Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: March 24, 2015
PAST FLYFISHERS AT THE CROSSING
FLY FISHING TRIPS ARE BELOW!
Email me about your recent fly fishing trip and I will add it here for others to enjoy!
Hold your mouse pointer over any photo and see description - click on and see larger photo.
Even More Trip Reports Below
Big Group Gets To Graduate Another (Dec. 12th): Nine fly fishers hit the water on a nice December Friday afternoon. Mike Bisaga was taking Jim Lillenberg out for his graduation trip and 7 others decided to join. Mike, Jim, Dave Inman, Jim Franke, Gary Elliott and Gary's neighbor Ron Peasley went to Montauk, while Dave Beerbower, Matt McClure and Tim Trogg stayed a little closer to home and headed to Meramec Springs park (see trip report below). Weather was great at Montauk. It was 37 degrees when we hit the water. Temp went up a bit during the day to make it a little more comfortable. Mike and Jim started out above the dam working on a little review of Kenny's casting class. The two worked up stream stripping soft hackles, with a few hits and a few fish in hand. Just below the bolder, we switched over to a blue streak bugger, and WAM, Jim got his first fish just before lunch. After lunch Mike, Jim and Dave drove up to the hatchery office and worked down from the spring for the rest of the day. I know it's kind of cheating, but just for kicks we threw a few into the catch a release area as we walked by. Jim was on his second fish of the day, and a healthy one at that. A variety of flies were used, blue crackle back, CQ Streamer, soft hackles in orange or black and black zebra midge seemed to produce the most fish. It was an all around good day, and with our latest FATC graduate, I think we have another one hooked on fly fishing.
Congratulations to Jim Lillenberg.
Two Groups Meet Up at Meramec Spring Park (Dec 21): On Sat 12/21 Mike Bisaga and Dave Inman took a quick half day to Meramec Springs to see what all the talk was about. The last several reports had mentioned how great fishing was there, so we needed to see for ourselves. We got on the water just prior to the whistle. The park was pretty much empty, but there actually were a few other folks out on a cool Sat morning. While there we ran into Larry Farrar and Joel Burke, who had also come down for the morning. We were onto a few fish early with a green and a blue crackle back. Best flys of the day were San Juan worms of various colors, crackle backs and dead drifting Woolly Buggers and leaches in both black and tan. Mike scored the "unofficial" "Meramec Slam", with Trout, Sunfish and a Smallmouth Bass all caught within the park. He was hoping for the Grand Slam, but the suckers weren't cooperating. All around a good day, and were home by 2:30.Just a quick fishing report on Meramec Springs.
Larry Farrar and Joel Burke to a short trip to Meramec Springs on Saturday. Joel is realtively new to fly fishing and was excited to experience some time on the water. The temperature was chilly with overcast skies and very little wind. We started near the island in the slow pool and had good luck with the San Juan Worm. We worked downstream and had good luck on Sun Juan Worm's and Scud's. With an hour left of fishing time we moved back up towards the island at the top of the park. Joel was back on fish as soon as we arrived at the pool. Joel caught at least 6 fish in the last 45 minutes of fishing time. We wrapped up our fishing at noon and headed back to St. Louis with many discussions about the next time we'll get out. You've heard me say it before and I'll say it again, it's time to go fishing, the weather is great and the bite is on. Tight lines.
The Meramec River is Holding Browns (Dec 26th): John Walker and Jason Edwards headed out to the Meramec River after Christmas as their "Christmas Present" to each other. Here is there report!! Twas the day after Christmas and Jason "Dry Fly" Edwards and I traveled to Meramec Springs Park. We fished outside the park. The fishing was strong for the majority of the day. The bend fished well all day with a number of rainbows and browns being taken. The P&P and zebra midge worked best depending on whether the sun was out or behind the clouds. We also had some luck with crackelbacks and the big winner was the grey hares ear nymph. Not because it caught the most but it did catch the biggest. I landed a 21in brown with it before lunch in the stretch between past the big riffles. I also landed a 17in brown at the bend and Jason and I caught a few more throughout the day so it would seem now is a good time to net one if you are inclined to get out. Overall, it fished fairly well and it was a very good day on the water.
Montauk's Fishing Good (Dec 26th): Here is a report from Mike Gomez at Montauk Park. Missed seeing you guys yesterday at Montauk. It was a beautiful day, in the 50'5 all day long. I fished the flies only section by the second parking lot and never left for the day. I hooked numerous trout, surface flies, and landed five, see the attached pictures. My buddies that I was with caught trout sub surface so I guess that a lot of different patterns were working.
