Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: December 15, 2014
PAST FLYFISHERS AT THE CROSSING FLY FISHING TRIPS ARE BELOW!
Email me about your recent fly fishing trip and I will add it here for others to enjoy!
Hold your mouse pointer over any photo and see description - click on and see larger photo.
Even More Trip Reports Below
Looks Like Montauk is Back on Track ( (Sept 18th) Here is a report from Dave Beerbower with a congrats to Jeff Layton who completed his graduation into the FATC> Seven flyfishers headed down to Montauk this past Thursday to see if the trout were biting. Dave Beerbower was taking Jeff Layton down for his graduation experience and they were joined by Bruce Morton, Gary Elliot, Jim Franke, Sid Aslin and Tim Klotz. The weather seemed perfect with cool temps and an overcast sky. The cows were spaced apart and feeding, so we were looking for a good day, and we found it. There were several hatches going off all day and the fish were active. Jeff is an experienced fly fisher, so he caught his graduation fish early, and it was a dandy. Fish were surfacing all day and soft hackles and dry flies caught most of the fish on this day. You had to put some motion into the flies to get the fish interested, but when they were hooked, they fought like crazy. It is exciting to skitter a dry fly across the surface and see it disappear in a mighty swirl and splash! Everyone caught lots of fish and we finished the day off at El Nopal in Sullivan.
Montauk - Beautiful Day, Water - Clear and Low, Crowded?, New Graduate! (Sept 22nd): Six Fly Fishers took advantage of a beautiful fall day with blue skies and cool temperatures - Jim Franke, Dave Inman, Craig Dull, Steve McDaniel, Kenny Klimes, and soon to be new graduate Rory Pottgen. Montauk waters are slow, low and clear making fishing a challenge. The best place for "catching" is any where the water is moving fast. Fishing in the slow water is difficult. The river was more crowded than usual so the guys broke up into two groups for the day of fishing. Rory was there to graduate so he and Kenny stuck close together for the day. After some casting practice Rory was on fish before noon and seemed to enjoy the day with about 8 fish in the net and many lost. Everyone caught fish this day with an eclectic group of flies used. Elk Caddis, midges, San Juan worms, cracklebacks, and soft hackles caught the majority of the trout. Everyone had a fun day and we even had some deer give us a show as they crossed the river no more than 30 feet away as we fished (see pictures below). A fellowship dinner was had at Hicks BBQ and new friends were made. Winter season is fast approaching. It is the best time of fly fishing in Missouri so be ready with the proper gear. Congratulations to Rory Pottgen!
Stream Team Event Takes Us to Bonhomme Creek (Sept 27th): Our FATC Stream team met this past Saturday to not only monitor and clean up the waters of Bonhomme Creek but also to learn some valuable tools to help us become better fly fishers. It was a beautiful Saturday morning with blues skies and cool temperatures. Stream Team Lead Mike Bisaga took six other FATC members to Bonhomme Creek just outside of Babler park. John Walker (also trained in Stream Team procedures), John Bloss, Matt McClure, Bob Aslin, Mike Chambers and I (Kenny Klimes) were about to embark on a fantastic morning of learning the ways of the streams. First, I have to say if you have not had the chance yet to participate in one of our Stream Team events please make it your business to do so. It was an awesome learning experience about our streams, their aquatic life and some interesting fly fishing knowledge. The team took water and aquatic life samples from three different locations on the stream. The stream was very low but the team was able to find three locations with riffles that held vast numbers of aquatic life. We found over 10 different species of stream life to include mayfly nymphs, caddis larva, aquatic worms, leeches, scuds, minnows, sculpins, damselfly nymphs and more. After filling out monitoring and insect info for the MDC the guys did a little cleanup and headed for a cookout at my house to discuss the days events and of course, fly fishing. Check out the pictures below of this awesome day!
