Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: April 12, 2014
PAST FLYFISHERS AT THE CROSSING FLY FISHING TRIPS ARE BELOW!
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Even More Trip Reports Below
Big Fish, No Camera!! Montauk (Jan 20th): John Walker, Kenny Klimes, and newbie all star flyfisher Matt McClure headed to Montauk on what turned out to be a spring like day - 50 degrees. It was a national holiday (MLK) so Montauk had a few flyfishers crowding the waters but there was enough room for all. We started the day at the beginning of the river (near the spring) and worked our way down to the boulder for lunch. The fishing was great with large fish caught - but no camera. Yes, Kenny didn't forget his vest but did forget the camera. P&P midges, pheasant tail nymphs and RS2s worked great in the morning. A small white mayfly hatch put the trout in a feeding mood. The crew had lunch around noon and then worked the lower part of the park all the way to the handicap bridge. Again flies in the afternoon were the P&P, white midge, elk hair caddis (when a big caddis hatch happened). But most of the afternoon the hatches belonged to the midges - prolific hatches all afternoon. It was a great day with many BIG trout caught in the 16 inch range. Find the deeper runs and you have a hefty rainbow. It was nice to fish with John since we have only fished once since Yellowstone - hearing his woo-hoo's made me smile. And, Matt is slowing becoming a rookie of the year candidate as he caught fish all day. A nice dinner on the way home added to the awesome fellowship. Ok, funny story time!! As we reached Walter's stretch there was a gentleman fishing with a Tenkara rod. As Kenny got closer to him he couldn't hold back. He said, "I see you are fishing Tenkara." The man said, "yes, are you familiar with it". Kenny said," Yes,, but do you know what Tenkara means in Japanese". "No" he said. "Well, it means too cheap to buy reel" Kenny said with the smile. The gentleman laughed and they both talked a bit. Then the man gave Kenny his card. It read "Tenkara Ambassador, bringing Tenkara to the World!!! " They both bust out laughing - joke was on Kenny!!
.Bennett Spring Windy but Good Fishing: (Jan 25 -26): As promised the WWF (Mike Walton, Joe Walker and Larry Farrar) made a two day appearance at Bennett Springs this past weekend. Fortunately for the three the weather turned out favorable, warmer temps but 15mph winds. The stream was in great shape and held a lot of fish willing to take the right fly. Most fish were taken on San Juan worms, white midges, and crackle backs. Unfortunately the winds created enough chop on the water that dry fly fishing was nearly impossible. The winter catch and release season is almost over. Take a day and go fishing, you deserve it.
FINALLY Warmer Days and Another Graduate (March 5th): With the opening day for trout now past us, we decided to head to the river on a Wednesday. Unusual but we did have four willing to fish the first day of what we would call warmer temperatures - finally. The temps were to hit in the low 40s for the day and they did. It made for an awesome day of fishing. Kenny Klimes took new guy, Tim Klotz, out for graduation and was joined by Matt McClure and Tim McCoy. The park was quiet with a few spin fishermen still hanging around from opening day. Fishing was very good as the trout were very fiesty. A nice midge hatch happened throughout the day so the guys went to midges and soft hackles first. Best flies of the day were the P&P. Red , Black, and bluish zebra midges, Soft hackles in red and black, white Midge adults, the smoke jumper midge, light colored RS2s and san juan worms. Tim Klotz graduated early in the day and learned several techniques. He also learned the standard new guy stuff that you can only learn when on the water. Congratulations Tim!! We fished the entire length of the fly fishing only area - good spots were at the top of the spring, Walter's stretch (especially the deep hole just below the riffles), and the riffles in front and around the boulder. With warmer weather finally here, let's get out there and wet a line!
