Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: May 25, 2015
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Even More Trip Reports Below
Anyone Hungry? Lake Taneycomo (Mar. 20 -22) Our first big Spring Lake Taneycomo trip went off without a hitch this past weekend. Five FATC members hit the ICE COLD waters of Taneycomo - Terry Seaton, Craig Dull, Jim "don't call me Jimmy" Franke, Kenny "Ok then call me Kenneth or Sir" Klimes and our new Chicago member, Ron Fiala made the trip. The guys got there Friday at noon and after a nice BBQ lunch at Dana's, they hit River Run Outfitters to pick up a few flies and advice. In the condo by 1pm and on the water by 2pm. For two, it was their first time to Lake Taneycomo and they learned quickly that the water is COLD on the "como". One generator ran for the entire weekend (25 units) raising the lake level to around 703.5 feet and flow around 1200 cfs. We all had to work on our mending but the flow was easily managed by all the guys. The fishing was average to good with midges being the best fly to use. Black zebra, red, and P&P midges did the best while soft hackles in light colors (orange or green - had to go with both colors just in case you are color blind). At times the trout would tail (slowly come to the top and sip midges in the film layer) and using small soft hackles ( size 18) would provoke a strike. With the water being so cold we felt that the trout were still in a winter mode and midges were the fly of the trip, Cracklbacks also worked. The flow and depth stayed consistant the entire trip. Slower water was around Andy's house. Biggest fish of the trip was 17 inches with several caught in the 15 - 16 inch range. Many of the trout had awesome colors that you can see from the pictures. It was a fun weekend for the guys as we flew in a chef to cook our dinners for us (Ok, it was just Terry doing the cooking but it was better than any restaurant). We even had to take a few pictures of the meals. Everyone gained at least 3 pounds on this trip. Some lessons learned from the trip: Size does matter - and sometimes they like it small. When you are fishing in areas where the flow is fast don't take chances trying to cross or when near deep holes caused by boulders or trees don't get too close - wear your waist safety belt. And if you have a jimmy loop on your vest - you have an expensive vest! Our Spring Taneycomo trip is always one of our best - sign up next year before someone else beats you out. SEE PICTURES BELOW!!!!
Lake Taneycomo #2 Four Generators Running - A Bust?? Not Really! (Mar 27-29): We had many FATC headed down to Lake Taneycomo this weekend - around 8 were camping, 3 had a condo for four days and our group of five, made up of Tim Trog, John Walker, Dave Beerbower, Tom Kelly and Kenny Klimes, stayed at Lake Taneycomo. Before the trip started it looked like a bust - heavy rains caused the Corp of Engineers to blast four generators all weekend. Lake Taneycomo was 9 feet above the wading normal and the flow was 10 times as fast as normal. So our five decided it was time to go to plan B. We set out for Branson Friday morning with an intermediate stop at Bennett Spring to fish for three hours. The water was high there also but fishable as everyone in the group caught fish with Tim pulling in around six. On our drive down to Branson we checked every river we crossed - all were high and chocolate brown. We didn't feel good about the trip at this point but lesson number one - never give up on a trip because of what you "think" it will be like!! We arrived in Branson and as we thought Lake Taneycomo was high and fast. We put plan C into effect as we headed to Roaring River State park on Saturday morning. The park water was slightly higher than normal from the rains which was perfect for fly fishing! The fly fishing area was empty with our five and two other fly fishers (two Tenkara ambassadors). We caught lots of fish that day with John Walker getting a big 17-18 inch rainbow (he even picked up a "I released a Lunker" patch). Midges and soft hackles caught the most fish. We fished from around 10 am until 4pm and it was a beautiful day on the water. After fishing we visited the "Big Fish Pond" in the park and got to view some 24 - 26 inch Browns and Rainbows. The drive back to Branson was filled with talk of a great day. During dinner and while watching the NCAA basketball tournament, we discussed our plan for Sunday or Plan D. We noticed that some areas in front of the condo were cleared of brush and we thought maybe, just maybe, we could walk out far enough in the water to fish a seam or two. Success! We fished for several hours in the ice cold waters of LT and a couple of us were very successful using scuds. So our Sunday turned out well fishing LT. OK, it wasn't the perfect trip but Timmy, Davey, Tommy Boy, Johnny, and Kenneth made it a good one with fun times, good food, some great singing and awesome fellowship. Some big fish were caught too. Trips like this produce good friendships and some day maybe even old friends - you know, " Old friends, casting in the park, telling fish stories till it's dark, old friends, old friends" Sorry Roger, I changed the words around a bit (at least he ain't a movie star!).
