Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: July 19, 2014
PAST FLYFISHERS AT THE CROSSING FLY FISHING TRIPS ARE BELOW!
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Even More Trip Reports Below
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.
Here are some comments sent to me from three fly fishing trips that happend this week ( April 15-18) - you better get out there!!! From Bob Chott: Kenny, last night we experienced something I've never seen while flyfishing before. We were getting ready to leave the river and the place came alive with adult insects. You could tell just by looking that there were at least 4 types of insects hatching. A few mayflies, many caddis and at least 2 different kinds of midges. Of course the fishing got hot and we stayed way to late, getting back to the car 10 miutes before the park closed. It was pretty cool for the scientist and kid in me. The fishing was hot and then as quick as it started it turned off. Of course, this morning after thinking about it, I'm kicking myself for not trying the flies that I had in my box like the sparkle emergers and a caddis emerger that I had just tied up this past week. It all happened so fast I wasn't thinking. I was too busy trying to catch some bugs to have a look. While I was catching bugs I had my rod under my arm and my fly (yellow soft hackle) in the water. I hooked two fish after I transferred the rod from my armpit to my hand. Those trout must have been watching my fly and it shot up! Now I have to go back and try that again. Makes for a late night though. The fishing was much different than my last few visits. Caught more rainbow than other visits (about 50%), almost all the strikes came later in my drift, and most disappointedly, the black soft hackle was not nearly as popular with our fishy friends as my last visits. I had a feeling that would happen. s
I'm learning but I'm slow. It was cool.
From Jerry Lybarger: Kenny, thanks to you and our most excellent Yellowstone driver, Dave Beerbower. I went back to Meramec Sprgs curve yesterday and fished from about 10:30 to 2 pm - where you guys directed. Very good for my mental state. I did not seek anyone to go along as did not want to burden with my time limitation health issues. Used a purple crackleback instead of Dave's recommended blue. Only changed flies once, to a larger purple crackleback - when a big brown (I prefer to think it was, instead of admitting I may not have checked my tippet often enough after so many fish) tore the smaller one off. Only had two purples. They did slow on the larger a little. Two really nice Browns at 14. Some really nice bows also in that range.
From Dave Beerbower: Bruce Morton, two of his friends, Mike and Cliff and Dave Beerbower went to Montauk on tax day to forget about the pain of throwing our money away on something other than fly rods and gear. It was a beautiful sunny day, even though it started out cold. The water was clear and that caused some problems, as the fish got a very good look at our flies. The P&P midge started to work well as did scuds and wooly buggers. After a good lunch, the mayflies started to hatch and the dry fly fishing was on. Dave used the Tenkara rod all day and had a ball, especially with the dry flies. Most of the fish were caught in water that was moving where the fish had to make a quick decision. During the hatches, the fish were surfacing in great numbers and taking parachute sulphurs and Griffith gnats. A fun day on the water and it was good to see Bruce terrorizing the fish once again.
Father and Son Day at Montauk (April 17-18) Trip Report sent to us by Matt McClure: My youngest son Sam (14) and I headed down to Montauk early Good Friday morning, spent the night at the lodge motel and fished until 6:30pm Saturday before returning home. Incredible weather and great fishing. Fished the old reliable P&P midge most of the morning and did very well. Switched to a different color flashabou midge that I came up with in the afternoon and next morning and again did very well. In fact my son caught at least 30 or so on the Matts special midge without retying. Later Saturday morning I switched to a prince nymph with a red zebra midge dropper and caught a few on both. Saturday afternoon was off to Tan Vat with a friend that we met up with. Since we had two vehicles we drove to Baptist Camp dropped off my truck and headed back to Tan Vat in my friends. Four of us spread out and fished tan Vat down to Baptist Camp. The 2 boys each caught three decent rainbows. I had a BIG fish on but I had hold of my line instead of letting the real do the work with the drag. Ultimately the fish tore off down stream and instantly snapped my line. Oh well... I learned a lesson. Being a novice I figure that I'm going to make some mistakes. We were fishing a P&P, and Black Zebra midges. It didn't bother me to be skunked on the trip to Baptist. I was just in awe of the peace, serenity and Gods creation of a beautiful environment.