Northern Colorado Finds the FATC with Success and Great Fellowship (September): FATC fly fishers Tim Graham, Jerry Lybarger and John Palmer just returned from a fishing trip to Colorado. Tim and his wife Rhonda spent the month of September in a cabin at about 8,500 ft. elev. that triangulates about 35 miles equidistance from Steamboat Springs, Walden and Kremling. Tim spent time with his wife and also fished solo the first two weeks. Jerry and Judy Lybarger joined them for the third week and John Palmer came up for the fourth week. Great fishing and outstanding fellowship were enjoyed by all. A number of rivers within about a 75 mile radius were fished and explored. We made at least four trips to fish the Yampa River, including the C. Lewis SWA, the tail water below Stagecoach Reservoir and the Service Creek area. By far the largest numbers of fish were caught in theYampa at the C. Lewis SWA, with several afternoons yielding 35+ fish each. Many were smaller to medium size rainbows but we also caught some 17” and larger fish here. Tim fished the Elk River, the main tributary of the Yampa with limited success. This river gets a lot of pressure and there is very little public access. We made a couple of trips to North Park to fish the legendary N. Platte River. Tim and Jerry ventured into the canyon, which entailed a long hike and off-trail, bushwhacking and rock climbing to get down near the falls close to the Wyoming state line. The river and canyon are beautiful but it was not fishing well for us or the three other anglers there that day. The temperature was in the high 70’s that day and the local fly shop attributed the slow bite to this. The N. Platte has not received any stocking since the mid 1970’ and is known for the quality of fish but not quantity. It holds mostly large brown trout that are easily spooked. One guide showed us some photos of 24”+ browns he caught there about a week before we arrived. He told us that he knew exactly the holes where he was going to fish and that he sneaks up on the trout so as not to spook these fish. He also said that he probably put in 20 days of few if any fish before it yielded a day like that. Tim and John could not resist the temptation of landing a huge brown and returned to the N. Platte a little more than a week later to fish on the plains in North Park not too far from Grizzly Creek (headwaters of the N. Platte). While fishing this area John walked up on Moose on the Platte and soon thereafter we found fresh bear tracks on the river bank, so we decided not to push our luck and get out of there. We then stopped by Delanney Butte Lakes where John caught a 21” rainbow. The ranchers had recently cut their mountain hay in North Park and the fish were eating grasshoppers which we were happy to give them. Jerry and Tim also caught some nice fish here on an earlier trip fishing nymphs one evening. The browns in N. Delanney Butte Lake were on their redds and very active but we respected their spawn and did not fish this area. This gold medal fishery also caught a nice cut bow (see photo). Tim and Jerry fished the Williams Fork and the Colorado River inMiddle Park. The day we fished the Williams Fork they were running water out of the reservoir which presented a real challenge. Rainfall in August broke a nearly 100 year record so the reservoirs and rivers were full. Tim and John returned a week later to fish the Colorado about 30 miles east of Kremling. Tim caught a decent brown but we missed the hatch and did not catch too many fish that day. John taught me how to cross the Colorado (buddy wading) which required a combination of nerves and skill in this big river with swift currents and algae covered freestone bottom. Our cabin was situated on a private 110 ac. lake formed by an ancient volcanic cone(catch and release only) which yielded many 17”+ fish about 40 yards from our back door. Judy Lybarger fished with us one evening and quickly showed us how it was done catching a fish within about five minutes. The lake holds browns and rainbows including hofer rainbows which Jerry described as the prettiest fish he has ever caught. These fish had a turquoise coloring on their back and very vivid rainbow color from the tis deep ultra-clear lake. We also fished a secret beaver pond nearby which yielded many 18”+ rainbows. John and Tim made a trip to the Blue River north of Silverthorne which produced some good quality fish but which also took a lot of physical stamina to reach them. John has been fly fishing for more than 50 years and he is a very accomplished, instinctual fisherman. He has extensive experience fishing western rivers and taught me (Tim) many things. One of the more important lessons I learned when fishing public access areas is to look for those areas which are catch and release only and then walk as far you can away from the parking area. Many days we hiked at least four miles in waders, plus waded many rivers long distance against the current to get to our spots, all at high elevations. It is really important to be in shape to fish these rivers. Jerry and John were both more than up to the task. One of the things which made this trip fun was figuring out hatches as each river has its own unique characteristics. The N. Platte is almost exclusively dry fly water, tail waters as you might expect require finesse (6X tippet, double fly rigs (size 20 and 22 RS2’s and Barrs Emergers). Jerry fished some triple fly rigs with good success on the Yampa and we used a lot of dry droppers and nymphs with trailers Caddis, Mayfly and Trico hatches were all prevalent when were there. We caught a lot of fish and had a lot of adventures over the month and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. We also learned a lot. I know I (Tim) have even more to learn and realize that no matter how long I fishing is not at all like fishing in our trout parks. 9’ tippets and precise dead drifts along the seams of the current, always with tight lines and an eye toward the ever changing hatch, along with a certain amount of luck make the difference between fish and no fish. Weather and the changing aspens were remarkable the entire month of September. We also saw a good deal of wildlife (eagles and other raptors, moose, deer, elk, antelope and coyote). It snowed our last night there to cap all of the peaks for an awesome sendoff.
