Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: May 19, 2016
PAST FLYFISHERS AT THE CROSSING
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Even More Trip Reports Below
Meramec River Cold but Outside and Park Fishing Well (Jan 28th): Six fly fishers fished Meramec on Thursday and had a great day as the weather turned from cold to mild. Connor Peters, Matt McClure, Dave Beerbower, Jerr Lybarger, Jim Anzer and Kenny Klimes headed to Meramec. They fished outside the park in the morning hours (man, was the water cold!!) and inside the park in the afternoon. There were a lot of trout caught but no one had one special fly that worked the best all day. The guys had to continually find the correct fly for the conditions. Best flies were the P&P midge, Cerise worm, Copper John, Soft hackles, stonefly, glo-bug and a few others I can't remember. We even ran into Gabby and his wife who were out fishing the park! Remember there are only two more weeks until the catch and release season ends in the parks.
Where Have All the Fishys Gone? - New Graduate! (Jan 30) After a little over a year, Mike Yahl, decided it was time for him to finish his Fall 2014 class by graduating on the water. So Kenny Klimes and Jason Edwards took Mike to Montauk for what turned out to be an almost summer like day - in January?? Kenny and Mike went to the usual spot in the morning to practice the cast and different techniques. Mike graduated there with his first catch of the fly rod - a nice 14 inch rainbow. Then after lunch the gang went to the top of the spring and worked their way down. Before I go any further I must say that the entire park has changed after the flood. I'm not sure where all the sand came from but a lot of the bottom is sand and a lot of structure was blown out - not good. Also the fish were gone!! Ok, not all the fish were gone but in spots where you could always see fish before there were just a few. Montauk has much work to do. We were wondering if the fish were blown out of the park by the massive flooding they had this Fall. We did catch fish but as I pointed out to Mike others in the park (and there were quite a few) were not. So with Montauk closing in about two weeks we hope they have plenty of time to fix the situation before their opening day. This doesn't mean do not go to Montauk but maybe the fish were taken down river more and outside the park may be good (a recent report from Bill Vanlwarrden says that this could be true). Best flies of the day were the P&P midge, san juan worm, prince nymph, caddis larva and soft hackle. Remember you have only ONE weekend left until the parks close on February 8th but you can always fish outside the parks.
Winter Fishing has been Tough (February 2016) - There have been many day trips this February but not many reports. Reason: the fishing has been tough. Not sure why - if it's the cold water or drastic changes in temperatures and fronts moving through the area. Or if it had anything to do with our major flooding around the end of December. But for whatever reason it has been tough during a time that usually produces lots of fish. So what do we do? We keep on going fishing because we love it and it will change. here are a few pictures from various trips throughout the month.
BIG Fish But Not Many (Feb 26th) : Several FATC hit the waters on this Friday. Some fished Baptist Camp and others fished Tan Vat, both spots on the Current river. Reports from the 7 or so guys that went was catching was poor. But there were some BIG fish caught. Connor Peters had the catch of his life at Baptist Church - as he called it, with a Huge Brown. How can you tell it was huge - it had big LIPS! Matt McClure and Connor had fair luck at Baptist camp while the guys at Tan Vat said the fishing was nonexistent. Not sure why the fishing in February has been so bad. Coud be the off again on again weather that we have had - but not sure. We are hoping things will pick up once the water and weather warms and the spring stocking takes place. But we won't know when it turns on again if we don't get out there and fish! See you on the water AFTER the March 1st Opener - Wouldn't be within 100 miles of opening (shoulder to shoulder) day. AND don't believe any pictures you might see either ;) I think we need to pull Connor's fishing pass - kid's been fishing way too much!!