"One Toke Over The Line Sweet Jesus" - Montauk/Current (Mar 7th) - It was an unusual day fishing this Friday. The Fly Fishing Film Tour was Thursday night and I guess it inspired me to get back on the water ASAP. Lew Smith hadn't fished in over 9 months so it was time to get him back on the water to get his "Groove" back on. So Lew and Kenny (and no I am not retired, I do have a job!) headed down to Salem to fish the Current river. When we arrived the park was packed to the "gills' so to say. We checked Tan Vat and below the cable and decided to at least start the day below the cable. It was pretty clear of fishermen except for two guys that we saw in the distance (more on that later). Lew was throwing a Woolybugger Fly Company wooly bugger and hit on the first trout of the day. Fishing, I mean catching, was tough below the cable. The water is low and the trout are hiding some place - didn't 'see' many in the water like we normally do. As we walked near the 90 degree bend we saw two fly fishers working it hard. Low and behold one of them was our FATC Steve McDaniel. Awesome. We talked and asked if he would like to join us the rest of the day. The other fly fisher was Tom Shipley, from the 70's folk rock group, Brewer and Shipley. Their hit was "One Toke Over the Line". Ok, you guys under 50 just Google it!! We talked awhile and then completed our fishing experience below the cable by noon. A quick lunch and Steve, Lew and I decided to go to the Park. We needed to get Lew's "Groove on" remember. We caught lots of trout in the park but it was a ZOO. Several times we had other Hoosiers (no, offense Dr. Montauk) just throw over our lines. Of course we 'bit our tongues' and just moved on. Best flies were the Midges, Cracklebacks, wooly bugger, and soft hackles. Lesson learned - the park is open again so I think a Monday would be less crowded than a Friday - just saying. Fun day though - lots of laughs and fish. Great to meet up with Steve on the river. We all met at Bread Co for dinner - and yes, they had Pesto!
Most Excellent Meramec River Adventure (Mar 10th): Bob Chott and Bruce Sheffield ventured into Meramac Springs Monday, 10 March 2014. We arrived early enough to hear the opening horn blast. The park seemed crowded, because it was, but our plans were to fish outside the park so we headed down stream. After crossing the river Bob wasted no time in landing his first rainbow of the day. Five minutes later he landed his 2nd. Sheffield was a little slower and it took him 40 minutes to land his first two. The go to fly for us was the soft hackle, Bruce Morton would be so proud. The darker colors seemed to produce better. Bob's greatest success seemed to be with a black soft hackle and Sheffield fished a dark brown soft hackle because that's what I had :-) . After a busy morning we broke for lunch and then fished inside the park for a couple of hours without any success so we headed back outside the park where Bob picked up where he left off from the morning. About mid morning the wind had picked up and blew fairly hard at times causing some issues with casting. Since we were fishing soft hackles, dead drifting and then stripping them back, the wind was less of an issue than if we had been fishing with strike indicators. Apparently the rumor that brown trout have been released outside the park is true as we both caught a number of nice browns. It was a very good day on the river with much success.
Kenny, we didn't go very far down the river. My guess would be about 1/4 mile certainly no more than half a mile. There were only a few guys fishing below the park and we were getting on fish fairly easy. There seemed to be no pressure to keep moving from the other few fly fishers so once we found a spot we had a tendency to just park there for a while. I had an excellent day for me and Bob was landing fish left and right. We compared notes at lunch and Bob talked about recognizing that subtle strike and setting the hook. He caught several that way. While I was not noticing the subtle strikes and only catching the ones that struck hard.
There was a guy walking down the bank, I assumed he was a state employee, and he was curious if we had caught any browns and if so if they had a red eye tattoo. If they did they were part of the browns they had released two weeks ago. We both caught several browns with the eye tattoo. Very Interesting!!
Father and Son Fish Montauk (Mar 14-16)- Here is a trip report from Matt McClure, who took his son fly fishing this weekend - now that is what it is all about - congrats Matt!. I just got back from Montauk. My son and I fished Friday afternoon, all day Saturday and a few hours this morning. Weather turned nasty this morning. Killed them on P&P. My son and I kept a accurate count on Saturday. He ended up netting 31 and I netted 21. Many misses and fish that got off. Yes my son out fished me. No big deal it was awesome spending some father / son time together. We stayed at the Montauk Motel and even saw Sid Aslin while we were eating in the Lodge Friday evening. Before we left we took a exploration trip to Tan Vat & Baptist Camp. Didn't fish, but wanted to check it out. Weather was turning terrible. Had worse weather than here in St. Louis. Found the trail that Mark Van Patton spoke about at Baptist Camp that leads to the stretch of water that he likes to fish.
Annual Spring Lake Taneycomo Trip Success!! (Mar 14-16): Our annual Spring trip to Lake Taneycomo (LT) was a huge success in more ways than one. First, we had 12 FATC flyfishers fishing LT this weekend. Five (John Walker, Kenny Klimes, Craig Dull, Tim Trog, and Tim McCoy) traveled together and stayed in "the condo" down by the lake. It was McCoy's and Dull's first time on LT. Then we had five more (Mike Bisaga, his son Bradley, Dave Komor, Mike Chambers, and Andrew Holderby) camped at the local campground near LT. The last two FATC guys were Kevin Suttner and Mike Cook as they stayed at Mike's condo at Pointe Royale resort. Congratulations to Mike Cook, who was in the last class, for officially graduated into the FATC by catching many trout all weekend long! So every where you looked you saw smiling FATC flyfishers catching trout.