Montauk Continues to Fish Well (April 18th): Trip Report sent in by Larry Farrar: Joe Walker and Larry Farrar hit Montauk Friday & Saturday of Easter weekend. Needless to say there were a lot of other folks out enjoying the great weather and a three day weekend. The water is very clear and at one of the lowest levels I've seen in years. The stream is full of fish both small and large ones. There was a good 1 1/2 hours of Dry Fly fishing each day with the best flies being the Parachute Adams and the Renegade. When fish weren't rising the best flies were Black and Olive midges, tan scuds, and the San Juan worm. Get out and go fishing, it will do wonders for your soul.
What a Day on The Meramec!! (April 21st): After three gorgeous days the forecast was for cloudy skies and rain showers throughout the day - that means let's go fishing! Kenny Klimes and John Walker headed down to the Meramec river for a half day fishing. Off by 5:30am and on the water by 7:15am and off the water by 2pm. The rain showers barely showed up but the clouds kept the trout less "spooky" and the guys caught fish pretty much all day. The soft hackles that have been hot the past month weren't working but the trout went after every pheasant tail, hares ear and prince nymph we threw. In the afternoon the P&P midges turned the fish on. The guys fished the entire river from the park bridge to the "Gar" hole. The catch rate was high and it was about 50-50 browns to rainbows. Most fish caught averaged 13 inches with some in the 15s. The cloudy skies, cool temperatures made it the perfect day to fish. And we even found out the true story why the Meramec River and Maramec Spring park are spelled differently....sorry, you have to ask us about it. If you haven't gotten out and fished the Meramec river yet please don't miss this great season. Remember to check the flow and water levels before you go!!
Meramec River trip: (May 1st): Jason (Stull) Edwards and Nathan Gross got together and fly fished the Meramec river - looks like they had a great day. Here is there report and pictures:
On Thursday May 1st, Jason Edwards and Nathan Gross left for the Meremace River to see if all the fishing reports are true. We both were in the car at 7:00 am and trading fishing stories. We soon were
on the river and were surprised at how low the water levels were considering how much rain we have gotten. When we got to the river their were no rises so we started fishing midges. We both though the fish would be holding on the bottom due to the bad weather that had been moving through the area. I started with a P&P #18 with a bright green midge from a fellow Durango fly fisher. This was a great producer and landed 3 fish pretty fast one was a nice fat rainbow. Nathan had luck with the Emerald and Pearl and prince nymph. You had to fish deep and be fast on the draw to land fish. We also both were able to land one of the tattooed brown. In all it was a great day and a break from are busy lives.
Hunting and Fly Fishing Do Go Together!! (May 1st): Mike Meadows and Jake Welty have proven that a hunting trip and a fishing trip can go together. I won't show all of the hunting story they had because, hey, this IS a fly fishing site but I will add a little. Seems like one of them bagged their first turkey ever plus a few trout too. They were fishing the Current river and hunting near there.
Mike successfully claimed the first turkey of his hunting career, and by 7:35am, we began our trek back out of the woods to clean Mikes 20 lb gobbler, with a 9' beard and 1 inch long spurs. After we completed that task, we spent a couple hours that afternoon inside the park, fly-rods in hand, in pursuit of a few rainbows.
We hit the water, well above the dam and began downstream. We saw a few sips from the surface here and there, so Mike tied on a crackleback and I tied on an elkhair caddis, about 15 inches above a P&P since there was no visible presence of a hatch at the moment. Although Mike is a much better fisherman than I, I was feeling especially competitively charged,so I agreed to his terms of whomever landed the first fish could shoot an apple off the others head with our 12 gauges. We were in the water about 10 minutes at most, just barely had our flies on, and the game was on, my rod tip bent toward the water as I began to manage the line to ensure a successful landing of a nice, beautifully colored rainbow, followed by another, a few minutes later. Mike finally had a fish on, but I beat him to the punch this time, which is a rare occurrence, but I took it nonetheless. We only fished about 2 hours, but caught a nice handful during that time. Don't worry, no apples were harmed during the development of this story.
