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Motrout has attached these 6 pictures to this report. The message is below.
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The glassy waters of the Current a short distance below camp
The glassy waters of the Current a short distance below camp
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Not a great quality pic, but the possibility of finding a big brown in this pool has crossed the mind of more than one angler. I know its full of rainbows.
Not a great quality pic, but the possibility of finding a big brown in this pool has crossed the mind of more than one angler. I know its full of rainbows.
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A typical rainbow from the Current River caught on an egg pattern from the pool shown above.
A typical rainbow from the Current River caught on an egg pattern from the pool shown above.
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A nice riffle on the Current River. It's usually good for a rainbow or two, and the beautiful, pine covered hill that rises above it makes it an ideal place to wet a line .
A nice riffle on the Current River. It's usually good for a rainbow or two, and the beautiful, pine covered hill that rises above it makes it an ideal place to wet a line .
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This brush lined pool always looks great, but seems to have a rather high chub:trout ratio.
This brush lined pool always looks great, but seems to have a rather high chub:trout ratio.
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In this stretch, the Current looks very much like the oversized spring creek that it is.
In this stretch, the Current looks very much like the oversized spring creek that it is.

Report at a Glance

General RegionMissouri Ozarks
Specific LocationUpper Current River
Time of Dayafternoon to evening (30th), then morning to early afternoon (31st)
Fish Caughtrainbows, primarily
Conditions & HatchesFirst night.....upper 20s, mostly cloudy, very little hatching. Morning of the 31st....started off very cold (low teens) but rising quickly and dramatically to around 50 with some midges later on. Fishing improved with warming temps. Didn't take the water temp but it would almost certainly be in the mid/upper 50s.

Details and Discussion

MotroutJanuary 5th, 2014, 1:02 am
Posts: 319
First off, sorry for the belated report, but life has been reasonably busy and better late than never. I made it to the upper Current about 1 PM on December 30th with the hope of finding a secluded river and maybe a few trout. We drove to a remote access/campsite well downstream of the manicured, heavily stocked waters of Montauk State Park. No one was there, which meant more productive trout water than we could properly handle in a couple of days.

It may not be good form to some, but egg patterns (or glo-bugs if you like) often work very well on the Current, and I have little hesitancy to use them. That was the case that afternoon. I started working a deep, rocky pool just below camp, and it was as productive as it looked. I've often tried to coax big browns out of this pool, but today I was just happy with the smaller rainbows. After I wore out my welcome on that pools residents, I moved down to the nearby riffles with pretty good results as well.

That night was pretty cold. I was able to stay reasonably comfortable, but the tent was fully covered in ice when I awoke. I warmed up in the truck for a bit before I worked up the courage to get back into the river. The fishing wasn't as good in the bright sunlight (it had been cloudy the previous day) but it wasn't bad either. Overall, the river was about as peaceful as a Missouri trout stream can be and there is just something special about cold weather camps.

Time for pictures!
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Jmd123January 6th, 2014, 4:27 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2310
Wow MO, good for you! Yes, the Current is just beautiful, didn't get much of a chance to fish it while I lived there but someday I'll make it back...nice fishie too. I'm totally envious - we're in the deep freeze up here with over a foot of snow, rivers freezing over, and it's even too cold for ice fishing! Besides the fact that our ice is now well over a foot thick too - a bit much for my manual auger! I'll have to hook up with my buddies that have gas-powered ones...

Anyway, good job! I won't make any disparaging remarks about Glo-Bugs whatsoever, if you can catch trout on them in December then more power to ya! And if I remember correctly, Missouri spring waters average around 57 F.

Happy New Year!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MotroutJanuary 6th, 2014, 4:51 pm
Posts: 319
The spring-fed streams are awfully nice to have during the wintertime. This stream fishes very well on dries in the spring and fall but winter is globug time. Except when the midge hatches are going on the warmer days.

It was good to get out when I did. Right now the temperature is below zero with about 10 inches of snow on the ground. The fish might still be catchable on the spring water, but I'm not brave enough to try.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Jmd123January 6th, 2014, 5:28 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2310
Wow, it's getting down to you too! Man, this could be your year to try ice fishing in Missouri...

