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About OzarkRiverCamper

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  1. The site was open for put-in/take out in early June, we pulled out after a 2 night float there. But there was no way to camp. the grounds were totally torn up from the floods. I have no idea if they have restored them at this point but they had a decent amount of work to do. Not a total loss, though, they should open back up for camping.
  2. Quick Update...I just took a look at the USGS site and they did a manual measurement recently which caused them to adjust the CFS number downward...significantly. So where it said we were floating at 400CFS+, it now shows less than 200CFS for 5/26 and 5/27. That actually makes me feel a lot better about the condition of the river as it makes more sense that we were dragging a lot. So now I am really eager to hear about anyone else that floats over the weekend to see what their experience is. Carry on...
  3. We just floated Prongs to Bay Creek...about 25 miles. We did it in 3 days, 2 nights. Started 9AM Day 1 and ended around 2PM day 3. If I had to do it again, I would be looking for a shorter float as the fish were biting but we had to paddle past a lot of them. If I wanted to fish a lot and relax, I would do 17 bridge to Bay Creek. The river didn't seem to be moving us along as fast as in past years, I posted separately about that. I am really curious to see how you feel after your float. Whatever you do you'll have fun I am sure.
  4. To be honest, I can't track that much detail on a 25 mile run from float to float anyway, my memory just doesn't work like that :-) I will say that the large rock(s) that were laying around in the deeper parts of the bend at Jam Up cave are all now part of the rock pile at the entrance of the cave. I have pictures of my son jumping off those rocks from last year so that is one specific change I noticed. There was no shortage of sandbars, that is for sure. Even at 400cfs, plenty of bars to pull over or camp. Some other things I noticed were a few large landslides along the route, although it was rock and not mud that did the sliding. There was visible tree damage along the entire route from the recent floods as well. I think it will bounce back quickly, though, and due to the surrounding national park it didn't detract from the scenery at all. There were plenty of uprooted trees stuck in the top of still standing trees as well...an interesting sight. I am interested to see if other feedback on floatability at lower levels as the river drops.
  5. We floated from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon. We started at the Y Bridge and pulled out at Bay Creek. Water levels were running about 400 CFS at the 17 bridge gage until the rain hit Saturday night. It peaked up to about 900 CFS on Sunday when I checked the gage after trip. Water was clear until Sunday, although still not too bad then. Fishing was great all weekend, even after the hard thunderstorms Saturday night. Lot's of smallmouth with many juveniles so it seemed like it was a good spawn. The river is just as pretty as always. There are plenty of downed and semi-downed trees along the entire float but that was to be expected. However, the upper part seemed shallower than we expected as we had to drag quite a few times even with the water running at such high levels. We were in fully loaded canoes and kayaks, but that is nothing new. Having done this float a few times now, it sure seemed to me that the river was a bit wider up top, the riffles didn't have any defined shoots to hit so you were forced to drag. At 400CFS, we should have been flying...but we weren't and had to paddle quite a bit until Sunday. Maybe the river needs some more minor flooding events to dig a new smaller channel. We had lots of debates on what happened, it seems that the smaller channel you float in the low waters was filled in and needs time to re-trench. so if like me you have floated in as little as 75cfs, it might be a bit more difficult to do that right now. I'd really be interested to hear from others who have been before and after the floods this spring. Oh yeah...to all those who cleaned up the trees jamming the river...THANK YOU!
  6. Well the river was very cooperative. Put in on Thursday at about 11AM and the water was perfect. I did have to get out and push 1/2 dozen times to get us over riffles but nothing to complain about as there were 2 of us in a loaded canoe. We floated from 17 bridge to Bay Creek. We caught a BUNCH of small mouth and some Goggle Eye. We lost count but I bet my son caught 50+ fish in 2 days. Most 8-12" but some in the 15" range. All caught on a plastic worm. The rain was no problem and we were out Friday night so were spared the misery of the cold rain Saturday morning. It was kind of nice to get the shower overnight on Thursday. My pictures are on the phone still but thanks to GreasyB for pushing us to go for it...we weren't disappointed. There was one small incident where I almost sliced my finger off...lot's of blood... but I was prepared with my first aid kit and it is healing just fine thank you!!! The real message in this is to be sure you have a GOOD first aid kit as you don't know what can happen...in my case I DO know how stupid I can be sometimes so I came prepared for said stupidity. Oh, and make sure your tetanus shots are up to date!
