Little Missouri Fly Fishing
Wednesday - February 20, 2019
Friday - October 26, 2018
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Wednesday - February 20, 2019
What's this??? An update to The Latest after all these years??? Well, certainly seems like years!
What a winter! Simply put, I haven't made a trip to the river since October - had quite a few planned, but all washed away by high water or bad weather... Mostly high water and excessive water patterns. The generation patterns for most of the last three months have been irregular and plentiful. Just too many hours out of the day under high water and not enough windows of low water at the right times to make a trip worthwhile!
"Usual Suspects" Johnny McJunkins and David Chin demonstrate some tying and yucking it up with some of the Kisatchie gang! >>>>
It's been brutal for fishing, but fortunately I've been teaching a lot of tennis instead! That, and our new diet around the house, has really helped me physically, as many of you might have noticed at the Fly Fishing Festival last weekend... Yep, been quite a winter!
So we have finally gotten to where there has been some fishing to be had, and for the most part I've been getting nice reports of really healthy fish. Many in the nature of 12-14 inches! But that's what a lot of high water will do for them. There's been a lot of fish loaded into the river all on high water. We're going to find them quite spread out.
The fishing windows have been small - not the normal wintertime patterns. One day they might run eight hours, the next six hours in the morning with a three hour shut down then the rest of the night. The next day all day long... The next only a few in the morning... And the weekends have had lots of water throughout as well. Just no real consistent patterns at all. Except for the this week where we're seeing all day every day until Saturday and Sunday which you'll get to fish all day for a change!
Nathan and Andrew Gann working hard to produce some action - successfully eventually! >>>>
Meanwhile, we were going to have the Little Mo' Fly Fishing Festival no matter what! That's just a fun time with some education and lots of food! Always President's Day weekend in The Boro... Despite the weather, despite the water, despite things all over the fly fishing calendar every week, we still had a very nice crowd! I counted the room at its peak and there were 44 folks in at the time. Some coming and some going on either side of that. So, that was actually good attendance! And there were several folks I had never met before as well. A little disappointed to see a lack of ladies and kids though... Not sure I like what that tells...
Never the less, I want to thank all of you who came out and the cast of Usual Suspects, not to mention Gordon Shaw and his presentation on fiberglass rods, and Larry Offner and his "Musings of a Fly Shop Owner". And especially all those who brought food and forced me to go off my wagon for a couple of days!!!
The fishing for the weekend turned out not to be so great. Thursday produced good reports, but the weather was also rather stable then... Friday was changing, which the fish don't like, and Saturday was worse - rather cold and wet the whole time. Not conducive to some of the great fishing we've been treated to over the years. Sunday was supposed to be a little nicer, but the sleet that aroused me while I "restsed my eyes" in the car said otherwise!
<<<< Nathan gets his first Little Mo' Bow and his first fish on a fly. Good start!
At 1:00 Allyson Gann had set up husband Nathan and son Andrew (Gilmer, TX) for some first time fly fishing! It would also be my first time to put on waders and boots since the fall. Being out of the habit of the ride I naturally left my rods in their cubby of the office back in The Port! Many thanks to Larry Offner and Catch Cormier for grabbing them on their way up for the weekend!!!
At any rate, just as we started to get some serious casting working with Nathan and Andrew some sun finally peeked through the overcast! And when it did, the March Browns got going. While not in significant numbers this early, there were enough to get a few fish interested. That was such a great sight to see! I had March Brown Sliders on both rigs and they did produce a reasonable number of takes. Certainly not furious, but sufficient enough to keep the guys attention in the nasty wind chill for most of the afternoon at least!
Nathan gets another one in later. Notice the minimum flow is back to "normal" minimum by the way! >>>>
Young Andrew had the best fish on, if only but for a few seconds. It got up into the air enough to get a good look at it and be exciting! Nathan managed to bring a couple to hand before the wet wind chill got the digits non-functional! Real temperature was 38-39 after all with gusts up around 15 to 20 here and there. Couple that with very little to no sun and it kind of takes the fun out of things. I have to tell you, in my advancing age, there were quite a few days this winter that I was okay with not standing in the river! Tennis inside was a much better option!
