This last weekend felt more like early April than the middle of January around my neck of the woods. I had some time to play around with so I contacted my buddy Bryan and we made some plans to head out for a couple of days and try to fool a few trout. Joe and I headed out Thursday morning , filled up the truck with some gloriously cheap gas (for a change), and pointed the truck in a Southerly direction. We were meeting Bryan at one of Missouri's small Blue Ribbon trout streams that I hadn't visited in awhile and was looking forward to seeing.
Bryan was a first time visitor to this creek so Joe and I did a little spotting and let him have first shot at most all of the prime holes , hoping to get him on at least a couple of the beautiful wild rainbows who reside here.
While we didn't tear them up , we still managed to catch several fish apiece , which wasn't too bad considering the low , clear water conditions we were dealing with.
It was a fantastic day to spend wandering the banks of a small stream , the warmth of the sunshine and the sound of the water tumbling over the rocky riffles was enough to make me think more than once about just lying down in a pile of leaves and taking a grand nap , especially after our mid-afternoon snack.
You know how that goes though , too much water and not enough time.
The sun was dropping quickly below the surrounding hills as we made our way back to the vehicles after hitting the last spot of the day. A few fish had been caught and better yet we got to spend a winter day with good friends traipsing around a beautiful little spring creek.
After getting off the water we still had an hours drive to the area we planned to set up camp for the night so we headed out quickly after loading up our gear , trying to beat the sunset.
That night we had a good dinner at one of my favorite little places in the area , Danna's BBQ. I had my usual Catfish plate and surely wasn't dissapointed.
Afterwards we made a trip down below the dam at Taneycomo to see if water conditions might be right for a little night fishing , they weren't of course. If there's one thing I've learned in all of my years of fishing the areas tailwaters , it's that the COE will always give you the exact opposite of the water conditions you'd hope to see. Show up with a driftboat expecting heavy generation...they'll shut her down tight as a drum. Arrive with grand plans of wading all weekend...break out the Ark and the water wings , cause they'll surely be releasing a deluge of water for some unknown reason. No worries though , I wasn't that crazy about wading around a body of water I havn't visited in almost two years in the dead of night anyhow. A good nights rest in a warm sleeping bag was sounding pretty good right now anyway , especially after filling my gut at the BBQ joint.
Friday morning we got up and made our way back below the dam to try our luck pulling a few fish out of the local ditch.
When we arrived the water was still dropping out from an early morning jump up to three units a couple of hours earlier. The forecast was for one unit to run until 2:00 and then bump back up to two and then three units later in the day. Definitely not the best water conditions for what we wanted to do , but still something we could work with nonetheless. Unlike yesterday, where we walked miles of stream fishing any spot that looked promising (and never seeing another person) , today we simply picked the section of river that gave us the most distance from other anglers. I knew it wasn't the best spot available to us but I really didn't have any desire to stand within a rods length of anyone else , except maybe Joe.
It was another beautiful day as far as the weather was concerned and we did our best to enjoy it while it lasted. Most of the other anglers were hanging out around the outlets or one of the other well known hotspots on this river , leaving us our little section of medium depth flats to ourselves it seemed. While not just loaded with fish , the area held enough fish to keep us entertained for a good part of the morning.
Neither of us caught or really even saw anything of any size but we both managed to land a couple dozen or so fish apiece. Although these fish were far from the wild trout of yesterdays outing they still had some brilliant colors to show off.
Around 1:00 we were startled by the agonizing sound of the generation horn starting it's announcement of a push of water. I stuck it out for another hour , fishing the rise , until I'd had enough for one day.
I definitely enjoyed the day , but I can only handle 6X tippet and indicator fishing for so long (when you cast like I do , two flies..an indicator ..and some splitshot is just a windknot waiting to happen!).
Bryan was staying over another night so we said our good-byes and Joe and I loaded up the truck and headed for home.
When I woke up Friday morning I had a feeling that I might be coming down with something , scratchy throat and a nose that just wouldn't seem to quit running. By the time we'd made it halfway home I had a foot high pile of kleenex on the passenger floorboard and was beginning to feel even worse. Needless to say it finally caught up with me once we arrived back at home. Today's day four of the misery but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel , at least compared to saturday and sunday where I didn't even leave the house. Just writing this post was more work than I care for at this point...I think I'm gonna go have a cup of hot tea and take another nap.