Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: February 21, 2015
PAST FLYFISHERS AT THE CROSSING
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Even More Trip Reports Below
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.
Meramec Fishing is Hot, Hot, Hot (Nov. 30): Two different reports for you on the same trip - guys, it's good out there or these guys wouldn't be bragging!! Read on.. Four fly fishers decided at the last minute to head to Meramec Spring Park on the last day of November. Larry Farrar, Joe Walker, Mike Walton and Dave Beerbower took advantage of the balmy temps and fished the morning while the weather was good. Things started off very well with many fish caught at the first pool and just below the island. The fish were nice size and fat. We were surprised that the park was not more crowded, but we were grateful. We worked our way down through the park and continued to catch many large rainbows. Scuds, worms, and blue cracklebacks did most of the damage. We also ran into fly shop owner Tom Hargrove, who had sneaked out for a day on the water. We left the park for home at noon after a good day of fishing and fellowship. So what is your excuse for not doing the same? Come on you new guys. Get signed up to graduate and get out there!
The WWF Rev B (Mike Walton, Joe Walker, Larry Farrar and Dave Beerbower) took a quick trip to Maramec Springs on Sunday to see how the park is fishing. The weather was outstanding for the end of November and the stream appeared to be in good shape. Shortly after the whistle blew almost everyone was catching fish. Most of the fish were decent size and in really good shape. The group fished various spots from the top of the stream to the bridge that crosses at the end of the park and fish were caught at every stop. Most fish were taken on crackle backs, scuds (it's late in the season but the fish still took them), and the san juan worm. By noon the crowd had grown and we knew foul weather would be moving in. Conditions are great, it's time to go fishing. Tight lines.
Catch and Release Season in Full Swing (Nov 26th): These guys hit Meramec Spring park which is just a little over an hour drive. Joe Walker and Larry Farrar took a quick trip to Maramec Springs to take in some fishing before the Thanksgiving festivities. The stream is in very good shape and the water is very clear. We only saw two other fisherman on the stream during the later afternoon. Plenty of fish were caught on San Juan worms and scuds. The fish appear to be very healthy and very active. Now is the time to enjoy the Catch and Release season. Tight lines.
Meramec Good in AM, Slow in PM (Dec. 12): Dave Beerbower, Tim Trog and Matt McClure decided to take a short day trip to Meramec Spring Park on Friday. The day promised to be warmer and when we got there we had the place to ourselves, except for two bald eagles cruising the park. We started near the island and had good luck all morning. Mohair leeches, cracklebacks and scuds were the most successful, especially in the faster water areas. We worked downstream and had good results below the falls areas too. After lunch, we decided to venture outside of the park. Tim caught the best fish of the day there and Matt caught his first fish outside of the park, but it was a smallmouth. We went back inside the park, but the fish had definitely turned off and we struggled for a few fish before quitting time. Because Dave had to be back in town by 5pm, we did not get to stop for a Hick BBQ, but we had a fun day of fishing together. Meramec Spring park is fishing well now and it's only a little over an hour away. Don't miss this winter season - guys are catching!!
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!!
Landon Mayer is NOW my Buddy!! (Feb 21st) On Saturday I attended what I consider the best fly fishing seminar I've ever been to. Landon Mayer, one of the more famous guides from Colorado and the guy you see in all those cover shoots on ever fly fishing magazine, came to St Louis and gave a seminar hosted by the Ozark Fly Fishers. I know that the weather was iffy throughout Friday night but on Saturday morning the streets were clear and pretty much dry. This makes me a little disappointed since I sent out an email to everyone on this event. Ended up that just Tim Graham and I attended the entire seminar. It was free but worth it's weight and time in GOLD! Yes, Landon Mayer is the guy Lew Smith and I would talk about that ripped me off of a dollar but after figuring out my change - it was just a hoax. BUT Landon Mayer was willing to give me my dollar back and signed it. Lew, rest in my peace my brother, for I am finally and officially over it. Ok, I told Landon the story and we had a good laugh and he signed a dollar bill for me and took a picture!! See Below!! Landon Mayer is an awesome guy and guide. He talked to us all afternoon. Giving us tips and techniques in fishing and fly tying. He even told us the secrets of catching big fish in Colorado - where I will be this September. Many of you ask for extra instruction or advanced classes and you couldn't have gotten a better seminar than this. A big thank you from Tim Graham and I to Landon and the Ozark Fly Fishers for putting this on. Awesome day of fly fishing knowledge.