Meramec River - Twice in One Week!! (May 7th & 9th) Here is a Trip report from Bruce Sheffield - lucky guy!! Kenny, I had an unusual week last week in that I was able to go fishing twice first on Wednesday, 7 May and then Friday, 9 May 2014. Both days I fished the Meramec from just outside the park to the "Gar" hole and back.On Wednesday I happened onto the Tenkara Ambassador, Dave Beerbower and his fishing companions. On Friday I met up with Bob Chott. Fishing seems to have slowed a bit from earlier in the spring but it was still good. My go to fly was the Pat's Rubber leg (a.k.a. Girdle Bug). I tried a number of other flies but always ended up with the Pat's Rubber leg. The weather forecast was foreboding but turned out not to be an issue. A late morning thunderstorm chased us out of the water for about 30 minutes while we let the lightening pass but other than that no other issues with the weather. The river was rising all day, from the rain the night before but that wasn't an issue either other than a place or two we decided to walk around rather than trying to wade through some fast current. The fish seemed to stop biting mid afternoon and didn't start up again until early evening when a sizable hatch occurred. I tied on a dry fly and had some nice top water action until we just had to get off the water. We did see the three eaglets in the Bald Eagles nest and at one point I saw one of the adult eagles bring a fish to the nest.-- All the Best, Bruce Sheffield
Don't Always Believe the Weather Forecast (May 13th): Ok, you should definitely look at the forecast and know where you should go to fish depending on the situation but sometimes the weather guy gets it wrong. So with our eyes on the weather, Dave Beerbower, Steve McDaniel, Tom Kelly and Kenny Klimes decided to take the chance and hit the river. Checking the water level and flow graphs on the drive down they decided to fish the Meramec River. All day the clouds were thick but only a few sprinkles of rain and the temperatures were on the chilly side - perfect day for fishing. The guys fished from the Meramec River bend all the way down to the Gar Hole. We all used an eclectic group of flies as no one fly could be called the best. The trout would hit a certain type of fly for about 30 minutes and then shut down so we would work another fly. Now, very important, we didn't just switch to any old flies to see what would work. We adjusted to the situation, the hatches, the rises, etc.. and this paid off each time. When the mayfly hatch started we switched to mayfly nymphs and drys, when the caddis hatch started we switched to caddis larva, pupa and dry type flies. When no rises we went deep with midge larva and nymphs, when we hit some deep holes we pulled out a rubber legged stonefly with much success. Lessons learned - don't just pick a fly "willy-nilly" always think it through and you will have greater success. And remember that the difference between a good nymph fly fisher and a great nymph fly fisher is just one split shot!! So here is a small list of the top flies throughout the day: midge larva, Caddis larva and pupa ( caught several Browns on the green 'encased caddis larva pattern), elk hair caddis, mayfly nymphs and parachute type dry mayflies, soft hackles, black rubber legged stonefly - just to name a few. Also if you fish down to the gar hole we found a way back that is a much easier walk than walking down the south side of the river. Go to the location that is about two hundred yards before the gar hole, some trees make a small riffle there and I think it might have been a bridge or crossing there many years ago. It's about the same location that we normally start getting out of the water to walk south of the river. This time exit the river to the north and work your way west and you will run into a dirt road that will take you all the way back to the Conservation cabin. Enter the water just downstream from the bend. So plenty fish were caught by all four guys. Check out the Chestnut Lamprey that was attached to a trout - had it happen twice. These Lamprey are in many Missouri rivers. The river is getting warmer (was 60 degrees) I would guess that the great fishing will slow because of this as the trout go deep for the summer (but could be wrong). Tom Kelly had never been to Hicks BBQ in Cuba so we all had fellowship dinner there - awesome food.,
First FATC Stream Team Trip (May 16th) - 7 FATC Stream Team members headed out on our teams first official Stream Team activity on Friday 5/16. Mike Bisaga, Tim Graham, John Palmer, John Walker, Mike Chambers, Pete Drochelman and Brian Talbot gathered at our usual gathering spot at the YMCA, and started our trek to Calvey Creek in Robertsville State Park. We arrived at the park around 2:30, gathered all our gear, and started on our brief hike through the woods to our monitoring location. We started by assessing the stream and identifying the best locations to take our samples. Per the ST guidelines, to get the best variety of sampling, we want to pull macroinvertebrate samples from 3 different types of habitat(come with us on our next trip to see what I mean) Our locations were identified, and we began our sampling. We pulled our first net, and began our search for insects. Those that had not done this before quickly realized that this is not always as easy as it may seem. Some of these things are REALLY small. Mike Chambers with his inspectors eagle eye, gets the prize for the most critters found. Although we did not find large quantities of any one organism, the creek turned out to be relatively healthy based on the wide variety of insects found, including several that are considered environmentally sensitive. Mayflies, stoneflies, midges, fishflies, and damselflies are just a few of the insects we found. Once we completed our three net samples, we did our stream discharge calculations to get the cubic feet per second discharge. Before we headed back we walked our section of stream, collected any litter we found including extracting 3 1/2 tires from the stream bed. Keep a lookout for future events, and try to attend one if you can. I think everyone found it very interesting, and a great way to learn a little more about the streams that support the fish that we spend our time and effort chasing.
