Until Next Year!

DSC_0001-2

“Time will pass and seasons will come and go.” – Roy Bean

The end of the fishing season on the rivers here in Missouri for me has come to the end of the season.  On sunny days I will still float the river but fishing will have to wait until spring.

I know you all are probably getting tired of hearing my fishing stories so I will keep today’s blog short.  I put in the river at 8:30 a.m. and the temperature was 30 degrees. The “weather guessers” were calling for a high of 60.  The fourth cast of the day I caught a largemouth bass.  It appeared the fishing would be good toaday.  So I thought.

DSC_0009-3

The wind was a force I really didn’t want to deal with.  At one point I was going through a shallow, swift area of the river when a wind gust hit me head on and actually pushed me and the yak back up river against the current.  It made it pretty difficult to fish.

DSC_0010-2

That morning I caught 2 large mouth bass and one smallmouth bass.  Oh well a bad day on the river is better than a good day at work.  After lunch it didn’t get any better.  I caught 1 smallmouth and 2 perch and that was it.  It wasn’t the way I wanted to end the fishing season but next season will be here before we know it.

DSC_0015-2

It was a good year.  The Big River really is becoming a trophy smallmouth bass area.  The largest one I caught, actually put in the boat, was 16 inches.  Here in Missouri it takes approximately 7 to 9 years for them to grow to 15 inches.  I also caught a 19 inch largemouth and an 8 pound channel cat.

DSC_0014-3 (2)

I want to thank my high school friends David Tripp and Mark Nelson for taking time out of their busy schedules and doing some fishing with me.  I had a good time and hope you two did also.

DSC_0019

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  It is very much appreciated.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.  Photography is one of my passions.  Remember to spread the love, be kind to each other and above all, respect each other.

DSC_0021

All the photos were taken on the Big River near Desloge, MO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Fishing on the Big River

DSC_0003

On October 17, I embarked on another adventure on the Big River.  I had a client that shuttled my yak and I so I could do a straight through float.  I hit the water at 8:30 am and the temp was 37 degrees.  The sun was coming up and the fog was starting to lift.  It was going to be a beautiful day.  The high was supposed to be 55 however the wind was a big pain in the yak.

DSC_0011-2

Big River near DeSoto, MO

On my third throw of the day I cast my lure around the boat ramp.  I reeled in a couple turns and whammy.  Something hit hard and the fight was on.  I fought it for about 5 minutes and then all of a sudden it was over.  It had got off.  In the next 15 minutes I hooked 3 more and got them about half way to the boat and they would get off.  It was like I was jinxed.

I fished about a half an hour and not a hit.  Then, whammy.  I had one on.  It was a 13 inch smallmouth and it appeared the jinx was over.  I caught 5 more smallies and 1 largemouth and 4 spotted bass.  Around 1 pm I pulled up on a gravel bar and ate lunch.

44348290_10155962899508041_6288953477175443456_n

My kayak on Big River near DeSoto, MO.

Around 1:30 I started on down the river only to be greeted by a Bald Eagle that Mark and I had seen the week before in the same area.  What a magnificent bird indeed.

I continued to catch fish.  I caught them on a  Rapala floating minnow and a Rebel Wee-Craw which caught the most.  Last week with my buddy Mark I had caught some on a pig and jig and a plastic worm but couldn’t buy a bite with them today.

44350355_10155962899278041_1662226599241580544_n

A 13 inch largemouth bass

 

44448395_10155962899748041_450688570684866560_n

A 16 inch smallmouth bass

The day was going good and then it happened.  I had cast the Wee-Craw and retrieved it a couple turns when wham!  Something had hit the lure and hard.  It started peeling line and headed up stream.  I was in some shallow fast moving water and I knew it was going to create a problem.  I was in good shape as long as the yak stayed in the middle of the river but then I hit a pocket of water that started pushing me to the bank.  I got it right up next to the boat and I saw what was the biggest smallmouth that I had ever hooked.  It looked like something you see in a Bass Pro Shop aquarium.  The 16 inch I had caught was dwarfed by this smallie.  Then, this was all taking place now in about 3 foot of water and I could easily see the bottom, I saw it zero in on a tree branch on the bottom and wrap my line around a limb.  Here I am sitting with one of my biggest dreams right there in front of me and I can’t do anything but watch it tug then finally pull loose.  I was devastated!!!!!