Hope you had a blessed Christmas and I wish you a wonderful 2015.
Meramec Spring Park Fishing Well (Dec. 27th): Larry Farrar, Dave Beerbower, Joe Walker and Joel Burke headed to Meramec Springs Saturday in pursuit of trout. The park was more crowded than we've seen it so far this season. The group fished the park for four hours. The fishing was good, the catching seemed to be a challenge as many fish were hooked then lost. The cream crackleback, orange and partridge soft hackle, as well as the san juan worm worked best. Most of the fish are good sized and appear to be eating well. Tight lines. Many guys are going out this Catch and Release season and are having a great time - are you?
.Even the Rookies are out in the Cold - New Grad (Jan 2nd): Twas the day after new years and all along the river lots of creatures were stirring, especially the trout fisherman. Six of us, in fact, were on the river at Montauk to fish with and celebrate Steve Kettering becoming the newest graduate of the FATC. Accompanying Steve on this epic adventure was John Walker, Nathan "Tex" Gross, Jason "Dry Fly" Edwards, James "no relation to Jason" Edwards and Rory Pottgen. The weather was anything but delightful as we had temps in the low to mid 30's and periodic rain. Steve wanted to avoid any drama by catching a couple of fish in the first couple of hours, which he did on a P&P. The rest of the group, all caught fish in the morning using a variety of flies from the aforementioned P&P to cerise worms, hares ear nymph and prince nymph. Smaller sizes worked better as Jason reported using size 16 prince nymphs (all available at Wooly Bugger Fly Co.) :) Rory was excited to land his first trout on a Wooly Bugger while James had a strong all around day landing double digit fish. In the afternoon, there was a strong rise in the afternoon until the rain picked up. No one could see what the fish were feeding on but soft hackle and crackle backs worked well during this period. Nate was nailing them on soft hackles and crackle backs as was your humble reporter. Jason continued landing them on prince nymphs. Everyone had a good day on the water and thoroughly enjoyed the BBQ at Hicks afterwards. Congratulations to Steve for graduating and hopefully it is just the first of many trips. Great job guys!! I see three of the six were new guys! Now if the new guys are stepping out on the river this winter then where are you old timers? Don't miss this catch and release winter season.
Holiday Fishing Turns out Pretty Good (January 19th): Here's a report from Dave Beerbower. Bob Chott and Dave Beerbower took advantage of the 60 degree temperatures in January and headed to Meramec Springs. Since Monday was the MLK holiday, the park was pretty crowded, but not bad. There was a group of eagle watchers in the pavilion when we got there and lots of non-fishers just enjoying the park on a nice day. Fishing started slowly with not much action in the island pool. Things picked up as we headed downstream. On the opposite side of the stream at the curve below the island, fish started rising and it was on! Cracklebacks, and Griffiths gnats were awesome and many 15” fat rainbows were landed. No one else was catching, so we were the heroes, or zeros, depending on where you stood. After lunch, we headed out of the park. The water was 32 degrees, so there was not much fish action, except for the 16” brown that Bob caught in the first riffle. Back to the park, we finished back at the curve and killed them again at the curve with dry flies and egg patterns. It was a beautiful day and great fishing. Sorry you missed it.
The Sensei is Back on the Water! ( Feb 6th): Two FATC, Jim Franke and Sid Aslin, were in a slump. Trips taken but very few fish. They decided to do a courageous thing and visit the Sensei, the Obi Wan Kenobi of the fly fishing world! They climbed the mountain and asked the Sensei, "Would you give us extra instruction to make us better fly fishermen?" The Sensei, sitting with legs crossed and eyes closed, said nothing. They waited. Then the Sensei opened his eyes, looked them in the eye and said, "Let's go fishing!!" Yes, that's exactly how it happened!! Jim, Sid and the Sensei headed to Montauk for a day of "Instructional fishing". A cold morning followed by a cool afternoon and blue skies gave them all a glorious day to fish. Starting at the top of the Current river the gang was lead downstream, fishing each hole with precision. Midges were hatching everywhere so they went with dead drifting midge larva - P&Ps, red, and black. Cracklebacks (blue) brought the trout up to the surface. Trout were caught and lessons were learned. The swifter water produced the most fish as the clear slower water made the trout leary. Check out the pictures to see that Jim and Sid learned their lessons well. The Sensei is willing to instruct if the grasshoppers are willing to learn - just ask.
