(MO)MoCarpers Big Adventure #3 (Not!)
Well, always the best laid plans ya know!. I was sooo looking forward to my third FFF- no matter the temperature, the travel, the time, I was gonna be out, set up and catch fish all night and day, then night again!. Surely this was going to be better than last year! Minus 11 F and the only open water was my favorite spot, which I did well but the temperature was very challenging. The forecast said it would be warm enough this year-about 19 degrees, but, the first Omen- uh, rain was forecast for Sunday night into Monday. Uh-oh, this ain't good, as I gravitate to creeks in the winter and flooded creeks are nearly impossible to fish.
I stood, literally for hours Monday morning as the rain came, first predicted as a few gentle showers-I can handle that; but waves of heavy rain followed, accumulating to nearly an inch of rain!. So being totally prepared, I reviewed the USGS rain gauge and stream levels-a nice, easily accessible site to check on float conditions, depth, temps, cubic discharge per second, etc. all over the state and all free as our taxes pay for it 😊), but, Omen #2-there was a statement that due to the government shut down, the site may not be updated or trouble-shooted- WHAT, AGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH- I felt like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone!! The graph revealed my biggest fear-flooding!, which was confirmed by on-site evaluation. I decided I wasn't going to be able to fish any of my favorite spots.
Omen #3-driving to look at my first, second and third flooded choices my low tire pressure light came on. The van doesn't tell you though which tire is low. Do I drive 90 minutes to fish a warm water power plant venue I had never fished?- hmmmmmm, well, uh, yeah I'm gonna try it! Jerome was going to fish FFF as well as Todd and Dave and Frank and all other CAG members I have learned so much from-I'd make ya'll proud!..... I simply go to the local Quik-trip, as they supply free air. I found out the reason why-no gauge and the supply couldn't overcome the air coming out of the tire!-someone had run over the nozzle, so it didn't fit perfectly....double ugghhhh-so I paid $1.50 to fill my tires with air. After filling all four tires, I proceeded to drive to the power plant. Colleagues had sporadically caught fish there, and being warm water (~53 degrees) just maybe that was my golden chalice!- (uhh not). I followed google maps, which I truly can't stand, and yep, it led me wrong-right to the armed guard shack of the plant. At this time of night, the plant was an impressive monolith with steam blowing across the warm water. A nice gentleman said I couldn't go further; I simply asked where I can fish, along the warm water channel into the main lake? "why yes" he knew about the fishing spots and said it was only 6 miles away!-off I went. At the turn-off 300 yards away-the road turned to dirt, wet and puddled and tricky to drive in complete darkness.........I arrived at the spot in just a couple minutes and ugghhhhh once again-two fisherman had just pulled up. We had a good short conversation-they were catfisherman but knew there were carp here too. I thanked them and moved to another spot. So excited!!, I was there by 10:00-just enough time to set-up and if i timed it right, right around 12:30 I should land my first of many fish!
So.....one great run pulling the rod out of the pod at 11:00pm-yahoo! I'm gonna do it!!!!, then AGGGHHHHHH and AGGHHHHH again-slap me with aftershave Macauley-hook pull halfway in!- I hadn't had a hook pull since spring!........................then, lost another one at the bank less than 15 minutes later-no sweat, the fish are biting and I simply had to time one after midnight-finally!......uh, but no, the bite died, the winds picked up to 25mph, that misty, miserable wind that cuts through ya. there was a current in the channel that rolled my 3oz weights like tiddlywinks and after 4 hours, I succumbed-I had been up since 5am, worked for 6 hours (and just for extra luck I caressed my good luck office charms-a brass carp, a Chinese good luck carp and this monster garden statue carp-that'd be the trick!), then I spent the rest of the
afternoon prepping. So, I drove the lonely 90 minutes home, slept for an hour, then rose, got my sunrise picture, and returned to work. as I drove back, I noticed the creeks were still high but dropping-is there hope? I gotta try again!. The wind was still strong and temperatures were holding at 20 degrees with wind chills near 0. I had to pack light for crossing swollen creeks-hauling the 25lb propane tank like last year just wasn't going to happen. One ingenious item I designed though-I invented the Missouri bivy!- it is a simple set-up and so inexpensive! Simply get a Mr. Buddy heater, turn it on, then cover it all with a towel, including your head!. the towel works well, channeling intense heat like a chimney flue. Be warned though, this isn't UL approved, and if you let the towel sag, it will catch on fire and melt the handle.......ummm, that was learned during the development stages ☺️
The Missouri Bivy!! So, I checked my creeks again- MAYBE?- REALLY?- I can see the gravel bar now!-my favorite spot had receded to expose 10 square feet or gravel bar (the creek banks are 90 degrees straight up-can only wade to gravel bars and fish from them)-20 minutes later, after wading the swollen creeks 6 times, I was set at my favorite spot, one that consistently produces mirrors and large commons, (up to 21lbs).....so excited!....and........and.......after 3 hours, not a hit, not a run, not a fish but I did lose two rigs......I packed up and drove home very disappointed........was I really going to blank?, after catching carp all year log the stars didn't align......... oh well, I'm not really
Oh well, I'm not complaining though- I got to fish...........got my sunrise pic, constructed my snow carp (made with goldfish crackers none-the less 😄), but, as far as catching fish...........it wasn't meant to be, but WHAT AN ADVENTURE!!!!........and, oh well hopefully my dreams will be of carpin.....(it helps to have the pillow my staff gave me ☺️).........
Congrats to all the carpers of FFF 2019 and hope you had a great holiday with your families-the ones who support your fishing ya know!! Next year I'll be ready!!- hee, heeheeeeeee