Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: January 17, 2017
PAST FLYFISHERS AT THE CROSSING
FLY FISHING TRIPS ARE BELOW!
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Even More Trip Reports Below
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!
24 Degrees? Fishing? - Are You Crazy?? (Dec 16th) Some people just don't get it. Why on earth would someone go fly fishing and be outside all day when it is 24 degrees? Because we love it!!! Matt McClure, Sid Aslin, Connor Peters and Kenny Klimes said nothing was going to stop them from going fishing this cold day or would there be something? A 6:30am meeting at the YMCA started the adventure - 21 degrees and windy. The four headed to Meramec (it is closer and in case we get too cold we can get home earlier - RIGHT!!!??) As they entered the park they were not the only crazy persons there as they met a young college student, Bradley, who decided to fish too (but he wasn't prepared with only jeans and a hoodie). The plan was to not go too far away from the car so they fished around the island at the beginning of the park. With finger tips freezing they hit the water (which was warmer than the air above). The "pond" area was loaded with trout, all swirling and feeding but on what? Soft hackles came out of the boxes and it seemed the smaller the better (like 20s and 22s). We had good luck if you weren't curled in a ball freezing. The afternoon seemed better fishing as the guys had to fish small flies most of the day. Dry flies and a woolybugger coaxed a few to the net also. Kenny picked up the two biggest fish of the day - both 16 inches. Matt faked like he had to go to the bathroom which we found out was heated so he could warm up. At lunch, hot tea, cocoa and soup brought smiles to their faces. The best flies of the day were Elk Hair caddis, soft hackles (size 20) in light colors, Trico adult dry fly (size 22), woolybugger and an occasional odd ball fly (Black Magic?). Despite the cold, the day was filled with laughter and brotherhood. We left at 4pm (no siren - I think it was frozen). A little rain/sleet started to fall - little did we know what was in store for us. We decided to eat at the CrackleBarrel and had a great meal - until the guy next to us asked, "Where are you guys headed?". "St. Louis!", we said. "Did you know the roads are backed up and pretty much at a stand still", he said. So we stayed in the Crackle Barrel for an additional hour playing checkers and eating dessert, until we thought it would be OK to head home. WRONG!! To make a long story short, we were at a stand still on HWY 44 for over 2 hours, crawled along for another 2 hours and all got home after 11:00pm that night - but safely home. So you never know what may happen on a FATC trip. And yes, all of us "bonded" on the trip.
Denver Fellowship Lead Hits It BIG! (Oct 2016) I have to apologize. I got this on the site a little late but Greg Krochta, the leader of our Denver Brother Fellowship, had a fantastic day in his home state of Colorado near the famous town of Aspen. Sounds like our Denver brothers are doing great with their fellowship! Here is a report from Greg. On the fishing side slow especially since I haven't been around much myself lately. Although our men's group is getting together at one of the guys homes next week to watch the Broncos vs Patriots. I am going to send out feelers for an upcoming trip or two this winter though. We went (family) up to Aspen at the end of Oct and I fished the Maroon Bells Lake (river inlet) and the Roaring Fork River across from the Aspen Airport. I found a hole there that was intimidating because it was so perfect, I wasn't sure where to begin! I caught at least 6 a day, most of which were 16" class browns! Awesome!
Rain Doesn't Stop Fly Fishers (Dec 23rd): Fly fishers fish through rain, sleet or snow. Our fly fishers do also! With predictions of cold rain for most of the day nine fly fishers became five in a short time. But the five were rewarded with a fun day (and not too cold) of catching fish. Sid Aslin, Matt McClure, Connor Peters, Rick McMichael and Kenny Klimes braved the forecast of the day and visited Meramac Spring park and the Meramec River (yes, again, I spelled them correctly). The plan was to check out the report that the river has been being stocked with browns but with one of our relatively new graduates (Rick) we decided that some of us would fish the park and some would test outside. Both were rewarded!! The fishing in the park is still good. Throw very tiny light colored soft hackles - size 18 to 20 in the "pond" area around the island or rubber legged stoneflies in the deep pools. The boys that went outside hunted the newly stocked browns and also did well. Their fly of choice was the black zebra midge. Notice the "tag" next to the left eye of the brown in the picture below. Each month of stocked browns has a different color - this one is white. IF YOU SEE A CHARTREUSE LINE AND AN ORANGE LINE PLEASE QUICKLY RELEASE - THESE BROWNS ARE CARRYING TRANSMITTERS INSIDE OF THEM FOR A STUDY. BUT PLEASE REPORT TO US OF PLACE AND TIME OF CATCH. In the afternoon everyone went outside the park and fished for browns. Yes, it rained - mostly in the afternoon but was light and actually not very cold either. We all had a great day - lots learned too. But the fish of the day was caught by Sid Aslin - I have never seen a bigger rainbow in my life. It took two to hold it for the picture - see below. There are trips going each week. If you can go let us know and we will put together a trip for others to join you.
