Little Missouri Fly Fishing
Monday - September 4
Thursday - August 24
Saturday - July 22
Tuesday - July 11
Sunday - June 25
Check out the current weather and forecast in Murfreesboro!
Monday - September 4, 2017
Seemed like "September" was never going to show up on the list of trips!!! Finally. As things are shaping up, this past Saturday may have been the last of the truly "hot" weather fishing this season!
I met with the Ince clan from Nashville, AR! Dad, Mike, brought Daniel & Amanda (Bossier/BAFB) and daughter Lauren for some first time instruction and even some fishing before the early generation. There was a bunch of casting, starting of course with "rolls" and then overheads. All this in preparation for an up-coming trip to the Yellowstone area! I asked them if I could come...
Daniel in the foreground, then sister Lauren, then Daniel's wife Amanda and Mike Ince on the upstream end. All working on synchronized Roll casts! They were close, at least, and you can see some "slight" variations in start positions... "Results may vary!" >>>>
We were so focused on the casting for a while that I wasn't really watching for fish initially. But as soon as we started to put flies on, we found that there were quite a few roaming about, and close! The fish are definitely in a classic summer time generation activity pattern. They are cruising their usual routes and started to get more active as we got closer to the 11:00 AM generation start-up.
Put a Light Cahill Slider on Daniel and Light Cahill R & A's on everyone else. We were just starting to see a slight increase in the easterly breezes at the time as well. I liked the chances, but the time constraints were a bit of a pain...
Amanda turned out to be the only one to get a hold of one when all was said and done, and she took the mid-battle instruction quite well. I was able to get her to back off on her grip just about the time the 12 incher made her biggest move! A moment later all of Amanda's loose line disappeared and she was on the reel! Not a bad way to get into your first fish on a fly!
After a few minutes we had Amanda's fish in hand and I think she's ruined now... Mike got back to me that night and said everyone really enjoyed the short day, none the less! The fishing opened up and answered a whole lot of questions for the newbies. And I really enjoy taking care of first timers and getting them started with a good clue.
<<<< Amanda and her nicely colored female! All the fish are dark and healthy. They've been "training" on all the high water! They are going to be some tough fighting fish as the water gets further into a good comfort zone on an all day basis!
It was also nice to see an increased level of Light Cahills flying about and landing on shoulders and the like! We're getting into the peak of their season after all... And with the weather threatening to be much cooler over the next couple of weeks, particularly overnight, that's only going to help the cause. Bring the water temps down and look for more Light Cahills. Now if we could just get some better generation schedules!
It's been a very odd summer for generation. We went for a couple of solid weeks back in July of zero generation, they went to running water seven days a week starting around 11:00 or Noon every day and running well into the evening! Really cut down on the fishing...
Amanda does good work with her fish! >>>>
This week, for example, they are running every day till 9:00 or 10:00 every night! Today they are cranking up at 11:00 AM, tomorrow not until 2:00 PM, Wednesday at 11:00 AM, Thursday and Friday at Noon and Saturday & Sunday at 11:00 AM again! Just hardly enough time to make the trips worthwhile I'm afraid. Maybe worth it Thursday and Friday if you can get there early enough!
Let's hope that comes to a close starting the next week and we can get in some nice Light Cahill Prime Times for a change! Maybe ONE full day of fishing here and there!!! In the meantime, back to teaching tennis instead...
Thursday - August 24, 2017
Well, I was supposed to have been up on the river a tad more in the last few weeks than I have, but schedules kept getting bounced around... The early generation each day wasn't helping. I think school starting back up so early now, the heat, and tough fishing was keeping a lot of folks away as well. Understandable.
But I did get on the water again last Friday with Chris Pierce (Shreveport, LA) for his first trip to the Little Mo. Very much a learning trip for him as he put it! We learned that the fish are being brutal!
We tweaked some casting, as anticipated, but it wasn't real long before we were ready to get a fly in the water. The question was "What!?" What was going to get us interest during this very difficult time of year? We tried several things and now I can't remember what we started with. I think maybe a Light Cahill Slider, first, a Light Cahill R & A, then a Killer Cahill, then an ADL, then a Griffith's Gnat then a Smidge and a Long Creek as well!
Everything garnered slight interest... No one thing much more than anything else, though I might say that the dries did a little better. And I think it was either the R&A or the Slider with which Chris got the most actual takes. Too much happened between then and now!
Chris Pierce prepares to net his first Little Mo' Bow! >>>>
Generation was supposed to have started at Noon, but we saw no signs of it and stayed out for a bit longer. Chris stayed for a while after I headed out. He said that they did start running at 1:00 and that he had lost a few more fish and had slightly more significant interest as it got closer to generation time. That is actually a bit of the norm. As it gets closer to the normal generation time the fish tend to get more active and start moving around in anticipation of the cool water that's about to appear!
