Sunday morning found me waiting for Brian Wise outside of The Antler Motel in Gainesville, Missouri as we were supposed to meet for biscuits and gravy at a local restaurant called Skeeters. Little did we know, but the restaurant doesn’t open until 7am on Sundays; which doesn’t work for Brian and I so it was a gas station breakfast as we on our way to pick up Brian’s canoe. Our goal today was to take my new pontoon boat (an ODC 1018) down the North Fork of the White River.
I am new to the whole floating scene, and have never floated / fished from a canoe — I tend to have the “fat man in a little boat” syndrome when it comes to canoes. But after a short 4hr float on the North Fork of the White, I can say that that is the only way to travel a river when fishing. I was completely surprised how easy the boat assembled streamside (even though I was out of breath from hand pumping up the pontoons). To summarize floating down the NFOTW in a pontoon, it was like floating on a big recliner. The oars were able to turn the pontoon on a dime and it was relatively easy to oar back upstream (although I wouldn’t want to do that for long distances). We didn’t fish more than an hour on this trip from Blair Bridge to Patrick Bridge, but the water is some of the finest trout water I have seen in the state of Missouri. The North Fork of the White River is a hidden jewel in terms of Missouri trout streams, and it is likely to remain hidden thanks to its close proximity to the arkansas tailwaters on the White River. Nothing really more to report, other than I am now a converted pontoon lover after only using it one time. I am already planning my next trip down to southern Missouri for a float fishing trip…..