Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: November 22, 2014
PAST FLYFISHERS AT THE CROSSING FLY FISHING TRIPS ARE BELOW!
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Even More Trip Reports Below
Deep Summer - Terrestrials are HOT (Aug 13th): Here is a report from Dave Beerbower! He says the catching is picking up - better get out there! Dave Beerbower, Sid Aslin and Tim Klotz headed down to Montauk to see if the crowds had receded since many schools are now back in session. Though there were plenty of fly fishers, it was much better than a few weeks ago. The fishing has been tough for several weeks, but that changed on this day. We started out near the boulder and caught fish right away on soft hackles and dry flies. There was a terrific mayfly hatch going on as we hit the river and it lasted for over an hour. Fish were rising all over the place and we hit them hard. Later in the morning, I decided to try a hopper pattern, casting against the far bank. Wow! They started hitting it almost as soon as it hit the water. It was great fun to see them attack the hopper with such gusto. After lunch, we went further upstream and continued to do well with hoppers, ants and soft hackles. Wooly buggers and cracklebacks also did well, especially in olive and black. On this day, the fish were hitting anything on the swing and long, slow strips seemed to work best. Tim had plenty of fish to take home to his son, who loves to eat fresh trout even though he is a vegan. Sid decided to stop fishing the catch and release area and spent the whole day on the river with great results. In fact, he caught the largest fish of the day with a very nice 16 incher. It was so much fun that I had to call us off the water at 5:30. It got to be too late for Hicks BBQ, so we stopped in Rolla at the Panera for a quick bite before heading home. Terrestrial season is now officially on. Get out there and be prepared for some great fishing.
Need More Rain - But Another is Added to the Fellowship (Aug 18th): Four of us headed out to fish the Current river this past Monday. With some of the rain that we had we thought that finally the river levels would have risen and the clarity less clear but not true. Kenny Klimes, Dave Inman, Jim Franke and newcomer Dennis Puryear fished both Tan Vat and below the cable (Montauk). The water is still crystal clear and the levels are still low. The morning fishing at Tan Vat went well with cloudy skies and cool temperatures but after lunch the sun and the heat came out and the fish honkered down low below the cable. The best flies were the midges (P&P, Red and black zebra midges), mohair leech, soft hackles, copper johns, and renegades. Yes, we need rain to fill the rivers - it will come. As always a lot of techniques were learned to catch the tough fish. Big fish of the day was a 16 inch Brown caught on a "dead drifted" mohair leech by Jim Franke. We want to welcome our newcomer Dennis Puryear. Dennis is an experienced fly fisher who lives in the House Springs area and comes to us with many years of fly fishing experience. Dennis found The Crossing because of the FATC ministry - thats cool. After a great day of fishing and fellowship we all headed home to find a new place to have fellowship dinner. Well, because of Jim Franke's suggestion, we found a new awesome place to chow down. El Nopal (see I got the name right, Jim) which is a mexican restaurant in Sullivan.
Two "new" guys (and Matt) - Rock the 'tauk (Sept 7th) Two New Guys? Well, Mike and James complete a first. Congrats to Mike on his first student (successful) and James on his graduation from FATC. Here is their report. Three fly fishers headed down to Montauk on Sept 7th. Mike Bisaga (one of the new FATC Instructors), Matt McClure and James Edwards (the now, newest FATC Class Graduate). The weatherman called for "perfect" (if you were not fishing) clear blue sky conditions. Being a Sunday, some of us were a little worried about the crowds. As we pulled into the park, we noticed a fair number of people and cars.(uh oh). We continued on, got dressed and headed for the water above the dam. There was a large group of people in the "lake" area above the dam, so we walked on past to get up stream of them. Mike and James set up camp just above the crowd and reviewed some of the stuff Kenny had taught in the class and went through some casting. Matt headed up stream to try his luck up there. It turns out, the majority of the morning crowd, were all located just above the dam. Once above the initial slow stretch of water, it was very peaceful and only a few other anglers up through Walter's Stretch. Although Matt did find a "friend" in his travels that proceeded to talk his ear off and tell him everything there was to know about fly fishing, and Montauk. He even offered his guide services. He was a real find.