;oD

We are supposed to get a warm-up (into the 30's - WHOO-HOO!) this coming weekend, so by then I should be able to get on my skis and hit the trails at least. And hit up my buddy with the gas-powered auger...though I must confess I just came back from the grocery store with the latest editions of Fly Fisherman and American Angler...dreaming of spring already...*sigh*...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
OldredbarnJanuary 7th, 2014, 9:39 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2585
I just came back from the grocery store with the latest editions of Fly Fisherman and American Angler...dreaming of spring already...*sigh*...

Jonathon


Jonathon,

You hiding up in the woods in the winter makes me somehow think of "The Shining"...Some good reading might help you make it to spring without slipping a gear...:) Too-late, Ha! :)

Its so damn cold down here today my furnace is struggling to hold 69 degrees...I have to give it a little break so it won't go down. I blew up my 20 year old snowblower yesterday trying to dig out a car belonging to the cutie-pie next door...My wife said it serves me right. ;)

Stay warm up there!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
FalsiflyJanuary 7th, 2014, 11:46 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 655
It may not be good form to some, but egg patterns (or glo-bugs if you like) often work very well on the Current, and I have little hesitancy to use them.

Day three:
During the previous two days I had been mesmerized by an all day hatch of the ubiquitous Midge. The fish were lined up along the slow water, tight to the bank, eagerly taking any dry presented in the 22 to 24 size range. But today the hatch had been cancelled; evidently I hadn’t paid sufficient homage for my previous success. No, today the cap on the aquatic world had been sealed, what had once been rife with excitement was now depressingly void. So, I reluctantly decided to nymph my way up into the Red Gorge, trying some of the more turbulent water. As I slowly advanced my offense, working up river, it became increasingly evident that my tactics were lacking. It was fast approaching the noon hour, and all effort to this point was of no avail. I began frantically searching the deepest recesses of my mind, trying to coerce from memory that perfect combination of imitation and presentation, that would pique the pea brained Pisces to pick-up. It was then, while I was going through one of my many fly boxes, I think for the second time, that I noticed an old salmon egg imitation, buried at the bottom of a mass of tangled flies. I hadn’t seen it in years. Many years ago, as a neophyte, I had used this despicable thing. It was on a private stretch of the Frying Pan from which I had wretched a twenty-seven inch Rainbow, my biggest fish to date. When I say “wretched” what I mean to say is; can you imagine catching the fish of a lifetime on a salmon egg imitation? It kind of takes the wind out of your sail doesn’t it? Well anyway, I thought I’d eliminated all trace of this incriminating evidence long ago. My worst fear was that one of my fishing buddies would spot this in my box; I may as well have been carrying a jar of the real stuff. Surely I would have been shunned, if not down right banished, by my fellow elitists. I grabbed my forceps and deftly plucked it from its place, reveling in the sweet-sour memory it produced. It was at that very instant that it suddenly hit me. Now at this point some of the more astute fly fishers might be thinking, that I was thinking, of trying this salmon egg. I can assure you that I would never stoop that low. Can you imagine how I would feel if I caught an even bigger fish on the damn thing?
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Jmd123January 7th, 2014, 7:47 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2310
Hey Spence, I have a massive library - you know, the old-fashioned kind, with books - and at this time of year I cherish it! Lots of natural history, military history, geology, forestry, botany, plus the fly fishing and astronomy magazines (my sister got me a subscription to Sky & Telescope a couple of years ago, and my Dad got me Guns & Ammo)...so I do have a good stock of reading material. And we are headed for a warm-up, and just tonight I talked to a friend who said the west end of Tawas Bay wasn't too thick for manual auguring (12"-ish) and he has caught walleye that he has fed to his girlfriend (a fellow instructor at ACC - my classes start next Tuesday!). Plus I have friends who play in local bands and are either playing or practicing, either way it's a party...