Midge, Midger, Midgest (Dec. 27th): Three FATC decided it was time to check out the Meramec river for Browns. Kenny Klimes, Matt McClure and Jim Craig headed to Meramec on this beautiful Tuesday. The plan was to head out of the park as soon as they could to beat any other fly fishers that had the same thought. They started the day in front of the cabin/open field riffles and did well with midges in the riffles for browns. Once they worked that area they headed down stream fishing all the way to Dry Creek. Several spots produced fish. They tried rubberlegged stone flies but it seemed that only midges would catch fish. So it was zebra midges, P&P midges, red midges and the like.... Several browns were caught in the 10-12 inch range and then mostly rainbows a little larger in size. They ate lunch at the pylons (the trail out) and fished inside the park the last two hours of the day. Soft hackles and cracklebacks caught a few fish but it seemed like the trout wanted midges. They should re-stock the browns again the first or second week of January so be ready.
Montauk - Last trip of the Year (Dec.30th): With the year 2016 coming to a close, we just had to close it out with a fly fishing trip. With everyone busy for the holidays three FATC did get out and fish Montauk on this beautiful Friday. Matt McClure, Kenny Klimes and Martin Jones decided to check out the fishing at Montauk State park. As early arrivals they found the park empty except for a car or two - could they have the river all to themselves? No, it was too good to be true as fly fishers appeared more and more as the weather warmed up. It wasn't too crowded as the guys had plenty of room to fish most of the day. This was Martin's second time out so he was eager to improve his fly fishing skills. With midge hatches happening all over and no trout hitting the surface the guys went to midging below and were rewarded immediately. P&P, black zebra, red, purple, tan midges all did well. A few fish were taken on woolybuggers and a soft hackle or two but it seemed that midges ruled the day. The morning hours were better than the afternoon but fish were caught throughout the day. Most trout ranged in the 12-13 inch range with several caught that were a fat 15 inches. Kenny even tagged into a sucker that decided to suck up a midge for itself (see picture). One note - Kenny used the New Zealand indicator system the entire day and was very impressed. It is so sensitive to the takes and worked well even with two flies and a small split shot. You will probably see him using it more in the future. One thing to remember when using it - the less wool you use the better. It was a fun day of catching. Don't miss this winter catch and release season by working too hard - take a day off here and there to relax with us.
Weather Cold but Meramec River is Hot!! (Jan 11th): Despite the wacky weather we have been having - freezing one day, then 60 degrees the next - I'm proud to say the FATC is going fishing. Dave Beerbower, Gary Elliott, Jim Franke, and Kenny Klimes met up with Jerry Lybarger to fish the Meramec river. Knowing that the Browns are there and the rainbows, it was time to concentrate on some fishing!! The gang went immediately outside the park and were the first ones to hit the river. I say that because we got the prime location right off the bat as six other fly fishers (yes, six - on a Wednesday??) showed up later and had to start their fishing further downstream. The browns are in the riffles and runs for sure. Being winter of course midges seemed to be the fly of the day. Soft hackles, some dry flies and wooly buggers were used and caught fish but more fish were caught with the midge larva - the P&P, red midge, black zebra and brown midge. The New Zealand indicator system was again a big hit and when used seemed to bring more fish to the net. As the day progressed and got warmer the guys worked their way down stream, fishing all the way to dry creek. They fished the obvious holes and pulled fish out of all of them. Jim and Kenny met up with the "Missouri Trout Hunter" who was guiding two men from Kirkwood. Of course Kenny pitched the FATC to them. It was a good day for all as all caught fish - browns and rainbows. On the way home we ate at our favorite mexican restaurant. It was 48 oz margarita night special and with Kenny not having to drive, you can imagine who went for the special! If you haven't fished the Meramec river yet this winter - don't miss your chance. If you have never been there before I'll even draw you a map of every hole!
Meramec River Rising and Fast (Jan 16th): After the ice storms and rain, we knew that the Meramec River would be effected. But we didn't know by how much so we decided to try it out anyway. ALWAYS check the water levels and speed before you go on a trip specially if you are going to the Meramec river. Since the Meramec has been very low and slow the increase in levels and speed from the storms weren't enough to chase us away. Brian Yost, Bob Beckett, Jim Craig and Kenny Klimes celebrated Martin Luther King day on the water. Rain was forecast for most of the day but actually didn't come - just a few sprinklers here and there. Our plan was to fish the Meramec river but soon found out that the rains had impacted the river by increasing the speed (CFS) and the depth. This didn't cause a problem as much as the leaves and debris that were in the water. We fished to Dry Creek with only a few fish caught or lost. After lunch we decided to go back upstream, fish the bend and then the park. Funny, we ran into several fly fishers that we knew. We ran into Adam Hayes, a FATC member, on the river near Dry Creek and Brett Goldschmidt and Alex Zambrano fishing the bend. We are hoping that Alex and Brett will be "future" FATC members. Brett is working to start a similar fellowship at his church, The Journey. Once back in the park we fished mostly around the island until the siren. Bests flies were the rubberlegged stonefly, mohair leech, and soft hackles. Small flies did not work as well with the cloudy, fast moving water - mostly due to the large amount of debris in the water from all the storms. We were going to eat at Hicks BBQ on the way home but Kenny accidently blew past the exit - so it was Mexican food in Sullivan. I think we will have to let the Meramec river settle down for the next 5-6 days.