Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: December 6, 2016
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
YELLOWSTONE - Despite the Roadblocks, Success!! (Sept 18 -25): Our annual out of state trip this year was a huge success despite the roadblocks that we faced. Kudos to John Walker for putting together and leading this awesome trip. We didn't want to leave when the trip came to a close. On Sept 18th, six FATC met at the Lambert St. Louis airport for their adventure to begin. John Walker, Pete Drochelman, Al Blair, Craig Dull and Kenny Klimes set off for Bozeman, Montana. There they would meet up with the Berwyn Bear, Ron Fiala. After landing in Bozeman the six met up and headed to Gardiner, Montana which would be our home for a week. John got all of us a beautiful apartment with kitchen, frig, big screen TV and comfortable beds. We were excited to get ready but first visit a few fly shops and check out the town. This is where the road blocks started. Forest fires closed off Slough Creek, a spot we definately wanted to fish - off the list. The major road running from Gardinier to West Yellowstone was closed for repairs - meant longer drives to the rivers. A recent rain storm "blew out" the Lamar river which was flowing fast and chocolate brown - unfishable. BUT we would perservere and it paid off as the trip was a blast!!
Fishing: The fishing was very good as we fished four different river systems during our six days of fishing. We fished Soda Butte, Madison, Firehole and the Gardiner (or was that the Gibbon? - just kidding John!). Our most successful river was Soda Butte. We had the chance to fish it three different times throughout the week. The Cutthroat were nice size from 12 - almost 18 inches. For some in the group it was their first cutthroat. The water was low in Soda Butte so you had to find the holes throughout the river. Did you know if you put a lawn chair on the river you own 50 yards either side of the chair!! Yes, no one else can fish there but you - RIGHT??!!! The first day we fished the "Butte" it was crowded and we had to work to find holes to fish but the other two times we fished we pretty much "owned" the river. Dry flies, soft hackles, midges and stoneflies were the flies that did best. On the second day we fished Soda Butte the afternoon was filled with catches on small BWOs but the third time we fished rains made the river fast and cloudy and stoneflies brought most of the cutthroat to the net. We also fished the Madison and Firehole for the first time. In the past, when we have fished in August those rivers were too warm and are usually closed. Both are beautiful rivers with hatches happening each afternoon. The fish were smaller - especially on the Firehole although once in awhile someone would tag into a nice fish. Kenny pulled a nice 18"+ cutbow from the Madison and Pete followed him with a 17" cutbow. Ron caught some nice fish with some streamers pitched into the timber on the shoreline. But most enjoyed whatever they caught on the dry fly as the fish were sipping the BWOs and Miller Caddis. Five of the guys fished the Gardinier river one day (minus Kenny - which is a story we will discuss later). Smaller fish there for the five.
The Adventure: As in any trip there are always adventures and stories to be told. We had some long drives each day to get to our favorite spots. To keep us alert and "occupied" we developed a new game to play. "If you were...." or "if you could be......what would you be?" The responses we got were to say the least - surprising!? Like when we asked this one question ....... what a minute! I almost forgot "What happens in Yellowstone - stays in Yellowstone!!!" Sorry guys, I can't talk about the answers or even the questions for that matter - just let it be said some of us almost wet our pants laughing so hard. We did find a great place to have breakfast each morning before we headed out on our trips. Did you know when a beautiful young Bulgarian women says something is "very spicy" she actually means ATOMIC HOT!! I did not know that.... Might be why I missed a day of fishing :) One night we had an awesome meal at the Chico Hot Springs resort with John Walker's graduate professor. A super fun evening of good conversation and stories. The best story was from John's professor, Paul Grieco. He told about the time that John was cleaning some very potent chemicals and........wait a minute....."What happens in Yellowstone, stays in Yellowstone!!" Sorry John, almost slipped out. Paul even picked up the entire check - WOW!! We also found another most excellent driver in Craig Dull - look out Dave I think he has surpassed you! We also saw some very cool wild animals throughout the trip - black bear (walking right on the side of the road), zillions of Bison, Elk, mule deer, pronghorn sheep, two big horn sheep, eagles, a swan and more.... some of them will be pictured below. Luckily for us we had the Berwyn Bear, Ron, to interpret Sioux and keep the bison (Tatonka) at bay.