So no, no insanity, no REDRUM, no blood pouring out of elevators...but some freakin' cold SH*T, I like winter and am an avid X/C skier and ice fisher but this is PAINFUL. Consolation? With all the snow we have had I'll have plenty of time to ski on it AND we'll have a great morel crop in the spring!

;oD

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
GldstrmSamJanuary 8th, 2014, 3:13 pm
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
Motrout, Nice photos. it would be fun to do some winter fly fishing. Not an option usually here in Alaska where I live.

C'mon, below zero? That is not all that bad...:) On Christmas Eve I went ice fishing without a hut at -30F. Bad idea. I was fine, but my one buddy got frostbite on his toes. The other one was fine also. I didn't fell sorry for him. He wanted to go ice fishing and also he wanted to experience -30 to -40F. He ended up experiencing -48F while he was up visiting, much to the consternation of us residence. I am not complaining though. it has been a balmy 20-28F above this whole week and no wind.
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
OldredbarnJanuary 8th, 2014, 6:52 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2585
Jonathon,

I forgot to tell you I drove over to Willow Run last Saturday. I did the Winter Bird Count at Kent Lake and decided to head down to Ypsi because they had spotted some Snowy Owls down there. They said there were three, but I saw just one.

Wow! What a bird. I was looking at him through the binocs and he was starring right back at me with yellow eyes.

I haven't seen one since 1990...in downtown Detroit in the middle of the night. One of my oddest ever sightings.

Glad to know you are holding it together up there. :)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
BrookymanJanuary 8th, 2014, 8:01 pm
Banned
Posts: 797
WoW Spence lucky you.

I got to know a screech owl name " One eyed Jack ". My brother and his wife ran a rehab center for wildlife and Jack the owl was found injured by having lost one eye. He lived for many years at the farm and me and my brother filmed him as he passed on in my brothers hands. I remember him looking up at us to say it OK guys thank you for everything you have done for me and then went to sleep forever that was a very defining moment for us both.

I still have tears to think of him and that moment in time.

here is a picture of him I miss you buddy.



Mack.
Banned for threatening another user and then trying to circumvent a kinder "soft" ban with fake accounts
MotroutJanuary 9th, 2014, 12:35 am
Posts: 319
Motrout, Nice photos. it would be fun to do some winter fly fishing. Not an option usually here in Alaska where I live.

C'mon, below zero? That is not all that bad...:) On Christmas Eve I went ice fishing without a hut at -30F. Bad idea. I was fine, but my one buddy got frostbite on his toes. The other one was fine also. I didn't fell sorry for him. He wanted to go ice fishing and also he wanted to experience -30 to -40F. He ended up experiencing -48F while he was up visiting, much to the consternation of us residence. I am not complaining though. it has been a balmy 20-28F above this whole week and no wind.

I know -5 (which was about our lower limit here) isn't all that cold and I expect no sympathy from you all who have to deal with this stuff (and in your case, far, far colder) on a regular basis!

Besides, I actually rather enjoyed it. I was lucky to be able to take a long hike on the coldest day, because the opportunities to be out in that kind of weather do not come often. It was quite beautiful.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
GldstrmSamJanuary 9th, 2014, 4:40 pm
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
Jonathon,

I forgot to tell you I drove over to Willow Run last Saturday. I did the Winter Bird Count at Kent Lake and decided to head down to Ypsi because they had spotted some Snowy Owls down there. They said there were three, but I saw just one.


That is wrong! :) There you all are down there seeing snowy owls! I haven't seen one of those things for years! They are amazing birds.
I have wanted to do the Christmas Bird Count, but I never got around to it. The bird highlight for the winter was yesterday. We had a large flock of Bohemian waxwings in the crab apple tree. I love those birds, but it is really hard to get close enough for a photo.

