(click on “HD” for best quality)
2008 Missouri Trout Odyssey where Brian Wise and I fished 20 of Missouri’s 21 public trout streams (we would have fished all 21 of them last year, except the stream that flows through Fort Leonard Wood requires a class prior to access…..and we had too many streams and too little time). With last year’s trip over Thanksgiving weekend under our belt, it wasn’t a question if we could pull off such a feat again in 2009, it was more of a question what we could do different, as there were several streams last year we would have liked to have fished harder but didn’t and with that, in September 2009 the plan was hatched to do the trip again, only this time we would switch out fishing and photography/video duties so that only one guy is fishing at a time. Last year, we were so immersed in the fishing the other stuff kind of fell to the wayside.
After waking early on Thanksgiving morning to cook breakfast for my wife and kids, my sister and her family, and one of my uncles prior to thier trip to the St. Louis Thanksgiving Day Parade (Biscuits & Gravy, Hasbrowns, Eggs, Belgian Waffles, and Biscuits) I was out the door headed to Rolla, Missouri to pick up Brian and his gear at the commuter parking lot. The looks I got from passerby’s as I wadered up in a parking lot a good 20 miles from the nearest trout stream in the middle of a college town was pretty comical but it was so cold no one offered up any heckles as they drove by.
Spring Creek; a hidden wild trout jewel hidden near Bourbon, Missouri. We knew that our goal of 6 streams on Day 1 would be tough, especially because were were going to be tackling 3 wild trout streams in the group,with bright bluebird skies with a high sun. Fishing was going to be tough and Blue Spring Creek held true to being tough on this day. Last year we fished at the first public gate on the right as you drive down the highway, however this year we fished downstream of the first pull-off on the left side of the highway (this is the first time I have ever fished this section of stream) and only had one take in the short hour we fished the stream (on a small brown mohair leech). The section of river holds trout, and alot of the runs just look “fishy”, but today was not the day. All was not lost, we got to see more of this stream than we did in previous years and we were greeted by sounds of turkeys gobbling as we exited the stream camera gear along with a myriad of deer carcasses from the recent passing of rifle season in the state. We were done with Blue Spring Creek and were off to see the Meramac River and Maramec Spring Trout Park.
Redington CPX Switch Rod he had gotten a few days prior to the trip. We parked the rig, and hiked towards the end of the park and the suspension bridge, where Brian quickly entered the water just below the Red Ribbon Trout Stream sign, and was quickly rewarded with a take and a hookset while swinging an articulated streamer. What we thought was going to be a healthy trout turned out to be a nice smallmouth brought to hand and a few laughs. The high sun made shooting photos tough and I only managed to get a few shots that were worth a damn while Brian fished the river. The water below the park was higher than normal and it would have made from some tricky wading, so with fish in hand and a long day ahead we counted the smallie and headed towards the rig and our next destination.
Little Piney River at the Mill Dam Hollow access and had a good trip there, it was one of two rivers we actually wanted to go back and fish, so we figured if it wasn’t broken don’t fix it and headed back to the same access. As was the common theme on Thanksgiving, we arrived and found we were the only vehicle in the access point. We hopped out and I grabbed my 4wt and off we went to fish the water just below the access. Like a fat kid on prom night, the fish just didn’t cooperate with me in the one hour we spent here and I couldn’t raise a fish so I retreated to the car with my tail stuck between my leg still with the skunk on me.
Mill Creek, while barely setting a tire on blacktop, just in time for Brian to be out of the rig and running towards the stream. The water was slightly higher than it was last year and off color, which should have been ideal for fishing; but this year, Mill Creek had our number. Brian fished a section of stream about 100 yards long to no avail with a nymph rig, then switched to drifting / swinging a mohair leech down the same section before retiring to the rig and stowing the rod and camera gear off to our final destination of the day, Spring Creek. It was another year, and another frustrating trip to Mill Creek. The stream definitely holds nice fish, now if we could just get the timing to coincide with “the trip” that would be ideal.
The rest of the photos from Day 1 are below, and the video will be up shortly.