Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: October 2, 2017
PAST FLYFISHERS AT THE CROSSING
FLY FISHING TRIPS ARE BELOW!
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Even More Trip Reports Below
"I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me a good fly fisher. And when I fly fish I feel His pleasure"
It was a DRY Day!!! (Aug 2nd): A last minute trip brought three FATC members together to fish. Sid Aslin was the leader, along with Gary Elliott and Kenny Klimes, and decided to fish the Current river outside of Montauk park. It was a good decision as the fishing, especially in the morning, was pretty good. The boys started below the cable first. Because of past reports, Kenny and Sid started out with dry flies. Kenny used a beetle pattern and Sid used his new found fly a black parachute baetis fly. The trout loved them. It's a blast when the trout rise to a dry fly. Gary used a soft hackle and crackleback and did well to those trout that didn't want to rise. As we worked our way downstream we changed to several other dry flies with all the same results - FISH. The best flies were the parachute Baetis, Beetle, stimulator, elk hair caddis and hoppers. We even employed the hopper - dropper (a green caddis larva). What was the most fun was not catching trout but watching Sid slay one trout after another - he was on fire in the morning. After fishing all the way to the boulder garden (below the cable) we headed back for a lunch break and to talk about the day. The afternoon was spent at Tan Vat working downstream. To our surprise Tan Vat was a little more crowded than normal but workable. Not as many fish were caught in the afternoon but some were slightly larger. Big fish of the day was a 15" rainbow. We also met up with another FATC member who was fishing the Current - Adam Hayes. He caught two very nice browns. He also fished several days in a row down there since school will be starting soon (he is a school teacher). If you want to fish dries, now is the time. The summer months are terrestrial months - hoppers, ants, beetles and don't forget the adult mayflies and caddis.
Also received this report from Bill Byington: Just read your report for the 2nd. Great report. I was down there the same day at Tan Vat. I arrived early and fished downstream I had that area to myself. I fished a beetle But liked the hopper more. I had some fish 13 inches on up including a fish 17 inches on a red Humpy that has been in my fly box since the early eighties, I bought it in Jackson Hole. There are ants everywhere, that might be why they are hitting Sid's black parachute fly. I left around 1:00, that's probably why we didn't meet up. I didn't catch as many as upstream but they were larger average size. Bill
Our Virginia Fellowship Takes a Little Trip (Aug 5th): Some of our Virginia fellowship took a vacation to the Flats off Mount Pleasant, S.C. Tyler Pierce and his buddy,Tanner, drove down to Charleston and Mt. Pleasant to fish the flats. Fishing was cut short by a storm but Tyler did land a redfish and flounder before they had to come in. Tyler said that the dolphins were stalking the redfish and because of that they were super spooky. Great job Tyler and thanks for the pictures.
Husband/Wife Team Slay Them (July 29 and Aug 5th) Msgt Patrick Gallagher sent us this report from two different Saturdays on the water. My wife and I decided to go to Tan Van Access after receiving advice from Kenny. At first, I was skeptical considering my wife landed 6 in the first half hour and I still had zip. She was using a hare’s ear nymph (size 14). So, I decided to change my set up to something a little different. I switched to a dry dropper rig, using an elk hair caddis (size 12) with a black zebra midge (size 18), and that worked 33 times. Over all, it was a huge success. My wife was even able to land her first trout with a dry fly (a bumblebee), then another, and another—well, lets just say she killed it!
We went back to the same area today to see if it was just a fluke. Long story short, we slayed some trout. Using the same technique, we were able to land 71 total today, on both dry flies and the dry dropper rig. I guess what I’m saying guys—if you want to have a great time with non-stop action get down to Tan Vat.
Northern Colorado and Rare Trout (Jul 30 - Aug 5) John Walker has just returned from an awesome trip to Northern Colorado with Mark Smalley. They even had to chance to visit and fish with Tim Graham (You remember Tim? That guy that left us here in Missouri for the beauty and fishing of Colorado!!). Mark Smalley and I traveled to Colorado for a week of fishing. We traveled to Fort Collins and spent two days fishing the Cache La Poudre with an old friend, Tim Graham. The Poudre is a famous fishery that extends some 50 miles through the Poudre canyon. The flies of choice were RS2's, hare's ear, pheasant tails, and soft hackles with dry flies such as tricos, parachute Adams and x-caddis. The tricos were good in the mornings and the caddis were good in the evening with the nymphs being good throughout. The best action was our third evening where we fished near the state hatchery. We managed to get into a caddis hatch and we managed to catch some nice brown trout rising.
