Five Years Ago Today Saturday May 23, 2015 May 23, 2020 6:04:42 GMT -6 gui, danimal, and 1 more like this
Post by Fenwick on May 23, 2020 6:04:42 GMT -6
Forgive me if I have my dates mixed up. I'm thinking it was more than five years ago but maybe not. My photo date and time stamp shows it as 4:19 PM on May 23, 2015 so I'm going by that. And so this story...
Five years ago today Saturday May 23, 2015 Brad Bessett and I went up together and were first ones on the water that morning as was often the case. The flow, higher than the usual norm had already been up for a few weeks. An extended period of regional rains had raised the reservoir level to capacity much as happened to other reservoirs in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. The power generation station gates were typically opened at such times to siphon off the reservoir excess down through Zone 2 but due to ongoing turbine maintenance they could not be used in such fashion at this time. Instead a Tainter Gate on the main dam was opened a degree to relieve the excess which made for new and interesting fishing conditions from the top of the Spillway all the way down throughout. There was much chatter in these boards about the effects of the higher flow. What was the Army Corps of Engineers doing? How long would it last before returning to normal? The higher levels created new areas to try, places otherwise too shallow or non-existent under normal conditions. The higher flow may have also inundated some of your usual favorite spots. The current was certainly a little more pushy while wading. It inundated the footpath along the Evening Hole such that you found yourself wading in shin deep/knee deep water where the path was and the frog pond slackwater there along the trees was now part of the main river flow. Under normal conditions what with the river being a tailwater and the Corps rarely if ever fiddling with the Tainter Gates the flow really didn't greatly fluctuate very much at all in Zone 1 even during rains. Not like free flowing rivers could elsewhere. Nor would it muddy up like coffee with cream during rains, minor cloudy discoloration was all. Always fishable. And so it was that Saturday May 23, 2015. Brad and I finished up for the day at the Evening Hole around 6 PM or so and trekked back through the Lost Creek area to our car parked up at the top of the path at Lost Creek. We encountered the infamous tame spike buck grazing without any cares as we moved through the Lost Creek area. Little could we know it would be the last time we or anyone else would be leaving the river in its former state or the last time anyone would see the tame spike buck. In just a few hours later the whole river environment and some livelihoods would be changed in the most shocking unimaginable way. I've attached what might possibly be the last photo taken of anyone fishing the LMF just hours before the flood. It is of Brad Bessett sight fishing a brown he's targeted in the Evening Hole. You can see the water level up a bit due to the Tainter Gate runoff. Who knew what was to come? Sunday morning May 24 the place had a whole new look and it wasn't pretty.