Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: January 31, 2016
PAST FLYFISHERS AT THE CROSSING
FLY FISHING TRIPS ARE BELOW!
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Even More Trip Reports Below
First Graduate from New Class @ Montauk (Oct 26th); Dave and Jim Franke, Sid Aslin, Gary Elliot and Dave Beerbower decided to go for one last trip to Montauk on Monday. The park was very crowded so we had to split up just to get in the river. The day was beautiful and everyone had some action in the morning on hare's ears, midges and pheasant tails. We even caught some fish on dry flies. This was a day of firsts. Dave Franke just finished Kenny's class and he is the first graduate from the group. His brother Jim borrowed a bamboo rod from Bruce Morton and caught his first fish on bamboo. Dave Beerbower also got some Tenkara time in the afternoon and caught several on dry flies. Gary and Sid also scored, but no photo evidence to show for it. A beautiful day, good fellowship and a celebratory dinner at Country Bob's in St. James on the way home. Thanks Dave for the report and Congratulations to Dave Franke - and welcome to the FATC!
Two More Graduates from Montauk (Oct 30): The Fall 2015 FATC fly fishing class is going non-stop. We have two more graduates from this class with more to come. Jordan Crist and Connor Peters graduated on this day. They were joined by James Edwards as Kenny instructed on the water. Montauk was some what crowded as the end of the catch and keep season came to a close. But the guys found room on the river - especially in the afternoon - and caught rainbows using several techniques taught in our class. We also met up with Matt McClure and his Dad as they were fishing and camping for the entire weekend. James went on his own in the morning so he wouldn't have to hear Kenny "yelling" at the new guys - "mend, MEND!" Jordan was the first to graduate with a nice rainbow on a soft hackle but dropped the fish back in the water just before Kenny could get his picture. That put the "pressure" on Connor who had a few on but couldn't bring them to the net. The guys along with Matt and his Dad joined up for lunch and then up to the beginning of the spring to work down stream until the end of the day. It was around 1:30pm when Connor lost faith in Kenny's abilities to get him on to fish. "Relax, Connor - you will get a fish, just relax" Bam, fish on!! Never saw a bigger smile and excitement from one guy catching a fish. Connor was now an offical graduate. Finally Kenny could wet a line and show the boys how it's done! The fishing was better in the afternoon as the weather moved in. The best flies were P&P midge, Pheasant tails (size 16), and olive and orange soft hackles. The parks are now closed until November 13th and will only be open Friday through Monday (outside of the parks you can fish any time). Get your cold weather gear ready and let's get out and fish the best tiem of year in Missouri.
Quick Note from FATC Member (Oct 29th): Steve Kettering sent us this note about his trip to Meramec Spring park. Hi Kenny, I went to Meramec Springs, I just wanted to share that I had a pretty good morning using 6x tippet and size 14 hares ear nymph. Just an fyi if any one is going.
Graduate Returns without Sensei?? (Oct 31st): Connor Peters just graduated the day before as he returned immediately to the river the next day. He joined Matt McClure and his Dad, Ed, to fish the last day before the parks close for two weeks. Looks like he did just fine! Connor says despite the weather he had an awesome day of fishing and fellowship. Check out the pictures below
FlyPalooza Success (Nov 10th): Our annual FlyPalooza fly tying get together was a big success. Around 40 fly fishers attended to either tie or watch tying this evening. Terry Seaton presented three different flies to tie for the winter season. We tied an American Pheasant Tail nymph, an Adams dry fly and a soft hackle emerger. All these flies we can use here in Missouri this winter and are on our web site on the fly tying page. Check them out!! Several guys even went home with some nice raffle prizes of fly tying and fly fishing books.
