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I've been on the Osage Fork a few times...have floated from Drynob to Hull Ford twice, and from Hwy. B to Drynob once. This has got to be one of the best looking smallie streams in the Ozarks. Water with some color, lots of cover, moves along just enough. But my trips have been rather mediocre fishing. I did one trip with several members of the MO Smallmouth Alliance, and everybody caught some fish. On the upper float I was with my buddy Cory, who fishes much the same way I do and is a terrific angler, and we really didn't do as well as we expected.

One thing I've noticed about the Osage Fork and the upper Gasconade is that catch and keep fishing is definitely alive and well on those streams. I've seen lots of guys with stringers of bass, and lots of bass remains at the accesses. Although I'm sure that the Osage Fork can produce some very good fishing, I suspect it would be even better with a little less harvest of bigger fish.

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Hey Al, have you ever fished around the Empire, or evergreen ranch south of lebanon. I fished it one time and we caught a lot of fish but the way Plaster runs people off we didnt catch what we were expecting to catch. We really didnt catch many big smallmouth either but we did catch quite a few goggleeye. It is a really pretty stretch of river with lost of historical stuff along it. There are a few old houses right along the river, especially one i remember on stilts right above the bank. There was also an old mill with a dam right above our takeout. You just have to watch because i have heard Plaster will run you off.

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I've float/fished it 4 or 5 times. Fell in love with it, then kind've fell out of love with it last summer. We did a mid-summer overnight float from Drynob to Davis Ford with 3 other families. We had solitude that you wouldn't get on many other rivers for that time of year, saw not a soul . . . . with the exception of whole herds of cows bathing in the river at 2 or 3 different areas. Fishing was lousy, it was hot, and I don't know which smelled worse, the river, or my kids diapers. Long stretches of flat frog water. Despite all that, we had a great time.

The upper river is better looking and better fishing in my opinion.

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Bryant I think thats the remains of Orla. The fish seem to move a lot in the O'Fork and when its hot they seem to prefer sticking their noses in the faster water.

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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Yeah that was the Orla mill. We took out of the Orla bridge on that float. We had quite the break playing on the concrete slide next to the dam where the water went around. It was a lot of fun. I kind of like having a little of that stuff to play on and swim in during a float, it seems to give you a break from concentrating and fishing and getting hot and sweaty. We did hear a story though later when I told some people from Lebanon about it that someone supposedly died playing at that dam but it was just a story i dont konw if there was any truth to it.

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I did a two day float on the Osage Fork last summer. 1st day from Davis to Hull. 2nd day from Hull to Hazelgreen. I was a little disappointed, also. I can't blame the river, though. I floated with my wife and another couple. I was the only fisherman. So, there was no power fishing. I had to skip some nice looking spots and fish some not so nice spots. The first day we didn't get on the water till afternoon. An hour or so into it, a torrential downpour erupted for a good 30 min., followed by an hour of steady hard rain. That pretty much put a damper on the fist day. The 2nd day, we hit the water a little earlier (not much). It was very hot and the water was moving very slowly, we had a work out. I believe I caught about 20 bass the 1st day, most before the rain. No real size. Maybe 1 or 2 over 12". The 2nd day was real poor. Maybe 10 fish. No size what so ever. Also, a mixed bag of sunfish. I realize that I was there at the wrong time of year, the wrong time of day, with the wrong people, and with bad weather. Al, is right the river looked like a great smallie stream. I may have to hit it in the early spring. I'm a die hard catch and releaser. So, I fish year around. ... Tight lines

wader

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I've only floated it once from B to Dry Knob. The water was up and the fishing was poor. Nice float, but it was too much for one day. 14 miles of frog water is a lot to get through if you put in late.

I've explored it a bit up around Empire Ranch, but most of the access points were loaded with cattle. It might be a lot better down closer to the Gasconade. Cheers.

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My take on the O Fork is that the fish are finicky and you have to find what they want. My last trip was down to Hazelgreen and I didn't do well until I started fishing a particular type of lure, things then pick up enough to save the trip.

I know that there was an 18" in an area east of Lebanon in 2005. ;)

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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