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Archive for the ‘Fly Fishing’ Category

Fly fishing in the Ozarks is an awesome experience. With the clear, swift, and beautiful trout streams combined with the steep bluffs, crystal clear water, and the wildlife that abounds on the lakes, there is nothing better.

Recently I went with a good fly fishing friend to the North Fork of the White River in the pursuit of a good time and good fishing. We were successful at both. The trout fishing was awesome! I caught over 30 fish that day, while Kevin caught the largest fish: an eighteen inch Brown trout. After a day of fishing the river, we decided to head to the lake for some warm water fish. Taking my Dad along was a good idea since he was most successful and provided a dinner of fillets. White bass, small mouth bass, Kentucky bass, and walleye were among the species caught that outing. Below are some photos that I found especially good. Click on the link to see all the images from the weekend in a slide show.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewsphotography/sets/72157616427517998/show/

 

MT

 

Ozark Fly Fishing by you.

Ozark Fly Fishing by you.

Ozark Fly Fishing by you.

Ozark Fly Fishing by you.

Ozark Fly Fishing by you.

Ozark Fly Fishing by you.

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Okay, so I am jumping out of my seat with the excitement my last batch of images has brought me. Not only did I get to be in the woods this weekend and witness magnifcent (and cunning) Whitetails, but I got to enjoy a float on the river. It was beautiful and I did all I could to cram the beauty in my small viewfinder. It would be comparable to if I was a painter, I would need a canvas that I could run along and paint every detail I saw. No image can bring the happiness of actually being there, but to those who weren’t experiencing God’s marvelous creation this weekend, here is a little of what you missed. Too busy admiring my work to write more. Enjoy.        Oh!!! One more thing. Go out and enjoy nature, it changes every day.

MT

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I had my friend Theresa up for the day. She only gets to fish once a year and that is with me, so I guess I should feel privelaged.  Anyways, the fishing conditions started off great. A little drizzle and nice cloud cover. Well, I was surprised that the fishing wasn’t better considering this. She was using a stonefly pattern and nymphing like we always do. Unfortunately, the fish were not fooled very much. Besides a nice Rainbow at the upper part of the float, the fishing was not good. I did see numerous nice fish. Meaning, over 20″ Browns. I think they are beginning to stage for spawning. Maybe that was it. Well next time will be better. I am looking foward to some cooler weather and maybe some snow. I know that sounds crazy but if you havn’t seen the river with snow, you are not going to understand.

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Here is a shot I captured for a photo assignment. It doubles as a documentation of a great weekend. This weekend as I previously wrote, I took two soldiers on a guide trip. I came out of the weekend with many things tangible and intangible. Two things are going to be around a lot more on my future fishing trips. The PHW hat and the shown fly box. The flies were tied by the men, and an awesome note was written on the inside of the fly box as well. Awesome. To know they took the time to do this, just blows me away. FOr anyone that thinks this world is in the tanks, they should meet soem of the people I have been blessed with meeting.

MT

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Well, I had a wonderful weekend at my home. I was able to meet two servicemen that have recently served in Iraq. Both have sacrificed a lot for their country, and should be recognized for this. It was my privelage to guide them on the river as a part of Project Healing Waters, an organization devoted to helping servicemen and women thru their injuries and or experiences by means of teaching them to fly fish. Eventhough I have never been in the military, I believe the river and fly fishing has helped me in many ways as well. It jus seems to be a good activity that gets your mind concentrated on something that is so peaceful and beautiful.

Now to the actual fishing report. We were fishing the North Fork of the White. The day was mostly cloudy and at times, threatening rain. It was in the high 70s air temp, and probably around 65 degrees water temp. The fly that caught all the fish was a rubber legged stonefly pattern. Nymphing was the tactic, with at least one B split shot. The fish were not really aggressive but the fishing was okay, you just had to be very precise on your mending and placement. Both of the guys were able to catch a 16 inch fish: one Rainbow and one Brown. Overall a slower fishing day than I would have liked, but I believe that both men came away with a better appreciation and understanding of fly fishing.

I will be posting more on Project Healing Waters and how it has affected the servicemen as well as myself. I just havn’t come up with the right words yet. I can say that it is inspiring and humbling to hear the first hand accounts of the soldiers fighting the War Against Terror. They must always be in our prayers. 

MT

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A good weekend it was indeed. I am beginning to think that driving back to school is not very much fun when I have a home where I do. With a river flowing steadily, only a stones throw from my bedroom, I crave more and more to be on the river everyday.

All is well at the home. There was some excitement in knowing that there was a Mountain Lion spotted just last Sunday, about a mile from my home. Coincidently, the property it was spotted on is the same property I will along with my family will be hunting all this fall. Who knows, maybe I will have my camera with me when I am blessed with seeing it. Or maybe it will see me and I will never be aware of it’s presence. That is probably more likely.

