Montauk State Park (Licking, Missouri) — January 15, 2005

This was a trip that actualy had a plan. This weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Brian Wise of Gainsville, Missouri. Brian is the head guide at River of Life Farm on the North Fork of the White River and consequently is one helluva fly fisherman. We had been trading emails back and forth about fishing together for some time, and finally the time arrived, as Brian was giving a presentation to the St. Louis County Parks Department on 01-18-05 about his home waters and because of this was willing to turn a trip to St. Louis into an excuse to fish together.

I met up with Brian at 7am at PJ’s Cafe in Licking, Missouri. The plan was to fish the Current River from the TanVat Access to Baptist Camp Access. Upon the drive to the river, my cell phone rang and it was Brent Hinds. We were supposed to meet up with Brent Hinds and Kris Maurer for a little fishing in Montauk Trout Park after I showed Brian the river. Brent was bringing some bad news though. The Current River was closed due to high flow, which meant if we got caught fishing the river it is a minimum $200 ticket. We checked out the river anyway and shot some photos, then headed towards the trout park to fish. It was the first time that Brian had fished a Missouri trout park and I wanted him to get the full experience. Although the weather, which was sunny, windy, with a single digit air temperature helped to keep the crowds off of the water, the high water concentrated the anglers into the upper section of the park.

We fished until noon with limited success. Everyone caught some fish, but not too many. I broke from fishing at 12pm to cook up some brats and set up for lunch on the cold winter day. After lunch we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring different sections of the park. Again, I don’t know how many fish I caught — it was more than 10 but less than 20. I do know that Kris Maurer was completely slaying rainbows off of the old low water bridge by drifting a mohair leech under an indicator (for awhile, he could do no wrong). The fly of the day proved to be a mohair leech again.

After closing out the day in the C&R section fishing for one of the hog fish near the bridge, we all got out of our waders and said our good byes and started making plan for the next hook up. Brian and I headed to Rolla to find a hotel and plan our assault on the water for Sunday. We settled on the new Holiday Inn Express in Rolla where we watched the Rams loose thier playoff game and tied a couple of flies while looking at fishing photos. Most importantly, the plan for tomorrow was hatched. We were going to fish Spring Creek.

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