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Photo Essay -- A Day At Montauk


Matt Tucker

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I was originally supposed to take the drift boat down the Meramac River today, but couldn't seem to connect with the right folks at the right time to make it happen -- but it will happen -- so Brent Hinds and I headed down to Montauk State Park (aka Montauk Trout Park) for some fishing during the Catch & Release season.

It has been more than a year since I have been to Montauk, and it still hasn't changed much. The water was low (as with most rivers currently in the state). It was cold this morning when I rolled into the park -- the temp was 21 degrees in Licking as I passed through around 7am -- but that didn't dampen my spirits. I suited up and awaited the arrival of Mr. Hinds, who showed up about 20 minutes after I did.

While rigging up the 4wt, I decided to throw some flies that I bought for my Wisconsin salmon fishing trip that I didn't really use (some white zonker strip streamer with a beadhead and rubber legs, some estaz eggs, and some egg sucking leeches). I rigged up the zonker rubber leg fly (I don't have a clue what it is called -- but it looked cool....it needed more weight though) and we headed up to the C&R area below the hatchery.

My first fish of the day came very early, and was a nice fish to say the least. I was actually fishing a bigger fish, when I felt the take and set the hook. It was a solid hook set and the fish didn't move -- so I thought I hooked up with the larger fish. I was surprised when this fish started to move, and the larger fish was still in its original holding place. Brent made for a good net man with this fish and we made quick work of it.

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I do need to teach Brent how to become a better photographer though, and hold the camera still. For those viewing the photos, keep in mind that I go about 6ft 3in and 325lbs+ so the fish is definitely a behomoth of a fish. The fish was several inches past the 20" mark on my net -- but my guess is about 23" or so. It also was a super thick fish. Mark one for the salmon flies that I never threw in Wisconsin.

After releasing this fish, we high tailed it to another section of river before the crowds started showing up. I switched flies to an estaz egg, and Brent was throwing a Whitlock Rubber Leg Red Fox Squirrel Nymph. We spotted some fish and went to work.

I quickly hooked up with a little stocker sized fish in some faster water and decided that it was time to mess around with the underwater capabilities of my new Olympus Stylus 790 SW point and shoot camera. Below is one of those photos shot under water, and it was important to note that I probably should only make a practice of this when the air temp is above freezing.

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Brent was the first to hook up with a decent fish in this section of water, and was rewarded with a healthy rainbow of just about 20" against the net. I was out of practice using a smaller net (I had become accustomed to the boat net that I have in the drift boat) and this fish took off around my back and under a log as Brent followed it and kept contact with the fish. The end result is seen below. To put the fish in context against Brent -- he is also a man of stature (a "Hungry Man" if you will) so fish tend to shrink when held against him. The fish is still a really nice fish, and we had several laughs when fighting / landing this fish.

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We also played around with some underwater photos with this fish as well and tried some underwater movies as well -- which turned out but are too large to post here.

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Here is another underwater shot that I took.

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If you recognize the fish below, it is becasue I actually caught the fish Brent released above about 15 minutes later (he took a pink estaz egg) and below is the end result. Park fish aren't the smartest fish, but it made for a good photo and a nice laugh.

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The last nice fish of the day is below. The fish is lucky to have its photo taken, but I will let Mr. Hinds divulge the story of this fish.

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All in all it was a good day on a trout stream. As the day wore on, the stream seemed to get more crowded. Around every turn there was someone. I was walking the bank upstream on one section and had let an older angler fish it out as he was fishing down stream. I jumped upstream (about 30 yards) above him and started fishing, only to have this guy walk upstream in the river (there was a nice trail on the bank and the guy could have avoided walking through this nice riffle and spooking all the fish) through my run and then cross the river upstream of me and while doing so he told me "that the run fishes better from the other side" to which I promptly replied that "I imagine it fishes alot better when you don't have someone wading through it". I sometimes have a short fuse in the "parks."

The incident above set the tone for the rest of the day as more and more people began to show up on the river -- which is to be expected in one of Missouri's elustrias trout parks (LOL) but we did manage to find seclusion in a few other places and had a few more shots at some fish over 20" but none were landed. It was a good day on the water, and one that I ended around 2pm and headed back to St. Louis. I was also reminded why I need to stay away from the trout parks on nice days, as I just don't like the crowds. That being said, I can't wait to hit the water again (maybe this Sunday).......

Fish Hard,

Matt Tucker

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The pursuit of Ozark trout on the fly.

http://www.OzarkChronicles.com

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Matt,

Have you posted the video on your site or youtube? That would be a good one to view...

Looks like you guys had a blast...

TIGHT LINES, YA'LL

 

"There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process." - Paul O’Neil

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Nice report. Centerpunch and I made it down last weekend. We did alright, Centerpunch had a good day. I'll have to get him to post some pics when he comes back from Taney. He caught a 29.5 inch Brown, that I believe went 12lbs, if I remember the reading on the bogas. It was a hog!!!

Do you know if they have realsed any of their broad stock yet? We only seen a handful of of 5+ lbs in the stream.

jrbhc8

www.troutchapters.com

jrbhc8

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nice pics matt-i know what you mean about those big fish lookin small behind a giant-i am around 6-4 and 300 lbs and some of those fish just dont do justice. but hey! at least i understand and you just have to hyper extend your arms(lol) anyway, i guess i will keep this thread going and tune in with a couple of pics as jrbhc8 mentioned above.

the rainbow was one of two identical 4-4 1/2 lbers caught and the brown was 29.5 inches and had a 17.5 inch girth. it was caught in the small c and r section. i was fishing a smaller rainbow with a black and white zonker(which is becoming one of my favorite brown trout flies) and from out of nowhere this hog comes from the undercut to hammer this thing. needless to say i am thankful that before i tied this zonker on, i switched to 8 lb test or that

brown would just be another story of the one that got away

anyway-here they are.enjoy

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www.troutchapters.com

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Jared

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Nice photos and it sounds like everyone had a great trip. It is always fun to catch big fish in small water.

Matt you mentioned using some salmon flies, I too have used my steelhead/salmon flies on the Current River and it is usually hit or miss. Estas eggs are the big producers.

I hate people with BAD fishing etiquette!!! In Colorado once saw a fight break out between these two guys because the one dude walked 30' upstream across the stream from the other. Heck there was blood even. Fishing to the extreme!

Hope to see you guys on the water.

FFM

Woo Hoo Fish On!!

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most of my bigger fish come in the fly area below the spring and in catch and release area(that is most that i have landed) as far as seeing them, they truly are scattered everywhere. where they are today may be different than tomorrow. its just a matter of getting lucky and finding them

www.troutchapters.com

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Jared

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