Friday: The lake level was low as the genrators were off and flow was light at 20 CFS. This is perfect for wade fishing and it proved to be true. The FATC guys were catching fish all afternoon. Midges, Soft hackles, wooly buggers (CQ streamer), san juan worms and prince nymphs all worked well. The fish averaged 10 -14 inches. The camper guys fished near the dam while the rest fished near the Pointe Royale entry. Temperatures were in the 60's
Saturday: Same temperatures and flow on Saturday! Everyone was excited about getting out there and "catching" again. The same flies did well as everyone this time fished near the Pointe Royale entrance. The funny thing was that throughout the day when the fish turned on it was crazy fishing. We had triples and quadruples as the guys had smiles the entire day. But when the trout stopped biting, they stopped every where then we would change flies or move positions and BAM it would turn on again. We all fished until around 6-7 pm then headed back to our condos/camp sites for a great dinner.
Sunday: On Sunday the temperatures dropped 30 degrees (yes, 30!!) Only a few braved the weather as the sleet and snow came down. The condo five attempted to fish as one generator kicked in - no problem. A few fish were caught but the freezing temperatures scared them off the water. John Walker and Kenny Klimes tried one more time but were unsuccessful as two generators kicked in and the snow fell harder - no fun. Everyone headed home earlier than planned because the weather turned so nasty. BUT the two awesome days of fishing (Friday and Saturday) made up for the earlier departure. Great fellowship and great trip!!
Extreme Conditions at Montauk (Mar 16-17) Thanks Larry for this trip report!! Steve Mahan and Larry Farrar brave the elements to face the Rainbow Trout March 3/16 & 3/17 Weather conditions were challenging during the first day. Temperatures varied from 30 to 32F with winds gusting to 30 MPH, additionally, copious amounts of snow and sleet required us to adopt the clothing look of an Antarctic expedition. However, the fishing was excellent with abundantly willing rainbows inhaling patterns familiar to this writer during multiple previous visits to the river. Interestingly, we saw numerous fish rising all afternoon long to ?un-seeable? tiny flies that bore an uncanny appearance to the snowflakes that fell for most of the afternoon. The mystery was solved the next afternoon under much more favorable conditions by Mr. Farrar who after some great sleuthing work determined that a tiny size 26 Adult Cream Midge was exactly the match. Once discovered, a large number of nice fish fell to this pattern. All in all we had a very productive two days made even more rewarding due too the extreme variability of the weather conditions.
Most Excellent Meramec River Adventure redux (March 17) A trip report from Bruce Sheffield (a second trip to Meramec) Bob Chott (or Bob Caught), Barry Dunnegan and Bruce Sheffield ventured to Maramec Spring Park on Monday, 17 March 2014 to see if they could repeat the success they had enjoyed the week before. When we left St. Louis the thermometer in my van said 22 degrees and when we arrived at the park it said 13 degrees. I remarked that my thermometer must be broken but Bob gently broke the news to me that my thermometer was correct. I was expecting temps in the mid 20s for the start of fishing with it quickly moving into the 30s. (I'm a dreamer) :-( The sky was blue, the sun was shining brightly and no wind so it looked like it should be warmer. We suited up and waded across the Meramec to fish outside the park. The fishing was slower than the week before and we fished for close to an hour before Bob caught the first one of the day. Fishing was slow in the morning but was much better in the afternoon and by the end of the day fishing had been very good but not like it was the week before. After I had been fishing for about 5 minutes my line wasn't casting properly so I suspected my line had looped around my fly rod but on inspection I found that I had ice in my line guides. I never wanted to be part of a fishing trip where it would be said "we had to dip our rods into the water to free our line guides." We were dipping our rods in the water until close to noon. It is surprising how catching a few fish makes one forget about the cold. The patterns that caught fish were the black soft hackle like the week before and I caught a number of fish on the P&P midge. For most of the afternoon I fished with a black soft hackle and the P&P midge as a dropper and for a while the fish preferred the P&P and then switched to the soft hackle. A number of strikes came at the end of a swing as the fly would have been rising to the surface but also we got strikes while drifting the flies. What didn't seem to produce any strikes was stripping the flies. We focused most of our fishing from just outside the park down to the conservation building. Barry did fish down to the pilings and found some action there and Bob fished about 100 yards past the conservation building you can see from the river. We caught as many browns as we did rainbows. Several of the browns were in the 13 inch range. I've included some pictures of the red eye tattoo that identifies the fish as those released 3 weeks ago. Also some of the fish released then have the adipose fin clipped and we caught some of those as well. With the cold weather not as many folks in the park as the week before and below the park we shared the river with a total of four other fly fishers at different times during the day. It certainly never felt crowded on the river. Stopped at Subway on our way home for supper.
