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Posts Tagged ‘fishing’

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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I have to say that I am quite fortunate sometimes.

Today, as  I was driving through Peartle Springs I envisioned a photo opportunity  immediately. The image I saw turned out to be of a lady named Valerie. She is 82 years old and has been a fisher-woman since she was twelve. Originally from Kansas City, she has since moved to the more quiet town of Warrensburg. Valerie fishes at Peartle Springs on a regular basis; I have actually seen her before. Today the lighting was just right for making her image. Her face has such character and when she speaks that character comes out. I sat next to Valerie for close to an hour, talking only when I felt it necessary. She was confident and had a sharp sense of humor. I was enthralled by her personality, she seemed to know why I was there and didn’t mind. Normally when approaching someone with a camera and asking for a portrait I feel uneasy. Valerie was one step ahead of me. I walked up and no sooner had I opened my mouth to speak did she say, “The last man that took my picture made me look ninety-two.” I was sort of stunned. She knew why I was there. After thinking for a minute I said, “No ninety-two year old could cast that far”. We were friends with each other after that.

I feel that I am being led in other directions than I initially thought. Maybe I am supposed to connect with these people. I think I am going to pursue portraits more than I originally thought I would. I feel something completely different when photographing a person compared to a landscape. When I stop to photograph a landscape, I feel in control. I have this sense of weakness when photographing people, but not in a bad way. I feel that they are dictating my actions. I am only recording what they give me. I enjoy it. When I finally get to the point that I feel like I know this person, the image has already been taken.

MT 

Valerie

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Even when not wetting a line in the North Fork, that is where I am. If it isn’t the river, its the woods bordering it. It is my sanctuary, my home, and my place of solitude. Nothing can get me when I am on the river or in the woods. Only the animals that frequent the woods will sense my presence. If I am lucky, not even they will recognize me. I want to be forgotten. Motionless, slowly breathing I will become a tree, become a rock in the river, or simply become nature itself.

I do my best to blend in, it is a pitiful atempt in all reality. I am not apart of nature. The Earth has become a sanctuary for humans and not so much for the creatures that originally were here.    “I know I am intruding but please let me stay”, I cry. They reject me at first. I am an intrusion. I don’t belong here. “Please, I want to stay”, I say again. “I will be quiet, I won’t even move from this tree”, I reassure them. Shhhh…..Don’t move, they are accepting me. They are curious, just like myself.

I once was a part of nature. Mankind was a part of nature. Relying on the land, self-suffiecent, respecting the earth they stood on. Where is that today? When do you stop and look at a leaf, think about the veins of life running throught it just like yourself, and appreciate the beauty in it. Simplicity. A word commonly ignored today. Well, tomorrow I head to simplicity. I will walk amongst the trees, walk along the rocky river bottom, and I will be where I should be. It is my life. Nature is the blood that runs through my veins.

MT

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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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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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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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