Mike and James got off to a bit of a slow start, but James was into his first couple fish before lunch. Now that the pressure was off, Mike could relax a little and enjoy the rest of the day. After a quick lunch with the group (yes, Dave, I said lunch WITH the group), we hiked up to the spring. Well look at that, we found the crowds. Fishing the rest of the day was little "cozy", although, I guess it could have been worse. Despite the crowds, fishing was pretty good. Lots of action on P&P, Red Midge, San Juan, CQ Streamer and even a few fish on an Adams Dry. Now, I probably shouldn't do this, but we are all friends here. Just don't tell anyone else. According to Matt's new "friend", there is only 1 fly you should ever throw at 4pm. Nothing else. If you throw this specific fly at 4, you will have more fish than you know what to do with. What was it...Griffiths Gnat (or something like it, according to him). But "you need to cast to 11 o'clock, let it drift and then strip it back on the swing". Well, just for kicks, we went ahead and tried this super secret suggestion at 4, just in case he actually knew what he was talking about.. Did it work? Well, I guess, but no better than throwing a soft hackle (or similar) which is what I switched to about 4:15. I'm pretty sure anything stripped just under the surface may produce the same results. But it is our secret, so don't tell.
After a long day on the water, we were hungry, and had The Hick in our sights...We get to The Hick, and everything is dark. Huh, wonder if they are closed on Sunday night. Nope, turns out, someone had hit the power pole across the street, just minutes before we got there. Darn...Closest carnivorous substitute we could find was the Lions Choice in Sullivan.
Anyway, it was a great day for all of us, James Edwards is now officially a graduated FATC member, and Matt has the name and number of a Montauk guide if anyone is interested.
An Evening on the Meramec (Sept 8th) Did you ever just want to get on the river and fish until dusk? Did you ever want to see those aquatic insects hatch as the sun set? Well, I did. So on Monday I called the only guy I could think of that wasn't doing anything in his life (just kidding) - Dave Beerbower! We headed to the Meramec river, outside the park to find the browns that were so numerous this spring. Well the water was very low, clear and the fish were down low. They didn't seem to care that we were there. Only a few fish were caught - 3 total in the net. Just one of those days or should I say evenings. But the quiet and stillness were awesome as we were the only ones on the river. The winter catch and release season is coming soon. Be ready it's the best time to fish in Missouri.
Montauk Fishing Well in Fast Waters (Sept 14th); Larry Farrar and Joe Walker fished a half day at Montauk on Sunday and report that the fishing is good in the fast moving water. Here is their report. Kenny: Joe and I had really good success on light colored midges (P&P, white, light olive), light colored San Juan worms, and light olive and light green soft hackles. Our best luck was in faster moving water, up near the top of the stream, just above the bluff, and down at the boulder. We used 6x tippet all day with light indicators (small foam and the New Zealand).
Looks Like Montauk is Back on Track ( (Sept 18th) Here is a report from Dave Beerbower with a congrats to Jeff Layton who completed his graduation into the FATC> Seven flyfishers headed down to Montauk this past Thursday to see if the trout were biting. Dave Beerbower was taking Jeff Layton down for his graduation experience and they were joined by Bruce Morton, Gary Elliot, Jim Franke, Sid Aslin and Tim Klotz. The weather seemed perfect with cool temps and an overcast sky. The cows were spaced apart and feeding, so we were looking for a good day, and we found it. There were several hatches going off all day and the fish were active. Jeff is an experienced fly fisher, so he caught his graduation fish early, and it was a dandy. Fish were surfacing all day and soft hackles and dry flies caught most of the fish on this day. You had to put some motion into the flies to get the fish interested, but when they were hooked, they fought like crazy. It is exciting to skitter a dry fly across the surface and see it disappear in a mighty swirl and splash! Everyone caught lots of fish and we finished the day off at El Nopal in Sullivan.
