Montauk State Park (Licking, MO) — December 14, 2003

Sunday morning brought more of the same with regards to the weather, cold temperatures and the occasional flurry. We woke at 7:00am and after shower and a quick bite we were on the water. Today was a day of reconning for me. For today was the day that I schooled McClane in fishing. Fishing on Sunday morning was tough, but within my first two hours on stream I had brought to hand ten all on mohair leeches and sculpins. The bite wasn’t that easy though, as the C&R waters required me to be cast and move with stealth. Most of the fish I caught were while I was casting on my knees or stomach. I have always read about casting from your stomach, but never thought anyone did this, that was until I crossed the bridge over the C&R area and spotted some bruiser fish cruising and I wanted to catch them. I army crawled in the snow along the water into position and tried cast after cast to catch these fish, but I never got the big fish to strike and settled for their smaller relatives. It was fun sight fishing to larger than normal fish in the clear waters, for when you caught one you knew you had accomplished something. After awhile and a few more fish, I checked back with Brent, who was then fishing the water below me with Dave Dawson. They were not having that much luck, but due to the time we proceeded to finish the day off here in this pool. I ended up taking four more fish and evening out the total for the morning at 20 fish (17 rainbows, 3 browns). McClane would have probably caught up with me had we kept fishing , for he was really tearing them up on his tan scud at the end. We said our goodbyes to Dave Dawson, met an interesting fellow from Tom Hargrove’s fly shop nicknamed “Creepy” by Dave, and off we were back to reality.

The drive home was interesting, I couldn’t seem to stay warm. I think that the crawling around in the snow had gotten to me, and I couldn’t keep my body temperature up and was probably dead tired for only getting 8 hours of sleep over the past two nights. Just as we got into cell phone coverage, our phones had message indicators and the voice mail checking started. We each received voice mails regarding the newspaper article in the paper we were quoted in and McClane’s photo was in (we knew he was a camera whore). We stopped in Rolla to get gas and to pick up a Saturday St. Louis Post-Dispatch and read the article. It was a pretty good article if I do say so myself, even if it had McClane’s ugly mug on it centerfold style high-sticking a 12″ rainbow and it only quoted me once or twice. It was a fun experience. The rest of the drive home was filled with McClane and I bickering about the heat in his truck. We pulled into my driveway about 4:30pm on Sunday, just in time for me to shower and have dinner with my family. Later that evening I found out I was running a 102 temperature and must had been sick on the drive home. The Flu, or whatever it was that I caught, kept me out of work for half a day and sick for most of the week but the trip was definitely worth it and I would pay the price again. Total fish count for me for the weekend was over 40 fish in 2 days of fishing, McClane was close to 60 fish for the weekend. I think my next trip on the water will be our annual New Year’s Day / Weekend trip to new water, which is supposed to be the Roubidoux Creek this year. I can’t wait for the next hook-up.

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