Tan Vat Produces Nice Browns(Oct 6th): Larry Farrar got away from work, and with one of his "business" partners, fished the Current river near Tan Vat. At first he wanted to keep it a secret but we discovered his fishing location. Larry tagged into two nice browns as the browns begin their spawn movements. His fly of choice was the San Juan worm. He never revealed what color or size his san juan fly was (he's a sneaky guy). But the browns he caught were awesome. See his catch below.
God Told Me to Go (TanVat-Cable - Oct 16th) There are a lot of people out there that have a hard time believing that God talks to them. I think the problem is that most people just don't take the time to listen. Well. today I listened and He talked to me. I'm home alone. My wife is at a week long family reunion and my children are away at school. During the days of rain I got a lot of things done around the house but last night I heard God say to go fishing tomorrow. Well, I wasn't going to argue with that - He's God. So I immediately tried to think of who I could call to join me. But God told me "No, it will be just you and Me on the water today" So I packed my gear, got up early and headed out to the Current river. We talked all the way down to Salem, MO - marriage, kids, work, friendships and of course, about me. He told me that He wanted me to relax today, to slow down while I fished and to take in His glory. On the drive down, as the sun was rising, He showed me His expertise with the paint brush as the forest's trees were orange, brown, red, and all shades of green. As I passed a field I told Him we have to check if the cows are spread out like we always do. He laughed and threw in a Llama right smack in the middle of the field - I've never noticed a Llama there before? When we arrived at the Current river the air was crisp and cold. Met a man from Arkansas who was there for the first time. I hit my favorite spot first. I was all alone - oopps - of course God was with me. Had a Brown on right away but lost him. Darn! I heard laughter behind me. He said there will be more. I stopped to soak in His glory - what a beautiful river I thought. Caught several trout and returned to the parking lot. Met our friend Eric. He's the young guy with the pony tail and spin fishes with rapalas. I asked him how his heart was doing. Not real good he said and then I chewed him out for smoking. He introduced me to one of his local friends and we all talked for awhile. Eric suggested a few spots up stream. It was a good suggestion as I caught several more. I found a nice run along the shoreline where I could see several fish holding. Again, I got into my concentration "mode", that mode where I lose awareness of everything around me. Then I heard a huge splash and commotion to my left. It was a young deer crossing the river no more than 30 feet from me. I smiled and God told me again to slow down and enjoy his glory. After lunch I headed to below the cable and met a few more fly fishers. What a glorious day with the sun shining, blue skies, autumn foliage, clear water and trout keeping one eye on my every move. The day ended around 3pm and I stopped along the trail to thank God for taking me fishing today. If you get out on the water soon take the time to bask in God's glory. He's created one beautiful place! Here are few pictures of what God provided for me on this day.
Once in a Lifetime - Oregon (Oct 10-14) Dave Beerbower had the chance of a lifetime and fulfilled one of his bucket list items. Dave, his friend Tim Crane and his father, Doug Crane decided to venture out on the Deschutes River in Oregon from October 10-14 for the elusive Steelhead trout. They call them the fish of a thousand casts, and I learned that lesson on this trip. We met our guides and loaded into a 20’ jet boat for the trip down the canyon from Maupin, Oregon. We set up camp and the guides started to teach me how to spey cast. We used a 12 foot 7wt rod and in a few hours, I was able to cast about 80’ of line and could make it “fishable”. You cast out quartering the river downstream and let it swing all the way across, hoping a steelhead chooses your fly. Tim and Doug are experienced steelheaders and were at it early. Tim caught one on the first day and that was it. I had one boil the water at my fly, but didn’t take it. Camping along the river back allowed us to get started early the next day, and that proved to be the important day for me. Tim and Doug took steelhead and I was starting to feel left out. Then it happened! I felt a tug and resisted the temptation to jerk the rod to set the hook. I waited until he turned with it and then it was on. A beautiful wild female 8 lb. steelhead took line and was jumping out of the water and running. After a determined fight, she tired and we were able to land this most elusive of the big game fish. What a rush! In three days, we caught 7 steelhead in the group, and that was better than the previous groups had done for several weeks. All in all, a memorable experience.