Montauk - Beautiful Day, Water - Clear and Low, Crowded?, New Graduate! (Sept 22nd): Six Fly Fishers took advantage of a beautiful fall day with blue skies and cool temperatures - Jim Franke, Dave Inman, Craig Dull, Steve McDaniel, Kenny Klimes, and soon to be new graduate Rory Pottgen. Montauk waters are slow, low and clear making fishing a challenge. The best place for "catching" is any where the water is moving fast. Fishing in the slow water is difficult. The river was more crowded than usual so the guys broke up into two groups for the day of fishing. Rory was there to graduate so he and Kenny stuck close together for the day. After some casting practice Rory was on fish before noon and seemed to enjoy the day with about 8 fish in the net and many lost. Everyone caught fish this day with an eclectic group of flies used. Elk Caddis, midges, San Juan worms, cracklebacks, and soft hackles caught the majority of the trout. Everyone had a fun day and we even had some deer give us a show as they crossed the river no more than 30 feet away as we fished (see pictures below). A fellowship dinner was had at Hicks BBQ and new friends were made. Winter season is fast approaching. It is the best time of fly fishing in Missouri so be ready with the proper gear. Congratulations to Rory Pottgen!
Stream Team Event Takes Us to Bonhomme Creek (Sept 27th): Our FATC Stream team met this past Saturday to not only monitor and clean up the waters of Bonhomme Creek but also to learn some valuable tools to help us become better fly fishers. It was a beautiful Saturday morning with blues skies and cool temperatures. Stream Team Lead Mike Bisaga took six other FATC members to Bonhomme Creek just outside of Babler park. John Walker (also trained in Stream Team procedures), John Bloss, Matt McClure, Bob Aslin, Mike Chambers and I (Kenny Klimes) were about to embark on a fantastic morning of learning the ways of the streams. First, I have to say if you have not had the chance yet to participate in one of our Stream Team events please make it your business to do so. It was an awesome learning experience about our streams, their aquatic life and some interesting fly fishing knowledge. The team took water and aquatic life samples from three different locations on the stream. The stream was very low but the team was able to find three locations with riffles that held vast numbers of aquatic life. We found over 10 different species of stream life to include mayfly nymphs, caddis larva, aquatic worms, leeches, scuds, minnows, sculpins, damselfly nymphs and more. After filling out monitoring and insect info for the MDC the guys did a little cleanup and headed for a cookout at my house to discuss the days events and of course, fly fishing. Check out the pictures below of this awesome day!
Northern Colorado Finds the FATC with Success and Great Fellowship (September): FATC fly fishers Tim Graham, Jerry Lybarger and John Palmer just returned from a fishing trip to Colorado. Tim and his wife Rhonda spent the month of September in a cabin at about 8,500 ft. elev. that triangulates about 35 miles equidistance from Steamboat Springs, Walden and Kremling. Tim spent time with his wife and also fished solo the first two weeks. Jerry and Judy Lybarger joined them for the third week and John Palmer came up for the fourth week. Great fishing and outstanding fellowship were enjoyed by all. A number of rivers within about a 75 mile radius were fished and explored. We made at least four trips to fish the Yampa River, including the C. Lewis SWA, the tail water below Stagecoach Reservoir and the Service Creek area. By far the largest numbers of fish were caught in theYampa at the C. Lewis SWA, with several afternoons yielding 35+ fish each. Many were smaller to medium size rainbows but we also caught some 17” and larger fish here. Tim fished the Elk River, the main tributary of the Yampa with limited success. This river gets a lot of pressure and there is very little public access. We made a couple of trips to North Park to fish the legendary N. Platte River. Tim and Jerry ventured into the canyon, which entailed a long hike and off-trail, bushwhacking and rock climbing to get down near the falls close to the Wyoming state line. The river and canyon are beautiful but it was not fishing well for us or the three other anglers there that day. The temperature was in the high 70’s that day and the local fly shop attributed the slow bite to this. The N. Platte has not received any stocking since the mid 1970’ and is known for the quality of fish but not quantity. It holds mostly large brown trout that are easily spooked. One guide showed us some photos of 24”+ browns he caught there about a week before we arrived. He told us that he knew exactly the holes where he was going to fish and that he sneaks up