Anyhow, by the end of the afternoon, the guys had produced quite a few takes, several fish hooked up and a couple to hand. Not bad for a couple of first timers, sluggish fish and near brutal conditions! All in all, not a bad weekend...
Now for the good news - bad news for those wanting to fish this week. The weekdays are a bust! Running water all day long Thursday and Friday, but no generation on Saturday or Sunday until dark! That's nice for a change! And as mentioned previously - the minimum flow is back down to it's traditional "normal" minimum! That "easy" fishing of the last year is gone and it's back to the challenge of shallow water fishing... In other words, the way things used to be for most of us!
Friday - October 26, 2018
"Now, I bet'cha wonderin' - how come he don't write!" (Hapless Wagon Driver - "Dances With Wolves")
Been wonderin' myself! Just don't seem to stop long enough to get cranked up at the computer! Been too busy enjoying the finally autumn weather elsewhere! But there was a little fishing mixed in a couple of weeks back with John & Patti Montgomery from the Austin area!
Patti and John Montgomery enjoying the great weather, their fly fishing education and a few fish on! Turned out to be a perfect day! >>>>
It was their first attempt at throwing a fly line so they weren't expecting a lot... So considering the time of year and the tough fish one has to deal with at the end of each season they did rather well! Saw a lot of fish, got hits consistently throughout the session and had several on after just a little bit of casting instruction!
We actually had the first real autumn weather of the year to contend with! Low fifties early that morning and not warming up a whole bunch! Enough to have the waders on myself and a decently cool breeze swirling around most of the day. Oh, what a change finally from the brutal September and rather peculiar first half of October we had!
The CORPS had been back to work at the power house again throughout the last few months so we still have that little extra flow going with no generation for quite a while. The fish have been loving it! And they had been showing the conditions on their backs! That is, wide body and great shape!
They've maintained their daily schedules and routines - running up and down the Flat, through their usual haunts. Amazing how predictable they can be year after year, crop after crop - they develop the same patterns every fall! We tried to take advantage of that with some success.
Patti and John didn't land a lot, but they sure had some action, and that's typical for the late season. Lots of looks and a bent rod here and there. Makes getting that one or two in all the better. You know you worked for them!
We threw an assortment of flies once again. Mostly Long Creeks, Cahill Sliders and ADL Midges though. Those got the most interest on a regular basis. The Light Cahills have just about reached their peak for their hatch by now.
John Montgomery does battle with his first rainbow on a fly while Patti certainly seems to be getting a great kick out of the entire event! The day was quite the pleasure to be a part of as for myself! >>>>
We got the reports a couple of days ago (the 24th) that stocking has resumed! We should be seeing about 1,500 fish spread out between Riverside, River Ridge, Hind's Bluff and the Factory Site! Without full generation, though, those fish will tend to stay put a little. But with the extra minimum still going, some of them are certainly going to be moving a bit!
November will get the stocking going into full swing. We can expect more than 5,500 fish brought in during November! That's not quite the typical numbers, may be down a bit, but the AGFC says they should have nice sized fish to make up for lost numbers this season.
And so, what I consider to be the 2017-18 season is over... And we begin the 2018-19 season! I've been hanging around the Little Mo' since the early 70's and November has always been the un-official start of the new season with new fish and new promises. Always looking at the winter water conditions, hoping we get a nice amount of cold rain each winter to fill the lake with great water for the following summer! Hoping we don't see extended high water situations that keep us off the river as we had this past spring! That was brutal... Ten weeks with no fishing - changed my world a bit. Good thing I was teaching a lot of tennis!!!
I've already been filling in some fly orders for the season. If you want to get your Long Creeks, Little Mo' Woolies, A&W's and Smidges in the queue, you'd better let me know soon before I get bogged down! It's going to be a busy fall and December! I'll be at LA State Playoffs (tennis) in a couple of weeks and Sandy has to have her cataracts done later in November and December, so I'll be nursing for quite a few days in there too!
Looking forward to getting back to the river on a more regular basis!
Always On The Water - Jeff
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