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dustin.hutchison91

Hwy 101 to river

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My Father in law who lives in Yellville told me the same thing about the dye tests and that it came up at Big Springs. Pretty cool that the water can disappear that far up stream then come back up on the other side of the White.

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Yes, there is a losing reach on the Gasconade.  Part of the water disappears a mile or so below the Hwy. T bridge, and doesn't reappear for about 9 miles, where it emerges as part of Falling Spring, Creasy Spring, and Bartlett Mill Spring.  You won't really notice the loss much at normal levels, but I've floated that section in dead low water, and it was barely flowing about 30 cfs through the losing reach, while it was flowing about 85 cfs above and below.  There's a big, radical bend there, and as the crow flies, the distance between the points where the water disappears and re-emerges is only about two miles.

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I can give you a good bit of first hand information on the lower end of Crooked creek below the 101 bridge as I have floated it probably 6 or 8 times over the past 20 years and waded parts of it many times.  Let me start by saying that about 1/2 mile below the 101 bridge the water comes back up and the creek always has water there, (at least it has in the 26 years that I've lived here).  There is now an AGFC landing there.  You have to take a left at the hill top prior to the 101 bridge and follow the signs.  It's around 9 miles from the 101 bridge to the White river.

The creek in the summer time is a series of pools usually connected by no more than a trickle, when it's dry it can be 100 yards or more between pools but some of the pools are quite long and deep.  If you are young and hardy you could probably drag a kayak down this stretch, but you would be tired at the end of the day.  As you might expect there are considerably more largemouth than smallmouth in this section and some of the largemouth are true lunkers.  I've caught more largemouth in that section over 5 lbs. here than anywhere I've ever fished.  Floating this section is obviously very water-level dependent and is generally an option only in the spring.  I wish I could tell you the cfs reading at Kelley's Slab that would correlate to a good level on the lower end, but I don't know what the number would be.  Even at a "nice" water level canoe floating is an adventure.  Because the stream does have stretches that are normally dry, there are plenty of willow thickets to negotiate through and a fair number of tricky bends twists and ill-placed laydown trees.  All in all it's not for the faint of heart.  It may be that Google Earth has revealed all secrets, but that doesn't negate that fact that the middle stretches of this section of creek are usually darned hard to get to as there is only the one public access.  Rest assured that this stretch sees considerably less fishing pressure than most places you'll find.  Whether it's a hidden and magical place is a matter of opinion...  The area near the public launch gets fished a good bit by wade fisherman and I haven't caught as many good fish near there as in years past.

I can also tell you that there is permanent smallmouth population in this section and I have caught a few over 18" there and have no doubt that there are bigger ones to be had.  In the summer time the water does get quite warm and there are a considerable number of cottonmouths in the area.  I've been fishing the upper end of Crooked creek for years and have seen 2 or 3 cottonmouths total.  On a warm summer day on the lower end it's nothing to see 6 or 8 cottonmouths on the lower end, (I'm not talking about brown water snakes, these are the real thing!)  I'm not particularly afraid of snakes, but I do try to give the poisonous one's plenty of room.

In summary the lower end of Crooked creek 1) Does hold some really big fish, (mostly largemouth), 2) Isn't floatable all that often, and when it is floatable it is an adventure, 3) Has low water and a thriving cottonmouth population in the warm months. 4) Doesn't get much fishing pressure in the middle of the stretch, (a few people wade down when the water is low and a few boat up when the water is high).

My days on the lower end are about over, but if you are in good shape and up for an adventure I would recommend giving it a try.

 

ps-  I've also floated and fished the section between Yellville and the 101 bridge several times.  The first 4 or 5 miles below Yellville can be pretty good, but the section below that all the way to the 101 bridge was never good fishing.  This is to be expected, because this is the section that goes bone dry during most summers.

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I've been to that Lower CC access. It seems like a terrible use of government money to me. I'm sure there are some decent fish to be had and I fully agree that it is a real workout to try and get at them and not for the faint of heart. I also COMPLETELY agree that there are a higher than normal amount of Cottonmouth on the lower reaches. I would expect the number of cottonmouth to be inversely proportional to the amount of people that use an area. People seemingly can not be intelligent and mature enough to not kill snakes on sight and especially snakes they deem to be deadly. Tough sledding = less people = more snakes.

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