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Hey everyone,

I've lurked on here for quite a while and figured it was time to say hello.  I currently live in Tulsa, OK with my beautiful wife and our two wild German shorthaired pointers.  Here is how my love of the Ozarks began.

I grew up in a small town in southern Iowa. My parents were both from KCMO, and when I was a kid they always told me stories about canoe trips they took in the '70s on rivers like the Current, JF, Eleven Point, and NFOW.  Growing up in Iowa, with slow/muddy creeks, I couldn't believe that such places existed.  In the early '90s, when I was ten years old, my dad was planning on taking a fishing trip to the Ozarks with a buddy from high school.  I begged and pleaded for him to let me go until he finally gave in.  

As we headed  further south, past Warrensburg, then Clinton and Truman Lake, then finally Springfield, I kept getting more and more excited as the terrain changed from the rolling plains I was used to.   I remember how pumped I was the first time we drove down a curvy hill and at the bottom we crossed a crystal clear gravel-bottomed Ozark creek.  I still get that exact same feeling when I cross one of those creeks today.

Finally, we arrived at our camp on the Gasconade.  We spent the next three days fishing for smallies on the G-Nade and the Osage Fork (man, I've never seen as many snakes as on the OF).  It was heaven.  On our last day, we floated down a riffle that poured into a deep, blueish-green hole that had a lot of cover.  I threw a Rapala out near a root ball and SLAM a big, feisty smallie doubled over my pole and the fight was on.  After the battle, my dad and his friend patted me on the back and I felt like one of the guys.  After that, my dad and I ventured off by ourselves to float the Current for a day, and again I was blown away by the beauty.

After that, I went on a couple more family trips to the Current, but really didn't fish much (besides Iowa farm ponds).  I ended up getting my undergrad degree at Warrensburg and loved being able to take a week in the summers to shoot down to the Ozarks to do a float with a couple of friends.  However, it wasn't until I moved to Tulsa for grad school that my love for smallie fishing was awoken.  A good friend took me to the Buffalo for some fishing and I was hooked.  In the last couple of years, I have discovered that OK even has some Ozark streams so I spend most of my time wade-fishing those. However, I try to get in a couple of MO/AR canoe trips a year. Oh yeah, in case you're wondering, I never keep river smallies (however, bring on the goggle-eye and spotted-bass).  

Anyway, I have learned so much from the OA Forum and I hope I can give back 1/1000th of what you all have given me.  Hope to bump into some of you on the river!

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Welcome DWS, I still get that feeling when I drive over a creek or river.  Can be going 75 mph down an interstate and drive over one and all I can think about is wanting to pull over and fish that beautiful water, not caring if I catch a bunch of 10 inchers or an 18 incher.  Sadly I don't get to do it much anymore but like an old dog I still hear the call of the wild every time I see those clear little creeks.

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57 minutes ago, Flysmallie said:

My wife and kids all make fun of me because apparently I can't drive by any body of water without slowing down. It doesn't matter if its a creek, river, pond, lake or ocean. I'll never grow up I guess. 

Welcome to the madness. 

I do the same thing.   Lol. 

-- Jim

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles. -- Doug Larson

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With the microfishing that I have done over the last 10 months, I now have tackle (usually in the car already) that I can actually catch fish in almost any water that I pass by or over. So it has become even harder to just drive by without trying to catch something.

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