As for generation this weekend they are scheduled to start running water at noon Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! For some reason on my computer is currently not opening the SWEPCO page in the usual fashion, so for now, here's the direct link to it: SWEPCO Generation Schedule... Haven't seen anything for next week just yet, so keep checking!
At any rate, not much to report right now as this is possibly the most difficult time of year for the fishing! But looking ahead we are supposed to start getting lows into the 50's next week and that is going to make a big difference with water temperatures on the river and, more importantly, on the lake! With some cloud cover and "cool" rains, the lake surface temps can drop dramatically.
<<<< That's a mouthful... But at least it's a summertime fish! Hard to come by...
The lake is currently at 543.68' - so the shallow draw generators (#1 and #2) are probably pulling some warmish water... #3 is still pulling some pretty cold water! When we stepped in last week, my feet said it was about 58° first thing in the morning. Naturally I had broken yet another thermometer the night before loading up the car!
Once we start seeing water temps drop closer to that 55° range on a regular basis we're going to see quite the increase in the Light Cahill activity. "They" are saying to start looking for some overnight temps to be in the 50's next week and currently even as low as 55° ! Man! That is really going to be welcome! But it will also get the Light Cahills to start thinking about some major movement... The fishing on those first cloudy and coolish days can really start to turn. You just have to be a little lucky and be there when it happens! Keep a close eye on the weather over the next couple of weeks...
Saturday - July 22, 2017
Never ending effort to keep up around here!!! Went to the river last weekend... With grand-kids, tennis several times this week and all day today I'm just now stopping to update the reports! Sheeezzz!
As you all know, the conditions this summer have been brutal! We have fewer fish in the river than usual too! Mike Ingram did talk to Melissa Jones with the AGFC and we did not get either the May or June stocking into the river. They had another flood at the Spring River hatchery this past spring and lost a lot of fish again! Add to that our Cinnamon Ant hatch problems in June and there simply isn't the quantity of fish in the river that we normally see in a summer season.
<<<< Dennis Hoshaman battles a tail walker!
But we're still catching fish, none the less - and they are very nice quality! It's just going to be a bit more challenging than usual!
Elska Yakobian leans on a really nice one at the top of The Trough!>>>>
Last Friday morning I met with Dennis Hoshman and Elska Yakobian. Dennis had been to the river before, but it was Elska's first time to throw a fly line. So, there was a bit of instruction to get through, however, and that paid off nicely!
Actually, Dennis and Elska did rather well Friday morning. The conditions weren't too bad and we had some decent breezes and feeding fish at least. If you get lucky and get the right day, the winds and bugs may be on your side. The next issue is convincing the fish you do see!
We were throwing Light Cahill R & A's for the most part. Might have tossed a Slider in there too... The bigger concern was the tippet size, and material, though. We did OK with the 6X Fluorocarbon. It is already pretty critical with the fish we have. They are quite wary of anything extraordinary!
<<<< Dennis with a quick release...
Not a lot of fish caught, though certainly enough action to keep ones interest! And of course, the fish we do get on are all in great shape and nice size! Be ready for some explosive runs and aerials! Elska topped things out with a nice 14 incher with deep, rich colors! Pretty nice morning!
Elska shows off a beautiful 14 incher!>>>>
Friday evening brought Frasher and Adrienne Murphy (Dallas, TX) to the river. We finally are getting some generation (and actually a bit of a normal schedule this week!) with shut down coming at 5:00 PM last Friday. That was just about perfect for Adrienne and Frasher to get in some good casting prep and be ready for the right conditions as the time came!
By 5:30 we were fishing! And, of course, it was Smidge time! They got into a nice groove and the mist over the water was a great thing to see! Just adds to the event.
Water temps have been nice and it wasn't long before the fish were showing themselves on the falling flows. Not a whole lot of bugs to be seen, we are in between the major hatches - end of the March Browns and the beginning of the Light Cahills... Although, I did see some Slate Wing Mahoganys (Isonychias) and even a few Hexes!!! So, for the fish right now, I think it's more a matter of clean casts, line of sight and tippet size...
<<<< Adrienne Murphy with another really nice 'Bow! Apparently "red" shirts are the way to go, because the girls were getting all the big ones this week!
Adrienne and Frasher seemed to have a nice evening with a handful of fish in and a nice stop on their trip! Great way to spend a Friday evening!
Appears that Frasher Murphy might have been having a good time! >>>>
Saturday morning, Robert Walker returned with another bud, Roger McKinney (Longview, TX). Roger has been making a habit of this for a couple of years now!
I have to say the fishing was difficult... We had Light Cahill R & A's being thrown around the Flat with only mild interest. The fish were definitely concentrating in only a few areas around the Park and we eventually made it down into the Wall Hole where Long Creeks were added to the list of offerings over the weekend.
