Hit the road on Monday after meeting up with a buddy from work and loading up the Blazer. We were heading down to the Current River with plans to meet up with Kevin , another fishing buddy of mine. Kevin had been down fishing since Saturday so we were hoping he had some hot patterns nailed down while leaving a few stupid fish for us to try our hand at.
Due to a late start we didn't get into Montauk State Park until around 3:00 in the afternoon , leaving us with just enough time to get tents set up and hit the river for a couple hours before beer-thirty. Kevin was the only person in the entire campground so locating his camp wasn't too difficult. Tents were set, waders donned and we were on the water by a little after 4:00. Kevin was already fishing down at the first bend below the park so we drove up to the start of the blue ribbon trout waters and started working our way downstream.
Lots of fish in this section of water and it wasn't long before we were hooked up.
Ron managed a couple fish on an elk hair caddis while I opted to dredge the bottom with a couple of nymphs. I quickly narrowed my fly selection down to an olive beadhead nymph (always one of my favs)trailed by a caddis pupa pattern and began picking up fish regularly.
Nothing big , just average size rainbows. It was about 6:30 when we decided to head back to camp, while it's always tough to quit a good bite, the suggestion of a cooler full of cold ones and a chair around a campfire usually does the trick. After a dinner of ribeye steaks and campfire settlers beans we sat around discussing techniques , fly patterns and fishing plans for the next day. It was decided that we would start out below Baptist access in the morning and work our way downstream to some water we hadn't fished before.
After an evening of knocking back beers around a campfire the mornings fishing never seems to get started as early as planned , and this day was no exception. A cup of coffee and a quick breakfast and we were headed to the water. When we arrived it was still early enough that the river was mostly shaded so I started throwing a streamer pattern hoping to coax one of the rivers many browns into action.
After working through one of my favorite sections and not drawing a strike I decided to hang up the streamer and go back to my nymphing setup that was working so well the day before. Within several casts I was hooked up once again and the morning was looking up, as each likely looking pocket began producing a fish or at least a strike. It took us all morning and into the early afternoon to work our way downstream from Baptist and then back to the vehicle. All agreed that it had been a great morning of fishing and we decided to head back to camp for lunch and relax for a bit.
Over lunch it had been decided we would fry up some fish for dinner so we packed in the car and headed up to Montauk Park where we could catch and keep a few fish for the nights meal. The fishing was equally good inside the park and it didn't take long before everyone was catching fish. We spent the rest of the afternoon fishing inside the park and while there were still a few more people than I like it really wasn't bad. Each of us kept two small bows for our dinner and we finished up the evening with fried trout, fried potatoes , leftover beans and the obligatory cold cerveza.
Wednesday morning we had planned to fish the stretch of water from the cable all the way back to camp (about a 5 hour hike if fished decently) but a few thunderstorms had rolled in overnight and the likely chance of severe weather in the area prompted us to fish a little closer to the access and the safety of a vehicle if needed. We began below the park again and encountered several pods of fish rising to small bwo's and trico's just before the gauging station. Each of us took several fish apiece on tiny dry patterns before we got frustrated and headed on downstream.
By this time the rain was coming down pretty good and you couldn't see your dry fly amidst all the raindrops so I switched back to a nymphing setup. Working our way downstream all of the usual holes produced good numbers of fish, with Ron taking a nice brown out of Sycamore Hole.
We made it down to the Rock Garden about 11:30 and with the rain still coming down steadily decided to skip fishing our way back and take the trail to the truck and get to camp for lunch.
To our surprise the sun made an appearance after lunch and the day turned out to be picture perfect despite the mornings weather. We spent part of the afternoon in the park again , killing some time during the heat of the day, and then Ron and myself decided to hit the section of river below Tan Vat to finish off the day. This stretch usually holds some nice browns so I decided to throw a sculpin pattern on my way downstream and then work a nymph setup on the way back. I caught several rainbows on the sculpin pattern but couldn't raise a brown and the same story on the way back upstream, bows in every hole but no brown trout to be found. Ron and I finished the evening right at dusk and walked back to the truck , only seeing one other fisherman all evening.
More cervezas and a dinner of smoked turkey legs and grilled veggies finished off another perfect day.
Thursday was our last day and Kevin decided to forego fishing and just pick up camp and head back to Springfield after breakfast while Ron and I had plans to get in as much fishing as we could before the long drive back to KC. After breakfast we parted ways with Kevin and headed back to the section of water below the cable as this spot had been producing well for us all week. This morning was no different and we had some great fishing from the cable all the way down to the Rock Garden. It was noon before we noticed the time and decided to get back and take down camp and eat a quick sandwich before hitting the road. Another great trip on the Current for me , although it was a little dissappointing that I couldn't get any browns to play with my streamers. I think a week or two of colder weather might get the browns chasing larger flies , just an excuse to get back down in another couple weeks, not that I need an excuse to fish one of my favorite rivers.
Just to break up the monotony of the five hour drive home we decided to stop and fish the Niangua River for a couple hours on the way back. Being limited for time we chose to fish the public access below highway 63 bridge down to the boat ramp. Fishing the same nymph setups as we were using on the Current, about a dozen fish were landed between Ron and I.
As the sun began to set we headed for the truck , in my mind I was already unpacking the rod I hadn't even put in the case yet and planning the next trip.
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