Catching Still Tough in the Current river (Mar 4th): Matt McClure, Connors Peters, Jerry Lybarger and Kenny Klimes fished three locations on the Current river to give it a thorough check. Fishing was tough the entire day. The guys fished Tan Vat, Baptist Camp and then finished the day below the cable. Many flies were used but only a couple of fish were caught. They saw very few fish and the ones they saw were just not interested. In some way the bad flooding we had in January truly affected the fishing this winter season. One of the toughest winter fishing seasons in a long time. The guys even ran into Mike Burgess and his friend, Dean, below the cable. They also agreed that the catching was tough all day. But with that said, the parks should be fishing well now that the season has opened so we will be checking out the parks next week.
First Spring Lake Taneycomo (LT) Trip of 2016 (March 11-13): Our first Lake Taneycomo trip of 2016 was a success - somewhat. Miles Meyer, Craig Dull, Al Blair, John Walker and Kenny Klimes made the first trip of the season to LT. Unfortunately they were running generators after the heavy rains from the south and the guys had to call an audible in order to get some fishing in. On the way down to LT (Friday) the guys stopped for four hours and fished Bennett Spring park. The fishing was fair to good. The next day the generators were pumping out 100 MV which is around 2 full generators. Ok, to fish LT but not ideal so they went to Roaring River State park to fish. RR was good fishing with many different flies catching fish - dry flies, midges, soft hackles, WB, and pheasant tail nymphs. Even ran into John Chi at RR. The guys fished all day there and before they left visited the spring pond to "feed" the BIG browns and rainbows. Saturday night was hockey on TV and planning Sunday's fishing. LT was still pumping out about 100MV with depth of 707 msl on Sunday. So they fished LT for a couple of hours on Sunday before they had to check out. Fishing on Sunday was poor. It was a great trip with some lasting friendships made despite the Blues winning two games that weekend. BUT we didn't eat any Provel cheese(s) so it was a good trip - ask Al Blair! Just a few pictures below......
First Graduate of Winter 2016 Class (March 16): Our first graduate of the Winter 2016 class completed his requirements to become a new FATC member. Bill Byington, along with his instructor Kenny, joined Sid Aslin, Charlie Prestien and Tim Klotz for a trip to Montauk state park. It was a great day on the water for all as the park was more "crowded" for a Wednesday than usual (too many retirees). Overall the fishing was fair for this time of year but fish were caught throughout the day. Bill graduated early with a rainbow on a P&P midge. Other flies used during the day were black WB, midges in several different colors and pheasant tails nymphs. We ran into several FATC guys on the water - Bruce Morton and his posse and even Jake Welty, who we haven't seen in awhile. Bill got a little practice in from the boulder to the dam and then fished from the top of the spring down during the afternoon. The fish are very spread out and we didn't see as many as we usually do. We are still trying to figure out what happened after the floods in January. Sorry Bill, have to report it. Bill baptized himself during the end of the day so we quit a little early as he changed into his dry clothes (no, no nickname from this - we already have Dry Fly!) We fished until around 4:30pm and then headed to Hicks BBQ for fellowship dinner. Big welcome to Bill Byington. Bill is retired so we expect to see him on the water a lot.
Colorado Fly Fishing Experience (March 11-15 ) Here is a Report from Matt McClure: Kenny, Had the opportunity to fish the Colorado River and Blue River last week. I retained a guide for half day on the Colorado and caught 7 browns. The guide was well worth the money as he didn't fish and instead stood by me and coached me on casting, drifting and hook set techniques. Fished the Blue by myself for a couple hours and hooked into a brown and a monster Rainbow which got over a small waterfall and couldn't get him in thus broke off. Fished a three fly rig in the Colorado. Rubber Leg Stone Flys, Pheasant Tail, Midges. On the Blue I fished a dual rig of size 20 Mysis Shrimp on top and assorted midges on bottom. (Size 20, 22 Black Beauty, Red Rojo, JuJu Bee) Winter fishing is less technical as the main hatches are midges. Not a lot of dry fly action in the Winter. All the Browns caught were wild. The browns are prolific in the Colorado vs the Rainbows. This is due to Whirling disease that took a hold of the Rainbows some time ago and pretty much wiped out the Rainbows except for big ones. It was a great experience as this was my first time trout fishing outside of MO.