Overall it was a great trip - thanks to John for all the hard work. The fellowship and especially the banter was to remember. Thanks to the Berwyn Bear for always having my back!! And for bringing that "fake" Tenkara rod case to get Pete all excited. Ok, thanks for not using it anyway. Thanks to Al for making us laugh so hard - laughter is good. Thanks to Craig for all the driving he did while we relaxed in the back. And thanks to Pete for the special hat and also for allowing himself to be too easy for me and the Bear.
If you ever get a chance to join the FATC on an out of state trip please don't balk at the chance - you will regret it. Check out the pictures belwo for more of the story!!
Colorado - Backup Trip ( Sept. 18-25) Here is a report from Jerry Lybarger who fished with Tim Graham in Tim's new home state of Colorado. The guys were supposed to join the Yellowstone gang (see trip report below) but aches and pains got in the way !? Jerry Lybarger flew to Denver to meet Tim Graham intending to meet up with the infamous Yellowstone 6 for a week of fishing in and around the Yellowstone Nat'l Park north area, but the road construction and fire closures increased travel time to 12/13 hours and made accommodations very iffy. So they fished around Tim's new home in the Fort Collins area camping along the Cahe la Poudre River Canyon and Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park, which allowed 2 extra fishing days that would have been devoted to travel. It also allowed them to break some nights to shower at Tim's and enjoy his wife, Rhonda's great cooking. We fished several places on the Poudre with the biggest fish sighted around 30"+. Although we caught fish there, those big ones were too smart for the boys. One even jumped hitting Jerry in the thigh. The mountain freestone streams are much more difficult to navigate than our rocky pebble stream beds in Mo. Jerry pulled one half dunk with many stumbles and Tim ruined his phone. We also fished several mountain lakes and the Big Thompson R. in the park and the tailwater below the dam in Estes Park. We saw black bugs about the size of a sharpened pencil point and a translucent bug similar to an RS2 or maybe a caddis emerger so small we had nothing to match. Fish were caught on RS2, Blue Dun, BWO, CopperJohn, Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail and wooly bugger with all sorts of things tried. Jerry even used his fly rod as a cane pole improvising since the boys hiked 4 miles up 1,000+ feet on a difficult boulder strewn path fit barely for Lamas (yes we ran into them also) to fish Fern Lake but forgot his reel. Tim forgot his hikers so wore sandals - ouch. And both caught native greenback cut throats. The fishing was technical in many places (that's code for we did not know what we were doing half the time). We caught browns, bows, greenback cut throats, and the wooly bugger brought in many brookies. We found some good holes for Tim to fish in his new home. The elk were bugling, big with attitudes. One night they past our tent within 20 feet and left presents on our area. One boy huffed like a bear bringing Tim to grab the bear mace and whisper for Jerry to grab the gun. Alas he was just breathing in for a pre-bugle but we expected antlers to rip the tent any moment. One harem forced us out of the Big Thompson at about 20 yards while the king majestically posed for pictures, sprayed his scent, herded his girls and ran off other bulls. Beautiful fish in beautiful country without the bantering of the Yellowstone 6. Ahh, Blessings.
Colorado Blue River (Sept 27th): Brian Yost sent us this trip report from the Blue River in Colorado. Sounds like he had a great trip with some beautiful scenery. Brian Yost recently fished the Blue River in Colorado on September 27th. It was a perfect day; 70 degrees with clear skies. The water was moving fast. The fly of the day was the prince nymph, dropping from a hopper. Also got bites on a wooly bugger and a caddis.