The LT? No the Montauk Campers: Six FATC members, Mike Bisaga, Dave Komor, Bob Chott, Jerry Lybarger, Sid Aslin and Andrew Holderby, with the camping group decided to head down a little early and make a longer weekend and get in a little more fishing. As we arrived in Branson Thursday afternoon, we got the email from Kenny with the river forecast. Not good. Since we were already there, we headed to camp to get setup and discuss our plans for the weekend. We also had noticed every creek we crossed on the way down was very high and muddy, but we were convinced that it would not affect us. After Kenny's email, and talking with a few locals, we decided that we would need to come up with another plan. Just for future reference, we found out that 1 inch of rain in the Branson area, raises Table Rock lake by 1 foot! It had rained 2 inches last week. We woke up Friday morning and started calling around to see what our options were. We called River Run Outfitters, Roaring Rivers, Bennett Springs to see what we could find out. We knew we were in trouble when we called River Run Outfitters, and they confirmed we were better off going to play golf than try and fish, and we also got a raving fishing report from Bennett where they said, "It's not horrible". Not exactly the kind of report we were looking for. Being a little more flexible, our plan B was to head to Montauk to spend the rest of the weekend. Water was high and off color, but very fishable. We headed outside the park below the cable on Friday when we arrived. Fishing was not easy, but just about all of us managed to catch a few. Saturday we woke up to tents, camper and the ground covered in snow, and fairly heavy snow falling until noon. I think that worked to our advantage to keep some of fair-weather fisherman out of the park that day. Fishing was very good, however, don't tell the Sensei, but the "flys" of the day were the egg and San Juan worm. I think the off color required a little bigger presentation. Saturday evening it got down into the high 20's, but all of our campers were prepared. Sunday morning, the rivers had cleared up a bit, and the sun came out, and the P&P was a hit. Several fish in the 17" range were caught. Overall, I think we made the best of the situation, and everyone had a couple of good days fishing.
Two New Members to the FATC (April 10th): Montauk and several FATC members welcomed two new members to our fellowship on Firday. John Chi and Wayne Sebasty became official FATC as Sid Aslin, Dave Beerbower, Matt McClure, Pete Drochelman, and Kenny Klimes took them to Montauk. John Chi already an accomplished fly fisher caught some trout with us and Wayne Sebasty had Sensei Kenny breathing down his neck most of the day to become an official graduate of the FATC fly fishing class. Screams of "mend, mend" and "cast as if there is a wall behind you!" could be heard throughout the park this day. It brought a smile to the others who have been in Wayne's shoes before. But Wayne did an awesome job a caught well above the average amount of trout for the first time on the water. Congratulations Wayne! The gang pretty much fished the fly fishing only area. And yes, it was crowded for a Friday. The water was up slightly from all the rains (about 6 inches and the clarity was just a little cloudy but not bad). Trout were taken all throughout the day on midge larva, pheasant tail flash back nymphs, soft hackles, leeches, and wooly buggers. Fishing was fair to very good depending on who you talked to this day. A small mayfly hatch started in the afternoon but not big enough to get the trout aroused. The guys were so into the day that they fished beyond their scheduled quiting time (finished around 6pm), had a fellowship dinner at Hick's BBQ in Cuba and all got in trouble when they got home around 10:30pm. But it was an awesome day to get into trouble so I don't think any of us minded. Get out there and fish now. The hatches will start soon and don't let the weather dictate when you go - just do it.
