Forum member Curtise headed West and the BilletHead South West. Met west of Joplin and parked Curt's modern prairie schooner. He jumped in the BilletHead's Prairie Schooner with the newfangled dugout sporting a jet drive. Farther Southwest we went through Seneca and across the border into tribal lands. Passing Casino after casino. I thought of how poetic that the first peoples were now getting even with the paleface taking their wampum. We soon made our way to the bridges twin to the boat ramp to see the parking lot pretty full. Gear stowed in the dugout we traveled up the spring river. We passed boat after boat circling spots like covered wagons landing for the night. Only difference was there was no campfire in the middle but fish they were after. It was like slalom skiing in and out of the boats wondering which side to pass on as they were in the middle and fishing each bank. Upstream we continued and by the 10c bridge. The farther up we went the less boats we seen. Our quest was the first good current and shoal. We found another boat there and two wading anglers catching fish with stringers dragging behind. We dropped anchor and strung up the rods. We would cast either towards the bank letting the fly or lure swing into the current break or vice versa into the strong current swinging into the current break. Then it happened with the BilletHead getting a hook up then Curtise at almost the same moment. A double to start the day ,
We continued working up and back repeating the process not only catching Whites but Crappie too. Some nice ones at that,
We caught enough to keep us happy in that area but soon began up through the shoal to cast a steeper deep bank with slower water. A couple more were caught there. We then traveled farther up to another shoal and watched a couple waders catching what I think were crappie from a slack area next to current. We fished there fighting the wind and more shallow water without any catching. Dropped down to the original starting point to find two other boats. We fished there without anymore fish. Left there for trying deeper water where the masses of other boats were scattered. This time so many more that the first pass. Every size of water motor craft you could imagine here and there casting anything from tiny jigs all the way up to A- rigs the size of compact cars. Wind beginning to get worse now with mini whitecaps forming. Add to this large boats plowing water it was a mess it was . We even seen waves going over a smaller crafts sides . Fished down there amongst the crowd without another fish we decided to call it an afternoon. Had to run the riverboat slow back in the waves to keep from beating ourselves in the waves. In a couple of places they were pretty intense. I am missing the 10c launch. Hope it will be useable when the bridge is finished. People putting in and out at the ramp we finally got off the water and ready for the trip back. Trip specs were,
Air temp at launch right at 40 degrees. Water temp 51 to 52 degrees. Air temp at trip end 72 and water temp finally hit 55. The BilletHead threw fly's all day, Curtise fly's and flicker shad. Clouser colors that worked were gray over white and pink over white. A white streamer worked too. Flicker shad purple back and fire tiger. Sink tip lines were used on the fly rods. Caught fish in water depths four to six or seven foot deep.
Numbers between us I would say in the mid to upper twenties. Mixed sized whites both males and females. I weighed one pound a half. Big crappie without weighing say a pound fish. Did not notice any redbuds showing any color on way over but did see a hint on the way back. Good day with good friends I call it a successful trip. We tucked tail and headed back East and North East,
End of story and report,