Two FATC Fish Montauk (Oct 4th): Here is a report from Sid Aslin on his trip with Tim Klotz to Montauk state park. Montauk fishing report for Tuesday October 4. Water flow has dropped. SId Aslin and Tim Klotz fished hard all day. Morning was the best with some nice trout coming to the net for both fishermen. Sid is glad that he finally made the investment of sinking tip line rather than the sinking leader. Not sure if Kenny would call it a real fly, but the peach color mega worm fished well off the bottom all day! Two of Sid's trout were actually caught accidentally as he was trying to get his line untangled from the mend of his line and trout took the fly. I suggest next time you are at the lodge to buy one mega worm of each color and give them a try! Tim caught his fish on nymphs using a elk hair catddis fly as the indicator. Sid wishes that his eye site and finger coordination were better so he could see and tie the combination of two flies better, but he just has to be content being the best looking fisherman of our whole group! Lol, seriously it was a good day on the water for two friends! Sid you better not fish that mega worm when I'm with you - unless you really want - I guess. Thanks for the report!
Virginia and Missouri Fish Together (Oct 1st): Here is a trip report from Dave Beerbower as he fished with FATC member Jonathan Pierce in Virginia. Dave Beerbower met up with Jonathan Pierce of the Virginia FATC team to chase some wild trout in the Mt. Rogers Wilderness area. The heat and drought have seriously diminished flows in the local streams, so we had to really search for fishable streams. We found some and fished most of the morning with one fish and several hits to show for it. Not to worry, we had a great day of fellowship in some of the most beautiful streams anywhere. I am thinking of planning a FATC field trip back here in the spring. Anyone want to come?
Montauk Trip Finds Fishing Fair (Oct 12th): Several FATC members took a day trip to Montauk on Wednesday. Mike Harvey, Al Blair, Barry Dunnegan and Kenny Klimes headed to Montauk to check out past reports that the fishing has been fair. They found out that the past reports have been true. We are not sure why fishing at Montauk this year hasn't been up to par but we do believe that the past winter floods have been the main culprit. We have also found out that due to those floods the hatcheries are adding fewer trout per tag purchased this year. Could it be that they lost too many fish during the flooding of December 2015? On this day the weather report called for 100% of rain - and it did. Most heavy rain in the morning and sprinkles throughout the day. The fishing was best in the morning like it has been most of the year. The water is low and clear so smaller flies seemed to do the best. Flashback pheasant tail nymphs, P&P midges, small san juan worms and soft hackles seemed to do the best. The rainbows averaged from 10" to 14" in length. The guys fished from the top of the river/spring down to the dam in the morning and then fished from the road bridge down to the lodge in the afternoon. The day ended with fishing in the area between the boulder and the dam. One big lesson learned from the trip was to get better you need to get out and fish. So if you have been off the water for awhile then get out there and fish.
The Fellowship from Virginia spent a day on the water with some success. Jonathon Pierce and his son, Tyler sent us this report from the tiny stream in Virginai.
Tyler and I were able to sneak in a short fishing outing Sunday. We took I81 North to Marion (about a 10 mile drive) and fished Staley Creek. Staley is a spring fed creek. I was dead drifting an Ausable Bomber. The Ausable Bomber was created by Fran Betters. I don't know if Fran's design of the "Bomber" was for use in rivers, although I suspect it was, being from a region where the mighty Ausable flows. But the "Bomber" is a small stream must have dry fly. It has taken trout for me every where I've chucked it, as well as any month of the year. I purchased this particular fly from Miller's Flyshop in Tyler, Texas. Tyler was down-stream stripping a double nymph rig with a smaller nymph trailing a big heavy one. One brown and one green. Fish were taken, but not without skill and cunning on our part.
Fishing in the Month of October: There have been a lot of trips going on as of late, some to Bennett Spring park, Montauk State park and even lake Taneycomo. Although the parks have been slightly crowded - especially on the weekends, most have found the fishing to be fair to good.
From reports Bennett seems to be fishing well if you know where to go and the areas are not packed with people. Most have done well with San Juan worms, nymphs and midges. If you find some of the deeper holes wooly buggers are doing fairly good.
Montauk is still fishing fair. You must move - fish the deeper holes. If you get a fish or two then head to the next hole. Nymphs and midge larva imitations having been doing the best. The morning hours have been the most productive. I recommend starting at the spring in the fly fishing only area and work your way downstream.