  7. Thanks for the feedback. My friends and I just went through that a few weeks ago on the JF...we'll be camping high this time as well. Although the forecast keeps pushing the rain back...I hope that trend continues for another day.
  8. OK so I am aware of all of the advice around river levels on the Jacks Fork. I am wondering if anyone has actually floated this river in the current conditions. My son and I are going on a 2 night trip starting tomorrow and were hoping to do Buck Hollow to Bay Creek Thurs-Sat this week. Current reading at Buck Hollow is 78CFS and Alley Spring is 3x that at 225CFS. I figure Buck Hollow will be at 65-70CFS by tomorrow morning at the current drop rate. We are skipping the Bay to Alley portion as I know that gets really low and wide. We will be in a loaded canoe. We know we will be doing some dragging but are wondering if we are going to be walking 1/2 the river at that rate or just the occasional riffle that we have to walk. Given the increased flow rate at Alley Spring I am hoping that after a few miles we will be seeing enough extra water from creeks, etc.... Our alternative would be the Current River which would be nice but we would really like to float the upper Jack's Fork.
  9. Having floated the river a few times over the last couple of years, if the water is high enough I would HIGHLY recommend floating from the Highway 17 Bridge down to Bay Creek Vs. Bay Creek to Two Rivers. Not sure if you have floated this before but if not, I found it to be the best fishing and most will agree the scenery is SO much better on the upper part and the mileage is about the same. It's personally my favorite stretch of river in Missouri The trick is to have enough water. At the Mountain View gage I am personally willing to go with anything above 100 CFS. You'll scrape a few places but it's worth it in both the scenery and the fishing, IMO. That's with a fully loaded Kayak for 2 nights camping. You'll find plenty written about water levels on this part of the river around here. Judging from the current levels, if you are going this weekend there's a good chance you could have *perfect* water to float and fish the upper Jack's fork. If you catch it at around 150CFS, it should be crystal clear water and all of the very cool rock features will be visible and holding fish: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/mo/nwis/uv?cb_00065=on&cb_00060=on&cb_00010=on&cb_00045=on&format=gif_default&site_no=07065200&period=5&begin_date=2015-05-07&end_date=2015-05-08 If I hadn't just gone over Memorial Day, that is where I would be headed. I'll leave the Hammock debate to other but will say that if you want to bring it along I think you wouldn't have a problem finding a place to hang it...but that is just a guess based on what I have seen on the river, not having done it.
  10. Thanks for the feedback Al. I certainly don't want to get in the way of a fish guarding their young. After all, one of those could grow up to be the 22" monster I catch in 10 years! I may end up on either the Jacks Fork or Current River this weekend so I'll be taking your advice and trying to teach myself how to topwater fish. My problem is when I go to buy those lures, there are 500 varieties of them at the store and my eyes just kind of glaze over, I get real quiet and walk over to buy a bag of plastic worms and some hooks. But, I'll give it a try this weekend.
  11. I have had two trips on that river, both last year, both starting at Buck Hollow and ending at Bay Creek or the Spring. One in very early June, the other in August, so later than your trip. On both trips, I simply threw out a plastic worm on a #1 or #2 with a sinker and had a ton of luck. You can catch small mouth and goggle eye (rock bass) with that setup. I am pretty certain that is a managed area so it's pretty much catch and release on the smallmouth, which is all I ever do anyway. The waters was like glass the 1st trip and pretty clear the 2nd, so I used a green pumpkin color both times. There's a bunch of threads around here so the credit for that goes to everyone on this board. It quickly became my favorite river to float. I have never tried crankbaits, spinners, etc...on that river. I am sure they would work if you know how to use them but I tend to lose a lot of lures whenever I river fish so plastic is easier on the pocketbook. And camp high, it's spring and that river is in a canyon so it rises quickly! Make sure to check the USGS Water Gages.
  12. I'm thinking about a couple of night float on the Huzzah or Courtois around 3/18. What if anything will be biting? The last March float we did on that Courtois a few years back was completely dead. I'm not complaining, it's a beautiful float, just want to be prepared to catch anything if they are awake yet. If the fish are as confused as my trees are, I'll probably catch something.
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