Spring Taneycomo Trip #2 (March 18-20): Dave Beerbower, Terry Seaton, Toby Simers, Jim Franke, Kevin Jerome, and Kenny Klimes made the trip. Our second Lake Taneycomo (LT) trip was a repeat of our first trip a week earlier. The generators were running a LT so we again had to call an audible and fish other places. On the way down on Friday we stopped off at Bennett Spring (yes, one 'S') to fish. Fishing was good for the 3 hours we fished. Rubber legged stoneflies, soft hackles, nymphs and san juan worms worked best. Then we rounded everyone up and headed to Branson to our LT condo. Made a visit to River Run Outfitters to pick up a few flies and get any advice for the weekend. We decided to fish Roaring River again on Saturday. Fishing was good with guys using an eclectic bunch of flies from nymphs, stoneflies, soft hackles to dry flies. Here we ran into the "Campers" who had the same idea as we did. That put 11 FATC guys on the river - and we all had room to fish. Our plan for Sunday was to do a late checkout and fish LT which we did. LT fishing was pretty non-existent - only one fish caught by Dave Beerbower. It was a great time of fellowship as we had the opportunity to eat Terry's cooking, learn about Indian Pottery and arrowheads from Kevin, and watch a little NCAA basketball. Oh yeah, Kenny found an ancient arrowhead along the shores of LT. Kevin said it was just a rock but then what does he know! It was a great trip and we are hoping for one in the Fall too. The guys also had a one fly contest on Saturday as Terry tied some size 24 sparkle P&P midges (he used sparkle finger nail polish on the fly) for the contest. See photos below on who won the contest (I think it was Kenny who used the finger nail polish on himself - it was purddy)
Watauga, NC Father/Son Trip (Mar 16th): Mike Harvey visited his son Blake to watch him play lacrosse but also got to go fishing with him on the Watauga river in North Carolina. Here is his report and a few pictures. My son Blake and I had a chance to fish the Watauga River near Boone NC this week. (Thanks to Dave Beerbower for the recommendation). We took a family trip to North Carolina and stayed in a mountain cabin. It gave us a chance to watch him play a few lacrosse games at Lenoir Rhyne university, sight see and take in some flyfishing. We had a fantastic time. We fished 3 days and it took a day for Blake to get on fish, but once he figured it out he had good success! We used some
simple flys that worked great! P&P, Cerise Worm, and egg pattern. The goal was to get him catching fish, mission accomplished! Thanks for the report Mike
LT Campers Call Audible Too (Mar 17-20): The FATC campers headed down to Branson on Thursday and fished Roaring River on Friday and Saturday and a few fished Bennett Spring on Sunday. They did camp in the Branson area but couldn't fish LT which was working equivalent to 2 generators - just a little too high. Mike Bisaga lead the group of Sid Aslin, Robert Tighe, Mark Smalley, Mike Chambers and Andrew Holderby. Overall they did well and had a great time. They met up with the other FATC group on Saturday and fished with them at Roaring River.
