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Late Report From 11/6&7/2010


Trout Commander

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From my blog sans pics:

A Well Overdue Post -

The plan was to be in the water about 10:00 pm Saturday night. I headed down the stairs at outlet #2 at 2:30 am (1:30 if you count the time change).

At least the delays were enjoyable, worthwhile and weren't without good reason: family and food. The ETFD (Estimated Time of First Drift) first got pushed back following my wifes cousins 7th birthday party at the local park while he and my son, Preston, were playing in the recently fallen leaves. My wife was taking pictures and said "we should take them out in the country and take some more Fall pictures". What I heard was: "(Adventure!) Can we go ride some old logging/forestry service roads through the Mark Twain National Forest in the Commander?". Sure honey, thats a great idea! Lets go snap some pictures! The trail riding was enjoyable and uneventful, save for the one switchback cut into a hillside where my wife and the extra boy along for the ride were both convinced we were going to roll down the hill to a surely bloody death. There of course was no imminent danger (just ask my 3 year old who could not stop laughing uncontrollably at his mom's wigging! He knows his dad can drive). The second delay came in the delicious form of a homemade spaghetti dinner thanks to my mother in-law. (I think my having seconds and thirds not only slowed me down getting to the water but my movement as well.)

So at this point I am headed back to Springfield and realize that there is no point in camping, so on the stop by the apartment I off loaded, along with my wife (Preston stayed at the in-laws) all the now unnecessary gear like the tent, air mattress and cookware in order to have room to transform the second and third rows of the Commander into my sleeping quarters for the couple hours of z's I would catch. A 45 minute drive plus a stop for gas and coffee later and I had arrived in the hatchery parking lot. Finally.

Upon my arrival I was greeted with reports of slow/no catching of fish and everyone calling it quits. As it was my first real trip after dark I didn't let this dampen my spirits as I didn't expect to have much success to begin with. Au contraire readers! On only my third drift through the darkness I hooked and brought to hand a nice little 14 inch rainbow! I fished in the same general area for nearly two hours and brought to hand 10-12 rainbows. All except for the first one were between 17 and 20 inches! Not bad for a first go of it! I did have some bad luck mixed in with my success though, not that I am complaining about such an enjoyable night. I lost three very decent fish, all three felt bigger than the largest fish I brought to hand that night. All three had me into or near my backing with one coming unbuttoned and the other two breaking my 5X tippet and taking both flys and a split shot along with them. I was fishing 35 or 40 yards down stream of outlet #2. I stayed fairly close so that the pavilion lights would offer some aid to visibility since I was fishing solo and there was no one else on the water. I would have really liked to have nymphed the riffles and flat water just upstream of rebar hole and stripped some big meaty streamers through rebar. Instead I stayed near #2 and nymphed a tan scud, size 14, with a green zebra midge with gold ribbing and white bead head, size 16, dropper all night, even retying the same combo after being broke off both times.

By the time I realized I was cold and tired I was flat out exhausted. I made my way back up to the parking lot and changed from waders and jackets to some more comfortable clothes to wear inside my sleeping bag. I ran the heater and warmed myself a bit before folding down the seats and rolling out the sleeping bag. When I started the Jeep to warm up it was 4:30 am. I set my alarm for two and a half hours later and slept three.

Sunday I geared up, this time rigging up my grandpa's old Actionglas rod. It was just before eight o'clock when I headed down the stairs at outlet #3 towards my favorite section of water in the Trophy area at Taneycomo: the flat water and riffles just above the rebar hole. I false casted a bit of line out as I approached the very top of the rifflles where the flat water bottle necks down into the riffles. As I passed I happend to look down into a very skinny off shoot of choppy water, no more than two and a half or three feet wide, and about 18 inches deep. This offshoot was almost like a seperate little brook that was beside the main river that poured into the same hole. This smaller water held a few rainbows about ten inches or so, but what really caught my eye was the 23-25 inch brown sitting on the bottom of the stream. I took a couple of steps back as to not spook the fish, retracted my line in close enough to be able to drift only the leader and tippet over the brutus, keeping the fly line off of the water and not spooking the fish. I dropped my scud - pheasant tail combo into the calm water above the riffle the fish was holding in, letting it sink to the bottom and into the strike zone before cascading over the ledge and into the faster current. It seemed like it took minutes rather than a second or two for my nymph to reach the fish. As the fly reached the fish, nearly perfectly placed I was not watching my strike indicator, rather every ounce of my concentration was focused on watching the shimmer of the copper wrapped heavily behind the wings of the pheasant tail nymph and the fishes mouth at the same time. As the two came together the fish gave one non chalant flick of his tail, moving only and inch or two to slurp in my fly. I set the hook instantly and there was a beautiful bend as the line clicked ever so quickly off of the old Plfueger Gem reel. The fish headed past other courteious anglers who pulled their lines quickly from the water towards the depth of the rebar whole. Approximately seven seconds later my line shot back at me, still in tact down to the pheasant tail that had tricked the large brown trout. The fish had fought his way loose rather easily. That would be my only hook up with a brown that day. I had the pleasure of fighting a lot of rainbows on the fiberglass rod, a couple of which were pushing 20 inches. The rod handled everything I hooked up with beautifully. I did have to swap the Gem with a modern reel as the old line on the Gem no longer had much float left in the tip. I finished out the weekend with a total of 30-35 rainbows. I did not take any pictures of fish as it would have been difficult to do so by myself without causing unnecessary stress to the fish and the only times I hooked fish nice enough to request a fellow angler to take time from their fishing to snap a picture there was no one around.

All in all it was a great weekend, with some great fishing on my grandpa's old fiberglass rod. Since the weekend I have stayed super busy. Sorry I didn't get the post up sooner, I have been super busy, to the point that as I type this there is still gear in the Commander that is yet to be unloaded. Maybe that can be an excuse to be on a stream again this weekend. That is still to be known, but what I do know is that I am hooked on fiberglass fly rods. I always have been a sucker for nostalgia...

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

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The latest Trout Commander blog post: Niangua River Six Pack

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Thank you. Lord knows I would be lost without the reports (and other info) of others posted on this forum so I am happy to share.

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

xfcakj.jpg

The latest Trout Commander blog post: Niangua River Six Pack

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