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This page was last updated: June 23, 2017

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Even More Trip Reports Below

"I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me a good fly fisher. And when I fly fish I feel His pleasure"
The FATC, Vets and Guides get together to discuss their fly fishing strategy
Meet and Greet as we get to know one another. The Vets were awesome
Awesome food was served the entire weekend
One of our hosts and cook - Libby Pierce, wife of the Virginia FATC Lead, Jonathon Pierce
Saturday breakfast at the local community center. The Ladies were super - have you ever had chocolate gravy??
The veterans and their Woolybugger T-shirts - BJ, Cody, Ron and Wicks!
Teaching the vets some new patterns.
Dave Beerbower fishing the streams of Virginia
I love that mountain music!!
The small water of Virginia streams
After the rains the water was faster and murkier than normal. But we caught fish
The vets received full fly boxes from Dead Drift Outfitters
For the Vets to continue their fly fishing experience.
A nice rainbow caught by one of the Vets
Chow time - Saturday dinner of BBQ pork
Couldn't stop clapping as this group played
Tom talks about the event and future events.
Saturday night and passing out certificates and gifts.
More guests for the Saturday evening
Rescued Heart receives a certificate from PHW
Laurel campground host Tom receives certificate for his awesome job in setting up the event.
Jonathon Pierce says grace before the Saturday meal
Fly Tying session on Sunday
The Vets learn to tie some new patterns
Dave fights his big trout under a bridge
Dave measures his rainbow
Dave Komor and the biggest trout of the trip - a 16 inch rainbow
A nice rainbow in the net
Dave fishing the Watauga river
Mike Bisaga on the larger section of the Watauga river
Mike working his fly down stream
Dave with a fish on
Nice catch Dave!
Mike with a fish on again
It's in the hole! I mean net.
One of Kenny's trout
Tyler and Cody releasing a brookie
Thumbs up and all smiles
Small native rainbow
Another native Brookie fell to the North Fork stonefly
Beautiful native trout
Awesome native brook trout - did you know a brook trout is really in the Char family?
Big brookie for these parts...
Jared, Dave and Cody discuss the fishing day
Kenny, Cody and Tyler team up on Saturday
The group discusses the awesome day fisihing
Sitting around the wood stove staying warm and swapping stories
She could play that banjo!!
Dave Beerbower accepts the certificate for the Southern Rod Builders
Josh Williams accepts the certificate for Dead Drift Outfitters
Kenny accepts the certificate for the FATC participation
Our FATC certificate
The Vets loved their Woolybugger T-shirts
Did they really catch those "fake" trout. Having fun!!!
Jared and Jonathon Pierce with Dave Beerbower
Tyler Pierce gearing up for our trip to Wilson Creek
Butch Heath getting his rig together
Jonathon and Dave - friendships were made!!
Dave Komor and Mike Bisaga getting ready for the fishing
Kenny Klimes, Butch Heath, Tyler Pierce, Jonathon Pierce, Dave Beerbower, Mike Bisaga, and Dave Komor
Headed down the road to find their perfect spots.
Kenny's brook trout swinging a pheasant tail nymph
Dave fishing Wilson creek
Jonathon tying on a dry fly
Mike swinging his fly in the Wilson creek
Dave Komor working the waters
Kenny's 15 inch rainbow - not enough to win big fish contest
Kenny in Wilson
Virginia Trip and Project Healing Waters (May 3rd - May 9th):  Four of our FATC have just completed what I think is the most rewarding fly fishing trip we have had since the beginning of the FATC. Dave Beerbower, Dave Komor, Mike Bisaga and Kenny Klimes represented the FATC in Virginia at the Project Healing Waters (PHW) event at Laurel Campgrounds. PHW Fly Fishing, Inc.™ is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings. It was a most rewarding weekend not only for the veterans that attended but also for us. It looks like the event was so successful there is talk of having two per year.

A special thanks to Becky and Dave Beerbower, who opened up their North Carolina vacation home to us and feed us when we weren't attending the PHW event. Becky is an awesome cook and I think we gained 5-6 lbs each. Dave K, Mike and Kenny met up with Dave B. on Wednesday night after the long drive from STL to N.C.  It would have been a shorter trip but the guys happened to get lost just over the MO and ILL line. On Thursday Dave took us to the Watauga river for a little fishing before the PHW event. Beautiful small narrow streams, we caught browns, brookies and rainbows. In the evening we went over the plan for the weekend. 