Checking Out Montauk after the Flood (Nov 20th): Seven FATC members headed to Montauk to check out the fishing and aftermath of the flooding that hit the area just three days before. The water was down but still higher than normal and the flow was twice as normal. With the water still being "discolored" from the flooding the guys talked out their strategy. Kenny Klimes, John Walker, Matt McClure, Connor Peters, and Al Blair met up with Larry Farrar and Mike Walton at Montauk state park this past Friday. With the faster flow and discolored water the guys decided to fish bigger flies with COLOR! The San Juan worms in pink and red came out of the boxes along with some big rubber legged stoneflies. This worked right from the first cast! Five started at the top of the spring and two hit around the camping area first. All seven met up for lunch and returned to fish from the top of the spring and worked down to the dam until the siren went off. The best flies of the day were the San Juan worm and cerise worm in a multitude of colors, brown rubber legged stoneflies, black wooly buggers, and a few fish were caught on some nymph and midge patterns. Larry "Bam Bam" Farrar was using flies from his WWF fly box to include the giant white worm which we bet him if he used it he wouldn't catch a fish (see it's picture below). Well, Bam Bam proved us wrong pulling in a nice rainbow with this 3 inch long piece of yarn (go figure??). Everyone caught fish and a lot of laughs were heard on the river which we had pretty much to ourselves. The gang of seven had fellowship dinner at Hicks BBQ after fishing. It was a great day!! Check out the pictures as we saw a rare event called Frost Flowers. Hit this link to learn more FROST FLOWERS
BIG Group to Montauk w/Two New Graduates ( Nov 23): Nine FATC jumped on the opportunity to fish on a beautiful day while two waited for that graduation moment! Larry Farrar, Kenny Klimes, Terry Seaton, Brian Yost, Mike Harvey, Steve Kettering, Jim Franke, and our two newest graduates Steve and Rich Fleschner (yes, they're brothers) fished Montauk on this gorgeous day. The park was nearly empty of fly fishers as the guys had the pick of the best spots. Terry Seaton and Brian Yost decided to tackle outside the park and Tan Vat while the rest fished the fly fishing only area of Montauk. Terry and Brian did very well both below the cable and Tan Vat. See pictures because Brian was rewarded on his last cast of the day with a HUGE brown at Tan Vat. Check out how to catch a big brown - you chase him down river if you have to - Brian was using a 4 wt rod, 6X tippet and a size 18 emerald and pearl midge. The main goal of the day was to get the Fleschner brothers their graduation certificate (so to speak). Larry Farrar instructed Steve Fleschner and Kenny took Rich Fleschner and the race to graduation was on. Both Steve and Rich did awesome and had netted many fish before the day was through. Of course Kenny quized them on the way to the river and while on the water. And like any kid in school (who didn't study the night before) they fumbled through the answers - but they did listen on the water and caught many rainbows! Steve, Mike and Jim also were hitting on fish the entire day. The flies of the day seemed to be the San Juan worm, P&P midge, Copper John, Wooly Bugger, Rubber Legged Stonefly and a few others I just can't remember. It was a fun day and new friendships were made. Please read in Kenny's Korner about winter time fishing (it's on Our Page). Mike Harvey had the misfortune of falling in on this trip - the water is cold - remember to bring extra warm clothes, maybe a towel, and don't wear any cotton! Mike did all these things and was just a little embarrassed but no hyperthermia!! The fishing is good this fall so get out there. Remember the state parks are only open from Friday through Monday, Meramec Spring park is open all week long and any of the rivers are always open to fishing. See you out there!
Meramec Winter Fishing is Great (Nov 25th): Matt McClure sent in this report from Meramec Spring park. It sounds like the fishing is great there now! Kenny, Connor, my son Sam and I attacked Meremac Springs today. We spent most of the morning fishing the top area and were blessed with many nice size fish in the net. After lunch we worked our way down the rest of the stream and ended up outside on the bend. Fishing was consistent all day and we all caught some nice ones outside the park. The most productive fly's were the Cherise Worm, San Juan Worm and yes a new fly that I picked up at FeatherCraft - Crystal Meth. I have attached a photo of this fly. Oh and I can't close this out without broadcasting that Connor lost his precious I-Phone. It got wet and therefore we lost some morning photos. Sam and I came to an agreement that we would replace his phone with a complimentary Barbie Phone but he would have to wait until Christmas. Meremec is close and fishing very well. Hope everyone can get down there soon to get in on the action.
More Visit Meramec Spring park (Nov. 25th): Joe Walker, Joel Burke, Jeff Busch and Larry Farrar took a morning trip to Meramec Springs November 25th . The morning was chilly but the park was practically empty when the siren went off. The stream was slightly murky and the flow was slightly heavier than normal. Most of the morning was spent inside the park up near the top of the stream. A good number of fish were caught around the island in both the slow and fast moving water. The most productive flies were the Cerise Worm, and the multi colored egg. The group had a great time fishing and looking forward to the next time we can get on the water.