on the trout so as not to spook these fish. He also said that he probably put in 20 days of few if any fish before it yielded a day like that. Tim and John could not resist the temptation of landing a huge brown and returned to the N. Platte a little more than a week later to fish on the plains in North Park not too far from Grizzly Creek (headwaters of the N. Platte). While fishing this area John walked up on Moose on the Platte and soon thereafter we found fresh bear tracks on the river bank, so we decided not to push our luck and get out of there. We then stopped by Delanney Butte Lakes where John caught a 21” rainbow. The ranchers had recently cut their mountain hay in North Park and the fish were eating grasshoppers which we were happy to give them. Jerry and Tim also caught some nice fish here on an earlier trip fishing nymphs one evening. The browns in N. Delanney Butte Lake were on their redds and very active but we respected their spawn and did not fish this area. This gold medal fishery also caught a nice cut bow (see photo). Tim and Jerry fished the Williams Fork and the Colorado River inMiddle Park. The day we fished the Williams Fork they were running water out of the reservoir which presented a real challenge. Rainfall in August broke a nearly 100 year record so the reservoirs and rivers were full. Tim and John returned a week later to fish the Colorado about 30 miles east of Kremling. Tim caught a decent brown but we missed the hatch and did not catch too many fish that day. John taught me how to cross the Colorado (buddy wading) which required a combination of nerves and skill in this big river with swift currents and algae covered freestone bottom. Our cabin was situated on a private 110 ac. lake formed by an ancient volcanic cone(catch and release only) which yielded many 17”+ fish about 40 yards from our back door. Judy Lybarger fished with us one evening and quickly showed us how it was done catching a fish within about five minutes. The lake holds browns and rainbows including hofer rainbows which Jerry described as the prettiest fish he has ever caught. These fish had a turquoise coloring on their back and very vivid rainbow color from the tis deep ultra-clear lake. We also fished a secret beaver pond nearby which yielded many 18”+ rainbows. John and Tim made a trip to the Blue River north of Silverthorne which produced some good quality fish but which also took a lot of physical stamina to reach them. John has been fly fishing for more than 50 years and he is a very accomplished, instinctual fisherman. He has extensive experience fishing western rivers and taught me (Tim) many things. One of the more important lessons I learned when fishing public access areas is to look for those areas which are catch and release only and then walk as far you can away from the parking area. Many days we hiked at least four miles in waders, plus waded many rivers long distance against the current to get to our spots, all at high elevations. It is really important to be in shape to fish these rivers. Jerry and John were both more than up to the task. One of the things which made this trip fun was figuring out hatches as each river has its own unique characteristics. The N. Platte is almost exclusively dry fly water, tail waters as you might expect require finesse (6X tippet, double fly rigs (size 20 and 22 RS2’s and Barrs Emergers). Jerry fished some triple fly rigs with good success on the Yampa and we used a lot of dry droppers and nymphs with trailers Caddis, Mayfly and Trico hatches were all prevalent when were there. We caught a lot of fish and had a lot of adventures over the month and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. We also learned a lot. I know I (Tim) have even more to learn and realize that no matter how long I fishing is not at all like fishing in our trout parks. 9’ tippets and precise dead drifts along the seams of the current, always with tight lines and an eye toward the ever changing hatch, along with a certain amount of luck make the difference between fish and no fish. Weather and the changing aspens were remarkable the entire month of September. We also saw a good deal of wildlife (eagles and other raptors, moose, deer, elk, antelope and coyote). It snowed our last night there to cap all of the peaks for an awesome sendoff.
Tan Vat Produces Nice Browns(Oct 6th): Larry Farrar got away from work, and with one of his "business" partners, fished the Current river near Tan Vat. At first he wanted to keep it a secret but we discovered his fishing location. Larry tagged into two nice browns as the browns begin their spawn movements. His fly of choice was the San Juan worm. He never revealed what color or size his san juan fly was (he's a sneaky guy). But the browns he caught were awesome. See his catch below.