Not a whole lot of action, but Robert did manage a few. Sorry Robert, got home and realized I had no pics of you for the whole weekend! But hell, you're the lead pic on the website right now!
We took the afternoon off while the "Powers That Be" ran a couple of hours of water for us and got back to the Park at 6:00. Turned into a much better evening than morning! Roger, who had been nearly done in by the morning fish, held his own and then some in the evening!
Roger mcKinney discovers that summer Prime Time's can be pretty nice! >>>>
Several nice fish in hand and a decent Prime Time despite the heavy fog camouflaging all the mayflies that were out!
Roger got one of the nicest fish of the weekend which certainly made up for the morning session!
<<<< And a really pretty one on Sunday morning too!
Sunday morning we were back at it, a little earlier than Saturday, but I don't know that it made a whole lot of difference. Once again Roger got one of the better fish on the day, but the pickins were pretty slim. It's just going to be tough out there the rest of the summer, unless you can hit the right weather conditions.
This week we got some much better water releases! We got a few hours Monday and Tuesday, and Thursday and Friday. Nothing today, but a couple of hours tomorrow evening!
This coming week is very different, but way better than nothing like we had through early July! As follows:
Monday - running from Noon to 9:00 PM
Tuesday - running from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM (nice)
Wednesday - running from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM (excellent)
Thursday - running 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (pretty good)
Friday - running from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (excellent)
Saturday and Sunday - running from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM (nice again)
This seemingly random schedule will actually really help the fishing and the fish! They'll have good water over them at the peak of the hot days and you'll still be able to get in some decent Prime Time fishing with the exception of this Monday... I'd say the best Prime Time fishing will be on the 5:00 shutdown days. But at least 7:00 PM will still get you a good couple of hours in there. That is, if you stay out until the Whipporwhills crank it up!
Tuesday - July 11, 2017
Last Sunday I had a quick day with Ben Glick (Texarkana / Oregon) who has now fished with me several times this year! He is hell-bent on learning this fly fishing thing, I can tell you that! And doing rather well, thank you...
Hasn't been a lot of fishing lately. Not even getting many reports and I can imagine why. The lack of generation could become an issue and it certainly doesn't help the fishing conditions... I'd sure rather see a traditional summertime generation pattern. We're not getting anything but a few hours on the weekends.
An over the shoulder view at Ben's big fish - the light shape off his left shoulder! He was hefty!!! >>>>
Never the less, Ben came up and we tracked a few fish in the Flat with only mild interest. We threw Light Cahill R & A's, a Killer Cahill Emerger, an ADL Midge and the Smidge too.
All of which got looks and produced as much interest as anything... But there were more refusals than takes, I'm afraid! Eventually we tacked on some 6X fluorocarbon tippet and seemed to make a slight difference. The fish are already quite spooky and difficult - which might help to explain the lack of fishing reports.
<<<< Our vulture audience... Hard to make them out in this shot, but they were quite interested in what we were doing - or maybe what we might become. I think they were having a Dos Equis!
As the morning moved along, the fish that were hanging around the Flat, as usual, moved down to the deeper water. With no serious cloud cover and just a little bit of breeze on occasion they were being very difficult and we followed them into the Wall Hole. That did help!
After working very hard for looks and a few actual takes in the shallows some of the fish in the deep water were slightly more congenial... Ben hooked up several decent fish and landed a few. The best was another wide-body, certainly no less than 14 inches and probably more.
After a long battle on his 4 weight and 6X with one spectacular leap, Ben finally got the leader in hand and I was about to get the pic when the big male gave us one more big slosh and off went the Smidge with tippet! A lesson learned the hard way...
A serious bend in that rod. More lessons learned on how to work a fish... >>>>
For a quick trip it was a pretty decent day and got to see a few really nice fish on the line. We weren't sure whether or not the two visitors shown here were going to let us out of the water though. I've never seen vultures let people on foot get so close, and they were quite interesting in that they were taking turns getting drinks of water! One would drop down, get a few sips and pop up, then the other would do likewise. This went on the whole time we were making our way to get out until we just finally got too close!
No generation again this week until Friday afternoon 3:00 to 5:00 and Saturday 2:00 to 6:00. Maybe we'll get in some decent Prime Time fishing! I went up to the bridge below the dam (which is finished with whatever they were working on by the way) and there are quite a few fish hanging around the Closed Zone, but nothing like we've seen in years past. Maybe a little high water will get them to move around and we can get a shot at them this weekend!
Sunday - June 25, 2017
Wow! Did Chris May (West Monroe, LA) ever pick the right day to come to the river!