Tough Day at Montauk but Another Graduate (Feb 9th) : Based on the weather report, several FATC members thought it was a good day to go fishing. Mike Bisaga, Charlie Prestian (our newest FATC graduate), Matt McClure, and Matt's son Sam headed down to Montauk to take advantage of the final day of Catch and Release season, Sid Aslin was already down at Montauk, so we joined up with him. The weather report was cloudy to start the day and chilly, but would warm up and clear up by mid day. Unfortunately, this was NOT the case.
The day did start out chilly and cloudy, but it just seemed to get worse as the day went on. The high never got above the mid 30's and there was a constant wind blowing. To add to that, it appeared that someone had come into the park over night and removed all the fish. Sid had been fishing all weekend, and noticed a significant difference in the number of fish between Monday and over the weekend. Not sure if it was the front that took the temp from the 70's on Sat to mid 30's on Monday, but something happened to make the fish disappear. No excuses, this just made for a much more challenging day of fishing. We tried all the flys suggested by Kenny, who was there on Friday, and nothing seemed to work.
As it turns out, Charlie was onto his first "fish" fairly early. As evidenced by the picture, it technically was a fish. Maybe a little small, but we didn't really want that to be his graduation fish. We had a tough going through lunch. After lunch we decided to try something different, and Charlie hooked into one for the biggest rainbows I have seen at Montauk in a while, while stripping a black Woolly Bugger, and then another. This was a good start after lunch.
With all the pressure off, we headed to the campground area to see what that was like. Not much better, but we did end up finding a few in the fast deep water on a red San Juan worm. Just about quitting time there appeared to be a hatch going which brought several fish to the surface.They didn't seem to take anything on top, so just as we switched to a soft hackle, we got a couple hits, and then the siren went off. Overall, not a bad day, and congratulations to our newest graduated FATC member, Charlie Prestian.
Montauk Still Good Until Front Moved In (Feb7th): Joe Walker and Larry Farrar made the decision late Saturday night to head to Montauk Sunday morning to fish. Both expected the temp to be 46F in the morning and were surprised when it was 33F. Once the sun came up the temp started to rise and the light layering was enough to stay warm. The water was clear, low and slow. From the time the whistle blew until 2PM fish were caught regularly on Red & Partridge and Orange & Partridge Soft Hackles. The trout would not take them on the top or subsurface but loved them when they were sunk under an indicator. Fortunately there were plenty of soft hackles in the fly box as 13 were used between the two. The fish really beat them up which is a good thing. Hope each of you got out this winter season and caught a few fish. In less than three weeks the parks will be parked for the regular season. Now is the time to make sure your equipment is in good working condition, you've tied your favorite flies and made sure your waders don't leak. Tight lines. Great report Larry! A good technique dead drifting soft hackles. Sounds like the soft hackles turned the trout on!!
4th Annual FATC Dinner is a Success! (Feb 16th): Our 4th annual FATC dinner was a huge success this past Monday. Over 75 men showed up at PM BBQ on a snowy day to partake in great fellowship. The name tags indicated who were guests and who were FATC members and Kenny charged the guys to find a "new friend" that evening! The evening started with a few "rules" on how the three different raffles were to work. Once that was established the guys did an awesome job buying up raffle tickets throughout the night. A silent auction sold every fly fishing book we had and the big ticket items kept the guys in suspense on who's ticket would be called next. It looks like Mike Mikulin and Bob Aslin were some of the big winners throughout the evening. Kenny kept the evening rolling (give him a mic and he'll talk forever) with news of our fellowship and where we are headed. Mike Bisaga talked about the Stream team and Tom Kelly pitched the Fly Fishing Film Tour coming to St Louis March 19th. Talk, raffles and fellowship filled the night. New guys were excited about joining the FATC while old heads got to catch up with old friends. Over $1500 of fly fishing items were raffled. A special THANK YOU to our sponsors: WoolyBugger Fly Co, FeatherCraft Fly Shop, RiverRun Outfitters in Branson, CutThroat Leaders and our brother fellowship "Hooked for Life" in Durango, Colorado for the wonderful donated gifts. The big prize of the night a custom made net with a Brodin bag handcrafted by Gary Elliott went to Kevin Suttner. We would also like to thank PM BBQ for putting out superb food and drink and allowing us the full run of their restaurant. Check out the pictures of the evening below. A special thanks to all the guys that helped out throughout the evening from handing out the name tags, loading and unloading gear, selling tickets and taking pictures - thank you!!