After this we drove to Steamboat, Colorado and fished on the Yampa and Elk rivers. The Yampa can be fished in town but in my opinion this isn't that good. If you do fish the Yampa you want to try up at the tail water area from the reservoir. Here we fished in the evening and we crushed it. The RS2 was the fly. I was able to land 4-5 fish over 15 inches including one near 20 inches and Mark managed to get a couple as well. The pheasant tail also worked very well. The Elk river is a beautiful but technical river to fish. We went into the national forest where there is public access. The Elk has lots of boulders and decent flow so you have to pick your spots. The fishing is hard but it is worth it, athough Mark has a less favorable opinion than I. I managed to catch a beautiful 7-8 inch brookie and a white fish while Mark got a nice rainbow.
Our last day we fished the Joe Wright reservoir. This is one of the few places where you can fish for Arctic Grayling and it is only accessible a few months of the year. I highly recommend it. The Grayling were taking dries and the fishing was steady all day. It was a great experience. The Grayling have small mouths so the flies need to be small but they don't fight too hard once hooked. If you want to get a Grayling this is the place to go. The flies were small x-caddis, Elk hair caddis and Adams. As we were leaving, I walked into a moose just peacefully grazing. We stared at each other for a bit but he was more interested in eating. As we were getting ready to leave we ran into some hikers going up to Lake Zimmerman which you can also access from the same parking lot. They told us that Colorado is trying to save the greenback trout and this little mountain lake is where they are raising them. So we hiked the mile or so up to this lake and Mark caught a beautiful greenback trout. The first I had ever seen. If you are in the Fort Collins-Poudre canyon area I highly recommend stopping there and chasing these rare fish.
Canada Re-visited (Aug 2017): Here is a report from Connor Peters on his trip with Matt McClure to Canada. Kenny, I had the opportunity to travel again to Canada with Matt McClure and his family for their annual Father-Son Trip. The lake is more know for walleye fishing, however it does hold pike, bass and musky. I will have to say this year pike were a little harder to come by, however I was able to ride a day with Matt, and he took me to an area to fly fish. With Matt steering the boat, I was able to land my first pike on a fly rod. Nothing compared to Matt's Monster 38" last year, but I was excited none the less. The wind was pretty strong everyday we were there making it rather difficult to fly fish. Huge thanks to the McClure family for allowing me to tag along on their annual trip. I had a nice and relaxing time with great company.
Call It Women's Intuition (Aug 11-14): (Kenny Klimes report) Last weekend we took a family vacation to Branson. My wife surprised me by getting a condo right on the waters of Lake Taneycomo (LT) so I could have some time fishing. I told her that it was a very nice thought but in the summer there is no way the water will be "slow" enough to fish LT. But then again what do I know!! The cool temperatures as of late and Table Rock lake being a normal levels now the authorities that be decided to keep the water off most of the morning and afternoon. Fish on!! I had the opportunity to fish three days - mostly in the morning while the rest of my gang slept. I have to say the fishing was good. Fish averaged between 15 - 11 inches and fought pretty hard. Smaller flies worked the best. When the water was moving very slow I used soft hackles and when the flow kicked in a little bit more I dead drifted midges. All flies were successful. I even had the opportunity to fish dry flies with much success. When the water flow was pushed up to around 2000 cfs I fished near "Andy's" house. A "scum" layer was forming between the fast water and slow water and the trout were sipping tiny white midges from the surface. Soft hackles didn't work so I switched to a Griffith's Gnat on top. Eureka! The trout sipped it right in - must have caught 10 on the dry fly in an hour's time. It was an enjoyable trip with golf, food, boating and yes, fly fishing. Remember that LT can be tricky this time of year. You might only get in morning fishing before they turn on the generators but it's worth it. October is when the browns move up to near the dam - don't miss it. I added a few pictures just to prove I was there!!!
"Rookies" in the Rockies (Aug 19th - 26th): We just finished our first out-of-state trip of 2017 to Colorado and what an awesome trip it was. Four FATC members headed to Colorado to meet up with not only three other FATC members but also with the lead of our Denver based fellowship. Mike Oldani and Jim Craig have been with us just less than a year (and never fished Colorado before) made the trip along with Rudy "Preacher" Dodorico, who was on his first FATC trip ever. Now Rudy is an excellent fly fisher and has been to this area of Colorado several times and was the group's guide in certain locations. I also went on the trip (Kenny Klimes). We met up with Greg Krotcha, lead of the Denver fellowship and John Palmer, Jerry Lybarger and Tim Graham from our fellowship later in the week. So let's talk about the trip!!
