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Jacks Fork Trip Report May 17-19Th


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post-163-0-40366900-1369059025.jpgWent down to the Jacks late on Friday. Did a quick shuttle from 17 down to Rymers. Floated down to a little past Blue Springs and set up camp. Fishing was pretty lousy but the scenery more than made up for it. Caught a few on buzzbaits and the usual soft plastics. Mostly watched the kids collect crawdads, sculpins, and minnows. Great weekend to be out and apparently everyone else got the memo too --- must've had 200 canoes pass us by at our 2nd campsite just above Jam-Up cave. Heard from one of the floaters that some guy was rappelling off one of the bluffs and his rope broke 30 feet up, sending him falling into a tree and a hard landing in 3 feet of water head and shoulder first. He got up and walked away. The official beginning of crazy season. No more weekend floats on popular rivers for me until after Labor Day.

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P1000059.JPG No more weekend floats on popular rivers for me until after Labor Day.

Cool pictures. Yep, it's avoid the idiots season.

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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Thanks ColdWater. I hope the 200 canoe day was an abberation. I am so psyched for my first Jacks Fork trip in 2 weeks. Me and a buddy are going on a 3 nighter during the week so I assume we face much less river traffic than your 200 canoe day, but it will be the first week of June so I guess you never know. We are planning Buck Hollow to Alley Springs.

Advice on here has been helpful but surprised you didn't catch many fish. It is still prime season for smallmouth, isn't it? Could the slow fishing been due to so much river traffic? Any other thoughts on poor results? I have read and heard nothing but great things about JF smallmouth fishing.

I have had Harvey's recommended for shuttling. Will I need to call ahead to arrange a shuttle on a Monday or can I just show up? My only problem is I don't know the exact time we will arrive.

But I have heard so much about the Jacks Fork being the crown jewel of Missouri streams, I'm excited to see the scenery and was hopng to catch fish.

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3 nighter during the week you should be fine. I'm sure you'll see a few people since it is the start of vacation season. The crazy thing about the 200 canoes we saw -- 90% of them looked like they were packed for overnight camping. When we floated out yesterday, we didn't see but maybe a dozen people the rest of the day, and we got on the river by 8:30 a.m. It was weird. I thought for sure we would pass multiple gravel bar camps . . . but they were all empty. I guess we had set up camp so early in the day on Saturday, that many of them must've floated well down stream of us, probably taking out at Bay Creek or Alley. When we got back to our cars at Buck yesterday, there wasn't a parking spot to be had . . . cars and trucks lined both sides of the road going into the parking lot. And thats just the people with their own boats. Windy's and 2 River's and Harvey's all had a HUGE # of boats out all weekend.

My advice . . . pick your choice camping/gravel bar early in the day and claim it. Don't wait until later in the day when you may start to run out of good choices. We had a couple late floaters come up to our gravel bar around 7 p.m. on Saturday night and ask if they could camp on the same gravel bar as us but about a 100 yards down. We didn't say no, but I think they judged from our reaction that we weren't real crazy about the idea. It was nice of them to ask and they didn't look like hoosiers. They ended up floating on down and finding a good spot.

Harvey's or Windy's will take care of you. Might call them and ask what they think about the shuttle timing and how much notice they need.

Jacks Fork IS a crown jewel. I'd say the Current, the 11 point, and the Jacks Fork all 3 offer the very best that Missouri has to offer. I think its time to start limiting the # of boats that can put in at an access on a given day -- at least on these National Scenic Riverways. We didn't seen any drunken rowdies, but it was way too many people.

As for fishing -- we didn't really even see that many fish. I only saw one or two that were in the 16" range, but over 2 and a half days, that's pretty poor IMO. All the fish we caught were under 13. Fish early and fish late would be my advice, and be the first to the hole and I'm sure you'll do better. The fish are there -- I think they just hug the bottom of the deep holes and under boulders when the canoe hatch is going on.

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We did Prongs to Alley the weekend before you. We must have picked a winner because we only saw a couple other small groups the whole trip. Didn't do any dragging even above 17 and below Bay Creek. And fishing was pretty good. Lots of little ones up to 14" and a handful between 15-17". If I go back this year it won't be until October. People ruin everything.

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The wife & I did Buck to Alley last week. We saw some people. A few here or there, but not too bad. The people who shuttled up with us to Buck were from like Iowa. How did they hear of the Jacks Fork, I asked. The article in the Mo Conservationist they said. I wonder how much that has to do with the influx. One thing I did note is it seemed the average age of the people we saw was older than we usually see.

Fishing started slow, but picked up the further down river we went. Might have been one of the better fishing trips in some time, although it was more quantity than quality. The wife did get a 2 lb 3 oz for her personal best though. Plastic craws the lure of the trip.

Was fishing the bottom of a run walking along a gravel bar when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. I looked down & there is a water moccasin four feet away from me with it's head back & mouth open & hissing. Yes, I jumped & did the two step/high step. That had my hands shaking for a bit!

As always, kudos to Harvey's for the great service, and then to Hollywood for the shuttle ride & stories.

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Every person I've talked to about JF in the last month or so has mentioned that freaking article. I sure wish they'd have just kept their mouths shut. They shoulda wrote about the Bourbeuse or something instead.

Please not the Bourbeuse. how about some place that is already a hell hole, plenty to choose from.

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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