January 16, 2005
Brian and I woke about 7am and after showers and packing up, we were sitting at Shoney’s for breakfast. It was then that I realized unless it is a greasy spoon diner, Denny’s is the only fishing breakfast for me. It had snowed a little over the night and Rolla recieved a light dusting of snow. It was still butt cold with a temp in the single digits again this morning. By 9:30am we were on our way to the water.
Spring Creek is a different type of water than I am used to. I normally do not fish small wild trout streams and prefer to fish the trout parks during C&R season and then fish the tailwaters of Arkansas during the other times of the year. We accessed the creek at a public access and found that the river was in the recent days quite high, and appeared to be higher than the photos that I ahd seen in the past.
No matter, we were here and we were going to fish. And fish we did. I hooked in to a fish not shortly after starting while fishing a black mohair leech. The fish quickly got off and that would be the closes that I would come to a fish the entire day (other than seeing 2 follows). Brian on the other hand ventured a little further upstream than I did and was rewarded with one 3″ rainbow with parr marks caught on a mohair leech. Not too much to report on this stream other than it was sunny and the temps were in the teens with wind. The fish are there, but they aren’t as easy to catch, and I will definitely be back and hopefully will get to share a stream with Brian in the future.
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.