There's a rumor that a possible threepeat trip may be in the works for next week.
Meramec River and the Mystery of the Tattooed Browns (March 20th): With all the talk from Bob Chott and Bruce Sheffield about the Tattooed Browns in the Meramec river, I just had to check it out myself. So John Walker and I (Kenny Klimes) headed to the Meramec River just downstream from the Meramec Spring park. For a Thursday we were shocked that the Park was crowded but we didn't care because we were headed outside the park hunting the elusive Tattooed Brown. Our plan was to start downstream from the park about 300 yards and fish all the way to the "Gar" pool. We caught our first Brown in a riffle near the cabin and after that it was slim pickings. The water was high from the rains three days prior and the flow was triple what it was for Bob Chott and Bruce Sheffield's trip. The depth was 2.8 feet and the flow was 725 cfs. Use these numbers as a guide for the next time you plan on going to Meramec River. Check the charts on our Links Page. Anything higher than these numbers would be difficult fishing. After getting to the "Gar" pool with several misses, we walked back up to the 90 degree bend just outside the park and fished from there downstreamm for about 300 yards. Because the clarity of the water was poor we decided to fish wooly buggers deep and it paid off. We hit on some nice browns and rainbows. Many of the browns were "Tattooed" just behind the right eye. Why you ask? Check out the answer on our home page. Very Interesting!! Between the two of us we pulled out about 16 trout - mostly browns. The best flies were the wooly bugger and black soft hackle. We fished up and down that stretch of water about three times and then were ready to call it a day. Biggest fish was a 15 inch brown while most browns were in the 10 to 12 inch range. Although we had to work extra hard for each fish it was still an awesome day of fishing
Dave Beerbower reporting from the Watauga River near Boone, NC : Many of you know how I have been frustrated trying to fish this winter. When I wanted to fish it was too cold and when the temps were adequate, I had to work! So this week we came to NC for a break, and guess what. Rain and fog for the first three days and I had to work on the computer. But no worries, I took the afternoon Friday and hit the river without a cell phone. I was intending to christen my new net that I made, but things started very slowly. It was around 2pm and the fish were napping. Then I caught two in short succession on a bead head pheasant tail. Yeah, the net now smells like fish instead of urethane. Things slowed down again until dusk. Then I remembered what our guest speaker at the FATC annual dinner said about using a blue crackleback near the end of daylight. Wow. Things got crazy and I had the locals scratching their heads. I ended up with seven nice fish, but it gets even better. Three were rainbows, two were browns and two were Brook trout. If my calculations are correct, that is a double Trifecta. Wohoo... Sorry, no camera either, so you will have to take my word for it.
Meramec River - AWESOME (March 24th): For those of you that read the weather reports that it would be too cold (High in the 30's) and possible snow in the early afternoon and for those of you that just had to go to work for a living - you missed it!! The decision to fish was made late the night before but it was made as Dave Beerbower, Lew Smith and Kenny Klimes wanted another chance at the Browns of the Meramec. The water level was at 2.1 feet and the flow was around 380cfs - perfect. The guys had the whole river to themselves and were fishing outside the park by 8am. With the water clear the fly of choice was the midge larva (black zebra, P&P, and copper) and the catching started immediately. Nice 12 inch to 14 inch browns and rainbows were caught just downstream from the "bend". As the day wore on soft hackles became the fly of choice and the catching really heated up then. Woolybuggers and cracklebacks also caught some very nice trout. Browns out numbered rainbows caught by 8 - 1. We fished downstream to the "Gar" hole and then fished the beginning again. Nice runs and riffles produced trout all day. It was probably one of the best Soft Hackle days I have seen in a very long time. There were over 5700 browns stocked in the Meramec river the beginning of March and it shows by the catch rate. Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy this brown "catching". If you want to know more call me - can't release this to the world - at least not just yet!! :)
Still Awesome - Meramec River (March 26th); When someone texts you and asks for you to guide them. And then they say they will drive, pay for parking and buy you dinner. And they want to go to the hottest fishing spot in Missouri right now. You do it!! Tim McCoy, his guide and tag along, Bob Chott, fished the Meramec river. The water was low and clear and the fishing was awesome again. The guys fished from the bend to the Gar hole and caught browns and rainbows on mostly soft hackles (sizes 18 &16 worked best). Midges, woolybuggers and cracklebacks also did well. The guys said later that they probably missed three times as many as they caught and they caught a lot! Bob Chott caught the fish of the day, a 18 inch rainbow on a size 18 soft hackle. He is now in the 18-18 club (we made that up). It was a monster of a rainbow - why no picture then? Well, the guide, while measuring the trout had it hanging over his net - the trout took one more jump and well, you know the rest of the story. Next time picture first and measure later - sorry Bob!! Check the flow and water levels before you go --- but GO!!!
