting close to lunchtime. We'd covered the water I wanted to see so we started back to the truck for a little "tailgating" before heading out to check out one more stream on the way home.
Another fourty-five minute drive down a classic Ozark backroad and we were at our third stream of the two day trip.
Same type of water , small spring creek with little wild rainbows calling it home. We checked out a few of my favorite holes and managed a few more small fish along the way. Another beautiful little creek that I could spend all day on and never even care if I caught a fish.
By the time we finished the hike back to the truck it was nearing 3:30 and we still had a four hour drive ahead of us , time to call it a day.
Two days , three streams , a handful of pretty little wild trout and some time well spent wandering the Ozark hills with my best friend....