Bamboo Rod Makers Unite in Arkansas FATC members Bruce Morton and Dave Beerbower headed down to Arkansas to attend the 2014 Southern Rodmakers Gathering. This annual event just outside of Mountain Home , AR attracts some of the best bamboo rod makers in the country and this year was no exception. There were 102 attendees from 26 states. There are seminars over the two day sessions and fellowship to discuss ways to improve your skill levels. Bruce has gone to this for several years and I got to show off my first rod. Little did I know how much I still need to learn. Everyone is very gracious with the newer members and willing to share their knowledge. The best part is the opportunity to cast any of nearly 60 rods on the display rack, and everyone makes good use of this. Bruce and I found the next rods we want to build this fall by casting rods until we found ones we really liked. The weather was great on the banks of the White River and we learned some new things to try, but the fellowship was the best part. We even shared about FATC with some St. Louis guys we had not met before. A wonderful experience.
Last Days before Catch and Release Season - Big FATC Group (October 27th): With the trout parks closing in just a few days before the catch and release season, a big group of FATC fly fishers tried to get another day of fly fishing in. The parks will be closed until November 14th so fly fishing will be outside the state parks at least for the next two weeks. Nine FATC fly fishers headed to Montauk state park to fly fish the Current river; Sid Aslin, Bruce Morton, Brian Yost, Kenny Klimes, John Guyer, Dave Beerbower, Jim Anzer, Matt McClure and Fred Schwartztrauber. It was a beautiful day. The cows were spread out and the guys were ready to go. Yes, the river was more crowded than we thought it would be but with the nice weather and the end of "Tag" season everyone was trying to get one more shot at the river. We parked near the hatchery so as to be able to fish the entire fly fishing only area. The group split up with an agreement to meet for lunch at 12:30pm. Most fished from the beginning of the spring to the "boulder" and did well in the morning hours with a lull in the catching just before lunch. Most successful flies seemed to be the smaller ones - size 16 -20. Midges, scuds, san juan worms, smokejumpers and few others did well in the morning. At lunch all nine ate in fellowship and told stories of not only the morning fishing but of trips past. It was good to see guys on the water that had been away from fishing for awhile. In the afternoon catching was slow to get going but turned on for some right around 3pm until we departed at 4:30pm. Best flies in the afternoon were midges. We packed up at 4:30pm and took off for Hicks BBQ in Cuba for fellowship dinner. Lots of laughs and stories were thrown around the table. No one was safe from a joke or two. Also ran into Mike Gomez who we meet as a group several years ago returning from a San Juan, New Mexico trip (Mike if you are reading this come on and join our fellowship!) It was an awesome day. It was nice to see Bruce Morton on the water again as well as the guys from the famous Grumpy Old Men 2 trip years ago. Catch and release season opens November 14th - hope to see you on the water then.
Short Day at Montauk (Oct 31st): Larry Farrar had a chance for a few hours on the river so here's his report. I had a chance to fish Montauk on October 30th for about 3 1/2 hours. The stream is still low, slow and clear. There were more fisherman on the stream than I had hoped for. The area just above the Dam wasn't as crowded as other parts of the stream so I started there. Within minutes fish were biting the San Juan worm. They preferred the lighter colors, white, yellow, and pale pink. After fishing there I moved upstream and continued to catch fish on the San Juan worm. I made it to the top of the stream and changed over to an olive soft hackle which caught fish as well. As I finished the time that I had I knew I wouldn't be back on the stream until Thanksgiving which made me realize how much I really enjoy the Catch and Release season that's about to start.
Catch and Release Season Begins with New Grad (Nov 21st) : Four intrepid fly fishermen took off this past Friday for the Montauk catch and release season. Dave Beerbower, Mike Harvey, Matt McClure and Miles Meyer, a recent class attendee looking to graduate, braved the below freezing temps for the chance to experience the “tug”. The park was certainly less crowded and the fish were a little more active. Miles completed his graduation early and actually caught the biggest fish of the day, a nice 15” rainbow. We were glad to have warm soups for lunch and the fishing improved in the afternoon. Midges and soft hackles did well in the AM and cracklebacks and soft hackles did the trick in the PM, especially the royal blue crackleback. Everyone caught lots of fish and had even more stories to go with them. After the whistle, the boys finished up at Missouri Hick BBQ for first timers Mike and Miles. A great day on the water. Congratulations to Miles Meyer for completing the FATC fly fishing course. He has a lot to learn as we all do so let's get out there and enjoy this Catch and Release season.
