Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: January 20, 2015
PAST FLYFISHERS AT THE CROSSING
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Even More Trip Reports Below
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.
Two Groups Meet Up at Meramec Spring Park (Dec 21): On Sat 12/21 Mike Bisaga and Dave Inman took a quick half day to Meramec Springs to see what all the talk was about. The last several reports had mentioned how great fishing was there, so we needed to see for ourselves. We got on the water just prior to the whistle. The park was pretty much empty, but there actually were a few other folks out on a cool Sat morning. While there we ran into Larry Farrar and Joel Burke, who had also come down for the morning. We were onto a few fish early with a green and a blue crackle back. Best flys of the day were San Juan worms of various colors, crackle backs and dead drifting Woolly Buggers and leaches in both black and tan. Mike scored the "unofficial" "Meramec Slam", with Trout, Sunfish and a Smallmouth Bass all caught within the park. He was hoping for the Grand Slam, but the suckers weren't cooperating. All around a good day, and were home by 2:30.Just a quick fishing report on Meramec Springs.
Larry Farrar and Joel Burke to a short trip to Meramec Springs on Saturday. Joel is realtively new to fly fishing and was excited to experience some time on the water. The temperature was chilly with overcast skies and very little wind. We started near the island in the slow pool and had good luck with the San Juan Worm. We worked downstream and had good luck on Sun Juan Worm's and Scud's. With an hour left of fishing time we moved back up towards the island at the top of the park. Joel was back on fish as soon as we arrived at the pool. Joel caught at least 6 fish in the last 45 minutes of fishing time. We wrapped up our fishing at noon and headed back to St. Louis with many discussions about the next time we'll get out. You've heard me say it before and I'll say it again, it's time to go fishing, the weather is great and the bite is on. Tight lines.
The Meramec River is Holding Browns (Dec 26th): John Walker and Jason Edwards headed out to the Meramec River after Christmas as their "Christmas Present" to each other. Here is there report!! Twas the day after Christmas and Jason "Dry Fly" Edwards and I traveled to Meramec Springs Park. We fished outside the park. The fishing was strong for the majority of the day. The bend fished well all day with a number of rainbows and browns being taken. The P&P and zebra midge worked best depending on whether the sun was out or behind the clouds. We also had some luck with crackelbacks and the big winner was the grey hares ear nymph. Not because it caught the most but it did catch the biggest. I landed a 21in brown with it before lunch in the stretch between past the big riffles. I also landed a 17in brown at the bend and Jason and I caught a few more throughout the day so it would seem now is a good time to net one if you are inclined to get out. Overall, it fished fairly well and it was a very good day on the water.
Montauk's Fishing Good (Dec 26th): Here is a report from Mike Gomez at Montauk Park. Missed seeing you guys yesterday at Montauk. It was a beautiful day, in the 50'5 all day long. I fished the flies only section by the second parking lot and never left for the day. I hooked numerous trout, surface flies, and landed five, see the attached pictures. My buddies that I was with caught trout sub surface so I guess that a lot of different patterns were working.
Hope you had a blessed Christmas and I wish you a wonderful 2015.
Meramec Spring Park Fishing Well (Dec. 27th): Larry Farrar, Dave Beerbower, Joe Walker and Joel Burke headed to Meramec Springs Saturday in pursuit of trout. The park was more crowded than we've seen it so far this season. The group fished the park for four hours. The fishing was good, the catching seemed to be a challenge as many fish were hooked then lost. The cream crackleback, orange and partridge soft hackle, as well as the san juan worm worked best. Most of the fish are good sized and appear to be eating well. Tight lines. Many guys are going out this Catch and Release season and are having a great time - are you?
.Even the Rookies are out in the Cold - New Grad (Jan 2nd): Twas the day after new years and all along the river lots of creatures were stirring, especially the trout fisherman. Six of us, in fact, were on the river at Montauk to fish with and celebrate Steve Kettering becoming the newest graduate of the FATC. Accompanying Steve on this epic adventure was John Walker, Nathan "Tex" Gross, Jason "Dry Fly" Edwards, James "no relation to Jason" Edwards and Rory Pottgen. The weather was anything but delightful as we had temps in the low to mid 30's and periodic rain. Steve wanted to avoid any drama by catching a couple of fish in the first couple of hours, which he did on a P&P. The rest of the group, all caught fish in the morning using a variety of flies from the aforementioned P&P to cerise worms, hares ear nymph and prince nymph. Smaller sizes worked better as Jason reported using size 16 prince nymphs (all available at Wooly Bugger Fly Co.) :) Rory was excited to land his first trout on a Wooly Bugger while James had a strong all around day landing double digit fish. In the afternoon, there was a strong rise in the afternoon until the rain picked up. No one could see what the fish were feeding on but soft hackle and crackle backs worked well during this period. Nate was nailing them on soft hackles and crackle backs as was your humble reporter. Jason continued landing them on prince nymphs. Everyone had a good day on the water and thoroughly enjoyed the BBQ at Hicks afterwards. Congratulations to Steve for graduating and hopefully it is just the first of many trips. Great job guys!! I see three of the six were new guys! Now if the new guys are stepping out on the river this winter then where are you old timers? Don't miss this catch and release winter season.
FATC Members Help at STL Boy Scouts Fly Tying Clinic (January 17th) - Dave Beerbower, Terry Seaton, Bob Chott, Mike Bisaga, Jason Edwards, Kenny Klimes and Jim Anzer devoted one of their Saturdays to teaching the Boy Scouts and Explorers the art of fly tying. The FATC was invited by Mike Brand from the BSA Central Region to help out with their area wide fly tying clinic. It was a great day for the scouts as well as for us. The scouts were anxouis to learn and followed directions well as they learned to tie ten different flies throughout the day. We even had the opportunity to promote our fellowship too. Our guys instructed the scouts as they attempted to tie each fly. And let me tell you, these kids were awesome. It was a full day for everybody but we all had a great time. And we had the opportunity to meet some other fly fishers in the St. Louis area as there were more than 10 organizations represented. Big thanks to Dave Beerbower for setting this up for our fellowship and to Mike Bisaga for leading the Missouri Stream Team display. Also a super thank you to Jason Edwards who provided a 10 fly packets for each scout from WoolyBugger Fly Company. In the future don't miss the chance to help out at one of these functions. You won't regret it!
Holiday Fishing Turns out Pretty Good (January 19th): Here's a report from Dave Beerbower. Bob Chott and Dave Beerbower took advantage of the 60 degree temperatures in January and headed to Meramec Springs. Since Monday was the MLK holiday, the park was pretty crowded, but not bad. There was a group of eagle watchers in the pavilion when we got there and lots of non-fishers just enjoying the park on a nice day. Fishing started slowly with not much action in the island pool. Things picked up as we headed downstream. On the opposite side of the stream at the curve below the island, fish started rising and it was on! Cracklebacks, and Griffiths gnats were awesome and many 15” fat rainbows were landed. No one else was catching, so we were the heroes, or zeros, depending on where you stood. After lunch, we headed out of the park. The water was 32 degrees, so there was not much fish action, except for the 16” brown that Bob caught in the first riffle. Back to the park, we finished back at the curve and killed them again at the curve with dry flies and egg patterns. It was a beautiful day and great fishing. Sorry you missed it.