FATC Guys Visit The Little Red River in Arkansas (Mar 18-20): Jason Edwards and John Walker took a trip to Arkansas to fish the Red River. Here is a trip report from John and I on our trip to Arkansas. While a hand full of the the guys headed down to Lake Tanyecome, John an I headed down to Heber Springs Arkansas to fish the Little Red River. We arrived late Friday evening and enjoyed a pizza dinner before checking into our cabin at Red River Adventures Trout Resort. The cabin was amazing and was located right on the water. The cabins were newly built last year out of pine and cedar. They also have a deck facing the water. The resort also had boats that can be rented so you can fish the entire river. The Little Red has many shoals that can be fished but are only accessible by boat. Enough about the comforts, lets talk about the fishing. We ran into much of the same conditions that the other gang did - high water. They were only running one generator but the water was still high due to all the rain in the past several months. But we over came that obstacle with the assistance of Doug Pearce a local guide his number is (501-230-0214) in case your down there. Give him a ring, I highly recommend him. He spent 30 years as a game warden on and around the Little Red. He not only was a pleasure to fish with but I enjoyed getting to know him. He also shared several interesting facts about the Little Red. The Brown population is self sustaining, no browns have been stocked since the 50's and you can catch brookies and cutthroats in the river as well. They release brookies every year but most get eaten by the browns before the can reach maturity. We started fishing about 8:45 about two miles up stream of the lodge and let the current carry us down stream as we fished. We didn't catch our first fish for about 2 hours. Doug said that normally they would have landed a dozen or more fish by now. It was hard fishing all day. We finally found a spot that yield fish and would float through the spot over and over again. Each pass through one of us would catch a fish or two. The hot fly of the day was hares ear nymph, fly formally known has "prince" nymph and olive soft hackle (weighted). We had to fish deep. We were using all 9 feet of our leaders to get to the bottom. It was a good day of fishing considering the conditions. I would highly recommend checking out Red River Adventures Trout Resort redriveradventurestroutresort.com Sincerely, Jason Edwards
FATC Finds Meramec River Fishing Well (March 24th): Dave Beerbower sent in this report on their trip to the Meramec. Connor Peters sent in the pictures. Here is their report: Matt McClure, Connor Peters and Dave Beerbower decided to take a short trip down to Meramec Springs this past Thursday. The park was very crowded, so we chose to hit the river outside the park and wait for the meat fishers to clear out. Good choice. Connor started nymph fishing along the bank on the river before the spring enters and he was on FIYAH! Matt and I soon joined him and the catching was on. Connor used a cerise worm and then switched to a crystal meth. Dave was using dry flies only, Elk Hair Caddis and Griffith Gnat Emerger and Matt was using the cerise worm. We pulled upwards of 40 fish out of a stretch of 250’ of the river and have decided to call it Connor’s Corner. Awesome morning. After lunch, we went into the park. The temperatures were dropping and the meat fishers were gone, so we had better access to our favorite spots. The fishing was much slower, but we did catch some nice trout for Connor to take home. We caught many more Goggle Eye Rock Bass, but had lots of fun anyway.
7 FATC Invade Montauk ( April 4th): Seven FATC members invaded Montauk expecting a less crowded day on the water - not so. I guess that "spring break" is still going on in the State. But there was plenty of room to fish and the guys had a great time of fishing and fellowship. Jim Franke, Dave Franke, Sid Aslin, Craig Dull, Kenny Klimes, Gary Elliott and Mike Harvey made the long trek to Salem this past Monday. We all pretty much fished together and mostly upstream from the dam. Many rainbows were caught and the best flies were the P&P and black zebra midge, pheasant tail nymph, rubber legged stonefly and san juan worm. The catching was rated average for the day by the guys with some in the net and a lot of misses. Mike Harvey christened his new net that he made with several nice rainbows. No hatches to speak of yet and the trout were pretty non-aggressive as we had to go deep to pick them up. I still say the flood in January really messed up the river as much sand was dumped in places where rocks and boulders once were. But that's what we have to work with so get out there and learn some new tactics! Want to set up a trip just email us!!
