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Upper Big River - Your Thoughts Please


mic

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I'm taking the 0800 shuttle out of Cherokee Landing and floating/fishing the upper big river tomorrow. I'm thinking about trying my fly rod out for the first time on a float.

1. Is that a good idea?

2. Suggestions on flies?

3. Will I catch anything in th pools like bluegill or such...vs...only using it in the riffles.

4. Are there any other type of bass above Cherokee?

5. If yes, should I keep them?

TIA,

MIC

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Sorry I wasn't around to answer your questions...would like to know how you did. The stretch of river between where (I think) Cherokee puts in and the Landing is probably the poorest habitat in the whole river until you get down to St. Francois State Park, where it starts getting a lot better. You'll encounter a LOT of shallow water with the channel filled mostly with lead mine waste. There are only a couple of decent bluff pools above the park. The whole stretch holds fish, though. You could catch all three species of bass, rock bass, and sunfish. A couple of pools could even produce a crappie or two. You should keep the spotted bass (limit of 12, no length limit). Please do not keep largemouth or smallmouth in that stretch, they are having a hard enough time as it is.

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Well did the float and Al was right, we did a lot of walking/puling. In fact, you could have waded the first two miles or so before you get to chest deep water. I didn't have much luck, but did have some fun catching blue gills and small bass on fly rod and poppers. The best water was FULL of people swimming and lounging around from the parks and nearby highway. All things being equal, I'll skip that run in the summer. I don't mind the work when the water and surroundings are Ozark beautiful, but that water is just to silty for a two hour drive. Maybe a cool weather run from St. Francis to Cherokee when there are no people would be nice. One could really take there time and fish that.

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