Meramec Spring and River Fishing Very Well (Dec 6th): Here is a report from Connor Peters on fishing the Meramec. Kenny, Matt and I had another great day at Meramac Spring park. We entered the park on a cool winter day. Matt tied up a dual rig, and I was fascinated by the idea. Matt, graciously took time out of his fishing to teach me to tie a dual rig. After we were done tying, we decided to start outside the park. Matt threw his line, right after the bend, and bam! He had fish on. This fish was a monster (see pictures). Every time Matt would reel his fish in, the fish would take off. After about a five minutes, the battle was decided. Matt 1 Fish 0. I was not able to keep up pound for pound, but caught a bunch of fish as well. In other words Meramac Spring and outside the park are fishing well. Matt and I had a great day of fellowship and caught tons of fish. Best flys are still the Ceris Worm and p&p. Get out and catch some fish!
Meramec Spring Confirmed - It's Good! (Dec 7th): Not that we didn't believe everyone else but five of us headed to Meramec Spring to check out what was all the celebrating about. Dave Beerbower, Jim Franke, Charlie Prestian, Sid Aslin and Kenny Klimes fished Meramec Spring on what was supposed to be a nice warm day. But the weather forecast was way off as the day was damp and cold - but that didn't stop us. The fishing at Meramec is very good right now including outside the park at the bend. The best spots that we found were right in the beginning of the park (below the bridge, around the island and to the first small "waterfall"). Use buggers, stoneflys, midges, pheasant tail nymphs, san juan worms and copper johns there. Outside the park the same flies worked well. Swing the large flies and dead drift the small ones. Charlie had the big trout of the day on his line for more than 10 minutes until it finally pulled the hook out - at least 18 -19 inch rainbow. He caught it in the fast riffles around the island - no more than a foot of water. We even saw some small month and poan fish caught this day. Outside the park around the bend the pheasant tail and copper john did well. Despite the cold weather, which we didn't expect, it was an awesome day of fishing and fellowship. The eagles are back in the park too. A little mexican food hit the spot on the way home.
Two More Graduates but Fishing Tough at Montauk (Dec 12): The weather was unusually warm and it was a Saturday. Would Montauk be super crowded? Fortunately we didn't care for we were headed to Montauk in the attempt to graduate two more fly fishers into the FATC. Kenny Klimes and Larry Farrar set out to graduate newcomers Thorne Spence and Robert Tighe. James Edwards also went on this trip just to keep an eye on the soon to be graduates. Thorne and Robert got to try out their casting and several fly fishing techniques in the water and not on grass. Thorne picked up his first trout on a fly rod before lunch (did anyone know that he has never fished before??). It was a small trout but that didn't matter to Thorne as he was all smiles. Robert decided to put a little pressure on Larry, who was his instructor, as he had many hits but just couldn't get the trout to the net. At about 2:45 pm Kenny thought that maybe a change of instructors might change Robert's luck. Well, not so - no hookups and time was running out. Kenny was hitting the best Montauk spots but the fish just were not cooperating. With just 15 minutes left until the siren Kenny had one last place - next to the boulder. Kenny and Robert raced down the trail, kicked out James who was in the spot already and rushed cast after cast. With five minutes to go in the day Robert had a hit and FISH ON!!! One trout in the net and Robert had one big smile - the yelling and cheering could be heard all up and down the river. But that was not good enough for Kenny as he had Robert keep fishng with just 2 minutes to go. We want one more he yelled!! Well, the siren went off but we did have the pleasure of graduating two more fly fishers into the FATC. As I said fishing was tough for the day. Best flies for the day P&P midge, light colored soft hackles and san juan worms (Cerise). Congrats and welcome to Thorne and Robert!
Many Trips and Many Trout Caught (Dec 17 -22): The FATC has been out in full force the past week and a half fishing in all different locations. Meramec Spring park, Meramec river, Montauk State park, Tan Vat, Bennett State park and more. Most locations are fishing well. The rain has hampered some of the trips with high water and fast flows but that hasn't stopped the gang from finding a way to get out during the holidays. The flies used have been numerous and the trout have been fat and fiesty. You need to get out during the holidays. The days have been very mild for winter so take advantage of it. Just email us when you can get and we will set you up with some of the FATC (don't fish alone during the winter season - could be disaster - fish with a friend or two. Here are some pictures from the many trips that have happened this past week. Enjoy and Merry Christmas
Honorary Members from Chilhowie, Virginia: We have several honorary members that have fished with us but do not live in the Missouri area. Jonathan Pierce, a pastor in a small church in Virginia, found our web site awhile back and has been sending us fishing pictures, purchased FATC caps for him and his sons, and buys a lot of the Brown Bomber wooly buggers from Wooly Bugger Fly Company. Jonathan has sent us some awesome pictures of brooks, browns and rainbows that they have caught in the streams of Virginia. We would like to welcome then as Honorary FATC members. A picture of them will be put on our web site soon. Welcome Jonathan, Jared, Tyler and their fishing buddy Butch Heath (any relation to Gabby??) to the FATC!
