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Water Conditions For Float On Osage This Weekend


ericlairdclp

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Hi all, I just joined and look forward to all the great info I'm finding on this site. I'd like to ask if anybody has been around the Osage Fork recently and how it looks for an overnight float/fishing trip this weekend. Particularly between Drynob and Hull Ford access points. We've never been up to this river yet but really like how it's still remote and not all commercialized. Sure would appreciate any info on if it's even really floatable right now with the water as low as it is this year.

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Do not leave any valuables in your vehicle when parking overnight at either access. Sorry for not giving any fishing advice but if find your car has it's windows shot out when you arrive at the take out you'll forget about any fish you may have caught.

His father touches the Claw in spite of Kevin's warnings and breaks two legs just as a thunderstorm tears the house apart. Kevin runs away with the Claw. He becomes captain of the Greasy Bastard, a small ship carrying rubber goods between England and Burma. Michael Palin, Terry Jones, 1974

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It will be very low and I know this because it gets low in normal summers. If I were set on doing it I would do Davis to Hazelgreen and camp below Hull. Be prepared to portage.

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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Thanks guys, it's always a concern parking a vehicle at most of the MDC access points on the rivers around here. At night there seems little traffic except maybe kids making out or looking for trouble. We are careful not to leave anything of value in them, don't even leave keys in them like some do when shuttling themselves, that's crazy. Are the access points on the Osage particularly bad though?

I know the water will be very low, and some walking through the shallows is expected. We've been on the James river lots this year, most parts from Delaware Town down to Galena during different trips, and while the lower is much better there are still places only a kayak has a chance to get through, and some even they can't. Actually, that will be our 2nd choice if the Osage doesn't seem like a good idea. We'd do Hootentown to Kerr access, perhaps to Galena. But I'm wanting to try someplace new.

Thanks for the suggestion of doing Davis to Hazelgreen, I assume cause it should have more water the lower down.

But having never been on the Osage what can I really expect? What I read says the river is floatable year round except in drought conditions, and frankly this is the worse drought I've seen around here. So can we expect a decent fun float, with moving water and some work in a few places to walk the canoe through shallows, or can we expect some pretty hefty work trying to get through places where it's dried up?

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Like others I've never floated it in these conditions. There is always a balance between flow and level. The river is going to be slow, but how low and long the shoals is another question. If you're not afraid of the walking the fish will still be there and fewer people won't be there. The lower end doesn't necessarily have more water, but it definitely sees less traffic. Hull is somewhat primitive and remote, while Hazelgreen is more open and probably more secure.

In the same area is the Gasconade and you could probably get a shuttle through Gasconade Hills and leave your vehicle there. Just a thought, the distance is more or less the same if you're coming from Sprgfld.

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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Drynob to Hull has some good water. Plan on stopping and wading to fish the good holes. Thre aren't any long slow sections til you get just above the Hull Ford take out. There is some deep rocky water above Hull on your left that you will want to spend some time fishing hard. You will be dragging a lot on the first part of the float. Hopefully you catch and release but keep in mind there is a 15" length limit here. On the negative side-I've seen a LOT of Otter up there in recent yrs and haven't had as much luck.

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You can actually get a pretty good sense of how much water the Osage Fork is flowing in these very low flow rates by looking at the Hazelgreen USGS gauge on the Gasconade. Since it's just a bit below the Osage Fork, that means that the flow of the Gasconade at that point includes the flow of the Osage Fork. You can figure that since the Osage Fork is a bit smaller stream than the Gasconade above it, where the two come together the Osage Fork probably flows about half to two thirds as much water as the Gasconade. If you do the math...that means that at Hazelgreen, somewhere around 33% to 40% of the flow of the Gasconade is coming out of the Osage Fork. Since I just checked the Gasconade gauge and it's showing 80 cfs, you can figure that the Osage Fork is probably flowing around 26-32 cfs.

So what that means is, you're going to be doing a lot of dragging. Anything below about 75 cfs on the average sized Ozark stream means not all the riffles will be floatable, and anything below about 40 cfs means you'll be dragging some and scraping bottom on nearly every one. At around 30 cfs, you'll only float the riffles without getting out if you don't care about the bottom of your canoe!

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Thought I'd post what I found of the Osage this weekend. What I found was that there was no Osage river left. About 9 Saturday morning we parked one truck at Hazelgreen and headed on down toward Davis access. Crossing by Hull Ford we looked down and saw gravel, and no water. So we drove down, into the middle of the stream bed actually, and there was nothing. No flowing water and only a couple very small puddles. I walked upstream a few hundred feet and saw nothing but gravel as far as I could see. Same downstream from the bridge, just some puddles but nothing. It was like the Osage disappeared. I worry about the future of it actually because that extreme lack of water I'm sure the fish are gone and it will take a long time for the river to recover. Since it looked like we would have to carry the canoe and gear the entire trip so we ditched it and ended up floating the Gasconade from Black ford down to Hazelgreen. As we passed by where the Osage empties into the Gasconade there was a tiny bit of flowing water coming out of it, but it was very minimal and not close to floatable. I figure we ended up walking about a little less than a third of the trip, and some of that was due to a very heavy canoe, but that's comparable to other streams we have been on this summer. Ended up having a good float, but on the Gasconade not the Osage.

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Wow, that's pretty crazy. I woulda figured several other streams would go dry before the OF.

I suppose a good portion of it is lost underground along various stretches.

Find the upwellings and you would probably find some nice fish.....but so could the meat eaters.

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