I enjoyed some good fellowship with a fellow fly fsherman this weekend. Kevin Kurz from K&K Flyfishers in KC, MO came down to fish for the weekend. Unfortuanately I had previous commitments and was not able to fish with him. He did report that the fish were very healthy and the average size was much larger than in previous years. This goes along with my experiences as well. Kevin did land and release a MONSTER Brown this weekend. I saw the photos and can vouch for the estimate of appx. 28 inches. Now this is way above the average and a definate trophey. He caught it on a stonefly pattern that has been working tremendously well this year. Now the other part of the story that I will never let him live down is the fact that he tipped his kick boat in the process of landing the fish. I will not even try to attempt and retell the story, due to the fact that it wouldn’t do it justice coming from me. But trust me, this is quite the feat. haha I am attempting to scavange up some of the photos from the event. I will keep you posted.

We felt the aftermath of Hurricane Ike this morning. Actually, I slept thru it. I was told it was bad and woke everyone up(except for me). Anyways, it made for spectacular clouds today. The sun began to shine and made it a beautiful but windy day. This evening I captured the above image while driving on Hwy. 13. I love stormy clouds. If you read my book that I recently produced, you wll read in there as well that my favorite scenes are those after storms. Well, I must end here for right now. It is getting late, I am waking before daybreak to workout. Ugh.

MT

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Well, no 11lb. bass were caught this weekend. We caught plenty of small fish on poppers and streamers though. Nothing big this time. It doesn’t matter, we had a great time and still caught fish. Kevin and I fished Friday night but then devoted our efforts to dove hunting. We both shot doves and we both agreed that time sitting in the field, is time well spent. We enjoyed the cool weather tremendously and we enjoyed the company even more. When Kevin and I get together we always cut up, laugh, and have a great time.  It was an awesome weekend once again with him. I cannot wait for June when we fish the Boundary Waters near Canada with my Dad. It is always amazing to be out in God’s wonderful creation, I only hope that people appreciate and respect it. I love nature, it is my drug, my high, my home.

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Anxious

Well, I am off to the Kansas City region to hunt and fish with a good friend. I believe the agenda involves fishing “Monster Lake” tonight and dove hunting in the morning. The name of the lake is apparently very accurate to the saize of the fish. Last time Kevin, my buddy, was there he landed an 11lb. Largemouth on a fly. So, hopefully at the end of the weekend there will be some big bass pics. Stay tuned.

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We all have days in our lives that are unforgettable. Yes, some are ones that we wish never to remember, but the story I have today is quite to the contrary.

Its evening on the North Fork of the White River, the river is warmly lit by the receding sun. I am fishing with my brother and my father, two men I love and respect. What could be better, we had caught some fish, nothing great but we were together; anymore an accomplishment in itself. I was anxiously awaiting the next riffle, a spot that historically holds some big fish. I was too impatient to wait so I began fishing as we drifted down. I soon hooked up with a brown. Landing it, I turned the boat around for another shot at the same spot the preivous fish came from. I ended up landing another, and another at the same time as my Dad landed one. Great spot! “I’ve never caught this many fish out of this spot”, I said.

I was pleased with the day, I had just landed half a dozen fish in one spot. Well, I got greedy and wanted to catch more. I knew there had to be a bigger one in there. I just knew it. The line fed from the my hand, the line resting on the surface, the size #8 Pat’s Stonelfy bouncing along the river rock. The trout, as if on que takes the fly, the indicator shooting upstream. This was a fish. “Big Fish”, I said! I knew from the initial headshake and flash, this wass no average Brown. 

I fought the fish in the current, he was relentless. I could not turn him for many minutes, even with the SAGE six weight I was using. He began esing into the shallows. I could see his thick shoulders. Nice fish. My brother and my Dad watched as I played the fish, not know when he would give up. WHen he finally did, my father was there with the net. Swoosh! The net did its job. The fish flopping in the net like a beached whale. WHOAA! This fish that “flopped like a whale” according to me, was 23″ with a big hooked jaw. What an impressive male Brown Trout. I got on my knees in the water, holding the fish in the shallows, took some photos, and then began the reviving process. He was a strong fish, not very long and his tale was pulsating, ready to swim away. He was beautiful, something to remember. He was the chief of the hole, he was the boss. He slowly slipped from my hands, gliding along the bottom. I shook my Dad’s hand, he was proud. No one was more proud than myself. My best fish, with my best friends. Awesome.

I clipped the fly off my line, took the indicator off, and reeled my line in. I was done, for the day that is. Nothing could compare. I was not that greedy to try and get a bigger one. I knew God had truly blessed me, the fish was mine for a moment, but even the fish deserves to have his glory.

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photo by Shawn Taylor

photo by Shawn Taylor

Oh yes, the glories of fly fishing. Without even catching fish, it is an amazing art and past time. But everyone wants to get more than an artistic feeling when they fish. So…what do I do? I combine the two. Art/catching fish. Here is how it goes.

I wake up, sip some coffee, and enjoy the beautiful sunset. I wade the river, feel the water rush along my legs, I watch the heron fish, I enjoy the moment. I cast my line, watch the indicator change course, I feel the trout’s every movement, it makes me smile. I look at the colors, the spots, the eye, it is beautiful. I feel the shake of its tale, the fin slide thru my hand, once again the fish is were it belongs. I smile once again, the day is young, I have many more moments of beauty ahead.

 written by Matthew Taylor

“One of life’s quiet excitements is to stand somewhat apart from yourself and watch yourself softly becoming the author of something beautiful, even if it is only a floating ash.”   – Norman Maclean

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