• Spring in the Ozarks

    Last Saturday I headed back down to the edge of the Ozarks to walk around, enjoy the weather, the flowers and the fish. Got up early and drove to the creek that will not be named to try out very skittish wild trout knowing that March and April are good months for dry fly action. I was on my own which makes for longer hours on the highway but quiet time for introspection. A couple of weeks ago, I made a quick run to the stream but the stream was high and the weather was storm so I left unsated. I figured that this weekend would be great---if I found the solitude I was seeking.

    After a 4 hour drive I arrived at my first access point to find a party of 4 flyfishers--decked out in Orvis and Sims--with all sorts of jingle jangles hanging off their bodies. It appeared that each was geared up, ready to tackle a Lake Erie tributary steelhead, a White River Brown, a Frying Pan Rainbow but hardly ready for a small wild rainbow from a Missouri stream. At least they were prepared for anything. Not trying to be judgmental but why would you carry all the equipment, flies and tackle for such a small stream? Doesn't it slow them down, making it hard to move through the tight brush? After this week I'll be wet wading to improve my mobility--though there isn't a lot of wading necessary on this stream---mostly just stream crossing.

    These petty thoughts raced through my mind as I tried to come to grasp with the possibility that I might have to share the stream banks today, after a 4 hour drive. One reason I travel to this stream is to fish in solitude. I'm selfish in that regard. Once a run is fished on a stream with trout this spooky it will often take hours before the rainbows resume their normal routines.

    I quickly moved on to another access point and again found 2 vehicles already there. I talked to myself about sharing such a great resource and being a good neighbor. But the good thing about this stream is that a lot of locals come out to just walk the trails along it and that was exactly the case here. As I was gearing up, the hikers showed up and left--leaving me alone with about a mile of stream--something to cherish. Woohoo, the only vehicle in the parking lot.

    Normally, I like to walk downstream a half mile or more and then fish back up stream. Today, I did the same.

    One of the benefits of the walk is spring wildflowers--especially the woodland ephemerals like spring beauty, rue-anemone, and trilliums.

    Started out focusing on runs and using a bead head pheasant tail.

    Flyfishing, for me always forces focus. I focus so much on the here and now that the passage of time slows. After fishing what seems to be all day, I'm always surprised that only a couple of hours have passed.

    Patience is also forced when fishing this stream. Many flies are lost--left in trees above and below the water. Some folks talks about catching fish on consecutive casts. One this stream I've caught brush on 4 consecutive casts. I am accomplished as a brush catcher. There is a lot of brush to catch.

    Later when I started seeing these I switched to dries to catch more trees. (Hey, that rhymes.)

    The fishing can be challenging:

    But fish were caught:

    Saw no other fishermen until late in the afternoon as I was leaving. I ran into a guy trying out fly fishing. Talked a bit, offered some suggestions, went home with my fishing needs sated for the day.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Spring in the Ozarks started by ksbioteacher View original post