44385036_10155962899328041_6417738187510120448_n

Rebel Wee-Craw

44370894_10155962899398041_477273374570053632_n

Rapala original floating minnow

When the initial shock of losing the biggest smallie I had ever caught wore off I headed on down river making my way to the boat ramp.  Along the way I managed to catch several more smallies and spotted bass.  It was a great day.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love.  A few more pics of the river that day.

DSC_0001

Big River

DSC_0005

Big River

DSC_0009-2

Big River

Time on the River

 

IMG_0395 (1)

Big River near DeSoto, MO as darkness gives way to the dawn.

I have always been mesmerized by the beauty of the river.  Due to flooding it is constantly changing but Mother Nature seems to always protect its beauty.  If only man would cherish the river as much as Mother Nature.  The pollution and the trash left behind has grown, adding an ugliness that shouldn’t be there.

“The River… It’s my world, and I don’t want any other.  What it hasn’t got is not worth having, and what it doesn’t know is not worth knowing.  Lord! the times we’ve had together.” – Kenneth Grahame

On August 11, I decided to spend a very much needed night on the river.  Temps were in the 90s and humidity was high.  I loaded up and went to Mammoth Access on the Big River in Missouri.  A lot of people on the river and I got a lot of stares.  I have had a round with melanoma so I show up in a long sleeve shirt and jeans and really don’t look like I belong.  I board my yacht and head up river for a much anticipated night of relaxation.

As I paddle I look for spots to set limb lines and a place to make camp for the night.  I opted out of taking a tent and would opt to catnap on board my trusty yak.  After finding places for lines and camp I went to an area to do some bass fishing however the fish didn’t seem to like the smorgasbord I provided for them.  I finally started tight line fishing and waited for dusk to show up at which time I would set and bait lines in hopes of catching some catfish.

IMG_0396 (2)

Big River near DeSoto, MO as dawn takes over the night.

“A river seems a magic thing.  A magic, moving,, living part of the very earth itself.” – Laura Gilpin

I finally finished getting the lines set and baited around 8:30 p.m.  I then set up camp and  set up for tight line fishing while I waited until time to run my lines.  I like to run my lines every 2 and a half hours.  All I seemed to get was empty lines with no bait.  There was a bait stealer loose in the Big River.  My luck wasn’t much better with my tight line fishing but I did manage to get a good fire started.

IMG_0388 (1)

The night got cool enough that the fire actually felt good.

Finally I managed to catch a drum, or stone perch.  I put it on a stringer because I had plans for it.  I also managed to catch a sucker but since it wasn’t high on my culinary preferences I returned it to the river.  They are pretty bony.

IMG_0389 (1)

One of Missouri’s suckers.

Around 4:30 a.m. my beef stew MRE had began to wear of so I prepared the fish for breakfast.  I didn’t have anything to cook it in so I improvised and rigged up quite a contraption to cook it with.  I used some green tree limbs and fashioned sort of a spit and cooked it 10 minutes on each side and I am here to tell you it was delicious.

IMG_0392 (1)

Breakfast on the river.

The darkness began to give over its control to the rays of sunshine.  I headed out to run my lines and take them out.  As I was running the lines I heard something that sounded just like a lamb.  I use to raise sheep so I know the sound all too well.  I could hear it but couldn’t see it.  finally it broke out of the brush and to may surprise it was a fawn still sporting its spots.  I figured it got separated from its mom and hopefully it wasn’t an orphan.  Then I got my answer.  I hear the bleat of a doe and the fawn spun around and headed back into the brush giving what sounded like a very happy round of bleats.

“A river or stream is a cycle of energy from sun to plants to insects to fish.  It is a continuum only broken by humans.” – Aldo Leopold

All the lines were empty and void of bait but one.  I noticed that it was wrapped over a limb but is wasn’t moving so I figured I had caught one and it wrapped the line around the limb and got off.  I managed to pull the line and limb up but to my surprise the line wasn’t empty.  No sirree!  As it broke the service I found a 20 pound, at least, soft shell turtle hooked by its foot.  This means that its head was free.  Now I am here to tell you when it comes to the length of a neck the giraffe has nothing on a very pissed off soft shell turtle.  Now the pucker factor has kicked in and his neck extends way out, jaws snapping and barley misses my arm.  We wrestled for a while and I was finally able to unhook him and I gave a sigh of relieve that was probably heard in St. Louis.

IMG_0397

Phot of Big River by Double D Acres LLC.

