It's my usual postings with a lot of pics, be warned! Had planned to do a backpacking trip down here but my buddy's back was acting up so we camped at a campground on the same section we planned to hike. Drove down early Thursday. 7.5hrs later we arrived in the Ozarks, right outside(or maybe in) the Mark Twain National Forest. The area has a lot of cool hikes and places to check out but I wasn't sure the fishing would be any good. It's remote, the river is fast and deep, and I had read it is probably best floated in order to fish effectively. We got to the area in the early afternoon and headed down to the water.
The water is nearly aqua blue from the minerals. A large spring feeds this river upstream a little ways, one of the top 10 biggest in the world, and turns it into a cold water fishery. Rainbow trout were stocked a long time ago and for the most part reproduce but I know they are stocked as well. It's blue ribbon water whatever that means
. Smallmouth, longear sunfish and rock bass are found in this section as well. I think we struck out in 2hrs before we headed back to camp to gather firewood and cook dinner before sundown.
These guys were just starting to pop up down there and found along the walk back to camp.
Next two days we drove and hiked to a few sections of the river to check out some springs and try our hand at some fishing. It was tough, neither of us are used to fishing a river so deep and swift. Wading was tough or downright dangerous. I think we each caught a few dink smallmouth and a few longear sunfish. The bugs were mayfly nymphs and stoneflies. My understanding is there is so many aquatic insects, the fish hardly eat on the surface. I did see a few risers of small fish here and there but we never tried dries. Had seen some sort mayflies flying around, probably olives, and what I thought were black caddis around some springs. I fished stonefly nymphs, copper johns, and a sculpin streamer.
That stonefly is gigantic and much bigger than the size 8 and 10 stoneflies I had purchased for the trip. I think it was an anomaly, about 2" long, and was found under a rock near shore.
Some springs and mill ruins
Lets see if these work. You'll need to click on the two image below to view the videos.
I did get one rainbow on Saturday near our camp. Cool coloring on 'em.
Ran into two guys who brought a drift boat at our campground. They reported somewhat slow fishing and fished stonefly nymphs. Gave us some good ideas for "easier" wade fishing in the area that may be put to use should I ever attempt to make another trip down to the Ozarks for fishing. The area is really nice and my second visit to the Ozarks.
Finally some random pics