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DainW

End of April?

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Ok so a couple buddies and myself are planning a Missouri fishing trip 3rd weekend of April. Just wanted to see if it's worth hitting the jack's fork this time of year?

If so, is it an absolute must that you rent a canoe and float, or can you walk and wade and be successful as well? Just curious if I want to fish it, do I need to devote an entire day to getting a canoe and fishing it. 

Thanks,

Dain

 

 

 

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Third week of April would be a nice time to see spring at its best.  Watch stream gauges and weather reports, its flood season.

In April, the whole river should be floatable.  A kayak or canoe would be best to see the sights and fish.  It would be money well spent if water is running clear and normal.  Fishing and floating makes for an enjoyable spring day.  You can cover more water and get away from accesses that all can walk around and fish.

Wade fishing would be best in upper stretches.  Lower river below Alley Spring has deeper holes.  Plenty of side trips in the area if water is high.  The entire area of the Ozarks will be in its finest colors.

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Yep, if the water level is normal there's no better time to float the Jacks Fork...enough water to do it in the upper portions and gorgeous spring scenery throughout.  Also, if it's at normal level for that time of year, it's pretty strong current to be wading in.  Just have a few back-up plans if you get too much water.  There are some small creeks that go down as fast as they come up that are worth wading in that area if the rivers are too high.

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The tightly guarded creeks are those with limited access that are not obvious.  I won't name any on here except to say that if you have or can get hold of the late Chuck Tryon's book "200 Missouri Smallmouth Adventures" (The Missouri Smallmouth Alliance was giving them away to new members but I don't know if they have any left) it will tell you about all the ones in the Current River area, and there are some good ones. Most of them require some hiking to get into, but it's hiking through gorgeous country so even if the fishing is disappointing it's still a great experience.

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Thanks for the info Al. It looks like that book is selling for 70 bucks on amazaon. I called the membership chair at Missouri Smallmouth Alliance, and he said he'd send me one if I joined at bronzeback level for $50, and all of that money goes to advocacy. No brainer there. 

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Ok so we ended up fishing the upper jack's last weekend. It kind of got sandwiched between trout trips to the current and NFOW, so we didn't devote enough time to it honestly. Fished the Radcliffe ford access and the highway 17 access. Managed a couple small ones and several fat goggle eye.  Had the fly rods and didn't really get to cover as much water as I would've liked. What a beautiful River though. Side note, the blue ribbon stretch of the current was on fire if anyone is interested. 

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