Cardiac Hill is Up and Running: Sunday, 12 April 2015 - Meramec River – Cardiac Hill - Successful flies: Beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymph, Black Soft Hackle, rubber leg Stone Fly. Bob Chott and Bruce Sheffield fished the Cardiac Hill area on the Meramec River on Sunday. Beautiful day on the river and the fishing was good. Within 10 minutes Bruce landed a 14” brown trout and 10 minutes later had his 2nd 14” brown both on a black Soft Hackle. Bob had hiked up to the Gar Hole before starting to fish, back down stream, using a combination of a Beadhead Pheasant Tail and black Soft Hackle. Throughout the day Bob landed a number of 16” plus Brown trout. Most taken on the Beadhead Pheasant Tail nymph. All but four of the fish were Brown trout with 3 rainbows and one small mouth bass being caught. The brown trout had right eye and left eye tattoos and pectoral fins clipped for markings. We pretty much had the river to ourselves as we only saw two other fishermen and a guy in his john boat that came by twice. Yes, we survived the long walk back up the hill :-)
All the Best,
Last Minute Change Brings Success! (Apr 17th): Larry Farrar and I (Kenny Klimes) were supposed to take two newcomers out for a fishing trip. The plan was to head to Montauk and get the newbies on to fish. But a last minute change had both new guys cancel out on the trip. So Larry and I discussed other options. Bob Chott gave glowing reports of Cardiac hill just a few days before. I suggested it and Larry said, "I've never been there before" What?? I hadn't been there in years. Well, that settled it, we were off to Cardiac hill. Cardiac hill can be a tough place to fish at times but we figured with two experienced fly fishers we could figure it out. As we approached the river and started to cross, I went down. "I've fallen and can't get up" With help from Larry I made it back to my feet. Hopefully not an omen for the rest of the day!! We walked all the way to the "gar hole" before we started fishing (as recommended by Bob Chott) and fished our way downstream. The water looked awesome and the day was beautiful and we felt good about catching fish, and the fish came. Big browns and chunky rainbows were the prize. As you can see from the pictures we had a great day. Larry caught the big brown for the day, a 17+ inch pig on a peachy worm or a pheasant tail nymph - we weren't sure because he had both flies in his mouth. The best flies were black and white leech patterns, peachy and cerise san juan worms, pheasant tail nymphs, copper johns, and P&P midge. The browns liked the bigger flies while the rainbows took the rest. We fished all the way to Suicide hill area which unlike years past was passable, which allowed us to fish the boulders just beyond. Larry made the quad-fecta, catching a brown, rainbow, sunfish and a giant chub in one day!! Actually Larry was pulling out state record chubs throughout the day - looked like five pounders from where I was standing. Overall this was a very special day - both the fish and weather cooperated. This was the last place that I got to fish with one of my best friends, Ben Hynds, before he died. I felt his presence this day - thanks for the great day, Ben. No, the story doesn't end here. Everyone who has fished Cardiac hill knows that you still have a long walk to the car - we made it, but with covering all that river and the hike up to the car, we are both sore this Saturday morning. But we are smiling!
Meramec River Fishes Well (Apr 21st): Kenny Klimes and Dave Beerbower headed to the Meramec river outside the park on this Tuesday. Fishing was good in the morning as the guys started at the "bend" in the river and worked their way down to the gar hole by 11am. All rainbows except for one very nice 17 inch brown caught by Kenny on a black leech pattern. The guys worked their way back up to the bend after lunch when the fishing just seemed to turn off. Maybe because of the motor boats that blasted through the area. But about an hour later the fish came back when the guys switched to cerise worms fished deep. The best flies of the day were the pheasant tail nymph, copper john, black leech, P&P midge and cerise worm. The guys stopped fishing around 2:30pm when a thunder storm rolled in but they were about done anyway. Overall it was a nice day on the water - a little chilly in the morning but warmed up nice towards the afternoon. The river did rise about a foot and the flow doubled to 800fps since the weekend but it was very fishable. Below are just a couple of the fish caught this day
Montauk is Fishing Well Again ( Apr 22): Gary Elliott, Sid Aslin, Dave Franke, Rich Fleschner, and Jim Franke traveled to Montauk State Park on Wednesday, April 22, to see if any hatches had started. After missing a turn, Gary, AKA I don't need a stinking GPS, and the other four anxious anglers arrived at the Park. Starting at the spring, Gary tried out his new, hand-made bamboo rod. After turning down several generous offers for the rod, he successfully landed four trout in short order. P&P midges, fished deep seemed to be the star of the day. Several other nice rainbows were taken on green and blue cracklebacks, some in the film layer, but most successfully using sinking tip line, quartered down stream on the swing. All in all it was a good day i.e. many good hook-ups and no one fell in or got hurt. Thanks for the report Jim! It sounds like you all learned a lot from the Intermediate/Advanced fly fishing class we had - except how to follow driving directions?