Friday: We headed to Virginia in the afternoon after seeing some of the sites of the Boone, NC area and met all of the players for the weekend. Our Virginia FATC members were there, Jonathan and Tyler Pierce, Josh Williams from Dead Drift Outfitters, Tom from Laurel Creek campground, and our four veterans for the weekend, Wicks, BJ, Ron and Cody. Our meet and greet alone was an awesome experience as we spent five hours together and enjoyed a steak dinner to cap off the night.  We organized into three groups of guides, vets and fly fishers for the Saturday fly fishing.

Saturday: The weather was threatening with rain but the morning started out cloudy and cold. That would not deter the excitement of fishing some awesome Virginia streams for some native trout. Kenny, Tyler and Cody headed out to some secret locations while Dave B., Jared Pierce (another of our Virginia FATC members) and Ron went to a remote area. Mike , Dave K. went with guide Josh and vets, Wicks and BJ. The groups fished all day with cloudy skies in the morning and pouring rain in the afternoon. But that didn't stop anyone from fishing and the Vets were having a blast (do you think that they have been in worst conditions??). When the guys returned in the afternoon the talk was about nothing but fishing. Who caught what, who fell in, who had a brookie, a brown or a rainbow - there were smiles all around. The guys shed their gear and prepared for an awesome dinner. The special surprise for the night was to be serenaded by a mountain band equipped with banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and bass. Kenny even popped up and did a country dance for the group. PHW presented certificates to all the groups that sponsored the event (see the pictures for ours!). There were a lot of speeches made by the different groups and gifts given to the veterans. We presented Josh Williams with an official FATC cap and made him a honorary member of the FATC.  Josh was an amazing young man and Christ follower. Josh was an Iraq veteran and lost his right arm in an accident when he returned home. Hate to say it, but he can tie knots and flies on faster than most of our guys!  A Big Thanks to Jason Edwards and Woolybugger Fly Co. for providing caps and T-shirts for the guides and veterans. 

Sunday: We met up again in the morning at Laurel campground. After breakfast we broke out the fly tying gear and tied flies with the veterans and guides. The talk was about fly fishing and doing this again each year. At noon we said our goodbyes and headed back to Dave's home to plan one more day of fishing with our Virginia FATC guys. A nice dinner out in Boone with some ice cream and fudge for dessert capped off the night!

Monday: Our four FATC guys met up with three of the Virginia FATC guys (Jonathan Pierce, Tyler Pierce and Butch Heath) to fish Wilson Creek in Virginia. After a fellowship breakfast at a local diner that served the best hash browns "In The World" we fished Wilson Creek together. The river rock in the streams here made walking difficult at times (we were dead tired after each trip). Brookies, rainbows and browns were caught on the Wilson. For a few seconds Kenny had the biggest trout of the trip with a 15 inch rainbow caught by high sticking a stonefly nymph. But then Dave Komor pulled in a 16 inch rainbow just upstream from him to take the prize. He caught his on a CQ streamer. After a full day of fishing all of the guys made their final rendezvous and said their goodbyes and promised to fish together again soon. The STL FATC had dinner together and then headed home Tuesday for the long drive home. Can you name the top ten most fiercest and ill tempered animals in the world? We can!

We plan on more trips to Virginia. If you have the chance to go on one of these trips please don't miss it. You will be overwhelmed by the experience.

Pictures Below

Time to Get Fishing - Meramec River (May 17th):  Here is a report from Jim and Mike as they attempted the Meramec River after the tremendous floods we have had - it's ready!  Jim Craig and Mike Oldani were able to make this flshing extravaganza trip. The extravaganza plans, took a detour. We could not gain access to the current river because, Tan Vat/Baptist Camp access were still closed from the flooding. We decided to head to Maramec Spring Park and, fish outside the park on the Meramec river. We had to walk through a obstacle course to gain access to the river (see photos). Once at the river, the water conditions were high, fast, and furious, again the flooding was the issue. This made fishing challenging but, from Jim's brilliant technique of using a sinking leader. We managed to catch a few browns and rainbows. The flies that had the best results were buggers, soft hackles and zonkers. Olive was the color of the day. It was a fantastic and fun day of fellowship. Our day continued by following each other to Fort Leonard Wood to spend the night (Patrick G. we were thinking about calling you). We headed to Springfield the next day, to bring our daughters back home from college.