After all the threats of TS Cindy and the weather that we did get off of it, Saturday turned out to be near perfect! I left early, just after storms had passed through, but it was still quite oppressive in The Port! Car thermometer said 84° at 5:30 AM!!! Yuck... But I crossed the state line and got on up and the temps had dropped to 72 and it seemed like it stayed there the rest of the day! With northerly winds I might add.
Chris May got into a bunch of long distance battles yesterday!>>>>
So, it was like Chris' third trip to the river and he felt like there was much to be learned. So we moseyed about The Flat for a bit, tinkering with casting and only seeing a handful of disinterested fish. There were a few other folks out - David McAdams being one of them. He was picking up one here and there in one of his favorite spots. He was throwing an assortment of things too, all of which seemed to produce some interest.
The day started quite slowly, but I felt good about the possibilities with the over-cast and breezes. It was still early. I recalled why, for me at least, there's not actually a big urgency to be on the water at the crack of dawn. We only raised a bit of interest with the Light Cahill Slider we started with...
Since Chris had only fished at the Park we decided to have a look downriver a bit as we got into mid-morning. Down at Hind's Bluff, we only saw a hint of a trout or two, but never could raise them... We tried the Slider in the riffles and a Long Creek in the deep. Nothing, except a juvenile Smallmouth that Chris didn't quite stick. At least at this point a little Smallmouth would have been some thing!
<<<< And they all paid off big - with big fish!
We headed up to the "J" Ledge since it had still been doing well on the last couple of trips and dropped the Long Creek down into the olive water. Nothing showing there either!
We've had two issues this early summer, I believe. One there's no doubt - the kill after the Cinnamon Ant hatch was quite significant! The other is the bizarre lack of generation! Only a few hours, on the weekends of all things, the last couple of weeks! And generation on only 11 days out of the last 30! Traditionally, we'd see summer patterns of several hours every weekday afternoon with nothing on the weekends. That kept water temperatures great and fish moving around frequently. Not so this summer, so far...
Fifteen inchers can cover some ground... >>>>
So, Chris and I found nothing downriver this time... We headed back up to the Park to see what was happening. We found the Wall Hole drop-off unoccupied and set up camp there! David was still at his boulder and Mike "Hen" Ingram had joined him. The breezes had now turned into wind and we still had the good over-cast... And fish were getting on the move!
We still had on the Long Creek and that produced quickly. We tried the weighted over-sized Smidge that I had tied just or the occasion and they produced a lot of interest, but not so many solid hits! But both flies did turn up some really nice fish! Best fish I've seen all spring! As I said last week - those fish that survived the ant hatch are going to be the best of the best! And the fish we were getting were proving that to be the case. Chris said he'd never felt fish that fight like this!
He landed several wide body's in the 12-13 inch class, but topped them all with a really hefty 15 incher! Truly beautiful Rainbows!
Just for fun, after landing a bunch of nice fish, Chris wanted to see what a dry fly might do and I put on a Light Cahill R & A dry. It got slammed almost right off! And every time we got the good chop and waves it got even more attention. Don't believe we might have had the same interest if there had been significant sun, but on this day it was working!
Landed a bunch more 'Bows with the R & A but we had the show stopper of the spring awaiting us...
Just one of many real chunks on the day! >>>>
All the time we had been drifting or sinking the dry (which by the way was also working nicely) and casting to some of the fish closest to us, there had been something other than a trout, shad or carp hovering around in front of us and it was much larger... Well as Chris was stripping the R & A through the drop-off zone, whatever this fish was eased up on it from the side and wolfed it in! There was no doubt this fish wanted to eat the swimming dry!
Well, Chris tightened up as he was supposed to, and what I assumed to be either a White Bass or a Drum headed for the deep water - and I mean fast and heavy! The 5X Fluorocarbon held for the entire eight or ten minutes of surges in and out of the deep pool and Chris' three weight held up nicely as well... We finally got the fish in hand and while I was trying to get to the camera, of course it got loose...
If it was a White Bass it didn't have any indications of stripes at all... It had a drum-like body and mouth though I didn't get to see down its throat to check for the teeth. The belly fins were a odd shade of blue, almost turquoise, though! I a little befuddled. I've certainly caught drum on other things, but a size 16 dry fly just under the surface? The lack of stripes is what's really throwing me, otherwise a White Bass makes a heck of a lot more sense...
Never the less, it made for a very interesting day! And probably gave Chris tendonitis from hanging on to that thing on his three weight! Another great capper to a bunch of nice 'Bows on the day!
More weirdness on generation schedule this week...
Nothing on the schedule until Friday at 3:00 PM to 5:00... (That was on the schedule this past week and they did not run on Friday...)
Saturday 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM and that's it!
I don't get it... Lake is comfortable at 546.58' so I'm sure they're trying to retain some water for the rest of the summer, but running on weekends and not weekdays? Just don't get it!
Always On The Water - Jeff
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