After all the excitement and I calmed down a little I headed up river for about 2 hours and then turned around and fished my way back to the boat ramp.  I managed to catch one small Largemouth bass and that was all she wrote.

It wasn’t a very productive fishing trip but the relaxation and peacefulness I enjoyed was priceless.  Being alone on the river without any distractions is the perfect way I have found to cleanse the soul and recharge the spirit.  I have always said when I die I want to be cremated and my ashes spread in the river.  That is the only place that I can experience a true sense of peace and tranquility.

“A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I apologize for being a little long winded.  If you get a chance to sit on the bank of a river, close your eyes.  Listen to the running water and feel its energy.  Like us it has a destination.  A beginning and an end.  It has its low times (summer) and high times (floods).  Outside the interference of man, dams and levees, it manages to take out any obstacle in its way to its destination.  We can learn a lot about life from a river.  Remember to spread the love.

 

My Thoughts on Fishing

IMG_0170

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” – Henry David Thoreau

I have been fishing for a lot of years.  I had the big bass boat with the big gas guzzling motor on it.  I fished bass tournaments, mostly held on lakes.  Then one day I was diagnosed with melanoma and had to have it cut off.  They didn’t get all of the cancer cells so they cut some more and this time got it all.

Growing up we always fished the rivers.  So I decided to sell the bass boat and head back to the river where I had learned to fish and I have no regrets.  I bought a kayak and started fishing with ultra-light gear.  I prefer a spinning reel loaded with 4 pound test line.  I like a medium action rod.  If you catch an eight ounce fish on this rig it feels like it weighs five pounds.  I have a lot of fun with this set up on the rivers.

IMG_0174

Two of my favorite crankbaits, Wee Craws by Rebel.

“Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world.  It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way.  A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self.” – Ted Hughes

My favorite way of fishing is with a fly rod and reel. set up.  Personally I have a difficult time trying to cast from the kayak.

IMG_0173

Minnow and shad look- a-likes that I love to use on the river.

There are all kinds of different artificial baits one can pick from.  There are soft baits, jigs, crank baits, spinner baits, top water lures, just to name a few.  For those of you who would prefer using real bait there are worms, crawdads, minnows and crickets.

Here in Missouri I would say the 4 most sought after fish are large mouth bass, small mouth bass, crappie and the catfish.  In Missouri we are blessed with some great places to fish.  I fish the Big River and the Missouri Department of Conservation has designated several miles of the upper part as a Small Mouth Trophy area.

 

14202580_10153954221183041_9095298953499340035_n

Large mouth bass

 

14203315_10153963553328041_5930352016865734789_n

small mouth bass

 

“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” – Steven Wright

I hope this post helped inspire some of you to pick up some fishing equipment and head out to the river or lake.  It was short so feel free to ask me any question you might have.

I hope you enjoyed my post and thank you for taking the time to read it.  Remember to share the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Fishing

16864289_10154437604498041_6209379353309898860_n

“Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world.  It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way.  A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self.” – Ted Hughes

Well the little rodent says that we are going to have six more weeks of winter.  That tells me that I am going to be fishing in the cold.  If you have never fished before you won’t understand but those of you who have, well you understand totally.

Fishing is something that can be shared among friends.  It is a way to get together and enjoy each others company and catch up on old news.  It is relaxing and a good way to recharge your spirit.  It is a great place to find yourself and cleanse your spirit of all the negativity that has latched onto it.

19424300_10154795476963041_2561509777254085320_n

My friend David and me at Bonne Terre Lake

 

15439822_10154224312703041_7944992086531422925_n

Mark’s grandson, David, Me, and Mark ready to float the river.

 

DSC_0352

Mark and David during a float on the Big River

We have been on a couple fishing trips and we all three graduated together so there is always lots to talk about and we always have a good time.  A fishing trip is one hell of a friendship bonding agent.  We try to schedule a fishing trip at least once a year.  it is always a good time.

19399203_10154775421913041_1670834458240529317_n

My fishing buddy (grandson) Catfish Kid

 

 

IMG_1532

Catfish Kid strikes again.

One thing I love about fishing is you can share it with the young-uns.  Me and the Catfish Kid caught some fish.  He sure does love to fish so we have drowned a bunch of worms.

Following pictures are of fish that I have caught.

 

14232970_10153963553358041_5186003725170795255_n

Channel  Catfish

 

IMG_1599

Largemouth Bass

 

14199247_10153963553463041_4631747801659084257_n

Smallmouth Bass

 

DSC_0378 (2)

One of the Big River’s panfish caught by David.