FATC Brothers Make It a Day on The Water: (Apr 24th): The Aslin brothers (Sid & Bob) had a great day at Montauk last Friday. On the way they noticed the cows were spread out in the fields (a good sign). It was a cool cloudy day, but they escaped the rain. Bob did well in the morning and caught them on Cerise worm with a P&P dropper catching trout on both. Sid had a good morning too, as he didn't catch any fish, but didn't fall in. After lunch, Sid caught several on an orange streamer, however things slowed down for Bob, but it was a much better afternoon than being in the office! Thanks for the report and it's nice to see brothers enjoying a day on the water!
New Graduate - Just in Time (Apr 27th): Five FATC guys headed to Montauk this past Monday with one mission in mind, to get Jason Corman graduated before he moved away to Canada. So Jason Corman, Kenny Klimes, Brian Yost, Matt McClure and Steve Kettering drove down to Montauk State park to chase the rainbow. It was a beautiful day and the park was not crowded at all so the guys had a lot of room to fish. Jason on his long quest to graduate before he moved was completed early in the day. He caught his first trout on an orange soft hackle. Jason got the chance to fish all different techniques and I think caught fish with each one. Congratulations Jason!! The rest of the guys did well although they would rate the fishing this day as fair. Everyone put fish into the net. Brian and Matt chased each other down the river most of the day and Steve, Jason and Kenny hung tight throughout the afternoon. Soft hackles, midges, cerise worms did well while some trout were brought to the surface with dry flies. Fishing is picking up so don't miss those hatches!
Did Someone say Bait? (May 1st) : It All Started with the Question “What’s the Definition of a Lunker?” On Friday, May 1, Gary Elliot, Ron Peasley, Sid Aslin, Dave Franke and Jim Franke once again made the trek to Montauk State Park in search of the first hatches of the season. As we returned to the car after buying our daily tags, Gary noted that he nor anyone he had ever fished with had landed a lunker trout, and that he wished just once someone would catch a lunker. Dave asked "what’s the definition of a lunker?" Gary replied a fish over three pounds. Dave vowed to catch only lunkers that day. Fishing was slower than last week, with success on red and P&P midges, cerise worms and black squirrel leaches. Sid caught a nice 16”, 1 3/4 lb. rainbow on his own creation, an orange wolly bugger. But the prize of the day goes to Dave Franke who landed a 24”, 5 lb. 9 oz. rainbow! Dave caught the lunker with an ultralight spinning rod and tan dough bait just below the catch and release area where it enters the “spring branch”. Arriving home that evening I checked Craig’s List as I sometimes do for deals on fly fishing equipment. I saw a post which caught my eye “For Sale - hand made bamboo rod - will trade for ultralight spinning rod or cane pole with bobber”. I hope it wasn't one of our guys that wanted to sell his bamboo rod (Gary?). As the policy of our web site has it, we are not allowed to show any fish that is not taken by fly rod - sorry Dave - but it was BIG!! In fly fishing any trout over 20 inches long is considered a "prize".
Montauk Taking Dry Flies in the Afternoon! (May 7th): Tim Klotz and Sid Aslin drove to Montauk State Park and met up with Bob Aslin and his friend Earl Shuesler (he used to be the Park Superintendent at Montauk in the early 1980's and Bob has been good friends with him since 1976 when he did a college internship with Earl). They had been in the area Turkey hunting (no not in the park!) and fly fishing at Montauk for a few days. They did not get a turkey this year, but have been successful together in the past and both "know their stuff" on how to "sound sexy" for Tom turkey to come over to investigate their calls. Earl had taken one early in the season (yes you are allowed 2). The morning was slow and few fish were taken by any of the 4. Bob and Earl did take a few on P&P and Cerise worms before they left for home about 3PM which was just about time for some big hatches to start and Tim and Sid were ready with some dry flies and caught a few in the area of the "Boulder Hole" and above. Sid had one good run when he caught 10 trout on a Griffith Gnat in about a half hour's time. The hatches stopped so Sid got out his "world famous" large (hook size 10) orange and yellow with flashing Wooly Bugger and caught his largest fish of the day a 16 inch rainbow which had been swimming downstream from the boulder. Unfortunate for the trout the line got up in it's gills area in his net and was injured so it was kept. (Kenny, I promise I will try to be more careful next time!) Tim and Sid caught most of their fish on the Renegade and Griffith Gnat. We had a taste for BBQ so we had dinner on the way home at the BBQ restaurant, Olig's in Licking. I think that the waitress was happy that we chose to set outside to eat on the deck rather than inside since we had been fishing all day! LOL Great report from Sid! Sid and Tim are becoming better fly fishers as they hit the water again and again! Way to go guys!
