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Ryan Walker

OAF Fishing Contributor
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About Ryan Walker

  • Rank
    Trout Fisher
  • Birthday 05/02/1969

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  • Location
    Republic, Mo
  • Interests
    Flyfishing, bow hunting, turkeys, my wife and kids...( well, not quite in that order..)

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  1. Fished the home waters twice this week. Tuesday with @Mofloatjunkie and today just me and the rain... Tuesday ( Delaware to Shelvin) was a transition day; falling water and high skies. We managed one GOOD smallmouth and a bunch of big GoggleEye. No discernible pattern, but a beautiful day to float with a new fishing buddy. @Mofloatjunkie managed to land a solid 18" fish at the blue hole... Today ( Jamesville to Hootentown) was rain, rain, and more rain. Water clouded up, and the CFS came up from 480CFS ( at Boaz) when I launched at 9, to over 700CFS when I got off the river at 3. I quite literally tried most of the flies in my box, switching up sink tips from intermediate to +300 grains; no dice. I believe my problem was not being able to keep the fly in the zone long enough. Time to switch... My friend Jeff Tatum with 19Delta Baits had painted some square bills for me in a unique crawfish pattern, and I figured I'd honor that token by smashing them into rocks, hanging them in trees and generally making a mess of things for the requisite 30 minute flyrod to spinning gear conversion period. Now I'm not a great ( or even good) crankbait fisherman, but I decided to target rocks and gravel behind structure, in eddies and along typical spawning cover. Boom! That was the ticket. Ended up with 18 smallmouth from 10 to 17" . In my opinion, the difference maker was the direction of the water. Falling water has always been tough. My thoughts are that fish are trying to figure out where to position, and why the bank keeps getting closer. Rising water brings more surface area, better DO and food. Much more desirable conditions... I hope to be back on the water early next week, but I think Mother Nature has other plans for us...If I get out, I'll post another report.. Free. The. Fighter!
  2. Thanks man! I'm pretty happy with my wilderness. It was good for fishing rivers.
  3. Man, y'all have some GREAT fishing up there! I have spent the past few years traveling Wisconsin and MN for work, and have gotten to "sample" some if it! Cox access is an MDC access in Galena Mo, on the James. Taylor is a shoal above Blunk access ( or, if you will, below Cox Access). Blunk is a road in Galena that ends in the James river, and is a popular access/launch point for upper Table Rock Lake or the lower James River. In my opinion, if you want to wade fish for 'eyes on the James, Blunk access is the place. You can walk the river up to Taylor shoals and fish it or some of the water above it. And there is ample wade fishing along that stretch of river. Water is a bit high now, but in a day or two it'll be manageable ( gully washers not-withstanding)... Look here on Google maps: 36.790025, -93.488606 Let me know if you have questions...
  4. Spent a great evening late last week floating from Cox to Blunk. Launched at 5 or so and blew through the upper 3/4 mile, started fishing at the big bend. Had the best evening for walleye I have had in years! Ended up with 13 to the boat, kept two for dinner and released the rest. Half the fish came on the fly rod ( clousers in purple and pink) and the other half came on smoke purple swimming minnows on an 1/8th oz head, fished near ( but not on) the bottom. Picked up a couple of good smallies and some big goggle eye as well.. Floated the stretch from Taylor to Blunk in the dark, listening to the peepers and watching the bats skim insects in the moonlight. A pretty perfect evening... Gonna hit it again early tomorrow, will keep you posted!
  5. We caught a few at Walnut Springs Monday. I saw a few at McCords Bend Wednesday. Hello cold front! They may still be at Walnut on the James. I know guys are catching them at the river mouths as well. It won't be too long...
  6. It may move the whites back a bit, but the SM/LM will still be there. Just slow it down. Saturday looks nasty. I have a feeling you'll have it all to yourself...
  7. Let me know if you do, would love to fish with you...
  8. I knew they were there, I guess I just didn't realize how many there were...I stood up in the yak for a good portion of the trip, and they were thick! Maybe it's the water level; less water, fish are condensed to prime areas..it was a good day all around...
