Monday, November 25, 2013

Driftboats , Streamers and Meat Eating Browns...My Favorite Time of the Year

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I got a call last week from a good buddy asking if I was interested in doing a little floating and streamer hucking on one of the Ozarks finest over the weekend. If you've been following my blog at all I'm sure you could guess my answer to that question...duh!
We made plans to meet up Friday morning for a couple days of fishing , hoping to get the streamer season started off with a bang and stick a few meat-eating browns. The weather couldn't have been any better for what we had planned...heavily overcast skies with a cold wind that made it really feel like winter for the first time this year. Between the weather and the fact that rifle deer season was in full swing we ended up having the river to ourselves the entire weekend , just how we like it.
The fish cooperated nicely and there wasn't any shortage of action on the trip. While we missed a couple of opportunities on bigger fish (yeah..the big guys always get away) we didn't move as many large fish as we hoped for. That magical mark on the tape didn't see any action on this trip but the consistent chases and eats from smaller fish kept you on your A-game anytime you were in the knee braces. With streamer fishing it's always about that next cast...
We drank one too many beers and probably smoked a few too many cigars as well , all while chucking big meaty streamers on a beautiful Ozark river...if I need to say more then you wouldn't understand anyway.
I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story , a great weekend for sure and we vowed to make it happen again sooner than later.
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Until next time.....keep your flies wet!






31 comments:

  1. Those are some gnarly looking browns man and some great ties on those meaty articulated streamers. Congrats, looks like a stellar time.

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    1. Thanks Bryan...It was a pretty good weekend for sure , I just love hucking big flies.

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  2. those look like some big streamers.nice looking browns! nice float

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    1. Appreciate it...Most of the streamers pictured are an articulated Hog Snare (Rich Strolis design) , without a doubt one of my best producers for browns.

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    2. Thanks for the shout on the Snare, she's a favorite of mine too. I thought those bugs look familiar. Great fishing report.

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    3. Thanks Rich...I can't think of any of your flies I don't like but that Hog Snare is almost always one of my go-to patterns. A GREAT fly for sure!!

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  3. That is just what I want to be doing! They been hitting those big ones on the Norfork for a while. I will be hitting Beaver but it's just not the same . . . small streamers, midges, etc., lol. I would be rather casting streamers than drifting.

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    1. Don't hesitate to fish streamers on the Beaver tailwater. While it's mostly a midge fishery it's got enough browns to make streamers a viable option there as well. I've had decent success throwing streamers early and late down below Parker.

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  4. Ahhh. Thanks for the trip. Love those Browns...

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    1. Anytime Jim...You and me both , that rich buttery color is just beautiful this time of year.

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  5. Well done.
    Can't imagine floating in Montana now, My boat is stored for the season.
    Cheers.

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    1. Thanks...Our streamer season is just getting wound up around here. Cold temps and high flows mean time to pound the bank with big meaty flies in search of big fish.

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  6. Nice post on a what looks to be a great trip. I also can't imagine floating Colorado right now. My body is stored for the season! Time for me to indulge in my off-season hobbies. (Jeff, let me know when your package arrives.)

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    1. Thanks Howard...I guess there are a few benefits to living in the Midwest , at least our winters are still mild enough to fish.
      We'll do buddy , I'll drop you a line when it shows up.

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  7. good deal man, i'll be headed up that way in a few weeks myself.

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    1. Should just get better as the weather gets colder , we didn't stick any pigs but heard of a few being boated by other folks. Can't beat those rivers this time of year for sure.
      Good luck...

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  8. Quality weekend. Hopefully setting up to be a great winter here in the Ozarks.
    Lynn

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  9. Thanks Lynn...I always enjoy the winters here in the Ozarks probably more than any other season. The weather isn't unbearable and many of my favorite waters see a drastic drop in numbers of fishermen , it's a win-win situation!

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  10. Amazing fish and pics! I had to laugh at your response to the invite! Glad you had the water to yourself and the browns were anything but shy! Awesome post and thanks for sharing.

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    1. Appreciate the comments...Streamers out of a driftboat are an addictive combination for sure. The fact that the fish cooperated was just the icing on the cake!

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  11. Great post, and awesome pictures! (As usual) Those flies really did some work on that trip. I really like that pattern.

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    1. Thanks man...As I stated above , that pattern is an Articulated Hog Snare , created by Rich Strolis. Check out his blog and tying videos at "Catching Shadows" , the link is on my favorites list as well.

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  12. Nice! drifting, big streamers,Browns and beers... whats not to like about that? Need a trip soon before someone loses an eye! Sundays looking good.

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  13. Hope you get out soon , I'd hate to see anyone get hurt when the solution is just a quick trip away!!
    I gotta pull one of your gigs and head out of town for work on Sunday , nothing like a week in lovely Lacrosse Wisconsin...in F 'ing December no less!!

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  14. Ouch! Better put the long undies on. at least it's not Superior, WI, I died there once from frozen lungs. I'll be in Wathena, KS next week as well. Have a safe trip!

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  15. Nice trout and obviously a great trip. We have a tail water near with huge browns, and lots of boneheads. Anyway, I caught an 18" fish (actually near average,) on a special PT I tie that had a huge white unbarbed zonker in it's maxillae. I tried to remove it and ended up hurting the fish I'm sure. Should have left well enough alone. I see you do not debarb your big streamers, might that be a good idea? Just an observation.

    Gregg

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  16. Thanks for the comment Gregg....While I fish mostly barbless nymphs I really havn't put any thoughts into de-barbing my streamers. I try to buy barbless hooks for most of my patterns but the hooks just aren't available in that size and pattern barbless. Honestly , I have enough streamer fish come un-buttoned that I am a little hesitant to go that route. That and the fact that de-barbing a size 2/0 hook is a little more of a chore to get right than a size #18 nymph hook. Definitely something to think about though.....

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    1. HPF,

      Yes you are correct about debarbing very large steamer hooks, the EZ Lap I carry works to about a size 1 or 1/0 and then a file would be necessary. That brown though had a stainless hook through him and when or if he ever would have rid himself of it questionable. I do not have near the streamer experience you do but I do use them and find that the loss due to barbless is negligible, from what I have seen here anyway. I do see that barbless hooks for this are becoming more available. All interesting.

      Gregg

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    2. I have to agree with you on the lost fish Gregg. I'm pretty sure my lost fish are due to "angler error" and the matter of a de-barbed hook probably wouldn't even play into the equation. I might try doing the deed with a file on some of my larger hooks and just see how it goes.

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  17. i always laugh at the pbrs sneaking into the pics. :) good looking fish. and salami on crackers - yum! :)

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  18. Thank You. We really don't drink all that much , it just appears that way!! Fishing and PBR just go together so well.

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