God Told Me to Go (TanVat-Cable - Oct 16th) There are a lot of people out there that have a hard time believing that God talks to them. I think the problem is that most people just don't take the time to listen. Well. today I listened and He talked to me. I'm home alone. My wife is at a week long family reunion and my children are away at school. During the days of rain I got a lot of things done around the house but last night I heard God say to go fishing tomorrow. Well, I wasn't going to argue with that - He's God. So I immediately tried to think of who I could call to join me. But God told me "No, it will be just you and Me on the water today" So I packed my gear, got up early and headed out to the Current river. We talked all the way down to Salem, MO - marriage, kids, work, friendships and of course, about me. He told me that He wanted me to relax today, to slow down while I fished and to take in His glory. On the drive down, as the sun was rising, He showed me His expertise with the paint brush as the forest's trees were orange, brown, red, and all shades of green. As I passed a field I told Him we have to check if the cows are spread out like we always do. He laughed and threw in a Llama right smack in the middle of the field - I've never noticed a Llama there before? When we arrived at the Current river the air was crisp and cold. Met a man from Arkansas who was there for the first time. I hit my favorite spot first. I was all alone - oopps - of course God was with me. Had a Brown on right away but lost him. Darn! I heard laughter behind me. He said there will be more. I stopped to soak in His glory - what a beautiful river I thought. Caught several trout and returned to the parking lot. Met our friend Eric. He's the young guy with the pony tail and spin fishes with rapalas. I asked him how his heart was doing. Not real good he said and then I chewed him out for smoking. He introduced me to one of his local friends and we all talked for awhile. Eric suggested a few spots up stream. It was a good suggestion as I caught several more. I found a nice run along the shoreline where I could see several fish holding. Again, I got into my concentration "mode", that mode where I lose awareness of everything around me. Then I heard a huge splash and commotion to my left. It was a young deer crossing the river no more than 30 feet from me. I smiled and God told me again to slow down and enjoy his glory. After lunch I headed to below the cable and met a few more fly fishers. What a glorious day with the sun shining, blue skies, autumn foliage, clear water and trout keeping one eye on my every move. The day ended around 3pm and I stopped along the trail to thank God for taking me fishing today. If you get out on the water soon take the time to bask in God's glory. He's created one beautiful place! Here are few pictures of what God provided for me on this day.
Once in a Lifetime - Oregon (Oct 10-14) Dave Beerbower had the chance of a lifetime and fulfilled one of his bucket list items. Dave, his friend Tim Crane and his father, Doug Crane decided to venture out on the Deschutes River in Oregon from October 10-14 for the elusive Steelhead trout. They call them the fish of a thousand casts, and I learned that lesson on this trip. We met our guides and loaded into a 20’ jet boat for the trip down the canyon from Maupin, Oregon. We set up camp and the guides started to teach me how to spey cast. We used a 12 foot 7wt rod and in a few hours, I was able to cast about 80’ of line and could make it “fishable”. You cast out quartering the river downstream and let it swing all the way across, hoping a steelhead chooses your fly. Tim and Doug are experienced steelheaders and were at it early. Tim caught one on the first day and that was it. I had one boil the water at my fly, but didn’t take it. Camping along the river back allowed us to get started early the next day, and that proved to be the important day for me. Tim and Doug took steelhead and I was starting to feel left out. Then it happened! I felt a tug and resisted the temptation to jerk the rod to set the hook. I waited until he turned with it and then it was on. A beautiful wild female 8 lb. steelhead took line and was jumping out of the water and running. After a determined fight, she tired and we were able to land this most elusive of the big game fish. What a rush! In three days, we caught 7 steelhead in the group, and that was better than the previous groups had done for several weeks. All in all, a memorable experience.
