Missouri Trout Hunter

Blog for sharing thoughts, beliefs and opinions on issues affecting the world of trout fishing in the Ozarks.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Well, I just have to say: "It's about damned time!"

Below, you'll see the USGS Meramec River discharge graph for the last 60 days. The graph shows how the river discharge rate has fluctuated between May 4 and July 4 of this year. If you'll notice, they had to play around with the graph lines to make sure they could get everything on the same page. If they hadn't made those adjustments, the graph would have to be more than 2 feet tall to accommodate the 22,000 cfs peak on May 9. That's not an exaggeration -- I actually dug out my son's ruler and did the math!



When it comes to guided fishing trips, I have to have a policy of maximum flow to maintain safety for my clients. Historically, 700 cfs has been the absolute maximum discharge for any client trips taking place downstream from Dry Fork Creek. At that level, the river is up and milky, and the wading can be fairly tricky. And, of course, fishing in those conditions is tough. You either have to cast a lot of weight to get your flies down deep and/or you need to have exceptional line mending skills to ensure a good deep drift. For good quality fishing, 300-500 cfs is actually pretty ideal, which brings me to the happy happy news of the day (cue drum roll).

For the first time since March 23, the Meramec River Red Ribbon Trout Area is flowing at under 500 cfs. Yes, that's almost 15 weeks ago. The low temperature that day was 36 degrees. So far this year I've managed to only get 5 client guide trips done, and we had decent catch rates on 4 of those 5 trips. HOWEVER, we've also had to cancel about 30 trips during that same timeframe due to rain and flooding -- definitely hard on the pocket book. But the river's down (hopefully for the rest of the summer), and the fishing's good once more. And to catch up on finances, I'll be opening my guide schedule to book as many trips as possible during the summer months.

Normally, I only book 10 trips per month before closing the month down for additional trips, but for July and August, I won't be enforcing that limit. So, if the day is available, and if you can give me at least 2-3 days notice, I'll take you fishing. Summertime trips tend to be 5 hours in length, so we'll probably be done by noon -- just about the time the heat and drunk float-trippers chase us off the river! The fishing is still good during the summertime, but it's not "rip-snort" like it can be in the spring. The fish tend to be more spread out, so we'll walk more to cover more water, and it will be important to make good casts and mend the line properly to get a good drift. If you need help fine-tuning those skills, I can certainly help.

If you like to find out more about Trout Hunter Guide Service, click HERE.

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