Last but not least.  If  you have never been fishing on the river before, the scenery can blow you away.  One of my favorite times on the river is in the fall when all the leaves are changing colors.

 

DSC_0108 (2)

Big River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0365

Big River

 

 

IMG_1608

Big River at Leadwood Access

I hope you enjoyed my little piece on fishing.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  If you are looking for a new adventure be sure and check out fishing.  It is laid back and very enjoyable.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love.

(All photos were shot by me)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The River; A Magical Treasure (For Some)

 

DSC_0196

“A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

DSC_0189

“A river seems a magic thing.  A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.” – Laura Gilpin

I was finally afforded an opportunity to spend some time on the Big River.  I decided to kayak and fish the St. Francois State Park area of the river.  I went on a Thursday so I had the park pretty much to myself.  I was even able to accommodate myself with some time to read some of Emerson’s work.  The only distraction I had was the chirping of the crickets and the crackling of the fire.

DSC_0171

Home for a couple of days.

The river was really low.  It was hard to fish and float.  I did manage to catch some fish though.  Not very big but when you are fishing with an ultralite with 4 pound test they don’t have to be very big to have fun catching them.  I did catch enough to consume for supper on the second day.

IMG_2288[1]

My time spent on the river is always magical and mesmerizing.  It has been that way since I was a snotty nosed kid.  I cherish the world of the river and the way it can recharge my spirit and soul.  To see the fall painting that Mother Nature had brushed onto  the foliage was a site to behold.

The first day on the river I never crossed paths with another person.  I had the river all to myself and it is hard to explain what a great feeling it is.  My mind races trying to take in all the wonderful things that I am surrounded by everything grabbing my attention at once.  Even though I have been here before I feel like a child in a candy store.

I wish I could explain the “peaceful  easy feeling” that I experience upon every visit to the river.   It is quite refreshing and it gives one a great opportunity to find themselves.

The downside of the river is that everything cooked on an open fire tastes amazing so therefore one tends to eat too much.

DSC_0184

Coffee, bacon, biscuits and eggs

 

DSC_0199

Funny how many times I have read this book and when I get out on the river and clear my mind of all the garbage it has accumulated since the last visit, I find something I have missed.  Emerson did not believe that one could simply change society by changing the laws, or by imposing new regulations.  For one to effectively change the laws of a state, the minds of the citizens must be changed first through culture  or education.  Forgive me for getting off subject.  This is food for another blog on another day.

DSC_0194 (2)

I am a realist and I know the river doesn’t work as well for some as it does me.  Not everyone is comfortable on the river and not everyone likes to fish.  I urge you though to find your “river” in life, no matter what it is.  Then share it with the rest of the world.  Spread the love.

DSC_0191

I also realize not everyone likes reading Emerson.  In closing I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you enjoyed it.  I wish you luck in finding your “river” and “Emerson”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monsanto Lake

addtext_com_MjMzNDE5OTYwNDU

Lake Monsanto – St. Joe Park -Park Hills, MO

St. Joe Park is located in the old “lead Belt” area and is made up of 8,238 acres that was donated to Missouri in 1976 by the St. Joe Minerals Corp after ceasing operations in 1972.  It has an off-road vehicle area, two campgrounds, equestrian camping and trails, hiking and bicycling trail, picnic sites and lakes for swimming and fishing.

The historic mill buildings still stand on the site and it has been designated as Missouri Mines State Historic Site.  They also have a museum that houses some of the old mining equipment along with an impressive collection of geological specimens.

DSC_0078

Lake Monsanto

There are four stocked lakes in St. Joe.  Monsanto is the largest that is 30 feet at the deepest point and around 25 acres.  Then there is Apollo Lake, JoLee Lake and Pim Lake which is the smallest.  Boats can be used in all four but only electric motors are allowed.  They do rent kayaks and canoes.  One drawback to me, that definitely keeps me from getting too attached to this place, is the hours of operation.  From April – September the lake opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 8 a.m.; October – March 7 a.m. to 5 p.m..  I really wish they would reconsider their hours.

