Years ago I found myself huddled around a campfire with friends. Each of us were retelling our fishing stories of the day, undoubtably some stories more indulged than others but regardless the evening was filled with laughter, camaraderie, and visions of what could be for the next day. For myself that night was particularly special, only a few hours before I had just caught my first trout on a fly rod. All day I had struggled but finally after the sun had set and with the aid of the ubiquitous olive wooly bugger I was successful. Not a big guy but my first and I will never forget.
What I remember equally well of that evening is several men talking about a small stream in hushed voices. They spoke of a place where the trout were notoriously difficult to catch, wild, easily spooked, and rich with color. Those that had visited this fishery emphasized that if you caught a trout here it was a real accomplishment and if you caught anything of size it was something to be particularly proud of. That conversation has stuck with me the past five years and the in my mind the stream gained a certain mystique, a place I had to visit and hoped I would succeed. A place where I could test my angling abilities and see how far I had come over the years. So it held it's place on my bucket list for years and when a good friend of mine invited me to join him for a trip there I had to say yes.
I have always come away from my trips with Jeff learning something and this time was no different. He is a good friend and you would be hard pressed to find someone better to share the water with. The water was a touch low and gin clear and I have to thank him for graciously giving me the first shot at the more promising locations. To my delight we both caught fish and being January we had the entire waterway to ourselves. This trip was one I will remember for a long time to come. You can check out day two of this trip here.
The creek is one of Missouri's Blue Ribbon Trout Streams and I have long thought that these beautiful small streams located in the hear of the Ozark's are perhaps one of the states most precious natural gems.
Even the small trout were natural masterpieces.
Never one to be accused of being a fish snob, I had to include this Creek Chub in the post as well.