Windrush Trout Stream……Fish In A Barrel?

One of my business partners and I were invited as guests to an outing at Windrush Trout Stream by one of our corporate banks for a quick overnight trip (thursday / friday). Charlie isn’t a fly fisherman by any means (he has been only one time before at Westover and that was it) and we were going to check out Windrush as much as anything else. The itinerary said arrival at 10:30am (which we made it by, and we were the first there…..later via voicemails the hosts didn’t even leave STL until after 12pm). We did meet Quin when suiting up (I definitely should have wet waded today) and he told us to fish the big pools…….I should have gotten the hint then.

We walked down the gravel road to the stream and peered in, the stream is nothing more than “meat hole” after “meat hole” where the caretaker can back up his vehicle and dump trout in certain holes. There really wasn’t a stream at all and the fish definitely just looked like they were dumped there… much so they were still swimming in circles (literally). When crossing the stream to get to our first stop, the first thing that we noticed was how warm the water still was; which i thought was unusual b/c of the cool nights we have been having.

The ticket of the day was a leech pattern I named “The Whore Magnet” or a #18 tungsten bh copper midge under half a palsa. It really wasn’t about outsmarting fish, or catching them in thier element. Charlie, who had only been trout fishing once before, was catching fish — but the fish had very little fight in them (warm water temp?).

After about 3 1/2 hrs we had both had enough and decided to go find a beer. We grabbed our bags and found our room in one of the two lodges. We walked in and were greeted with no less than 100 black flies and if there were 50 lady bugs all over the ceiling that would have only been half. As we are standing there with fly swatters trying to fight a loosing battle, we crashed for a bit and enjoyed a brew.

The rooms are actually very nice for the buildings they were in — but could have used some clean-up prior to a big group arrival (wasp nests knocked down out of the windows — couldn’t open either windows in the place due to the wasps; flies / bugs killed in the room; floors swept; AC turned on or Windows open to freshen the place up) but none of it was done. It definitely was nicer than alot of places I had stayed — but if you had a big corporate group, it definitely should have had some time spent on it.

For some odd reason, I didn’t have cell phone service, but my phone was receiving email and I made the mistake of checking it. A few emails regarding our new accounting / project management software implementation and my vast workload regarding the software combined with any real satisfaction to fishing the stream again was all the motivation Charlie and I needed to head back to STL. We both felt bad about leaving our hosts high and dry without ever seeing them, but a couple of voicemails and all was well.

In the end, I doubt I will venture back to Windrush. It is vastly different than Westover; and I definitely prefer the more “natural” spring creek nature of Westover. However, truth be told I think I would rather be on the 11pt, NFOW, or the White River before hitting either place again. BUT to each thier own.

I will say this, the corporate bank that invited us was really trying to put the foot forward with the set-up they were providing. For those people that only get a fish a couple of times a year, or only fish the trout parks it was probably alot of fun. Unfortunately the two bank hosts that were supposed to be there didn’t show early on, so we didn’t feel obligated to make the stay.

–Matt Tucker

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