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Current River 9/18 And 9/19


ozark trout fisher

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I spent this weekend in the Ozarks, first hiking through a large Conservation area in the Current River hills Saturday morning, and secondly trout fishing on the Current Saturday afternoon and this morning. The hike I took was along the middle Current, so in the interest of having some time to fish, I decided to stop at the Welch Spring Access for the evening instead of driving all the way up to Baptist Camp. I've never fished at Welch, and the river was pretty different there than the Montauk/Tan Vat/Baptist Camp area. Fishing it was more like fishing a big Western river than the upper Current I'm used to. The river was very pretty and not that crazy either, because most of the canoe crowd was off the river by the time I started at 6:30 P.M. I started off with a #12 Olive Woolly Bugger drifted under an indicator and never switched it. The fishing was definitely alright-and the surroundings were very nice, but the quality of angling was definitely less than that of the Blue Ribbon section.The habitat certainly looked like it was there- I suspect the difference has more to do with the fact that this part of the stream probably gets hit pretty hard by the meat hunters. By dark, I managed to catch a half a dozen fish, all stocker rainbows in the 12-14 inch range. I was totally satisfied and happy with the day, even if the fishing could have been a little better. I went and found the first pull-off on national park land that didn't say no camping (I avoid noisy campgrounds whenever humanly possible), heated up a can of Campbell's Chili and hit the sack.

The next morning I decided to try the Parker Hollow Access up in the Blue Ribbon stretch. I just wasn't up for the crowds that I knew I'd find at Baptist Camp or Tan Vat, and I figured the canoes wouldn't be around until at least late morning all the way down at Parker. I guess I didn't really expect much out of the fishing-the pool at the access looked pretty slow, shallow, and stagnant. But as I worked away from the access point, I started finding some good water and found some fish. One fast riffle was particulartly good to me; I managed to land a dozen trout out of in about an hour. I was fishing a heavy nymph rig pretty much all day (a San Juan Worm, a #18 Hare's Ear dropper, and a couple split shot) and that was all I needed. I really like fishing the "heavy water" on the Current, the deep, fast stuff where you really have to have your fly on the bottom to do any good. The places I spend my time on that river are usually the kind of areas that most fisherman pass up- the shallow riffles and fast rips that maybe only have a couple fish holding places. But if you find a stretch of water that is generally too fast to hold fish, you can often find one or two swirling eddies where the water slows down or even flows upstream. On the upper Current (and on any other trout stream I've fished) the trout really congregate in those areas. Sure, there are fish in the deep, luxurious holes, but those places also get fished by everyone that comes through. Just a thought for the next time you're fishing the Current.

Anyway, it was a nice weekend on the river-stream conditions are very good, kind of low water, but not bad at all.

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I spent this weekend in the Ozarks, first hiking through a large Conservation area in the Current River hills Saturday morning, and secondly trout fishing on the Current Saturday afternoon and this morning. The hike I took was along the middle Current, so in the interest of having some time to fish, I decided to stop at the Welch Spring Access for the evening instead of driving all the way up to Baptist Camp. I've never fished at Welch, and the river was pretty different there than the Montauk/Tan Vat/Baptist Camp area. Fishing it was more like fishing a big Western river than the upper Current I'm used to. The river was very pretty and not that crazy either, because most of the canoe crowd was off the river by the time I started at 6:30 P.M. I started off with a #12 Olive Woolly Bugger drifted under an indicator and never switched it. The fishing was definitely alright-and the surroundings were very nice, but the quality of angling was definitely less than that of the Blue Ribbon section.The habitat certainly looked like it was there- I suspect the difference has more to do with the fact that this part of the stream probably gets hit pretty hard by the meat hunters. By dark, I managed to catch a half a dozen fish, all stocker rainbows in the 12-14 inch range. I was totally satisfied and happy with the day, even if the fishing could have been a little better. I went and found the first pull-off on national park land that didn't say no camping (I avoid noisy campgrounds whenever humanly possible), heated up a can of Campbell's Chili and hit the sack.

The next morning I decided to try the Parker Hollow Access up in the Blue Ribbon stretch. I just wasn't up for the crowds that I knew I'd find at Baptist Camp or Tan Vat, and I figured the canoes wouldn't be around until at least late morning all the way down at Parker. I guess I didn't really expect much out of the fishing-the pool at the access looked pretty slow, shallow, and stagnant. But as I worked away from the access point, I started finding some good water and found some fish. One fast riffle was particulartly good to me; I managed to land a dozen trout out of in about an hour. I was fishing a heavy nymph rig pretty much all day (a San Juan Worm, a #18 Hare's Ear dropper, and a couple split shot) and that was all I needed. I really like fishing the "heavy water" on the Current, the deep, fast stuff where you really have to have your fly on the bottom to do any good. The places I spend my time on that river are usually the kind of areas that most fisherman pass up- the shallow riffles and fast rips that maybe only have a couple fish holding places. But if you find a stretch of water that is generally too fast to hold fish, you can often find one or two swirling eddies where the water slows down or even flows upstream. On the upper Current (and on any other trout stream I've fished) the trout really congregate in those areas. Sure, there are fish in the deep, luxurious holes, but those places also get fished by everyone that comes through. Just a thought for the next time you're fishing the Current.

Anyway, it was a nice weekend on the river-stream conditions are very good, kind of low water, but not bad at all.

Sounds like a great weekend. I was down Friday through Sunday. I too find myself gravitating toward the the faster water. There are a lot of fish in places you wouldn't think in the Blue Ribbon strecth. Glad you had a great trip. It was a great weekend to be out.

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I started off with a #12 Olive Woolly Bugger drifted under an indicator and never switched it....

... the quality of angling was definitely less than that of the Blue Ribbon section

Just keep thinking that.. ;) just for kicks, you think the second sentence was maybe a result of the first sentence?

cricket.c21.com

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Sounds like you had a really great time OTF. I really need to get over there some day.

Did you eat that chili right out of the can?? I mean its good stuff, I just like to doctor it a little. But none the less what picture you have painted. A good day of trout fishing followed by an evening with a campfire and some chili to warm the innards.

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I too enjoy nymphing in the faster waters. Glad you had a chance to get out and have a good trip. Thanks for sharing!

I have spent most of my money on fly fishing and beer. The rest I just wasted.

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Yeah, it was a good time. I love the Current and the area that surrounds it. The chili was right out of the can-not the most flavorful stuff, but taste is the last thing your thinking about when you're that hungry....

Cricket, I more than willing to admit that the White Ribbon stretch of the Current has more to it than I was able to find in one evening. I never really judge a stretch of stream by the first time I fish it, and it did look like there was some potential there. I was just enjoying a nice evening fishing, and I didn't really fish really fish that stretch real hard-I was just relating what I found. Anyway, I'll be back down there and maybe I'll find it to be different then

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Where did you hike? We want to do a trip this winter.

Sunklands Conservation area-there's not a trail there that I know if, it was more of a bushwhack. It's a nice area to hike (I only did a 4 mile round trip loop from a little county road down to the river), but it did involve busting through some pretty thick clear-cuts, so it takes longer than you'd think. Where I hiked in to the river, there was a really cool old house that appeared to be from the 1800s in the last stages of deterioration.

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Where did you hike? We want to do a trip this winter.

Another good hike is the trail out of Devils well. It is a loop that goes to cave spring and back 4 or 5 miles I think.

Hike out to the river is just over a mile and fairly flat.

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