If you want to fish Apollo or JoLee lakes, you must obtain a fishing pass from the park office.  There are no launch fees.  One can catch bass, crappie, catfish and an assortment of pan fish or perch.  The park uses a “slot limit” of 12 inches to 15 inches for bass.  You can keep anything under 12 and over 15 but you can’t keep fish that fall in the slot.  One practice they do that I do like is that they pass a card so you can record your catch of the day so that they can have an idea of what is being caught.  It is done anonymously.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir

DSC_0076

Lake Monsanto

I have fished Lake Monsanto three times.  It is a peaceful place through the week however on the weekend it can draw a crowd.  The lake has a lot of mill foil in it and a lot of standing timber and a multitude of objects to get your line hung up on.

IMG_2259

Largemouth bass caught

IMG_2240

Channel Cat I caught a couple of weeks ago.

I prefer to use a Rapala floating minnow.   If you watch what you are doing you don’t get hung up as bad.  I also use the live bait mode also: night crawlers.  If I am out there just to relax I just use an empty hook.  On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give Lake Monsanto a 5.  If the state would change the fishing hours to allow early and late evening hours I could learn to like it a little more.  (Hint, hint)  Maybe even issue a special permit if a person wanted to do some late night catfishing.

DSC_0097

Lake Monsanto

Someone asked me the other day if I ever get tired of fishing.   For the record, “no”.  I can never get enough fishing.   When I am fishing I can feel my spirit feeding off the positive energy of Mother Nature.  I sleep better when I have had a full day of fishing.

DSC_0091

Monsanto Lake

Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love.

The Joy of Friendship

DSC_0319

Long time friend David Tripp

“The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.” – Hubert Humphrey

David and I met in the second grade and thanks to FB we reconnected.  David is a retired educator and a profound artist and writer.  He now lives in Texas and when he comes to Missouri to visit family we always try to get together and chew the fat.  We try to plan a fishing trip once a year and this past week we managed to get some fishing in.

14051575_10153914141918041_5227124425302298728_n

Rock of David

There is a rock formation on the Big River up river from the Leadwood Access that David wanted to see.  I had sent him a picture of it some time ago and he did a plein air water color of it that I was very impressed with so I named it the Rock of David.  He finally got to see it Friday with his own eyes and rumor is there will be another plein air watercolor of it in the future.

Since we went to view the Rock of David we decided to get some fishing time in.  The river was low so we pulled the boat up on a gravel bar in the middle of the river and did some wading.  We caught several fish, panfish, David caught some smallies and I caught a spotted bass.  Some of the perch were the size of our hands.  We both thought the day felt like a fall day.

DSC_0378

It was a good day.   We talked about the town of High Ridge that we grew up in.  remembered classmates and wondered what happened to some of them.  Discussed teachers and sports.  Laughed.  There was also a lot of quiet time so we could take a walk down memory lane alone.  We shared war stories and discussed books. We solved all the world’s problems.

“Friendship is the fruit which the year should bear; it lends its fragrance to the flowers, and its in vain if we get only a large crop of apples without it.” – Henry David Thoreau

DSC_0331

Big River

“Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.” – Emma Smith

It is always fun to share the beauty of this part of the river.  I don’t think David was disappointed.  This stretch of the river has never failed to mesmerize me every time I pass through it.

DSC_0368

Big River


14102395_10153914142043041_5517971233640166969_n (1)

Big River

As the sun began to sink into the western horizon I realized that this perfect day was about to come to an end.  I realized how lucky I was to have a friend like David.  As I watched the sun as it light seemed to make its final escape from the river the realization that the day was about to end, I realized just how we sometime overlook the importance of a good friend.  To think a liberal and conservative spent the day together and didn’t kill each other.  Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed the photos of the Big River.  The beauty of it is stunning and it is easy to get lost in it.   Remember to be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

 

 

 

.                                                                                                                                                                                     ..     .

Almost There

15439822_10154224312703041_7944992086531422925_n.jpg

{Left to Right} Mark’s Grandson, David, Me and Mark

“Remember the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.”  – H. Jackson Brown Jr

I thought the above quote was quite appropriate however I can’t speak for David and Mark.  In the movie Wild Hogs four middle aged men hit the road for adventure on motorcycles.  So I guess for three guys hitting the open river for 7 days in kayaks and canoe, I guess we would be called the Wild Yaks.  Hopefully we wont hear banjos.

Some months back I had mentioned to them that I was going to do a seven day float on the river and they thought it was such a great idea that they wanted in, so on Saturday the Geritol Crew will begin a seven day journey down the beautiful Big River.  I guess we should call it the Rice Krispies float because every time we get out of the boats you can hear snap, crackle, pop.

