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James/finley Confluence Report


Arofishing

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My friend and I finally made it out to where the James meets the Finley southwest of Nixa. This was the spot many had recommended to me a few weeks ago in the Finley thread.

It was an ok day, not much luck with the Smallmouth and we were hoping for some bigger fish. Too many Panfish to count, maybe 100 between the two of us, and most of these were good size. About 6 or so Smallmouth between the two of us. My friend caught a 14 inch Smallmouth, that was the only noteworthy catch of the day.

We were both using fly rods, a 9' and 8'. I was using black popper (actually, I think it is a "slider?") during the morning, I think he was using a black/elk hair caddis. He switched over to an olive bugger, I went white. He caught the 14 on the olive. I eventually switched over to a frugal frog popper which snagged me some small smallies and about a 10 inch largemouth. I also tried a minnow and one of my other bigger wet flies (I forget the name of it, it looks like a mushroom tip with a tail, and it's big and bulky). On the way back we went with some smaller flies, as both of our wrists/elbows/backs/shoulders and whatever else were getting tired from walking for miles and trying to fling larger bugs. We tried the deep spot south of the Missouri M bridge and just below the riffle on the way out but no luck. A local came up to us and asked what we were fishing for, I said "bass," and he said "that is the catfish hole, the bass are down there." I replied, "we fished there early this morning with no luck" to which he promptly replied, "they start about 1 or 2." I think he just wanted us out of his hole ;).

It was also a really long day, got there at 6, walked 2-4 miles down to where the river goes on a nice downward run, where it stopped there were some smaller rocks on the left, we turned around there and headed back. By the time I got back to my car it was 5, so 11 hours of straight fishing/walking/sun, when we had intended to only go till about 2 (so no lunch, just snacks), we were both pretty beat.

All in all a nice day that didn't quite live up to its potential (or maybe our expectations). I really enjoyed where the river goes on that downward run (it is right after all those houses on the right as you're going down stream). It didn't really produce the Smallies we thought it would, but it was fun trying to stay upright and fish those logs on the left. We were absolutely killing the Panfish in there, trying to get them out so we could "get the bass." Never happened ;).

Next time might try Hootentown area up stream, or Shelvin Rock. Any suggestions?

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So you were able to wade quite a ways down from the confluence? Where did yo park?

"Of all the liars among mankind, the fisherman is the most trustworthy."

"There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot."

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So you were able to wade quite a ways down from the confluence? Where did yo park?

We parked at this little, white abandoned building just on the Southwest side of the Missouri M bridge. It is really easy to miss, the driveway isn't too conspicuous and is covered with trees and weeds, so as you're driving south over the bridge look immediately to your right. You'll likely miss it and have to turn around.

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it could very well be that the bigger SM want a bigger lure with this heat

Yeah, I tried bigger wet flies, my frugal frog is too big for most Panfish too. Both my mushroom looking thing and my minnow are huge, much too big to cast effectively. Maybe by that time it was the wrong time of day or something else, who knows. There were only 3 maybe 4 spots that looked like prime SM territory, spots that were deep enough to hold bigger fish. We spent a lot of time at those and just messed around with the Panfish along the way.

Have you had a lots of success with Smallmouth on that run?

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Have you had a lots of success with Smallmouth on that run?

I've had pretty good success in that area. Be careful judging what you call prime smallie water. They will surprise you sometimes. And sometimes it's just not a good day.

Is that frog a little popper? You might need to step up to something bigger to get their attention or fish lower in the water column. Think big meaty flies that move a lot of water and move slowly. It's hot out there right now and it has to be effecting their feeding habits.

 

 

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100 degrees, hard sun, hot water....Id think fishing at dark to be the best option.

Yeah, we certainly had much more success last week at night. Unfortunately my friend's schedule doesn't usually allow it, and you can't get in nearly the same distance when wading. Oh well, we still enjoyed ourselves. And my wrist now recovered, I'm ready to get back out!

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I might try some night fishing on the upper Finley this weekend. What do you all usually use? Noisemakers?

We haven't fished the Finley since late June, and we've been exclusively using fly rods the last couple of times. Back in June my friend was having a lot of success just with chartreuse or plain led jig head and a chartreuse tail. We were also using crank baits (we each have a small one about the size of a nickel) and rooster tails with quite a bit of success. I'd imagine things have changed since then.

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