The four of us (Jim, Mike, Rudy and I) boarded a plane (SWA of course) at Lambert field and flew into Denver, rented our car and were off for Deckers, Colorado to fish the South Platte river first. We fished that area Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Rudy got the biggest fish there, a nice rainbow - a super place to fish. On Sunday morning after fishing the Deckers area we headed to Woodland Park to pick up Greg. After a nice breakfast at Grandma's Kitchen, we headed to Eleven Mile Canyon. This area is known for pocket water fishing and if you can get to areas of pocket water you will catch fish. We had several nice 14-16 inch trout in this area. We stayed two nights in Woodland Park with the next day (Monday) fishing the Dream Stream, also called the Charlie Meyers area. Lots of fishing pressure here (eclipse day) and we had to work hard for the fish we did net. Big fish of the day was Mike's 18 inch rainbow and Kenny's 15 1/2 inch brown. After the Dream Stream we headed to the upper South Platte River near Hartsel, CO and fished an area pretty much by ourselves. Small browns and rainbows in this area but it was fun fishing "skinny" water right up along the banks. On Tuesday night we stayed in Buena Vista, a neat little mountain town with some cool restaurants for us to celebrate with dinner and a brew. On Wednesday we attacked the Arkansas river with it's fast moving water and zillions of little boulders. The footing at times wasn't easy. We caught a nice amount of browns there while fishing two local spots near Granite, CO. Wednesday evening we took off for Almont, CO to meet up with John, Tim and Jerry. We all stayed at the Three Rivers resort a very nice lodge in Almont (except it was made for little people - see pictures). Here we had the opportunity to fish three locations; the Gunnison river, Spring Creek and the Taylor river which featured the famous "Hog Trough". This area brought some of our most memorable moments of the trip. The Gunnison river included a short hike through several swift moving creeks (see pictures), the Spring Creek was very small water with many small browns (and even an outdoor toilet), the Hog Trough included our biggest fish of the trip. As we first checked out the Hog Trough area we stood on the bridge looking down on the river astonished by the size of the fish we saw. We were also admiring a large moth, which at first we thought was a bat, flying over the river. In one of his "swopes" over the river he got a little too close to the surface and a huge trout took off out of the water and almost caught this moth. It was pretty cool to see and it didn't take long for us to RUN back to our cars to get suited up to fish. This was an area where you had to site fish - so we took turns - spotter and fly fisher. You can see from the pictures our biggest and prettiest fish were caught here.
So all in all this was a very successful trip especially in the fellowship department - new life long friendships were made. At the end of the trip everyone wanted to know when we were going back. If you can get a week off without getting yourself in the dog house, you should try to get on one of these out of state trips - they are awesome.
"While the Cat's Away" (Sept 12th): While the cat (Kenny) is away the mice will play, or fish (whatever you like). Bill Byington, Martin Jones and I (Jim Craig) made a great day of it at Montauk on September 12th. While Bill and I have a lot of flexibility in our schedules (read retired), Martin was really glad he finally took a day off of work to get back on the river again. Maybe I should say Martin was REALLY, REALLY glad he took the day off. Read on. Before we hit the water that morning, we ran into Jim Franke and Craig Dull. They were spending a couple days at the park and were just finishing their breakfast at the park restaurant. We left to fish below the cable in the morning while Jim A. and Craig planned to fish in the park. We then joined up for lunch. While Bill and Jim C. were tricking fish in the morning with a black beetle (for Bill) and a green soft hackle (for Jim), Martin was slaying the trout with his newly tie black and yellow hopper--which heretofore shall be known as the "Martinator." See the attached pic. Martin was able to coax copious neutral trout in to taking his fly. If they didn’t take it when it landed, he gave it a little twitch and fish on! When he gladly shared a couple of his extra Martinators with Bill and me, we had similar success. In the afternoon Bill, Martin and I moved on to Baptist Camp. While the fishing action cooled off a little and the rain moved in, it was still a fun afternoon as the crane fly larvae and other terrestrials seemed to be favored. The day ended with a hardy fellowship dinner at Missouri Hick BBQ.
"They Will Never See Us Again" (Sept 9th - 16th): I love these out of state, week long fly fishing trips. You really get to know the guys and the fellowship is always awesome. This particular group is special since we have been together for more than five years now on these week long trips. And of course, knowing each other that well it can get a little crazy at times. John Walker, Pete Drochelman, Ron Fiala "the Berwyn Bear", Al Blair and Kenny Klimes headed out to Buena Vista, Colorado to fish the central area of the state. They even had the chance to meet up a couple days with one of our Colorado transfers from STL - Tim Graham. Three of us flew out of STL on Saturday morning to meet up with Ron (who flew out of Chicago) and Al who drove from STL. Saturday was a down day as we checked out Buena Vista and settled in to our cabin. A BIG THANKS to Pete's Uncle, Ed Winkelman, for allowing us to use his cabin for a week. It was awesome!
