Wednesday, February 26, 2020

New Rod, Old Stream - Fishing Meramec Spring with My Fenwick 6-Weight

Since my last blog post (which my friend Brian conveniently reminded me was about six months ago), there have been two new exciting additions in my life. First, my daughter, Mary-Louise, was born. She joined the Voss family and human race back around Thanksgiving last year. What she lacks in a regular sleep schedule, she makes up for in cuteness, and Emily and I couldn't be more excited to have her around. Older brother Willie is also very, very excited about his baby.

Welcome, Mary-Louise.
The second new addition is my brand new Fenwick World Class 6-weight, 9-foot, 6-piece fly rod. A few days before my Maramec Spring trip, I attended the 2020 Ozark Fly Fishers Annual Banquet and Auction. After browsing all the silent auction items and consuming a couple of Bud Selects, I was talked into buying a playing card in the 52 Card Pick Up raffle. I looked for the Queen of Hearts, couldn't find her, and settled on the King of Diamonds. Lucky for me, that's the card that was called and I came home the big winner. To say I was excited is an understatement. It is by far the nicest piece of fly-fishing tackle I now own, and the six-piece design makes in incredibly compact and perfect to throw in a bag for a hike. I won the rod on a Saturday, and by that Monday I was already testing it out on the stream.

Welcome, Fenwick.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Fly-Fishing for Wild Rainbow Trout on Mill Creek, Missouri - August, 2019

It has been a busy weekend, and maybe an even busier summer. On Friday, the family and I celebrated my son, Willie, turning two. We hosted a tremendous Batman-theme birthday party complete with cardboard masks, a Batmobile cake, and Pin the Bat on the Signal, which was a game I last played at my own fifth birthday party a quarter of a century ago. Ooph. On top of Willie turning two, my wife is also expecting our second child, a daughter. The new Baby VossFish will be joining the fun this Thanksgiving, so you can imagine there's plenty to do around the house, with fishing taking its rightful spot on the back-burner. However, that doesn't mean I'm doing zero fishing. Friday night was for birthday cake and chimichangas and more Bud Selects than I probably should have, because Saturday morning was for waking up early, carting Willie off to his grandparents' house, and hightailing it in the Prius out to Rolla, Missouri to do some wild trout fishing.

Mill Creek flows north through the Mark Twain National Forest south of Rolla. From Wilkins Spring to the creek's mouth at the Little Piney River, the entire stretch of the creek within the Bohigian Conservation Area is a Blue Ribbon Trout Area. Obviously, there are no native trout species in the state of Missouri, however, the Rainbow Trout population in Mill Creek is self-sustaining, and naturally reproduce in the spring-fed creek waters that maintain a temperature of approximately 57 degrees year round.

Mill Creek

Friday, April 5, 2019

Five (More) Fly-Fishing Gift Ideas for the Special Angler in Your Life

I've gotten some nice stats on my first article about "The Top Five Gift Ideas for a Fly-Fisherman (That My Wife Has Already Gotten Me)" so I figured I might as well write the sequel before Mother's Day and Father's Day this year. Thanks again to my wife Emily whose brilliant freelance marketing mind came up with the idea in the first place. So, without further adieu, here's Five (More) Fly-Fishing Gift Ideas for the Special Angler in Your Life.

5. Retractable Lanyard

This is by no means a large gift, but damned if it isn't one of the more useful little gadgets on my vest and has saved me countless times from dropping my nail-knot tool into a river. You might think I'm exaggerating, but I am not. I am currently on my third nail-knot tool, with my first two lying on the bottom of Maramec Spring and the Current River, respectively.

A retractable lanyard simply keeps a tool clipped to your vest and prevents it from plunging into the depths below. Some are better than others, depending on if the string is made from fiber or metal wire, and I have had some break and the spring fail, but these are not expensive and hardly meant to last forever. Perfect gift to include with a card or a stocking-stuffer if you're closer to Christmas.

Available at: T. Hargrove's, Feather-Craft, Your Local Fly Shop

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Tying the Smoke Jumper Midge with Special Guest Tier, Willie Voss

JV: Welcome. Today on VossFish, we've got a special treat. My 21-month-old son Willie will be demonstrating how to tie the Smoke Jumper Midge, the latest in my subscription from PostFly. Take it away, Willie.

WV: Thanks Dad. Alright folks, welcome and I hope you enjoy this pattern. It's not too complex, but you will have to be careful not to overcrowd the eye of the hook. But that's true with most patterns. It's a midge pattern and meant to imitate an underwater insect hatching from the stream bed and making its way to the surface of the water. I think with a good amount of motion in some clear moving water, this fly has the potential to catch a large number of fish. You'll notice below that it is not a weighted fly, and I believe that's due to the fact that you don't necessarily want to fish this on the bottom, or even near the bottom of the water column. Rather, you want it to have vertical motion to attract trout.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Rainy Days at Montauk Never Get Me Down

There is a fine line when bad weather turns from "this might actually help me catch more fish" into "there's no way I'm catching anything in this." This past weekend at Montauk, I carefully toed that line and luckily was able to stay on the better side of it. Salem, Missouri was a balmy 50 degrees this weekend, which felt pretty fantastic considered how long, cold, dark, and wet this entire winter has been.

I don't know how its tail got in my jacket.
It was the first time I've been able to hit the water since November of last year, when I took a day-trip to Montauk for a morning and afternoon of catch & release fly-fishing. That was a gorgeous, bright and crisp November day. It was one of those dark mornings where the sun was only just beginning to peak over the horizon as I drove the 25 miles between St. James and Salem. In one surreal moment, I damned near crashed my truck trying to avoid hitting a billy-goat that was standing in the middle of the road. The goat ran along side my truck for a few yards as I drove past, jumping beneath a high fence line and back into its barnyard. You can see some weird stuff that time of the morning.

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