Meramec River Checked out Mar 5th : Two FATC members checked out the Meramec river just after the cold weather broke last Thursday. The snow melt caused the river to drop to 32 degrees. We lost all feeling in our toes, the fish were lethargic and unresponsive. I think they were as cold as we were. But always things learned - we pulled a branch out of the water loaded with fat green caddis larva. They are getting ready as soon as the weather and water warms up so you be ready (figured a size 14 - 16 scud hook would do for these fat guys). We put on our line exactly that, two casts lately a nice rainbow. The weather is breaking - we will keep abreast of the best areas to fish.
Sensei, Two Grasshoppers Fish Montauk (Mar 9th) : Stan Patton and Charlie Prestian took the climb to the top of the mountain to ask if the Sensei would join them and instruct them in the art of the fly fisher. The Sensei agreed to abuse them, I mean instruct them, and off they went to Montauk. The weather was prefect to fish, foggy in the morning with gray clouds and mild temperatures all day. No hatches in the morning to speak of so the Sensei had them go deep to find the wily trout. The day started with shouts of "mend, mend, mend". Others near by couldn't figure out what was going on - a military fly fishing school perhaps? But trout were put in the net and "light bulbs" came on as the grasshoppers learned more and more. Midges worked great in the morning while an afternoon hatch brought the soft hackles out. Even a few hits on the dry fly brought smiles. A successful day of learning and catching as the Sensei smiled watching his grasshoppers stick it to the Montauk rainbow. Afterwards the Grasshoppers treated the Sensei to Mexican food. Mexican food? Shouldn't it have been Chinese?? The warm weather is coming and the hatches will soon turn on the trout. So get out there today.
Tan Vat/Below the Cable Have High Water From Snow Melt (Mar 12th): John Walker and Tim Graham took the day off to fish the Tan Vat area. The snow melt had the water at a high water mark and with more cfs water flow than it has seen there in a year. But that didn't stop this dynamic duel from giving it a go. They were surprised to meet the Sensei!! (see pictures), who was also fishing the same area. So the three joined forces to chase the wily trout. The three fished Tan Vat until about 1pm, had lunch and gave below the cable a go. Fishing was slow most of the day with about 15 trout being caught between the three. The best flies happened to be the black zebra midge, P&P midge and a small leech pattern. The snow melt turned the river slightly cloudy and fast but very cold for the Current river. It was a great day of fishing and comraderie. At the end of the day the two said their good byes to the Sensei, who disappeared into the woods to not be seen again. As the weather warms so will the waters and the trout will become more active. Don't not go fishing because you think it's not ready yet. It will rock at anytime now!!
Anyone Hungry? Lake Taneycomo (Mar. 20 -22) Our first big Spring Lake Taneycomo trip went off without a hitch this past weekend. Five FATC members hit the ICE COLD waters of Taneycomo - Terry Seaton, Craig Dull, Jim "don't call me Jimmy" Franke, Kenny "Ok then call me Kenneth or Sir" Klimes and our new Chicago member, Ron Fiala made the trip. The guys got there Friday at noon and after a nice BBQ lunch at Dana's, they hit River Run Outfitters to pick up a few flies and advice. In the condo by 1pm and on the water by 2pm. For two, it was their first time to Lake Taneycomo and they learned quickly that the water is COLD on the "como". One generator ran for the entire weekend (25 units) raising the lake level to around 703.5 feet and flow around 1200 cfs. We all had to work on our mending but the flow was easily managed by all the guys. The fishing was average to good with midges being the best fly to use. Black zebra, red, and P&P midges did the best while soft hackles in light colors (orange or green - had to go with both colors just in case you are color blind). At times the trout would tail (slowly come to the top and sip midges in the film layer) and using small soft hackles ( size 18) would provoke a strike. With the water being so cold we felt that the trout were still in a winter mode and midges were the fly of the trip, Cracklbacks also worked. The flow and depth stayed consistant the entire trip. Slower water was around Andy's house. Biggest fish of the trip was 17 inches with several caught in the 15 - 16 inch range. Many of the trout had awesome colors that you can see from the pictures. It was a fun weekend for the guys as we flew in a chef to cook our dinners for us (Ok, it was just Terry doing the cooking but it was better than any restaurant). We even had to take a few pictures of the meals. Everyone gained at least 3 pounds on this trip. Some lessons learned from the trip: Size does matter - and sometimes they like it small. When you are fishing in areas where the flow is fast don't take chances trying to cross or when near deep holes caused by boulders or trees don't get too close - wear your waist safety belt. And if you have a jimmy loop on your vest - you have an expensive vest! Our Spring Taneycomo trip is always one of our best - sign up next year before someone else beats you out.