Some have even fished Lake Taneycomo (LT). Guys are catching fish but not in great numbers. The oxygen levels are low which makes the trout slightly lethargic so you will have to work for them. The browns will be moving upstream so there is a good chance to hit on a big brown or two. The generation has been off on the weekends. Some flow is needed for better fishing so watch the generation reports and make sure you are out fishing when the water gets turned on.
We are now into the catch and release season so know the park times and where you want to fish before you head out. The State parks are open November 11th and will stay open until the second weekend in February. They will only be open for fishng from Friday through Monday of each week. Meramec Spring park will be open 7 days a week after November 11th. All rivers and streams outside the park are always open.
Terry says of LT this weekend:Terry Seaton and Jordon Crist took a long weekend off to fish one last time this fall. Drove to Bennett Spring and fished for about 1 ½ hours on the way to Lake Taneycomo. With the warm weather, the park had lots of fishermen/fisherwomen – see photo of the area that Kenny advised us to fish…! We both caught fish dead-drifting small zebra midges and pheasant tail nymphs. After baptizing Jordan at River Run fly shop, we checked in at Pointe Royale and headed straight to the water by 4:30 pm. Although they were running 2 generators for a little while, we caught fish swinging wooly buggers. Evenings were spent eating like kings, watching the Cubs lose, tying flies, and telling stories. Saturday, the water was off all day and there was absolutely no flow. Bright and high skies made fishing tough. Of all of those fishing, we only saw a few fish caught all morning! We went back out after lunch and had success only when they started running water again (only 1 hour). Jordan did particularly well with sink-tip swinging a tiger-tail wooly. Never saw a single fish in the “barrel”. First trip to LT I can ever recall that not a single fish was taken on a P&P midge! It was beautiful and peaceful, however! Up Sunday morning and had some success with blood midges only in the area behind the island. Overall, it was a great trip and Jordan’s knowledge and skills improved exponentially. Can’t wait to go back again!
Here is a report from Bennett Spring from Matt McClure and Connor Peters: Connor Peters and I traveled to Bennet Springs on Oct. 15. Yes it was a Saturday and yes the stream was very crowded. Unfortunately due to timing of schedules that was the only day that was going to work for us that week. Even though it was crowded Connor and I were able to find a few openings and catch a fair amount of fish. We tried several flies. The Cerise Worm that we make ended up producing the most and was consistent throughout the day. Bennett continues to have an abundance of fish throughout the stream. As you can imagine with the catch and keep winding down there was big crowds and a lot of fishing pressure. Weather was beautiful and Connor and I were able to catch up with each other since he moved to Lafayette, IN. Looking forward to the catch and release season starting in the next several weeks. Sorry no photos for this trip. You'll just have to take our word.