There are a lot of guys fishing this Summer! Here is a report from Sid Aslin (June 12 - 15): I spent the Thursday to Sunday morning of Father's Day weekend at Montauk camping by myself as nobody else was game!....When I got there at about 10 AM Bruce Morton and "Gabby" were checking out of the campground and said that they had left me a lot of fish! I caught about 35 trout each on Thursday and Friday, 25 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday morning when I headed home. On Sunday morning I saw a big one in the stream and threw a soft hackle to it and and it took it upstream fast! It got going and even though I kept tension on it when it got out far it got off. I would have traded the other fish for him! I released all fish! Nothing was consistently catching and I tried about every fly that I had!
I finally got the knack of tippet to tippet knot and am not using the tippet rings any more! I also figured out that I was not putting split shots on right.
Jim, Gary and I are going to Meramec Springs on Thursday. We are meeting at the Y at 7 AM (they are not early risers) so if you want to put out an FYI that would be OK to have others meet us at the Y!
Great Job, Sid. The more you go out, the more you learn!!
Scott Drooger enjoys time with his Dad on the water! (June 9th);
Fished the Pine River in Northern Michigan on June 9th. The Pine is one of Michigan's blue ribbon trout streams. The river has not been stocked since 1973, so all trout are wild. It is one of the coldest rivers and the one with the steepest gradient. We were between the Hendricks hatch and the fabled Hex hatch, so not much action on the surface. Nymphs, worms and streamers were the weapons of choice. Difficult fishing conditions, as early spring record breaking flooding had left a lot of debris in the river. Moved a decent number of fish. All in all a difficult day, but successful. Here's a nice Brown! Best part of the trip was fishing with my father!
Any Fish On The Fly (Canada June 27th - July 3rd) I just returned from a trip to Canada for smallmouth bass, pike and muskie. It was a great trip with brothers, uncles, cousins and nephews. As I have told you in class before, you can catch any fish on the fly. So I added a few pictures of some Pike that I had the opportunity to catch in Ontario, Canada, Get out there and enjoy some fishing with family and friends.
New Graduate and Plenty of Fish at Montauk (July 7th): The FATC has a new graduate from our latest class!! No less than eight showed up to fish this past Monday at Montauk. The forecast called for afternoon storms but they never came giving us a mostly sunny day. Dave Beerbower, Mike Bisaga, Dave Komor, John Walker, Kenny Klimes, Matt McClure and his son Sam and our latest graduate Dave Inman headed to Montauk for what turned out to be a good day of fishing. There was plenty of room on the river to fish as the "crowds" were low. The catching was a little better in the morning than the afternoon but all caught plenty of rainbows. Dave Inman graduated right away and did very well the rest of the day. Our best flies were P&P and red midges, San Juan and Cerise worms, Stimulators, egg pattern, CQ streamer, and soft hackles. The water was very clear and the flow was very slow which made it a little tougher for dead drifting. Most fished in the park above the dam while two decided to give below the dam a try in the afternoon. One lesson learned - set a definite time for lunch before everyone heads out to fish. Or someone may never get to eat lunch??!!! Oh yea, and make sure you know how to get back to the car at the end of the day - Dave Inman almost had to take the course all over again as he got lost on his way back to the cars (or was he Kenny's responsibilty??). A trip to Hicks BBQ ended the day. Congratulations goes out to Dave Inman our latest Flyfisher at The Crossing!!
