Sunday, February 01, 2015 , , 20 Comments

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. 


RM Lytle said...

That chub has some brilliant fin color!

Atlas said...

Haha, thank you RM Lytle. I have to admit I didn't think the first comment would be about the Chub but I appreciate that you are like minded to myself and see the beauty in all fish, regardless of weather someone deems them a "gamefish" or not.

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful place, full of color. love that joe! :)

Atlas said...

Thank you! Joe has to be one of the coolest dogs anyone can have the pleasure and opportunity to fish with.

TROUTI said...

Hey Atlas!! Nice photos of the scenery and the various fish. Some beauties there.

Atlas said...

Thank you sir. It is always especially a pleasure when I get the opportunity to do it up here in January in between freezing temps.

That's a beautiful stream full of great memories just waiting to be hooked!

Atlas said...

Indeed it is Drew! Thanks for stopping by!

Great post Bryan , we'll have to do it again soon!

Atlas said...

Thank you sir, as always it was a pleasure.

Outstanding images with some fantastic water to fish, I would have to frame the ice image. Thanks for sharing

I don't think you ever forget that first trout on the fly. Mine came about 6 years ago and on a Wooly Bugger as well, but black.

Great post! I'm a fan of creek chubs, too. It's always a nice surprise hooking up with them when I'm fishing small creeks around here. It's crazy how many different species of chubs there are. Look it up! I believe the most sought after are "Red Horse"...not to eat, but to catch.

Looks and sounds like a great trip! Especially, after all the talk of the place being hard to fish. You've got skills!

It never ceases to amaze me that people are actually able to get out an catch such amazingly colorful and healthy looking fish. As always, thanks for taking along those of us stuck at home.

Mel said...

I have read numerous articles over the years about some of those Ozark spring creeks/trout streams. Sure appreciate you taking us up close and personal this time of the year with the rewards you experienced.

~doubletaper said...

Always up for the challenge of one of these 'wary trout streams' where it's suppose to be hard to catch trout. Really tests your ability. Thanks for sharing.

Hibernation said...

Gorgeous area Atlas. Those icicles in the first pic, with that aqua colored pool... WOW!

Atlas said...

Thank you guys for the comments! Indeed the fishing was great and we had quite the show in terms of the clarity of the water, color of the fish, and not another soul in sight. Love those wild trout small streams. Takes trout fishing to another level.

Amazing post! Thanks for sharing.Congratulations on the first trout and I am sure there will countless more to come. Looks like you and HPFF had an amazing day! Tightlines!

Atlas said...

Thank you sir, it was indeed awesome to be able to fish this stream after all these years of wanting to and then to be successful on it. Some of the most beautiful Rainbows I have ever caught for sure.