14051575_10153914141918041_5227124425302298728_n (1)

One of the places we will pass by.  I call it Rock of David,  because my friend David brought it to life in water color.

I hate to say it but this float trip was brought together by Facebook.  Mark, David and I graduated together and were reunited by Facebook.  I will let you know how many bottles of Geritol we go through.  Instead of butcher, baker and Indian Chief we have, retired teacher, bails bondsman and semi-retired horseshoer.  What a combination.  Well with three wild sixty-three year old men unsupervised on the river, I think the bails bondsman will be most beneficial.  I just hope I don’t overdose on Geritol.

br2 (2)

Another site we will see on the Big River

I have our trip planned to cover around 6 to 8 miles a day.  I hope we reach Cherokee Landing by Monday evening.  Our final destination is going to be Washington State Park south of De Soto, MO.   I figure it is about a forty-five mile float.  I hope to get lots of pics and fish.  My wish is to some day float the whole Big River and Bourbeuse River.

“Friends…they cherish one another’s hopes.  They are kind to one another’s dreams.” – Henry David Thoreau

As our time draws closer my mind wanders back to the times in school when life was so much simpler.  Then my mind rockets back to the present making me realize how much different things are today.  We all seem to have a little more snow on the roof.  Our step doesn’t have as much spring in it as it used to have.  I know some mornings I get up and notice that the “git” in my “git along” all ready got up and left without me.  Our friendship has endured a long time.  I am looking forward to taking a trip down memory lane this weekend, going back to a time when you all climbed into one car and dumped all your change out to get enough gas in the car to ride around all night.  Life was good.

br3 (1)

Another place on the river we will pass by.

Thank you for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Be kind to one another and share the love.  Don’t squat with your spurs on and God Bless you one and all.

 

 

Safety First

10982847_10153075662823041_1785458203772086872_n

Bourbeuse River near Union, MO

My story starts on Friday, June 2, 2017.  David Tripp, Mark Nelson and myself are planning a week long float on the Big River the last week in June.  This float was a preview of our planned float.

 

528173_10151703870623041_1191926841_n (2)

My Kayak on the Bourbeuse River

I put in on the Bourbeuse around 5 pm on June 2,  planning to have a great weekend. Friday night went pretty well.  I set out 10 limb lines and baited them for catfish.  I set up camp on a gravel bar and then went on up river and tight line fished.  I caught some nice cat and drum that night.   The river was falling and very muddy so I was a little surprised that I caught anything at all.  I did catch 2 channel cat on the limb lines.  I ran the limb lines at 11 pm and 3 am then daybreak.  I heated up some beans and weenies for breakfast  about 4 am Saturday morning.

18922059_10154739306693041_3407218458139954534_n

Heating up beans and weenies on the river bank.

19059277_10154739306638041_7910685003917841538_n

Fish I caught early Saturday morning,

Saturday was like any other day on the river.  I spent it bass fishing and fishing for pan fish.  About dark I began baiting the limb lines that I had out,   When all the lines were baited I headed to my spot that I tight line fished at night.

Dawn came and my fish basket had 6 nice channels in it that I  had caught.  I started working my way back down river, bass fishing as I went.  I managed to get hung up and losing my hook so I tied a new one on.  I had been pulled into the shallow water and instead of paddling back up and securing everything before I started through the swift water i made a bad decision to just go ahead and shoot the shallow fast water.

I had been through this spot 4 times since Friday.  Water was really swift so away I went. Then all of a sudden the yak hits something, comes to a stop then the rushing water hit it in the rear,  forced it side ways and over I went.  I was flung head first into the water then the swift water carried me to the end of the shallow into a deep hole.  The current surrounding the hole began to push me to the bottom.  The water was so muddy I couldn’t see anything.  I don’t know how long I had been in the river but my lungs began to hurt so i knew I had to make a decision so I relaxed and let my life jacket do its job and sure enough it started pulling me to the top so I immediately began helping it.  When I broke the top I was gasping for breath,

I looked around and I saw the yak and it was heading down river pretty fast so I headed for it.  Once I snagged it I had to swim it about 40 yards to the bank.  Now if you have ever lifted a ten foot kayak full of water you realize at this point that Preparation H is really man’s best friend.  I finally got everything rounded up and I just crashed on a gravel bar as what just happened started sinking into my mind.

I want to thank you for reading my blog.  Just a reminder about safety and how important it is.  Please wear your life jacket when you are on the river.  Be kind to one another,   Share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.  God Bless you one and all.