Craig and I decided to try a new trout park to close out the 2002/2003 C&R Season. Neither of us had ever fished Montauk Trout Park, having always decided to fish below the park at the Tan Vat Access of the Current River. I was pleasantly surprised with Montauk. In my first experience, the park is very different than Maramec Springs. Montauk has more of a “stream” appeal to it. I hooked a fish on my first cast with a partridge and orange, given to me by Brent. It slowed up a little. Craig and I did allot of tippet tying today, as it was so cold we were snapping our 7x tippet like crazy. Craig did hook into one really nice fish there, but it got off (hooked him long enough to make some noise in the shallow water, and allow us to see its back out of the water — it was a BIG fish). I mainly concentrated my efforts on this section of the stream, picking up the occasional fish here and there. I then decided to go try the C&R Fly Only water, and that is where I had most of my fun. The method that started hooking fish (and missing allot more), was stripping my tan/ginger mohair leech just over the moss covered bottom — the trout were coming to the fly like crazy. I caught 6 rainbows and one brown trout in a matter of 40 minutes. The fish were taking an emerger of sorts just below the surface, but I couldn’t match it and decided to stick with what was working. Craig met up with me and took several fish on a midge sized mosquito he had gotten in a fly swap. We spotted several large fish, including a truly MONSTER brown in this water, but couldn’t get him to bite. One thing that most impressed me with Montauk was the size of the fish we were catching (much larger than the average size at Meramec) and the beautiful colors of the fish. It made for a really long day trip — waking up at 3am and getting back home at 4pm — but it was worth it. Not a bad way to end the 2002/2003 Winter C&R season — we will definitely be back to Montauk next year for some C&R fishing. — Matt Tucker
Yes, it was a great trip. In all we had 13 people show up (Me, Gavin, Brent, Joe, Andrew, Phil, Mike, Earl, Tom, Mark, Roy, Larry, and Scott show up at SpringRise (oh yes, and a man and his family from the small town of Deliverance that magically had truck troubles in front of the rearing ponds with a dip net in the back of their truck — remind us to tell you the story Gavin at the next tying night). There were 7 guys that met for breakfast at Denny’s (Mike, Earl, Brent, Andrew, Tom, Scott, and myself) — proving that I am not the only one that gets up at the crack of dawn when it comes to fishing.
As Gavin had said, the “feast” was the finest outdoor meal I have had EVER. Lots of food — Deer, Sloppy Joes, Chowder, Salad, Deer Sausage, Cheese, crackers, Cookies, Brownies, Beer, Wine, etc (and I am not listing it all). The conversation was great as well. Nothing like sitting around a table of food with 12 other fly fisherman for about an hour and a half drinking and eating — one is bound to learn allot (and I did). Also, I too will attest to Mike’s tool of trout torture. It was really cool. The stomach pump and the kick net were very interesting. It was a trip to see the different aquatic life in the stream and then match it with what was in a trout’s stomach (no globalls or pellets found).
The fishing was good too. I didn’t have near the kind of numbers day one can have down there (Brent had a 40 fish day), having only brought to hand about 13 or so (10 before lunch and 3 after lunch — kind of makes you wonder…..). But I think the funniest thing to happen to me while down there was either me hooking and landing a dead/decaying fish or me snapping off a decent size fish and it swimming around with my scud in its mouth and my tippet still attached to my indicator (so you could easily spot the fish swimming down stream, because the indicator was on top of the water). Gavin later hooked my indicator (not the fish), and landed the fish (of which he said was close to 20″). Several of us brought down the FRS radios, and that was a hoot. I won’t steal Mike’s thunder but he caught a fish that brought him into his backing twice on his 2wt. At one point during the fight when the fish was taking line he keyed his radio and we could here the fish taking line of his reel like a mad man. The radios were a good time — I think I will start carrying mine more often, it beats yelling across the stream. All in all, it was a long fun-filled day. We got there about 7:30am and didn’t leave till about 6pm or so (refer back to the deliverance reference). I will definitely coordinate another day like this in the future, as it was a BLAST. — Matt Tucker