Waters Still High and Fast but Fishable!! (Jan 2nd): Five FATC decided to take a chance, be adventurous and test out the situation at Montauk. Terry Seaton, Kenny Klimes, Jordan Crist, Matt McClure and Connor Peters wanted to check out Montauk after the record floods. Yes, Montauk state park was hit hard with flooding. There is evidence that the water levels were at least three to four feet deep on and around the surrounding area. All the paths we walk to get around the river were at least three feet under water! But it has all gone done now. The river was deep in many spots making it difficult to fish certain areas. The water was fast but manageable. We checked out the entire park for fishing - around the camp grounds, below the cable and the fly fishing only area from the spring down to the dam. New deep areas that were never there before and the fast water made it difficult to fish certain areas. Most interesting find was the huge hole just prior to the dam is now filled with sand (all that work they did digging that out a few years ago). Fishing was fair overall. We used big flies that the fish could see although a few fish were caught with smaller midge larva. Best flies were the Cerise worm and small black rubber legged stoneflies. Once things settle down (probably take another 3-4 days) we can get back to using normal flies for the winter. We have only a little more than a month to go with the winter catch and release season so don't miss it. Parks close down again after the second weekend in February. And make sure you get your 2016 fishing license AND a trout stamp/permit with it. It's very easy to do online if you have a printer!!
FATC and Cabelas Work Together (Jan 8th - 10th): A handful of FATC guys gave up part of their weekend to work the Cabelas booth at the big "Let's Go Fishing" show in Collinsville, Illinois. It was a fun weekend for all as we worked the Cabelas show booth. We demonstrated fly tying, casting and even gave several seminars throughout the day on fly fishing basics and techniques. All flies we tied (size 6 Wooly Buggers) will be donated to Project Healing Waters. We want to thank Laura Gray from Cabelas for taking care of us and feeding us each day at the booth. Cool thing is we meet a lot of guys that never heard of our group but now what to join. A few guys said they follow our web site but the live in Illinois too far away to be part of the fellowship - we told them that din't matter! Below are some pictures from the event.
Meramec River is Good!! (Jan 24th) Six FATC decided to skip the football games this Sunday and head to the river to fly fish (I'm so proud of them!!) Tim Graham, Pete Drochelman, and John Palmer met up with John Chi at Meramec and then ran into Matt McClure and Connor Peters. Here are words from Tim Graham - Had a good day Kenny. We seen Matt and Connor. Pete has a few pix. We fished with John Chi all day and also Matt and Connor for a while before they left. John Palmer slayed em as usual. His biggest was 18". I caught em on a cerise worm with a RS2 dropper. John caught most on the RS 2 size 20 below a stimulator. He is good. We both fished same RS2 and they took my cerise worm and Johns RS 2 on most drifts. All of us to a man had frozen feet. I usually have no problem but it was tuff today I had to get out of water a bunch to get blood moving. I need a better system. Smart wool did not cut it. Maybe polar tech socks I have but seldom wear.
Connor Peters sent in this report on the day - Matt McClure and I went to check out Meramac Springs today. We arrived a little before the horn. We were in the water by 8:30 and destroyed the bend there outside the park. I am proud to say I caught my first brown. Between the two of us we easily caught 15-20 fish. It was a nice day of fishing as well as great fellowship with Matt. Fly of the day was a pink cerise worm/ pink worm with egg pattern. (The one from our web site) Also, a purple stone fly I picked up Saturday from Feathercraft. Hope to see everyone soon on the water. All pictures were from Connor and Matt!!
Quick Trip to Meramec River (Jan 26th) I had the honor of taking our new pastoral advisor, Joel Burke, fishing this past Tuesday. We fished Meramec which turned out to be a very cold day. If you are headed out to fish this winter please make sure you are dressed warm (and no Cotton!!). We fished from about 9am until a little after 3pm. Outside the park was slow (I think their lips were ripped off after out guys nailed them on Sunday). We also fished inside the park around the island which produced fish. Flies that caught fish - San Juan worm, glo-bugs, midges, soft hackles, white leech and copper johns..... Welcome Joel, to the fellowship.
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.