Motrout, I won't flaunt my "Alaska resident" card to much here. :) For me -5 is about my cut-off for most outdoor activities. Once it gets below that, everyone needs to be more careful about what clothing they wear, exposure, etc. My favorite temperature for most things winter things is about 15 to 25F.
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
MotroutJanuary 10th, 2014, 12:31 am
Posts: 319

Motrout, I won't flaunt my "Alaska resident" card to much here. :) For me -5 is about my cut-off for most outdoor activities. Once it gets below that, everyone needs to be more careful about what clothing they wear, exposure, etc. My favorite temperature for most things winter things is about 15 to 25F.

I can agree with that. I am very hesitant to wade fish when the temperatures are around zero. Waders just spring a leak too often, and besides, ice in the guides makes it about unworkable. Ten degrees is about my cut off.

"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
GldstrmSamJanuary 11th, 2014, 2:39 am
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212

ice in the guides makes it about unworkable..


That was a huge problem when ice fishing at -30!! From jigging, my line literally turned into an icicle! Much to the disgust of my buddies, I used my mouth to suck the ice off. What else can you do? having your hands out of your gloves to do it most definitely means frost bite! It is definitely something that everyone should experience, EVEN IF it is only once in your life. At least, that is, any sane person would only do it once in their life..., but I am not sane. :) I would do it again. The only difference would be that I would rent/build an ice hut like a normal person. :)

Ahhhh! Alaska...gotta' love it or gotta' hate it...:) I love it!!
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
OldredbarnJanuary 12th, 2014, 1:08 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2585
Mack,

I took a photo workshop yesterday at the Michigan Audubon and we had a couple model birds there from a re-hab center to practise on. They had a Barred Owl there missing an eye as well. Owls aren't able to move their eyes around in their sockets and once they lock on a prey they forget everything else and cross the road without looking both ways and get hit by autos a great deal.

On our winter bird count we found a perfect outline in the snow of a Screech that had probably nabbed a mouse. You could see the head and ear tufts, the tail feathers, and finger like markings in the snow from its primaries...Pretty cool!

Our models yesterday were a Red-tailed Hawk, a Harris Hawk, the Barred, and a Great-horned Owl. The Harris isn't native here but was used by some Falconers and its left wing was damaged somehow and the clinic took it in.

One of the funnier birding stories I've heard was from one of our bird counts where a guy had a recording and called in a couple of Screech Owls, only to have a larger owl swoop in and nab one of them...Ouch! He had to report that back when everyone was adding up birds seen...Can you count a bird that was and is no more? :)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
OldredbarnJanuary 12th, 2014, 1:24 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2585
That is wrong! :) There you all are down there seeing snowy owls! I haven't seen one of those things for years! They are amazing birds.


Sam,

Yes. We are having what they call an "irruption year" with the Snowy Owl. For some reason these birds head down this way every so often, way outside their natural range. They love some of the larger wide open areas where there are miles of farm fields, and seem to love to hang around airports.

Windsor airport across the river here in Ontario Canada had to round them up, band them, and drive them 50-60 miles away from the airport. There were three at Willow Run airport here, but I only saw one.

The reasons for the irruption are guessed at. You have a few milder winters in a row and you have a good survival rate of young birds and there quickly becomes a territorial problem. Food sources seem to be cyclical and when these rodent population fall, the birds head out looking for food. In the books they say that its usually the males that roam, but the one I saw was rather large.

The folks at the Audubon up near Lansing yesterday gave me a map for my drive home to hunt down a Snowy, but I couldn't find it. All I saw was a couple Wild Turkeys and about 50 crows! :)

It is a bit odd seeing them here. The one I saw in 1990 was in downtown Detroit! The Willow Run Airport is where Ford built airplanes during WWII. Not pristine viewing areas. Out by the airport are trucking docks etc and some of the rare bird posters have reported seeing them standing near these trucks and planes...They look more natural, I'd guess, up where they are normally found. Up your way.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
BrookymanJanuary 13th, 2014, 7:37 pm
Banned
Posts: 797
Hey Spence

How is your winter going. I think Jack was also hit by a car. His beak was also messed up and every other month we had to file it so he could eat his dead mice.

Mack.
Banned for threatening another user and then trying to circumvent a kinder "soft" ban with fake accounts

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