Bamboo Rod Makers Unite in Arkansas FATC members Bruce Morton and Dave Beerbower headed down to Arkansas to attend the 2014 Southern Rodmakers Gathering. This annual event just outside of Mountain Home , AR attracts some of the best bamboo rod makers in the country and this year was no exception. There were 102 attendees from 26 states. There are seminars over the two day sessions and fellowship to discuss ways to improve your skill levels. Bruce has gone to this for several years and I got to show off my first rod. Little did I know how much I still need to learn. Everyone is very gracious with the newer members and willing to share their knowledge. The best part is the opportunity to cast any of nearly 60 rods on the display rack, and everyone makes good use of this. Bruce and I found the next rods we want to build this fall by casting rods until we found ones we really liked. The weather was great on the banks of the White River and we learned some new things to try, but the fellowship was the best part. We even shared about FATC with some St. Louis guys we had not met before. A wonderful experience.
Last Days before Catch and Release Season - Big FATC Group (October 27th: With the trout parks closing in just a few days before the catch and release season, a big group of FATC fly fishers tried to get another day of fly fishing in. The parks will be closed until November 14th so fly fishing will be outside the state parks at least for the next two weeks. Nine FATC fly fishers headed to Montauk state park to fly fish the Current river; Sid Aslin, Bruce Morton, Brian Yost, Kenny Klimes, John Guyer, Dave Beerbower, Jim Anzer, Matt McClure and Fred Schwartztrauber. It was a beautiful day. The cows were spread out and the guys were ready to go. Yes, the river was more crowded than we thought it would be but with the nice weather and the end of "Tag" season everyone was trying to get one more shot at the river. We parked near the hatchery so as to be able to fish the entire fly fishing only area. The group split up with an agreement to meet for lunch at 12:30pm. Most fished from the beginning of the spring to the "boulder" and did well in the morning hours with a lull in the catching just before lunch. Most successful flies seemed to be the smaller ones - size 16 -20. Midges, scuds, san juan worms, smokejumpers and few others did well in the morning. At lunch all nine ate in fellowship and told stories of not only the morning fishing but of trips past. It was good to see guys on the water that had been away from fishing for awhile. In the afternoon catching was slow to get going but turned on for some right around 3pm until we departed at 4:30pm. Best flies in the afternoon were midges. We packed up at 4:30pm and took off for Hicks BBQ in Cuba for fellowship dinner. Lots of laughs and stories were thrown around the table. No one was safe from a joke or two. Also ran into Mike Gomez who we meet as a group several years ago returning from a San Juan, New Mexico trip (Mike if you are reading this come on and join our fellowship!) It was an awesome day. It was nice to see Bruce Morton on the water again as well as the guys from the famous Grumpy Old Men 2 trip years ago. Catch and release season opens November 14th - hope to see you on the water then.
Short Day at Montauk (Oct 31st): Larry Farrar had a chance for a few hours on the river so here's his report. I had a chance to fish Montauk on October 30th for about 3 1/2 hours. The stream is still low, slow and clear. There were more fisherman on the stream than I had hoped for. The area just above the Dam wasn't as crowded as other parts of the stream so I started there. Within minutes fish were biting the San Juan worm. They preferred the lighter colors, white, yellow, and pale pink. After fishing there I moved upstream and continued to catch fish on the San Juan worm. I made it to the top of the stream and changed over to an olive soft hackle which caught fish as well. As I finished the time that I had I knew I wouldn't be back on the stream until Thanksgiving which made me realize how much I really enjoy the Catch and Release season that's about to start.
Catch and Release Season Begins with New Grad (Nov 21st) : Four intrepid fly fishermen took off this past Friday for the Montauk catch and release season. Dave Beerbower, Mike Harvey, Matt McClure and Miles Meyer, a recent class attendee looking to graduate, braved the below freezing temps for the chance to experience the “tug”. The park was certainly less crowded and the fish were a little more active. Miles completed his graduation early and actually caught the biggest fish of the day, a nice 15” rainbow. We were glad to have warm soups for lunch and the fishing improved in the afternoon. Midges and soft hackles did well in the AM and cracklebacks and soft hackles did the trick in the PM, especially the royal blue crackleback. Everyone caught lots of fish and had even more stories to go with them. After the whistle, the boys finished up at Missouri Hick BBQ for first timers Mike and Miles. A great day on the water. Congratulations to Miles Meyer for completing the FATC fly fishing course. He has a lot to learn as we all do so let's get out there and enjoy this Catch and Release season.