The Famous Ausable River (June 24th) A Trip report from Kevin Suttner fishes the Ausable I recently got an opportunity to fish the Au Sable River outside Grayling Michigan with my brother in law who lives about 1.5 hours south of the area. Randy grew up fishing the Meramec (Cardiac Hill) and other streams we fish. He also lived in Oregon fishing as many of those stream as possible.
We waded the Big Creek the first evening and I caught my first wild Brookie. The following afternoon we floated the main branch of the Au sable with a guide. Our last day Randy and I took his canoe and floated the South Branch of the Au Sable. It was a awesome trip.
We were a couple days early on the Hex hatch and didn't get into any big browns on our guided trip. This is such a big deal when it happens that the locals wait along the stream after dark for it to start.We floated from 3 pm to midnight and saw a good hatch but the spinners were not falling in the river to start the frenzy. Our schedule kept us from going back the next night. It was a great time floating and fishing. I learned a lot from Randy and our guide. I was able to catch the hat trick. Brook, Brown, Rainbow and saw the cabin were Trout Unlimited was formed by 9 local fisherman. The area is rich in beauty and trout history.The pic is a brown caught about 10 days earlier in the day light. Nice fish. If your get a chance to fish the Au Sable don't pass it up.
Another Graduate at Montauk (July 14th) We are in the process of building our FATC Instructor cadre this summer. Dave Beerbower is our first "Instructor" to hit the waters with a newcomer from our Spring fly fishing class. Sounds like they had a great time under tough fishing conditions. Here's Dave's report and congratualtions to Darryl (and Dave!!). Dave Beerbower and Darryl Weinrich headed out to Montauk this past Monday. Darryl was in Kenny’s last class and wanted to graduate. Kenny could not go, so Dave got the pleasure (and pressure) of taking Darryl out to catch some fish. It was a day of firsts! Dave’s first day as a “certified” instructor, Darryl’s first trout ever caught on a fly rod and his first stop at Hick’s barbeque. Darryl took the pressure off of me faster than any graduate I can remember. He had a very nice qualifier in the net within the first 10 minutes on the water. The park was very crowded and the fish were very tentative. It was one of the slowest fishing days I have ever had at Montauk, but that did not stop Darryl from catching 5 nice rainbows. He also had several on the line but they got off before getting to the net. Wolly buggers, soft hackles and cracklebacks fished deep had the best results. All in all a great day, and the Hicks was good as always to finish it off. Kenny’s record of 100% is still safe. Phew!
A Day at Montauk (July 17th) Bruce Sheffield found time to hit the waters returning from a "work" trip. He had a great day and even met another FATC brother on the river! Here's his report: Kenny, I had some personal business to take care of in Iron County on Thursday so I packed my fishing gear so I could head to Montauk after I having taken care of business :-) It was noon before I arrived at Montauk but with the weather so nice it was a great day to spend on the water. My first cast was with a soft hackle and it yielded a strike and I thought this might be a good day but that was the only strike I got on a soft hackle all day. Fishing was slow and that was verified by other fly fishers I spoke with. Every now and then I'd come across someone in the right spot with the right fly and they were catching fish. The water is crystal clear so it is easy to see the trout rejecting the flies. The trout were mostly lookers and not takers. At times a trout would look at a fly two or three times before swimming off. I did catch a few, mostly using an olive mohair leach, but the P&P midge and a brown crackle back tricked a fish or two. There were plenty of folks on the river but they seemed to congregate close to the areas that had parking close to the river access. In between those areas other fishers were sparse. I did run across Sid Aslin as I was walking out. So we talked and fished together for about an hour and I almost doubled my catch rate for the day while fishing with Sid. So I've decided Sid is a good guy to have around when I'm fishing:-) The picture is one of the rainbows I caught while fishing with Sid. All the Best, Bruce Sheffield Yes, I have been out lately too and the super clear water creates a challenge - a good challenge. With slower moving, clear water this summer concentrate on using smaller diameter tippet (6X, maybe even 7X) for your dead drifting flies or think about adding movement to those flies as they drift. Stripping flies may also help provoke an attack.