Monday, April 11, 2011
Winter in troutland
Winters in Missouri are usually intense and this past one was no exception. I discovered that the winter conditions enhanced the fishing in the blue ribbon trout areas in Missouri. I was thrilled to find the choice waters completely devoid of other anglers. These last couple of trips found me on the water in some pretty serious conditions. I made it to Tan Vat around eight in the morning and decided to try my luck with some streamers I had tied the night before. The weather was sketchy with some challenging winds and very low temperatures which meant ice on my guides. For about an hour and a half i swung the rabbit fur with one follow and no strikes. Like usual I became disheartened and started tying on all manner of flies in rapid succession. Every time I fish this river I start out dazed and confused until the first hour and then I start to figure it out and get into a routine. This trip was no exception as I stumbled upon a random hatch with fish rising like crazy. I tied on a small crackle back and loaded it up with Gerts Gink and began to hook up with trout after trout as they tried to inhale my fly. I fished a very familiar set of riffles as a group of anglers plodded up and down the stretch as I jealously hovered over my area. They worked down and then back up the section nearest the parking lot with out so much as one fish while I caught trout on the dry fly in January in very cold weather. There have been many times that I choose not to recall when the tables have been flipped and I have been the one watching a guy land fish after fish while I watch on. The hatch came out of no where and I couldn't tell exactly what it was but it must have been a gnat like bug because they were too small to see but the fish where hammering renegades, crackle backs, and Griffith gnats. While I had come to the river to swing the big flies I was pleasantly surprised to find rising trout voraciously taking my dry fly. By far this was the best fishing I have ever seen on the Current. i left the river and journeyed into the trout park because of the free winter catch and release season was in effect and I wanted to see how the fish looked within the park. I jumped in at a familiar stair spot that ends on what looks like a large rock. As I entered the water I slipped on the rock which was covered with a strange gunk and plunged ace first into the water. Water poured into my waders and it took me a minute to stop slipping and right myself. I quickly assessed the situation. It was still very cold so I switched into action mode and jumped out of the water collected my gear and changed my clothes at the car. I always carry a second change of clothes and in the winter it is vital to keep them in a dry pack because it doesn't take long o succumb to hypothermia. I decided this was a sign to call it a day so not wanting to tempt fate any further I jumped i the car and headed home. While it is the beginning of spring here now I cannot help but feel a strange urge for mid winter conditions on the Current.