Sunday, we fished the Arkansas in the morning and the upper South Platte in the Tomahawk State Wildlife Area (SWA) in the afternoon. The fishing was ok as we got our "bearings" to Colorado fishing. It seemed here you had to work right up next to the banks. The Arkansas was moving fast while the South Platte was a slower meandering stream. The nice thing about having a cabin right in the heart of Colorado fishing is that we can take our time getting to the water since we were always close. Each morning we had a hearty breakfast and got to know the waitresses maybe a little better than we might have wanted to - ain't that right Grandpa?
On Monday, we fished more of the South Platte but in different locations than Sunday. The South Platte covers a lot of water in Central Colorado and we hit a large area of the Platte. Fishing was the same - you had to work the banks and hopper-droppers did the best. An afternoon storm tried to threaten us but Kenny decided his chances of getting hit by lightening was the same as him winning the lottery - which he has never done. If there is lightening in the area - get off the water and take cover.
On Tuesday, Kenny took the gang to the Gunnison river in the morning (Neversink area) and the Hog Trough (Taylor river) in the afternoon. Fish were caught in the Gunnison but the Hog Trough proved to be challenging to say the least. Huge fish just sitting there daring you to catch them. This trip took 2 hours to get to the spots so on the way home we ate at a fancy Taco Belle (is there such a place???).
On Wednesday, we headed to the famous Dream Stream (South Platte). We heard the Kokonee Salmon were making a run up the stream so we had a chance to catch one of them besides the rainbow and browns. Al Blair caught the largest trout he has caught on a fly rod almost 18 inches and after that quit for the day. He said he would never do better than that - really??!! No picture - no proof??
Thursday was almost a down day for us as we headed up to a lake in the mountains. We were told by the fly shop that Hancock lake would be good to fish and once we drive to it, it would be only a hundred yard walk - Wrong!! Try almost 2 miles at 11,000 feet. That didn't happen but we did find another lake (Cottonwood) and caught small rainbows and brookies that were roaming the surface for dry flies - a blast. Ok, yes, they did make me try Tenkara and I caught one of these rainbows but how do you reel them in????
Our last fishing day, Friday, we fished the South Platte again since we had good luck there earlier in the week. The scenerary was unbelievable as the Aspen were at their peak in golden colors.
As I said earlier this group has been together for some time so you can imagine the conversations and their "actions" at time can be questionable. When we got a little crazy we didn't worry because these people "will never see us again" or so we think. Dancing in the airport train, teasing the waitresses, Wonder Woman, eating ice cream at K's, sleeping face to face, convincing Al that Tullamore Dew is medicinal (along with gummy bears from Salida), catching?? Kokonee salmon, Kitty, the dance of the killer Crawdad, and more, that stays in Buena Vista - this trip each year is always a blast. What flies did we use? Who cares! These trips are about fellowship. And Ron, thanks for having my back, even though a couple times I wasn't sure. Pictures say a thousand words so enjoy.
Floating on the Current River: I took a chance and floated the upper current between Baptist Camp & Oak Grove last weekend with some guys from a Facebook group the " Trout & Smallmouth Hunters of the Ozarks" The Group has close to 1500 members and was started by Walt Fulps the Missouri Trout Hunter a guide out of Rolla. As far as Facebook Fishing groups go I recommend this on it's all fishing and clean no BS at all. Just a bunch of people that love to fish.
Back to the trip, 6 of us met at Pinecrest camp ground Friday night to hang, tie and just to get to know each other. The skill level was all over the board two guys had under a year in the game and another guy had been Fly fishing 7yrs. Two others none at all, plus we had two guys on stand up paddle, boards those things rock I need one.
The next morning we were going to meet up at Baptist Camp 10-12 more that had indicated they were coming. Only one showed MARK VAN PATTEN himself. He hung around for about 30min but we had a slow poke in the group and he had to shove off and get to Oak Grove by 2PM. ( The folks at pine crest shuttled our vehicles).
We started fishing/floating at 9:00 am at Baptist and fish were on all day. The six of us would float to a gravel bar fish/ wade then move on. We made it 3 miles before camping that night. The fishing was great. We had success on everything from Pheasant tails, RS2, Elk Hair Caddis, P&P, Gurddle Bugs, Stone Flys and the Cerise Worm. Saturday the fish were feeding in the film taking emergers, nymphs and dries and on Sunday they were deep and you had get down and fast.
The real story was the river. You had everything to fish - pocket water, long deep holes, fast runs, lots of structure, rocks, trees and rock/grass over hangs. And the river was just amazing, perfect weather and beautiful. The most beautiful section of river I have fished in Missouri. I will be going back soon.
Don't crowd my stream!!! Sincerely, Jason Edwards