Take care.
Mike Oldani
What guys will do to get to their favorite fishing spots!
Mike decides to play follow the leader.
Jim with a nice catch in tough conditions
Mike has a FISH ON!!!!!
Mike with a nice Meramec rainbow
"I lost him at the net, but he was this big"!!
Jim bags another brown trout from the Meramec
Guys will do anything to get to their favorite fishing spots
Kenny with a rainbow
Fish On for Jim
Long shot but a rainbow in hand
It's in the net
Jim with the big fish of the day - 17" rainbow
Fishing is Good (June 1st) - Most reports coming in from our guys is that the fishing is very good right now. Most people thought the flooding would shut the fishing down but it seems like the opposite has happened. Reports from Montauk, Bennett, Meramac Parks are coming in with good fishing reports. Also outside the parks like Meramec river and the Current river are fishing well also. Stay away from Lake Taneycomo if you want to wade - they are running a lot of water through the generators now. Below are pictures from a recent trip that Jim Craig took with me (Kenny Klimes) to check out the Meramec river. Only rainbows were caught throughout the day - no browns.  Not sure where the browns took off to but I'll write the MDC to find out what they think. We fished from the bend all the way to Dry creek (which wasn't very dry by the way). Most rainbows were caught using bigger flies - woolybuggers, Tiger tails, rubber-legged stonefly, and leech patterns. Jim caught the big fish of the day - a 17" rainbow. The water was fast and slightly higher than normal but very fishable. Make sure you check the water levels and speeds on our web site before you head out fishing. The floods have changed most of the rivers. Trees are gone where they once were and new trees are down were there weren't trees before. Also new holes have been created so if you can't see the bottom very well don't think that the stream bottom is like it once was - be careful!! If you have a staff then I recommend wearing it and using it until the water level goes down and we can see the bottom. Be Safe out there!
Mike Oldani, Bill Byington, and Kenny Klimes
Bill with a rainbow on a cerise worm
Bill fishing Tan Vat
A nice Tan vat rainbow in the net
The browns are there too - with some really big ones stalking about.
Mike walking down the Tan Vat trail
Fish on for Mike at Baptist Camp

There's Trout in Indiana!! (June 10-11):  Here is a trip report to us from Connor Peters, who was sent to Indiana in his job with Kelloggs. Connor may be back home soon. I had the pleasure of hosting Matt McClure this past weekend in Lafayette IN. Saturday morning, we took off for East Fork White River near Brookville In. Brookville is roughly two hours away from Lafayette. It is one of the few fly fishing for trout areas Indiana has to offer. No trout parks here. The area is stocked with Browns and Rainbows. When we first got there we found a pack of browns. They were small and only small flys were working. Midges worked best for the Browns and Rainbows seemed to like San Juan worm and Cerise worm. We started about the middle and worked down until we reached the private land. As we were fishing we noticed fish seemed to be lurking more in the shaded areas near the banks rather then in the beating down sun. Once we hit private land, we walked back to the car ate lunch and headed to the top. On our way up, another fisherman asked if we could help him. He had a gar on his line and had been fighting it for about 10 minutes. We finished our hike to the top and worked back to the car. After a nice day of fishing we headed back to Lafayette, but not without stopping at Indiana Grand Casino for their buffet and slots. Altogether, Matt and I shared an awesome day and weekend of fellowship together. 