Don't Miss Out on Meramec River!! (April 1st): Bruce Sheffield sent us this report from the Meramec River. DO NOT miss out on this amazing fly fishing opportunity just 1+20 minutes from STL . If you have any questions on how to get there or fish it call or email me (Kenny) John Guyer and Bruce Sheffield met at Maramec Spring Park for a day of fishing on the Meramec on 1 April 2014. No April fools here as the browns are still there and still very active. The best fish of the day was caught first as Bruce landed a 16 inch brown (see picture) and shortly after that a 14 inch rainbow, unfortunately on the rainbow my finger got in the way so half of the rainbow is blocked. But you can see the colors on the rainbow and how fat it is. John probably lost the nicest fish of the day, he fought it for quite a while but the trout won. It did appear to be a very nice fish. Most of the fish were nice size, a few of the barely big enough to release skinny 10 to 12 inchers but several of the 12 inchers were fat and since they had the red eye tattoo I know they were this years release. Most of the fish caught were brown trout with only a few rainbows being taken. On average the fish I caught were larger than the fish I had caught on my previous two visits. We had a lot of strikes but a lot of misses so it seemed to be a lite bite as if they were just nipping at the flies. One fish was actually hooked on the outside of the mouth. My go to fly for the day was the black soft hackle. Even though I fished most of the day with a P&P midge with the soft hackle as a dropper all but ne of the trout were taken on the soft hackle. (I know that sounds like heresy but it is the trout that are the heretics not me.) We fished from the 90 degree bend in the river down to about 75 yards past the onservation building. The day started out clear but quickly began to cloud up and by mid afternoon we had our first rain shower and then we had rain off and on through out the afternoon. There was a mid afternoon hatch going n and strikes did increase during that time. We had supper at the Subway in St. James which is right next to Ruby's ice cream which I am told is the best ice cream in Missouri. I'll have to check it out some day. All the Best, Bruce Sheffield
Montauk is Also Fishing Well (Mar31st & Apr 1st): Here is a report from Montauk State park from Bam Bam!! Larry Farrar fished Montauk Monday and Tuesday evening this week. The water level and flow was down from the last visit to the park. The best fishing Monday was near the top of the stream in the park using a size 16 Adams dry fly. Unfortunately only 1 out of every 3 or 4 takes was landed. Not sure if that is normal or a problem with the fisherman. The best fishing Tuesday was in the riffle down by the large bolder. Most of the fish were taken on a light colored San Juan Worm with a P&P dropper. The park was not crowded at all so there was plenty of room to fish in the evenings. The weather is getting better and the fish are biting. Tight lines. I've attached a few pictures to help with the report. I met your buddy, Tenkara Ambassador while I was down there. He and I wore the fish out throwing size 16 Adams.
FATC Members Visit Meramec River (April 10): Five intrepid fishers headed out to the Meramec River outside of the Meramec springs Park on April 10. Jim Franke and his brother Dave, Sid Aslin, Dave Beerbower and Stan Patton started late (as retired guys do), and we got to the park at about 10am. By then the park was full. Jim and his brother intended to fish inside the park while the rest of the crowd headed to the river for the browns. As we neared the river, I could see three other fly fishers outside of the park. Nuts, our secret was out, but it turned out that two of them were FATC members Jim Anser and Fred Schwartzentruber! The water was higher than we liked and it was flowing at 661 cfs, with a milky clarity. Definitely a trying condition along with 20 MPH winds. No worries, we got on fish right away just down from the curve. Blue cracklebacks, soft hackles, P&P and woolly buggers all caught fish. The morning was hot as the browns were hitting the crackleback as they were swung across the current. After lunch, the fish turned off. As we returned to the curve area, we started to catch some very nice rainbows. Jim and his brother had a tougher time in the park, but managed to land several rainbow on pheasant tails and midges. All in all, a good day on the water and a good finish to the day at Missouri Hick Barbecue in Cuba.