The Current River; Cedar Grove to Akers Ferry

2013-03-30pic002800pxThere are not many rivers in Missouri that allow trout fisherman to float in a drift boat through a National Park, but the Current River is one of them and at 825 CFS on the Akers Ferry guage, the Current River is just too damn sexy of a river to pass up.  This is a float that Paul Chausse, Dan Held, and myself have been wanting to do for quite some time, but we were always waiting for the right river level, but Saturday, March 30, 2013, was the day.  We put together this two boat exploratory trip to see how the section of river from Cedar Grove Conservation Area to Akers Ferry fished out of a drift boat.  This trip I was joined by Evan Muskopf and Brian Carr in my boat and Paul Chausse had Dan Ritter and Craig Peterson in his boat.  It was a good group of guys and we knew we were in for a good day on the water as we hooked up with a rainbow on a streamer within the first 30yds of our float and the day only got better….particularly with Brian Carr’s antics of finding interesting ways to fall into the river.  We had a lot of fun this trip.  This section of river is part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverway National Park and is an absolute joy to float through with plenty to see.  While we didn’t put huge numbers of trout in the boat, we all caught enough fish to keep us interested and the structure on the river and the scenery were more than enough to fuel us to get back down and do this float again.  Out of a drift boat, this float is probably floatable down to around 425cfs or so at Akers Ferry.  Here are the photos from our trip.

Catching Up on the Niangua River

2012-12-22pic012800pxThe Niangua River is a river that really caught my eye in 2012, as being a river big enough to float in a drift boat, and just close enough for a day trip….albeit a long day trip, with a nearly 3hr drive to get there.  With only a little time left in 2012, and the Christmas holiday fast approaching, Dan Ritter, Paul Chausse, and I elected to make a “quick” float on the Niangua.  It was a cold morning, requiring ice to be broken as we slipped the boat off of the trailer and into the water, as the water above the spring at the Bennett Spring State Park boat ramp is a lot colder before the spring dumps in.  We floated from Bennett Spring to NRO, as they are one of the few outfitters on the river that will actually run a drift boat shuttle.  The fishing on the Niangua is always acceptable, but the fish seem to hold in different places than some of the other rivers we fish — here, they will be out in the middle of the river holding to the divets in the bottom at times, which means for us this is primarily a nymphing river (although with Chausse and Ritter in the boat, several hours were spent chucking streamers).

All in all it was another great day on the river.  On the way back to St. Louis, we stopped by Charlie Reading’s Fly Shop…..holy crap, this shop has everything.  I was able to walk in and buy new size 14 soles for my Korker Red Sides…..something i could not have done at any of my local shops.  Charlie is a hoot, his shop has just about everything and while it appears unorganized, he knows where everything is that is in it.  It was well worth the stop……however, i wonder what the vegas line is for him to actually finish the water feature in front of his shop (he has been working on it for years).  Here are the photos from the float today.

Visiting An Old Friend; A Spring River Trip Report


After getting our fill of dink rainbows on the White River the past three days trying to float dead low water on the tailwaters, we were in search of some “strange.”  Enter the Spring River.  It had been since March, since I had been on the Spring River.  But after the trip that Will King and I took with Mark Crawford, I was looking for any chance to get back to the Spring River.  A few nights before, we were trading stories about our favorite rivers and the Spring River came up.  It is more of a catch and keep river, and currently is managed as such, but it would offer the best opportunity to get out of the tailwater grind and chase some of the big rainbows that congregate on the river in the fall.

The river didn’t disappoint.  We each caught a handful of fish in our limited time fishing the standard egg fair, and even picked up a fish or two on a small streamer.  The highlight of this stop was watching Craig hook up with a pig of a rainbow.  When we first spotted the fish flashing on the bottom, I thought it was a carp.  I was not convinced it was a trout, until Craig was hooked up with it.  It was over in 5 seconds, but he tangled with his first double digit rainbow on the Spring River.  It was the biggest rainbow I had seen on the river to date, and stoked the fire for each of us to get back. We rolled off the river after about 3 hours and headed back to St. Louis after 4 days on the trout waters of Arkansas.  Lots of fun and lots more to come.

–Matt Tucker