Kenny Klimes, Jim Craig, Jeff Layton, Tim Klotz and Sid Aslin
Found this homeless man walking down the road.
Ory's Spud and the man that tamed it!!
Fishing's Good - Montauk, Below the Cable and Beyond.... (Jun 14).  Sid Aslin led a group fishing on Wednesday that included Jeff Layton, Tim Klotz, Jim Craig and Kenny Klimes to Montauk State park area. The morning started out with fishing below the cable outside the park on the Current river. The trout are loaded in this area and the guys had no trouble getting on to fish immediately. Many fish were coming up to the surface so guys were swinging soft hackles, pheasant tail nymphs, woolly buggers (with legs), mohair leeches and more. So if you get down to Montauk you may want to start in the morning just below the cable (which by the way is no longer there - use the park sign to know when you are out of the park). At noon we all met for lunch and decided on the afternoon tactics. Jim and Kenny decided to hit Baptist Camp which Jim had never fished before and the other three stayed in the park but started behind the lodge. Kenny and Jim caught fish at Baptist - the area was hit hard by the floods. Just looks different and new holes to be conquered. Tim, Jeff and Sid did great behind the Montauk lodge and said it was one of the best fishing days they have had in a long time. We feel that many hatchery fish escaped during the flood and are camping out in this area. The latest reports say that the fish are loaded up in the park in the campground area and further downstream - I'd have to agree. It will get more crowded in the parks as the summer moves along so get out there now. We ended the day at Hick's BBQ in Cuba. It was Jeff's first time there so we talked him into getting the Chernobyl spud - I mean Ory's Spud. Not sure why he fell for it but he did eat the whole thing AND HAD DESSERT (see picture below)!!!
Fishing is Awesome Now - Tan Vat-Baptist Camp (Jun 6th):  All the talk about the flood has messed up the fishing is "False News". Fishing has been good in almost all locations. Kenny Klimes, Mike Oldani and Bill Byington made a trip to check out Tan vat and Baptist Camp this past Tuesday. What they found was a different river due the flood but also great fishing as new holes and runs were formed. It's amazing the force of water! The water level is slightly higher than normal and the flow is faster than normal but very fishable. Everyone we met were catching fish and and did the same. We fished Tan Vat in the morning hours and then Baptist Camp after lunch. Met a gentleman, mark Wagner, on the river at Tan Vat who caught an over 20 inch Brown on 8x tippet using size 20-22 size RS2s (tandem rig). It was awesome to watch as he gingerly maneuvered the brown for several minutes until he was able to land it.- Beautiful Fish! All flies were catching fish. We used rubberlegged stoneflies, North Fork Special stoneflies, cerise worm, P&P midges, red midges, RS2s and more. Now is the time to get out there before the weather gets too hot. 
Quick Trip to Meramec River (Jun16):  Terry Seaton sends us this report.  Fished outside the park at Maramec Spring Park very early this morning. Had some very good luck and everything caught was very deep while swinging sink-tip line downstream. All trout were caught on a #14 crackleback. Also caught a smallie and a sunfish on an olive egg-sucking leech. Was home by noon!
Nice Smallie caught on an egg sucking leech pattern
Smallmouth on a fly rod is awesome
A BIG fat 19" rainbow caught in the Meramec river
A Friend to fish with for the morning
More Success! (June 17): Three FATC enjoyed the day on the water (Meramec River) with much success. Bill Lowry, Miles Meyer and Craig Dull fished the Meramec  byn the bend and further downstream and said they caught some big trout.  They sent just a few pictures because they were having to much fun catching! Get out there!!!
Miles Meyer
Bill Lowry
Craig Dull
Fishing is Awesome - Montauk-Below the Cable (Jun 22):  Fishing has been very good the past couple of weeks in most areas that we fish. A group of four FATC members made it out to the Montauk/Current river area this past Thursday. Pete Drochelman, John Walker, Al Blair and Kenny Klimes fished below the cable in the morning and the fly fishing only area in the park in the afternoon. First, below the cable - it was on fire. Lately the morning fishing has seemed to be the best so get out there early - wherever you go. We started just below the cable and fished to the "boulder garden" by noon. Although the trout have been of smaller size (8-11 inches) they have been hitting the flies with much "ferocity". If you want to fish dry flies, you can. If you want to swing your flies, you can. If you want to dead drift, you can. The trout are ready! The flies of the morning were the RS2, Barr's emerger, Prince nymph, Pheasant tail nymph, small soft hackles,and cracklebacks. Start at the end of the park and work your way down stream "slowly". The fish are loaded in this section. After the flood many trout escaped the hatchery and are now in the river. If you are fishing the park behind the lodge and the campground area have been good also. Overall it seems like the morning hours have been best (this includes other locations like the Meramec river).  In the afternoon we fished the fly only area of the park. I have to say I was truly amazed how much damage and change there was after this year's "epic" flooding. Huge trees are down all over in the fly only area BUT there are new holes to learn and fish to be caught. We also found out that Dave Beerbower, Gary Elliott, and Sid Aslin were there at the same time we were - at several times just 50 yards away and we never knew it!!!  They reported that they too had an awesome day of fishing. I (Kenny) had my third double ever - caught two trout at once (double fly rig). It's hot and it's summer but get out there before the trout decide to leave town.