Montauk - Still Figuring It Out : Here is a report from Connor Peters from a recent trip - Matt McClure, Jerry Lybarger, and I (Connor Peters) headed to Montauk Yesterday, April 5th. It was a beautiful day. The weather made it perfect for fishing. Jerry and Matt slaughtered "em." We started at the top and moved our way down. I was pretty unsuccessful. However I did catch my first fish on a crackle back that was interesting. I thought I was hung up on a rock until the fish jumped out the water and started to swim down stream. I was able to pull in two fish while Matt and Jerry together netted 25-30. Best fly was the pink cerise worm w/ egg pattern. I tried everything crackle back, dry fly, midge, even the worm and still couldn't seem to get a bite. At the end of the day, Matt, Jerry and I took home 8 fish altogether(not each). Matt helped me fillet them. Really, he did all the work while I washed off and Jerry bagged. Huge thanks to him. Enjoyed the fellowship and day with my fishing buddy Matt and Jerry. Hope to fish with some more guys from the group soon. Sorry no pics :(
Two More Added To FATC (Apr 8th): Two more fly fishers were added to the FATC this past Friday; Steve Clark, who finished his graduation from our most recent class, and Brian Smith, already a fly fisher who wanted to be part of our fellowship. It was a chilly, windy day for April but blue skies for most of the trip. Kenny Klimes took Steve for his graduation trip and was joined by Brian Smith and Matt McClure. Brian is a prior fly fisher who fished a lot in Colorado. He has lived in St Louis for some time now but is recently retired and wants to fish more here in Missouri. Brian welcome to the FATC!! Steve was ready for his graduation trip and did very well. We practiced some techniques before lunch and Steve missed a few early. One really nice rainbow jumped, spit the hook out as to say welcome to fly fishing Steve! After lunch we started out at the top of the spring and worked our way down stream. Steve got the hang of the dead drift, mending and high sticking and caught his first rainbow on a fly rod. Then he caught another and another. Steve netted about six for the day which is above average for a first timer. Montauk is still tougher than normal and it may take sometime to figure out what the trout are looking for. We ran into many fly fishers that weren't catching any - we did well. Best flies were the san juan worm (pink or red), P&P midge and rubber legged stonefly. I know I've said this many times but the floods in January have changed many of the rivers here. I think for the worse. Too much sand was dumped into holes and runs that I think may have killed many of the aquatic insects on the bottom. I'll write to the MDC to see what they think. If you are interested in a trip please let us know when you can go fishing and we will hook you up. Weekdays are still "calm" in the parks but weekends will start to become impossible soon. Tight Lines!!
FATC Invade Montauk (April 13th): The FATC left St. Louis in full force invading Montauk with 11 fly fishers on this Wednesday. The good thing was we owned the river this day. Montauk was virtually empty and as the day wore on the FATC were the only fly fishers on the river. Some were camping, others drove up at different times but the greetings on the river were loud and clear. Let's see if I can get all of the names - Bruce Morton, Gabby Heath, Gary Elliott, Dave Beerbower, Jim Franke, Sid Aslin, Tim Klotz, Kenny Klimes, Bill Byington, Matt McClure and Connor Peters. I think the best part of the day (besides the fishing) was lunch time as we all joined together to break bread - so to speak. We spread out on the river and most started up at the top of the spring to work down stream for the day. Everyone seemed to be doing well with midges and Cerise worms as the top morning flies. Dave Beerbower also christened his new bamboo rod that he made. Lesson learned this morning - make sure you are deep when dead drifting your fly. It was nice to see FATC everywhere you looked this morning. After a cool morning of fishing the layers came off and the gang decided to really spread out during the afternoon. Four headed down to the portion of river by the campgrounds and found it empty. This group fished all the way outside the park to the 90 degree bend. The flies of the afternoon seemed to be pheasant tail nymphs, midges, rubber legged stonefly, san juan worm and even elk-hair caddis when a small caddis hatch started. The fishing was very good this day - many thought it was one of the best days of the year. With the weather warming up the hatches were more prevalent and we are hoping soon will bring some awesome dry fly fishing. As you know the parks WILL be crowded when the summer starts so get out now if you can... Tight lines....
A Day of Learning at Montauk (Apr 18th): Jason Corman flew in from Toronto, Canada to fish with us. Yes, he did! Jason graduated last year and then had to quickly head to Canada because of a job transfer. He came home to visit some friends and decided to thrown in a fishing day with the FATC. So Kenny Klimes, Miles Meyer and Bill Byington joined him at Montauk. A partly cloudy day greeted the guys as they fished from the top of the river down to Walter's stretch. Miles, Jason and Bill, being relatively new, got extra instruction from Kenny and put it to good use. Fish were caught on midges, cerise worms, "Gabby's Golden Wooly", and a few other various flies. The river wasn't too crowded for a Monday and we usually had any spot, especially in the afternoon. No hatches or rises to speak of but the fishing was good. The guys got to work on their dead drifting techniques and truly improved a lot. A greaat day on the water was followed by mexican food and awesome fellowship as always.
