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Watercraft for Huzzah and Courtois creeks


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Hello all,

I am moving to St Louis later this summer and am starting to try and figure out what sorts of fishing I'll want to do in Missouri and what areas to look in etc. 

I mainly fly fish, and as far as trout go, I got to check out blue springs creek for the first time a couple weeks ago and caught a little wild rainbow. It was a pretty cool stream!

I am interested in checking out huzzah and courtois creeks though for smallies at some point in the future. I have two small watercraft currently..a kayak and a "bass raider".

In moving to Missouri, I'm likely to only bring one of them and get rid of the other. I love the kayak for it's light weight and versatility, but I love the bass raider for how easy it is to fish from standing up and sitting up high in the seat.

For that reason, I'd prefer to bring the bass raider with me if I only had one boat. See picture for the "bass raider" I'm referring to. Id often be fishing out of it by myself

Do you think I could take the bass raider down huzzah or courtois creeks? 

Or would they be too rocky, fast, or unpredictable for a small boat like that? It is extremely stable, but it doesn't steer that well with just a paddle, so I would likely take a trolling motor and battery, as well as a paddle. 

 

Lastly is there any wadeable access areas on either of these creeks? That way I could wade and check them out for a bit on my own before deciding to bring a watercraft.

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Here’s a first attempt with my GoPro trying to look under a rootwad. If you know the place, this is the big rootwad right at the take out.

You would have to walk every riffle and  a lot of the holes aint very deep. If you like to hike they would be perfect.  

Nope, not didymo.  It's a typical algae for some of the clearer creeks.  See it a lot on upper Black River as well.  It never gets too overgrown.  

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If you do from Hwy 8 down to the slab bridge at Hwy E on the Huzzah you should be fine although you'll probably have to drag it a bit in spots.  There's a few narrow areas and some shallow areas in there.  Huzzah has some really narrow spots (i.e. The Narrows) between Butts slab and the Huzzah, but again, it's probably nothing you couldn't drag or push yourself through.  They get big 12 person rafts through it.  The water isn't real fast though so that's not an issue.

-- Jim

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles. -- Doug Larson

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Your bass raider appears to be more suitable for a pond, not twisty creeks like the Huzzah, our Courtois. It’s not uncommon to have a need to drag around/ over a dead tree or over a shallow shoal. You could find spots to use both boats near STL, and a man can’t have too many boats. Get your fly stuff at Hargrove’s Fly Shop in STL. Bring a 6 pack by and stay awhile, when this crazy stuff subsides.

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What Gavin said.  Your most versatile craft would be the kayak...a trolling motor is practically useless on streams like the Huzzah...the places where you need it most are too shallow to use it.  If you can't paddle it easily and really maneuver it with the paddle, it will be nothing but a pain in the rear to get down narrow, twisty streams with plenty of log and brush obstructions like the Huzzah.  You could use it okay on larger rivers like the Meramec that have nice boat ramps at nearly every access.  Huzzah and Courtois aren't like that. Bring the kayak, and bring the other thing for pond fishing.

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I've had a pond prowler for 30 plus years or so.  Or Coleman Crawdad in the early days.  While stable they aren't suited for small ozark streams at all.  Nearly no way to steer them.  I'd keep both if you could.  If just fishing the two small steams you better keep the yak. 

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Well it's settled then.. Kayak it is!

I will say though, my kayak is a 12 footer and pretty beefy. It's a perception pescador. 

 I have taken it down some small streams that sound similar to these and it can seem a bit too big at times. 

At some point I'd like to look into a square back and wide canoe, or small dinghy, but prob won't do that before I move. 

Do you guys pair up to do floats down these rivers at all? I'll be looking for some partners for shuttling purposes in the future becuase I imagine this is a point to point operation right...not like you can paddle yourself upstream and then float back down

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And yeah, maybe I can find enough storage for both boats and bring them both. 

But still I think I'd prefer to get rid of both and get one rig that I could fish flatwater(ponds) and rivers with a little better..like a square back canoe with an upright seat. 

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3 hours ago, Orey10m said:

Well it's settled then.. Kayak it is!

I will say though, my kayak is a 12 footer and pretty beefy. It's a perception pescador. 

 I have taken it down some small streams that sound similar to these and it can seem a bit too big at times. 

At some point I'd like to look into a square back and wide canoe, or small dinghy, but prob won't do that before I move. 

Do you guys pair up to do floats down these rivers at all? I'll be looking for some partners for shuttling purposes in the future becuase I imagine this is a point to point operation right...not like you can paddle yourself upstream and then float back down

A pescador is fairly svelte compared to a lot of what's out there these days.  I've got one myself and can tell you it is fine on the Ozarks streams.

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Ok - I also have two float tubes/belly boats for fishing. How will those do on these streams? 

I don't particularly enjoy fishing out of them, so they mainly just sit in my garage and don't get used year after year. But I feel like they might be perfect some Missouri streams so wanted to ask about them

Also the fact I have two means I'm ready to take a friend and have a put in/take out shuttle arrangement so that's nice

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