Meramec Fishing is Hot, Hot, Hot (Nov. 30): Two different reports for you on the same trip - guys, it's good out there or these guys wouldn't be bragging!! Read on.. Four fly fishers decided at the last minute to head to Meramec Spring Park on the last day of November. Larry Farrar, Joe Walker, Mike Walton and Dave Beerbower took advantage of the balmy temps and fished the morning while the weather was good. Things started off very well with many fish caught at the first pool and just below the island. The fish were nice size and fat. We were surprised that the park was not more crowded, but we were grateful. We worked our way down through the park and continued to catch many large rainbows. Scuds, worms, and blue cracklebacks did most of the damage. We also ran into fly shop owner Tom Hargrove, who had sneaked out for a day on the water. We left the park for home at noon after a good day of fishing and fellowship. So what is your excuse for not doing the same? Come on you new guys. Get signed up to graduate and get out there!
The WWF Rev B (Mike Walton, Joe Walker, Larry Farrar and Dave Beerbower) took a quick trip to Maramec Springs on Sunday to see how the park is fishing. The weather was outstanding for the end of November and the stream appeared to be in good shape. Shortly after the whistle blew almost everyone was catching fish. Most of the fish were decent size and in really good shape. The group fished various spots from the top of the stream to the bridge that crosses at the end of the park and fish were caught at every stop. Most fish were taken on crackle backs, scuds (it's late in the season but the fish still took them), and the san juan worm. By noon the crowd had grown and we knew foul weather would be moving in. Conditions are great, it's time to go fishing. Tight lines.
Catch and Release Season in Full Swing (Nov 26th): These guys hit Meramec Spring park which is just a little over an hour drive. Joe Walker and Larry Farrar took a quick trip to Maramec Springs to take in some fishing before the Thanksgiving festivities. The stream is in very good shape and the water is very clear. We only saw two other fisherman on the stream during the later afternoon. Plenty of fish were caught on San Juan worms and scuds. The fish appear to be very healthy and very active. Now is the time to enjoy the Catch and Release season. Tight lines.
Meramec Good in AM, Slow in PM (Dec. 12): Dave Beerbower, Tim Trog and Matt McClure decided to take a short day trip to Meramec Spring Park on Friday. The day promised to be warmer and when we got there we had the place to ourselves, except for two bald eagles cruising the park. We started near the island and had good luck all morning. Mohair leeches, cracklebacks and scuds were the most successful, especially in the faster water areas. We worked downstream and had good results below the falls areas too. After lunch, we decided to venture outside of the park. Tim caught the best fish of the day there and Matt caught his first fish outside of the park, but it was a smallmouth. We went back inside the park, but the fish had definitely turned off and we struggled for a few fish before quitting time. Because Dave had to be back in town by 5pm, we did not get to stop for a Hick BBQ, but we had a fun day of fishing together. Meramec Spring park is fishing well now and it's only a little over an hour away. Don't miss this winter season - guys are catching!!
Big Group Gets To Graduate Another (Dec. 12th): Nine fly fishers hit the water on a nice December Friday afternoon. Mike Bisaga was taking Jim Lillenberg out for his graduation trip and 7 others decided to join. Mike, Jim, Dave Inman, Jim Franke, Gary Elliott and Gary's neighbor Ron Peasley went to Montauk, while Dave Beerbower, Matt McClure and Tim Trogg stayed a little closer to home and headed to Meramec Springs park (see trip report below). Weather was great at Montauk. It was 37 degrees when we hit the water. Temp went up a bit during the day to make it a little more comfortable. Mike and Jim started out above the dam working on a little review of Kenny's casting class. The two worked up stream stripping soft hackles, with a few hits and a few fish in hand. Just below the bolder, we switched over to a blue streak bugger, and WAM, Jim got his first fish just before lunch. After lunch Mike, Jim and Dave drove up to the hatchery office and worked down from the spring for the rest of the day. I know it's kind of cheating, but just for kicks we threw a few into the catch a release area as we walked by. Jim was on his second fish of the day, and a healthy one at that. A variety of flies were used, blue crackle back, CQ Streamer, soft hackles in orange or black and black zebra midge seemed to produce the most fish. It was an all around good day, and with our latest FATC graduate, I think we have another one hooked on fly fishing.
Congratulations to Jim Lillenberg.