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First Big Piney Float


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I'm in the final stages of planning my first overnight float. My buddy and I have narrowed it down to the Big Piney and Meramec. I'm looking at starting at the Boiling Springs (rm 25.8) and taking out at Slabtown (rm 40.8). Can anyone speak to the quality and length of this float, camping, and fishing for this stretch? Boiling Springs called this the "trophy run", but I figured that was good salesmanship. We hope to be on the river by 10:00 a.m. and off by six or seven pm the next day.

Thanks In Advance,


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I'd second Slabtown to Ross. That is the special management area (1 smallmouth, 15" limit) and it is a really good stretch of smallmouth habitat. But 15 miles is a rather long two day float on the Big Piney at this water level if you are fishing hard at all, the Big Piney has a lot of very long, slow pools. Better start early in the day if you don't want to be forced to do a whole bunch of paddling through good water on day 2.

As for what to use, well I've never done poorly tossing Rebel Craws on the Big Piney...

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There should still be enough water that you won't have to do much dragging, if at all. The Piney flows nearly as much water below Boiling Spring as it does at Slabtown. As for it being a long, slow float, there are a lot of pools that will be pretty dead at this low water level, but not many that are really long--the Highway Eddy, which runs down to the mouth of Paddy Creek, is the exception; it's a good mile of dead water. And you don't want to spend a whole lot of time in the dead middles of the pools anyway. The bass will be in the short pools and runs with current and the heads and tails of the longer pools. Just paddle through the slowest water and concentrate your efforts where there is noticeable current. Doing that, you will have plenty of time to do that stretch in two days...I've done it in one long day a couple of times.

Scenery is very nice, though there aren't as many really impressive bluffs as there are from Slabtown to Ross. But it's a pretty stretch of river that doesn't get very many rental boat party idiots. The fishing can be very good, and there are some big ones to be had, though it does get a lot of local fishing pressure.

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