It's been a while since I've fished the Meramec during the summer primarily because there are WAY TOO MANY canoes to deal with during float season. Seriously, if you're on the water before 3 PM, there is a constant flow of drunken canoers which makes fishing all but impossible. Especially if you're interested in catching big fish. That said, I decided to head to the river this past Sunday later in the day hoping to avoid the aluminum hatch. Joining me on this excursion were John, Eddie and Doug. Eddie and Doug are now on the official "fishing buddy" list which is great becuse both are showing a lot of interest in the sport.
John and I rolled out of St. Louis around 1 and were fishing by 2:30. Eddie and Doug were leaving around 2 and meeting us on the water. When JD and I arrived, we were pysched to see no cars in the parking lot at Cardiac hill. What were the chances of that on an 80 degree Sunday afternoon? To our disgust, however, the canoers didn't get the memo to stay off the water.
Despite the fact that it was as late as 2:30, the canoes were still passing every 10 minutes or so. It's interesting because I believe there are still 6 or 7 miles to get to the pull out at Scott's Ford from Cardiac. These folks were definitely a little behind schedule probably because most were awful oarsmen. One boat actually hit John while he was fishing. The guy in the stern, covered in ink, was screaming at his wife not realizing that it's his job to steer the f*cking boat. Unbelievable! I thought we were gonna witness some domestic violence right there on the water. If I didn't think the guy was armed, I would have probably told him that he was the reason the boat tipped earlier, he was the reason they lost all of their beer, he was the reason their cigarrettes got wet, and he was the reason they ran into John who stood motionless in the riffle. Great stuff!
Anyway, being that John and I were the only fisherman on the water, we decided to fish the first riffle at the bottom of the hill until Doug and Eddie arrived. I believed that our best shot at cathing fish with all of the canoes would be in the fast water. Whether or not it's true, I think the fish are less likely to spook from the canoes in riffles. With the noise from the current, the broken water obstructing the fishes' vision, and the fact that the canoers move through the fishable water quickly, I think less of the fishes' attention is spent worrying about the hoosier hatch. The problem with fishing the fast water is that a lot of the local canoeing talent, like our boy mentioned above, can't seem to handle even the easiest of white water and the fish certainly spook when beer cans and tattoed bodies float through their feeding grounds.
Aside from the drama above, John and I were lucky enough not to witness any boats go under and managed to pull 5 or 6 fish out of that first run within the hour by literally casting in between canoes. As the day progressed, the canoes became less and less prevalent and the fishing turned on a bit.
When Eddie and Doug arrived, we headed upstream to my favorite hole on the Mac.
To my surprise, the contours of the river above my favorite hole had changed quite a bit and offered a new, long stretch of very fishy water. Doug and JD nymphed the fast water, and Eddie and I headed up to this new stretch and stung a couple fish on hoppers.
All in all, aside from our encounter with the "necks," we had a good day. We caught fish on nymphs, dries, and streamers (even sticking one smallmouth). While nothing was huge, it was nice to get in the cold water and put a bend in the rod. It's also nice knowing that the Mac is still fishable.
- Missouri Trout Stalker
- Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
- I am an attorney in my early thirties with a serious fly fishing problem. I work at a large corporate law firm where things move pretty fast. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of corporate America, I try as often as possible to get away and enjoy a quiet stream. My blog attempts to detail the adventures I have both on and off the water in "My World on the Fly."