Thursday, December 17, 2015

Streamer Time

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It's that time of year again boys and girls. That joyous season when the flotillas of bikini clad college things and the obnoxious drunken entourage that follows them are but a distant memory. Tis the season when cold, nasty days spent on a high, slightly off-colored piece of water dominate your thoughts at every opportunity.
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This isn't a numbers game by any stretch of the imagination. This is all about putting in your time, paying those dues and hoping that the fishing gods smile on you once or twice during the season and you can put that two-footer in the net.
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The fly boxes filled to overflowing with copper johns, prince nymphs and midges of every color don't even leave the house this time of year. This fishing is undertaken with flys that have names that sound as mean and nasty as the fish they're designed to catch. Flys with names like Hog Snare, El Chupacabra and the Sex Dungeon.
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This is 8 weights and full sinking lines hucked from the front of a driftboat all day.
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This time of year mornings call for a hearty breakfast and a big pot of coffee to kickstart the day.
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Long gone are the relaxing midday riverside breaks where it's fully acceptable to lounge around in sandals and enjoy the beautiful weather. This is a piece of cold fried chicken and pounding a beer (or two)every time you get back on the oars while still trying to put your buddy on the right line for that next good looking run.
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On most trips it just doesn't happen, you take what the river gives you and drink away the sorrows of defeat with your fellow miscreants while sitting around a warm fire at night.
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Sometimes you get lucky and there's a consolation prize at the end of the day, like a good old Ozark fish fry with freshly gigged suckers and hush puppies and cold beer...and good friends.
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No matter how the results pan out at the end of the day there's still nowhere I'd rather be...cold, wet and already thinking about that next trip...and that next fish.
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  1. The knowledge that browns love meat is well documented. I see rainbows now getting into the same chow line.
    Well done guys.

    1. Thanks Alan...That rainbow was actually the trophy of the trip. Only wild rainbows in this river and he was a 20" fish, which is a true gem for that water.

  2. Well done indeed. While I still have problems wrapping my mind around fishing in December, I'm glad that you get so much pleasure out it. Did you say suckers?

    1. Yep, suckers Howard. White suckers and Hog Mollys to be exact. There is a gigging season for them here in the Ozarks and it is something that the locals have done for centuries. We just happen to stay with a gentleman who goes out on the river a couple times a week to gig and never turn down a chance for a fish fry. They are delicious!!

  3. Excellent post. You really capture the experience. Beautiful water, beautiful fish! (Love the photo of the brown with the big yellow streamer hanging off its lip.)

    1. Thanks Jim...that river is one of our favorites and does have some beautiful scenery and fish. I liked that one myself, the fish wasn't huge but the colors were great.

  4. Very nicely written. Enjoyed that. I've yet to experience an Ozark waterway without bikini clad party barges. Good to see the rainbows getting their fill of articulated streamers, too!

    1. Thanks a lot Justin. You should plan a fishing trip down here this time of year instead of coming in the Summer. The serious fishing takes place from now through March...and then the Smallmouth fishing starts back up!

  5. Great fishing and looks like some nice weather. I always enjoy the loneliness on the water. Those are some big streamers, but i guess if you want to catch big fish that's the choice. might have to try some bigger streamers down my way. Thanks for sharing.

    1. We had one day of warm weather and one day of rainy, cool weather. Considering it's December I guess that's great weather! The size fish that we would LIKE to catch usually won't move far for anything small, those big guys like a meal in just one bite.

  6. Nothing beats a good outing with friends and family. Hoping to chase some Browns before they stop running.

    1. Now is definitely my favorite time to be out there throwing streamers for browns. Water levels are higher than normal and the fish are active when the weather cooperates.