Veteran's Day and First Day of Catch and Release (Nov 11th): Veteran's day brought cool temps and beautiful blue skies this year. Our first "graduate" of our Fall fly fishing class, Lee Armstrong, was ready to hit the waters with me (Kenny). The cool thing was that Lee and I are both U.S. Air Force Academy graduates (me - class of 74 and Lee - class of 90) and retired US Air Force officers. So fishing on Veteran's day was kind of special for me. Matt McClure and Connor Peters (who drove all the way from Lafayette, Indiana) joined us for the day. We also ran into Rory Pottgen at Montauk. We traveled to Montauk for the opening of catch and release season. It was packed with fisherman probably because it was a national holiday and deer season was just one day away. But we managed to work around people and "most" showed proper etiquette on the water this day. Lee, like all "future graduates" started the day between the boulder and the dam with plenty room to cast and get use to the fly rod and line. Here Lee practiced the swing technique, stripping, and of course the dead drift mend. Yes, he got to hear the "MEND, MEND!" a few times throughout the day. Lee netted his first trout on a fly rod early after losing a few first. He put several in the net before lunch and then it was up to the spring to work our way down through the fly fishing only area. Overall the fishing was better than it has been at Montauk. Now with fish being stocked and no one keeping any fish I believe that the fishing at Montauk will pick up to normal again. Soft hackles and woolly buggers were used in the morning hours and P&P midges did well in the afternoon when the sun was higher in the sky. Your best bet is to find the deeper holes along the banks with a good current and fish deep. Keep moving your indicator until you know you are close to the bottom and watch for any subtle indicator movement - set the HOOK! I caught about six rainbows that were in the 15" range and fat (males) so the fish are there and some of the bigger ones are hungry. We have several trips this month already planned so don't be left behind. Congrats to Lee for completing his graduation. Enjoy the pictures below:
Another Day of Graduation (Nov 14th): Six FATC enjoyed a beautiful day of fishing as two more men from the most recent fly fishing class completed their graduation on the water. Six fly fishers (Mike Harvey, Jim Anzer, Ron Berger, Kenny Klimes and two new graduates - Bill Lowry and Jim Craig) headed to Montauk on this first Monday of the start of catch and release season. Not only was it a beautiful sunny day but the park was fairly empty and by the afternoon we were the only ones on the water. Mike, Jim, and Ron headed upstream to fish while Kenny took Jim and Bill to a spot between the boulder and the dam to work on their casting techniques. There were a few rises so the guys started out swinging soft hackles. The trout cooperated as Kenny was demonstrating how to swing, a fat trout slammed his fly - perfect demo. Jim and Bill caught their first trout before lunch and were up for the challenge of fishing upstream in the afternoon. Everyone caught fish this day and the trip was called a success. The top flies were midges of all flavors (P&P was the tops), soft hackles, woolly buggers, cerise worms, and copper johns. We all stopped fishing at the siren and had fellowship dinner at Hicks BBQ. Congratulations to Jim and Bill on their graduation. i'm sure we will see them a lot more on the water before the year is out.
New Graduates are EVERYWHERE!! (Nov 18th): The guys from the Fall fly fishing class are hitting the waters with full force. Rain and wind was predicted on this Friday from 9am until 11am - and it didn't disappoint. But that didn't stop the five FATC from heading down to Montauk to fish. Barry Dunnegan, Dave Beerbower, Kenny Klimes took future graduates Bob Beckett and Martin Jones to Montauk for their final class and graduation. Bob Beckett was an experienced fly fisher that took our class to brush up and fish the waters of Missouri. You see Bob lives in Illinois (like latest Grad Jim Craig) and wanted to find fly fishers like himself to fish with him - so the FATC. Bob had never been to Montauk so Dave Beerbower was in charge of showing him the ropes. Unfortunately we don't have pictures of Bob catching his fish but we will get some soon. Martin Jones is (now was) a newbie to the world of fly fishing and was eager to get graduated. I haven't had a "student" that has studied harder than Martin so he was ready to tackle the Rainbow!! Martin had not fished much in his life so he had no "bad habits" and took to all instruction very well. As many new guys do he missed a bunch of fish but did manage to bring a couple to the net. I've never seen a bigger smile when he caught his first trout. Congratulations Martin!! Martin had the chance to fish in the rain too (or should I say downpour) and didn't miss a beat. Overall the fishing was a little tougher than normal - probably due to the storm front that came through and shutdown the fishing a little. We had to work for the fish on this day. Best flies used were the P&P midge, flashback copper john nymph, san juan worm, soft hackle, wooly bugger and we tried a few dry flies (Griffith's Gnats). For the past two weeks, Montauk is fishing better than it has all year. From talking with their hatchery crew, they said they were adding 500 trout every two weeks throughout the winter. The weather turned chilly in the afternoon as we stopped fishing at the siren (4pm). We voted on Mexican food this evening and all got to know each other better. Welcome Martin and Bob to the FATC....
I fished a half day at Meramac Springs (outside the park starting at the bridge). The morning was slow and the water was shallow in a lot of places. I then threw on the cerise worm and nabbed couple of good size rainbows. I focused on the deeper holes and had the worm hit bottom. Great day, in the 50s with no wind and a slight overcast. I contribute my higher success rate to the New Zealand indicator (thanks Dave Beerbower). Both hits were extremely subtle.