  9. Launched the ATAK at Blunks late this morning. Floated to the bend and paddled back. Fishing was good, I don't remember there being as many Spots in there as I saw today. Obviously the river is super low. Clear-ish and surface temp was hovering between 54-55F. Saw a large pod of whites at the bend, and a huge walleye in the pool just below the ramp at Blunks. Huge..Crept up on a LM that was sunning on the light gravel in about 2ft of water. It's always cool to watch fish and how they react and interact with their surroundings.. Caught a ton of spots and several good smallmouth, mostly on the Ned in green pumpkin and PBJ. Threw a streamer ( Ryan's Simple Bunny) for a while, and caught a nice spot and a smallie. I spent 20 minutes talking to the farmer that owns the land on the east side of the river, he's worried about the water levels and how much stuff is gonna come at him if we get a good rain. He also said that if the water stays low he won't have to deal with as many folks trashing his gravel bar...On that point we agreed.... If you read my White Bass posts last year, you'll appreciate this: I am seeing dogwoods and red buds blooming, saw a Tom (or a jake most likely) strutting this morning, and have yet to keep a white bass..I know they are moving on other rivers, and we found a decent pod of them earlier in the week at Walnut Springs, but if we were going by old wives tales, they should be in full reproduction mode right about now..Proof positive that we are having a very, very strange spring... Free. The. Fighter!
  10. Still low and clear...Fish look to be ok, but I fear if we don't get a rain soon, it will be in bad shape. We got 1/2" in RepMo Monday night...Didn't go very far...
  11. Spent the day(yesterday) with a couple from Little Rock. Parents of a good friend that had fished all of the Ozarks Tailwaters except Taney( they have also fished in Argentina, Africa, Brazil and a list of places too long to mention. Very interesting couple). We divided our time above and below Fall Creek, fishing gravel flats with chop on the water. Both areas fished well. No generation, and a slight breeze in the morning made midge fishing the ticket. We fished a tandem rig of Zebra midges and string things. Size 18 and 20 Tungsten Zebra's in olive produced well all morning. Any where we found chop and water between 2 and 5ft deep, we found fish. Spent the afternoon from just below Fall Creek dock to just above Trout Hollow. Again, gravel flats with chop and 2-5ft of water. We'd let the breeze push us down the bank, staying as close as we could to the east bank. When we ran out of choppy water, we'd motor back up and lather, rinse, repeat. Fishing was consistent all day. The Tungsten Zebra midge in olive with silver wire, size 20, was the most consistent pattern. The two biggest fish, a matched pair of 17' Rainbows, came on a red Zebra that I had coated with Clear Cure Goo. Red Tungsten bead, with copper wire. Size 16. We caught a few stockers, but overall the fish were nicely colored river fish, and fought quite well. Turned a decent brown, but lost him before he could get to the net... All in all, it was a splendid February day in the Ozarks!
  12. Hey Bob, Hootentown to marble grounds or mud bank as some people call it is just a shade over 6 miles. You do not need four-wheel-drive, but you will have to pull your kayak up the bank. It's not straight up and my wife is able to pull her kayak up fairly easily. Access it via McCall bridge Road. We fish it fairly often and are usually off the water by two or three in the afternoon, having started around daylight. Will be floating it Saturday. Hootentown to Kerr is close to 19 miles and is an overnighter, but in my opinion the best overnighter on the river. There are some great places to camp along the way On a side note, Hootentown canoe rental will shuttle your vehicle to either place for $20. I use them all the time and it's money well spent not to have to either burden, or rely upon someone else to make sure your car is there when you get out. One thing I know for certain; this time of year, if you have to float the weekend, going down from Hootentown is the only way to go. Most of the people I run into down there doing exactly what we're doing: Fishing
  13. I picked up a pair of Simms Intruder wet wading boots. Could not be happier. Built in gravel guard, very light and comfy. Will accept cleats or studs, and they wear like hiking boots. Little more expensive, but well worth the money.. https://www.simmsfishing.com/shop/wading-boots/intruder-boot.html
  14. Cool! I am very familiar! Some of my favorite waters! My wife is very allergic to cold, or we'd probably be in a cabin outside Rexburg or near Idaho Falls somewhere. Glad to meet you, hope to see you on the river again soon!
  15. Hey! Sorry for the confusion about that, not sure what I did the night before, cause I drove right to Mud Bank that morning.. We spent a week+ in Idaho last fall, fished the Henry's Fork,Snake and a bunch of the Yellowstone streams, love that state! Go see Ozarks Smallmouth Alliance on FB, love to have you contribute!
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