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joeD

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A friend and I had two great days Sunday and Monday of last week. Another friend went with his son this past Saturday and Sunday. Two great days also. The one thing both trips had in common was the ferocity of the hits. We talked about it after. CC smallies just hit harder, more often, and with more "elan" than their Missouri counterparts. This is not an isolated incident either. I've been going down to CC for years, at different times of the year, and at different river gauge heights and CFSs. It is a conclusion I stand by (please do not misinterpret- I'm not saying CC is the "best" or the most "productive" or any other superlative describing a smallmouth stream). I'm like a football coach- I just like the way they hit.

I'm not alone either, in this opinion. Let's take Al Agnew's comment from June of last year (as my reputation and opinion are, at best, questionable):

"So I'm not sure whether CC deserves it's shining reputation. It's a great creek, but I don't think it's head and shoulders above a lot of other streams of comparable size in the Ozarks.

One thing was certain, though...those CC fish are powerful. I was continually amazed at how strong the 14 inch plus fish were. I hooked several fish in the 16 inch class that would have broken my eight pound test line had I not had the drag set properly."

Maybe not head and shoulders...but, how about this:

No rafters. No canoe flotillas. One jet boat seen once, one day, years ago. Plus, it's not easy to get to. Nor does it lend itself to the casual fisherman. You must work to be successful. The rewards can be great however.

I know some of you are cringing and cursing me for these so-called "revelations." (SSHHH. Keep quiet!). Don't fret though, this information is a matter of public record, because, after all, it is a NATIONAL Blue Ribbon Stream and is a jewel in the Arkansas Game and Fish Department's purview. However, that's not where I'm going with this. Where I'm going is:

There are large amounts of private property for sale on CC, river frontage property. One of them is 500 acres on a prime stretch of the creek. Asking price is over a million dollars. Yeh, we laugh and say "wouldn't it be nice?" Well, for a lot of folks we don't know, a million dollars is no big deal. Anyone from anywhere could snap it up. I guarantee the land won't be used for farming. Most likely, nothing will happen, still...landowners have a chance to make money, small towns have a chance to stay financially viable, schools stay open, governments, especially governments, see tax revenue and cash flow. Yes, I get it, it's a cynical and conspiratorial way to look at things. But, in the end, doesn't money always win, eventually?

I assume CC is protected, but, still, I'm somewhat uneasy for the future, and our ability to enjoy this stream in a natural and public way. You never know when people and money get together.

"He said I don't know man ah she kinda funny, you know

I said I know, everybody funny, now you funny too" George Thorogood.

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Things change Joe. You'll need to change too or you'll be left talking about the "good ole days". Will it be in your lifetime? Will the change be dramtic or gradual? Will it be visual or will it be something a little less obvious? Who knows?

One day at a time.

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I never got into that sitcom. Eddie Van Halen certainly did though.

But you are correct M. Bird Watcher. Getting my panties in a twist over things out of my control that really add up to nothing. Par for the course for me. I'll enjoy CC while I am still able.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know where that property is I think. Last time I was in the area I drove down and checked it out. Also, I thought the big tract with the private bridge (I think it's between Snow and George's Creek) was for sale at one point. It was more than a section.

If I could only find a dozen folks to go in on it with me.

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  • 4 months later...

That would be the Fred Berry Conservation Area on Crooked Creek near the Kelly Slab access. Several miles of river frontage upstream of slab on river right (as you face downstream). Had pleasure to meet Mr. Berry one day back 20 years ago while on a multi-day CC float. This was a couple of years before he donated the parcel to AG&F Foundation. Special C&R Smallie regs on this stretch to bolster the Blue Ribbon 14" 2 fish limit. Crooked Creek is a great Ozark fishery that does have a reasonable amount of public access serviced by a small outfitter in Yellville, Crooked Creek Canoes.

A pretty complete article on Crooked Creek appeared in the Missouri Smallmouth Alliance newsletter last summer. This issue has not yet been posted on MSA's website www.missourismallmouthalliance.org, but I'll ask MSAMatt to have the last few issues uploaded there as soon as I can.

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  • 1 month later...

BTW- Georges Creek. Now you actually have to slog up it and up the hill to the road if you want to get out (reverse to put in) there. The field downstream isn't an option anymore. As of October. Check with Jimmy W at CCCanoes. He'll tell you. And then some.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I never used the field and I've never carried up that hill, but I've carried down it and down a dry creek bed to put in more than once. Taking out there would be a serious pain. Normally I spend the night on the high gravel bank next to the good deep hole a couple hundred yards upstream from there when I do that stretch. All my cc trips are overnight trips anymore. Got engaged there last summer.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks Joe. We are planning to do another overnight trip this weekend as long as the rain doesn't bring the water up much. I like it in the early spring. Never seem to catch as many, but we catch bigger ones now and in late fall. Seems to me the big fish like the extremes. Most of my memorable big fish have come during strange conditions. High flows, night fishing in the summer, early and late in the year, and during storms to name a few. The water over there is in great shape right now. As long as it doesn't come up a bunch, we will be camped on a gravel bar Saturday night.

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