Meramec Fishing Reports are Good! (Thanksgiving Holiday): Here are two reports from Meramec Spring park from Larry farrar and Brian Yost:
Larry Farrar met up with Joe Walker (who?) to kick off the winter Catch and Release season at Meramec Springs State Park Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The morning was chilly at 35F, overcast and no wind to speak of. We were on the water when the whistle blew and the only fisherman in the park for approximately 30 min. We fished the slow pool around the island at the top of the stream and had good luck. Fishing below the island in the faster water was productive as well. Most of the fish were taken on San Juan worms, mini (multi colored) eggs, and red soft hackles. Before leaving at noon we tried the slow pool by the island one more time. To our surprise the fish were still biting well on San Juan worms and soft hackles. It was a great morning on the water and a great way to kick off the holiday. Tight lines.
Checking Out Meramec (Nov. 30th): Five FATC went to Meramec Spring park and the Meramec river to check out the winter fishing. Matt McClure, Jim Craig, Ron Berger, Matt Thal and Kenny Klimes arrived early in the park on this very chilly morning. Yes, it is winter fishing so be prepared with cold weather gear - don't take any chances. The guys got in the water shortly after the siren and fished around the island first (at the beginning of the park). They fished this area until lunch time and then headed outside the park to check out the fishing there. Overall the fishing was good. Fish were loaded in the "pool" around the island and in the riffles on the other side of the island. In the pool you could see dozens of fish feeding in the film layer with their dorsal fins riding out of the water. Soft hackles stripped slowly and continiuosly did the trick. Also rubber legged stoneflies, midges, and flashback pheasant tail nymphs did well in the deeper stretches of park. Outside the park we fished pretty much the bend area for about two hours. The fishing here was overall fair. The best place to fish was the deeper water just upstream from the bend, along the shoreline. Here cerise worms and variety of midges did well. We departed at the siren and had fellowship dinner at Hicks BBQ. It was great to get to know newcomer Matt Thal a little better along with our relatively new guys Jim Craig and Ron Berger. We also saw FATC member Adam Hayes fishing the park also. Just want to emphasize once more to make sure you have good quality cold weather gear. The temperatures are dropping but the trips will keep coming. Right now (Dec. 3rd) Cabelas has some sales on cold weather gear (tops and bottoms) and Sierra Trading Post has some sales on good merino wool socks, check them out!!
Montauk - Graduates, Dry Action and More (Dec 5th): The days are getting shorter and colder but that isn't stopping the FATC from getting out on the river to fish. A group of four headed down to Montauk with the mission of graduating new comer, Rick McMichael (no, he really didn't play for the '85 Chicago Bears). Dave Beerbower and Jim Craig (no, he wasn't the goalie for the '80 USA Olympic hockey team) tagged along to hear Kenny yell, "Mend, Mend" all day. The guys got on the water at around 8:45am and fished until lunchtime. Kenny took Rick up between the boulder and the dam to practice casting and different techniques. He caught two fish early to graduate but his very first fish, a big 14" rainbow, he dropped in the water before the picture. Come on man!! But he did help his cause with another trout shortly there after for his graduation picture. Congrats to Rick (now how about some Bears tickets!) The morning fishing was slow for the other guys so we talked strategy at lunch. Kenny and Rick headed to the beginning of the river (near the spring) and Dave and Jim started half way down from the spring area. Kenny and Rick did well upstream during the afternoon as the trout turned on. Dave and Jim reported that they too did awesome as a small hatch got the trout a little eager to eat. The best flies were: midges (P&P), cerise worms, copper johns, soft hackles, elk hair caddis and Griffith's Gnat. Big fish of the day were pushing 16". We had the river almost to ourselves and the weather was rather nice during most of the day. Congrats to Rick on his graduation. We celebrated at Hicks BBQ again. I think we better buy shares in the restaurant since we go there so much. Get out there a fish - best time of the year!