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Partner Down...looking For New Waters

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Okay guys (and as I have noticed lately....girls...Welcome...I have always admired women who take up the sport)...

I have followed the forum for a few years and have not had much to contribute. I need to ask, and it may already be posted already, is there a place for fishermen to go on the forum to find NEW waters to fish? My son and I had started to check out new spots (2 to 5 miles of wading), then he moved to Oregon. So I lost my fishing partner and my inspiration to just travel find a hole and fish it.

Plus when fishing solo there are so many other things that can go wrong if you trespass/and w/MO laws being what they are....I am a catch and release fisherman when it comes to Smallmouth. So you wouldn't have to worry about me wrecking your spot like some of the spots. I used to fish on the James years ago, because I eat what I catch,outside of Smallmouth, or give it to someone that needs it after I clean them first and they are never bass.

Also looking for scenic spots to float, somewhat close to the Springfield/Ozark/Nixa/Branson areas for my grandchildren (including my granddaughters), other than the standard James River Shelving Rock access to Hootentown. (Not meaning to disparage Hootentown Floats)

Also I am looking for a fishing partner, male or female who LOVES to fish....I have a 17 foot canoe w/trolling motor, and a 17 foot V bottom (that I call the TUB), that is very reliable and serviced yearly. Just tired of the 4 step launching/take out issues that comes with fishing a big boat on your own. My next step is a fishing yak this fall.

Many Thanks for whatever advice you can give me

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Can't help you much with wading access in that area. Basically what I do when exploring for new wading waters is get a Delorme Atlas and the OLD MDC Conservation Atlas that is based upon country highway maps, look for places where roads cross or go alongside creeks that look big enough to fish, and go check them out. If there is an obvious place where people park all the time and there are no splotches of purple paint or no trespassing signs around it, I figure it's safe to go there as long as you keep a low profile. If you can score a copy of the late Chuck Tryon's book "200 Missouri Smallmouth Adventures", it gives you every possible access point on every wadeable or floatable stream, EXCEPT those to the west of Springfield in the Elk River system, Spring/Shoal Creek system, and Niangua/Pomme de Terre/Sac system. But it's good for the James River system and everything to the east. It was written several years ago, however, and things do change, so don't take it as gospel.

As for floatable waters, assuming you are needing an outfitter for canoe/kayak rentals and shuttle services, there is the Elk River and Big Sugar Creek down to the southwest of you, and Beaver Creek (one outfitter only as far as I know) to the east. A little farther away there's the Niangua with plenty of canoe rental opportunities if you can stand the weekend craziness or avoid it, and the upper Gasconade, a lot quieter with a good outfitter at Gasconade Hills just off I-44.

You probably already know this, but I do a lot of fishing by myself from my jet boat, and the way I launch is stop out of the way of the ramp, load everything I want into the boat and get everything ready and all the tie downs unhooked, tie about 30 feet of sturdy rope to the front end of the boat with the other end tied to the winch tower of the trailer, coiling the rope carefully in the front of the boat. Then back down the ramp into the water, hit the brakes sharply when the vehicle is still barely moving and the boat starts to float off the trailer, and it should just slide off into the water and away from the trailer. Let the boat clear the trailer, then very slowly pull the trailer out of the water far enough to reach the end of the rope that's tied to the trailer without getting your feet wet. Pull the boat into the bank beside the ramp, untie the rope from the trailer and tie off the end of it to whatever is handy if you don't want to pull the boat well up onto the bank. Then go park the vehicle and trailer, and walk back down to your boat and you're ready to go.

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