Blue Spring Creek Report — March 15, 2003

Craig and I headed down to Blue Spring Creek, near Bourbon this morning. Neither of us had fished this water before, and after reading all the posts about it in the recent past — we had to go see for ourselves. We left St. Louis at 6am and were on the water fishing by 7am. We started down at the access directly across from Blue Springs Resort, and walked/fished down to the mouth of Blue Springs with the Meramec. We thought we would just hike down there and then walk the road back to the truck. Basically just getting a look at the lower water. That is one curvy little creek — imagine our surprise when we hit the Meramec and weren’t in sight of the boat ramp or road (actually it was a 100 yards or so upstream, but we didn’t want to wade up to it); so back up the creek we went. There weren’t too many fishy looking holes in that stretch of water (there were some, but not a bunch). Not a single fish spotted in that section of water.

We then headed up to the lowwater bridge directly up the road an fished there. We fished upstream quite aways. I didn’t see a fish, but the water was thinner and it looked like it could hold more fish. I stopped to fish a pretty deep run and Craig continued up past the second low-water bridge/driveway up to where the creek splits. He did see a couple of fish up there. Again, I didn’t have any luck. So I started to hike back to the truck. As I was walking back, Mike reached me on my FRS radio (he was on NN near the Meremac River and I could hear him transmitting) and we met up at where we were parked. Then the most interesting part of the day for me occurred. Mike pulled out his kick net and we went to go look at the bugs in the stream (we seined directly below the low- water bridge below the manmade rock dam). There was food all over the place — little green caddis larva, little orange caddis larva, helgramites, mayflies, crawdads, minnows, scuds (although not many), and some really big grub looking things (they had the color of the hellgrammite but were allot fatter — didn’t know if it could have been a stage of that insect or not — it really looked like a grub or caterpillar and was allot fatter than the crane fly larva that we got from SpringRise). That was pretty cool — Mike took some photos.

After talking with Mike for awhile, Craig and I decided to drive up to the highway and park there (where thickety ford road and NN meet) and fish upstream. We spotted two trout that were approximately 10″ long in the hole that is in front of the house and in sight of the Hwy (Mike later verified that he had seen the same fish). We couldn’t get them to take, so we fished all the way up to the next access point (it is the access with the plastic flowers) and only found a couple of really fishy holes. Craig and I each caught a chub and that was it for fish action. The holes that looked like there should be fish, we didn’t even appear to spook them (although they could have been gone by the time we got there). Once we got to that access we decided to head back to the truck and get on the road.

This was my second small creek fly fishing excursion (the first one was Mill Creek on New Year’s Day of 2003), and i don’t know that I will be ready for another one anytime soon. I think I may prefer the bigger waters than the smaller confined waters. Although, we didn’t see another angler all day on the stream and the scenery was great — so it was still a great day to be on the water. I know Mike caught two trout, he has pictures to prove it, which I guess gives us hope that Blue Springs Creek will rebound. — Matt Tucker

McKenzie River (Eugene, OR) — March 02, 2003

I fished the McKenzie River near Eugene Oregon on March 2, 2003. All I can say is WOW. This was my first trip to the west in search of trout (actually I only had one day to fish due to software training), and I was not disappointed. I caught 10 rainbows (biggest about 16 inches) and several white fish (one white fish about 2.5lbs) on my 3.5 mile float. Fishing out of a drift boat is UNREAL, but it may have had allot to do with my guide — Chris owner of The Caddis Fly in Eugene, Oregon. Chris has got a most excellent fly shop, and he is really knowledgeable — I hope to make it back to fish with him for a week at some point in the future as one day just wasn’t enough. I am convinced that if I could get Craig to row for me all day, I would buy a 14ft boat for use in Missouri. Actually, I was completely surprised how well they held in water and glided when they need to over flat water. Our access point was in some really swift water by Missouri standards (picture the White River with 6 generators running). My guide launched the boat and then proceeded to row upstream effortlessly about 400 yards to a back channel to fish and rig up. I was impressed from the get go. Then he told me about mounting electric trolling motors to them and how they would have pulled us upstream in that water no problem — due to the fact of the rockers and the low draft. He continued to handle the boat and at times we were fishing water much smaller than the upper Meremac out of the boat (he would walk behind the boat and hold it for me to fish to water, then glide through the deeper holes, etc.) Like I said, I only caught 10 rainbows, but man they were good rainbows. They fought in that heavy current and came out of the water like rockets — and man were they colorful. White Fish are an interesting fish. Fishing was slow due to a change in weather, but was OK. It seemed I wouldn’t just catch one fish in a hole. I strictly nymph fished with a 2 nymph rig (one very big b.h. nymph and a smaller prince). All my fish came off of the bigger nymph (i have 2 that I am going to tie up for here). I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted to. It started to rain, so I had to put away the camera, but I did take a couple.

Eugene Oregon is the most liberal town I have ever been in. According to the locals this town has the highest number of lesbians than any other city of its size — i can agree with that as 1 in 4 woman is holding the hand of another, etc. On my way to software training this morning, there was a protest to legalize marijuana in the streets. You can’t smoke anywhere (not that I do, but it is posted everywhere). I had to pay $9 for a turkey sandwich for lunch today — and you can’t get a Michelobe Light anywhere in town. The scenery is actually awesome though — and the fishing isn’t bad either. — Matt Tucker