I finally landed a fish from the salt water. Today’s half-day trip with Awesome Adventure Charters had Kaitlyn out in the boat with me. She did not want to try fishing, so I got the platform all day. The redfish were not in today, but the dolphins and bonnet head sharks were. I landed my first two saltwater fish, and had at least 80 shots at other fish. It was a day of nonstop action, filled with some shark feeding frenzy. Pretty cool.
Not a whole lot to write. I hooked up with a redfish 10 minutes into the trip, and had my ass handed to me. The rest of the time was spent with me trying to hit pockets in the reeds to no avail and our guide polling Hannah around the flat for an attempt at a fish (she did get to cast at a few). It was a great time.
Long, but productive, day today. Left STL at 230am and floated the NFOW twice (lower section) with Dan Ritter and the guys from Chasing The Dream. We boated quite a few and stayed busy with plenty of chases, and even moved a couple of big fish…but no joy. Left the NFOW around 1pm, and headed for the Current to see what it looked like at 1600cfs at Akers. Cedar grove bridge was just covered and the water at Welch was moving….going to have to lower the max to about 1200. Could have probably floated Tan Vat to Cedar Grove in the boat today though. Good times as always, hope everyone else got out.
Over 80 members of the Gateway Chapter of Trout Unlimited turned out for the inaugural meeting of the chapter. The night started with a car show of sorts, for drift boats we deemed a “Drift Boat Rodeo”. We had six drift boats set up in the parking lot of Mike Duffy’s Bar and Grill in Kirkwood, Missouri for members to check out before and after the meeting. Drift boats are becoming a popular tool for ozark anglers and we are seeing more and more of them on some of our local waters.
Greg Hatten from Oregon gave one of the best fly-fishing presentations that I have seen as he spoke about steelheading in the pacific northwest and told tales of retracing famous floats in era correct wooden drift boats. The audio visual component of Greg’s presentation was stellar and the layout of the meeting room didn’t have members squinting to see a large screen at the front of the room thanks to the numerous flat panel monitors placed throughout the room.
Through generosity of the membership we held our first 50/50 raffle and Andrew Arnold was the winner and we were able to raise funds to help cover the operating expenses of the chapter. We also were able to give away some more GTU stickers and also played our version of a wedding reception game where I named off random trout streams in Missouri and if you hadn’t fished them within the last year, you sat down, and the last person standing won a prize. Chris Barclay took home a nice GTU logo’d fishing shirt by fishing several of the creeks, including Crane Creek and Barren Fork Creek.
It was a great way to kick off our chapter meetings and will be a hard one to follow.
There 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.