I Owed Him This One! (Apr 26th): Last week Tim McCoy asked to be reminded of the trip that we were taking to Montauk. I (Kenny) forgot :( and he had to read about the trip on the web site. So I owed him a trip - just the two of us. Tim had never been to Cardiac Hill so that was the plan until the weather changed our plans. With severe thunderstorms predicted for the early afternoon we decided to cancel that and go check out the Meramec river instead - good choice. Tim and I fished outside the park on the Meramec river - at the bend. Overall the fishing, I mean catching, was good. The trout were feeding on top in the scum/film layer caused by the cold water rushing out of the park meeting the cool water of the meramec river. The seam formed by the confluence of the two flows trapped midges by the hundreds. Oh yea, forgot to say there were so many midges hatching that at one point it got annoying as they flew in our faces all morning. No browns were caught, all rainbows but fiesty ones. The three biggest fish were above 15+ inches. As we saw the trout feeding in the film layer the soft hackles came out and the catching began. Many very subtle hits as we would swing the flies through the seam. We also tried P&P midges, rubber legged stoneflies, wooly buggers, cerise worms to pick up any fish near the bottom but the majority of trout taken were the ones feeding on top. It was a blast! We fished until 1 pm and then decided to have lunch since the skies were getting darker. Right as we finished our meal the BIG storm hit and fishing ended early for the day. Lessons learned: if you plan on going to a location that will take you far from your car (i.e. Cardiac hill) check the water levels and weather before you go AND never go alone! If we had gone to Cardiac hill we would have been right in the middle of the storm. Not fun and dangerous. If you want on a trip that is announced via email, please respond to the email. If you hear thunder while on the water, that means lightning too. Get off the water and don't be waving your graphite rods in the air - don't want to be a lightning rod. Be safe out there!!
Lake Taneycomo Finally Turning Water Off ( Apr 30th and May 1st): Bob Aslin joined 7 other friends for a Boy Scout Dad’s weekend at Lake Taneycomo. Six of the eight fished from boats and used spinning rod & reels, however Bob and his friend Tom Love took the opportunity to wade and fly fish since they were only running water (two generators) for a couple of hours each afternoon. The water was a little murky with sediment and moss floating by and the fishing was decent all but Saturday morning. The fly of choice was an olive green wooly bugger (#14), however at times they would only take a soft hackle (red or orange) and Tom caught a couple on an olive crackleback. They fished upstream from the Point Royal Condos area and just below the dam one afternoon just after they stopped running water through the turbines. All the fish were released to fight another day.
A Day of Catch and Keep at Montauk (May 13th): Steve Clark, Connor Peters & Matt McClure headed down to Montauk for a day of fellowship and of course fishing. With the recent rains we weren't sure what the river was going to be like. Water was up a little bit but it did not hinder wading into any areas. The water was stained so we started out with color. The San Juan worm once again did well. I started with a dropper pheasant tail along with primrose & pearl midge and did well with most taking the midge and a couple taking the pheasant tail. This was a keeper day. Steve has a buddy who likes to grill whole trout so at the end of the day we gutted our limit of 12 fish to take home. All in all fishing was consistent throughout the day. Steve continues to hone his skills and is definitely starting to get the hang of it and caught several fish. On another note I've heard rave reviews about the homemade pies at Happy Pappy's (top of the hill on corner before entering the park). We called ahead and ordered 2 banana cream pies and cherry pie to pick up on the way home. Absolutely phenomenal! If anyone is interested in doing this in the future call a few days ahead of your trip and place your order. Bill & Glenna Ard are the Owners. Glenna will make any flavor pie you want. Happy Pappy's - 573-548-7777. Matt, thanks for that report and the tip about the pies!!!