Fishing the Watauga in North Carolina (May 7th): Here is a report from Dave Beerbower on his trip to the Watauga river. It must be a great vacation so far because he gets to fly fish!! I am in NC at our cabin and had a chance to fish my favorite spot on the Watauga River. I started after lunch and things were a bit slow to start with, but I had some luck with the brook trout taking the P&P midge. A brief shower chased the pretenders from the river and I had the whole place to myself for the rest of the evening. Fish started rising and I switched to dry fly fishing for the rest of the day. A sparkle pupa and a white hackled crackleback had great success. The water was as smooth as glass until the fish exploded on the flies. I caught Rainbows and Brookies, but could not raise any Browns to complete the trifecta. It was a great time in a beautiful spot
Tan Vat & Baptist Camp Produce Trout! (May 18th): Steve Mahan (longtime friend) and Larry Farrar made the trip to Baptist Camp and Tan Vat to see if the MO Conservation had stocked Brown Trout in the stream. We started at Baptist Camp and worked our way down. We predominately caught Rainbow Trout with a few Brown’s mixed in. The best flies were Hare’s Ear and the Soft Hackle flies. We moved to Tan Vat and found fishing taking the same flies as they were down at Baptist Camp. All the Trout taken there were Rainbow’s except for one Brown.
A Visit to Montauk Pays Off (May 19th) Steve Mahan (longtime friend) and Larry Farrar made the trip to Montauk State Park the day after spending it on the river outside the park. Fishing started off relatively slow for the first hour with most fishing being caught on the Hare’s Ear, Soft Hackle and a few on the San Juan Worm. We moved down to the bluff hole and the fishing took a great turn. Most all the fish were taken on the San Juan Worm. The two had several doubles (~dozen times) over a period of about 1 ½ hours. The activity slowed down once we made it to the boulder. We called it a morning, had breakfast and left Montauk to spend some time at Bennett Springs.
Evening of Day 2 of Week Long Trip - Now Bennett (May 19th): Steve Mahan (longtime friend) and Larry Farrar made it to Bennett Springs Tuesday afternoon. The weather was great, the park was packed and to top it off they were cutting the grass in the stream. Fishing was slow up at the spring but the activity improved the further downstream we went. The best flies were the Hare’s Ear and the Gray Scud. Near the end of the day Steve put on a fishing clinic up near the spring. Most fish were taken on the Hare’s Ear.
.Now Bennett (May 20th) :Steve Mahan (longtime friend) and Larry Farrar made it to Bennett Springs Wednesday afternoon. The weather changed from the previous day as the temperature dropped and the rain moved in. The foul weather kept most people off the stream but the fishing was hot once we found the desired pattern. Near the end of the day we had the stream to ourselves and the fish really cooperated with us. The best flies were the Hare’s Ear, San Juan Worm and the White Midge. Tight lines.
.Final Day at Bennett (May 21st): Steve Mahan (longtime friend) and Larry Farrar made it to Bennett Springs Thursday afternoon. The weather was chilly which kept a lot of fishermen off the stream. Fishing was slow until we found the fly the fish wanted and then things really picked up for the both of us. The fly to use Thursday evening was the Pheasant Tail Nymph in size 16 or 18, Natural color. Fish were taken in most of Zone 1 and 2 on the that fly. The fishing was hot and it was a great way to wrap up a trip with a good friend. Tight lines everyone.