Post by huntnfish2much on Jul 29, 2022 20:07:31 GMT -6
Well, I have a little report to post…
My son, his wife, kids, and guests had a cabin rented this past week. I drove up on Thursday after lunch to see everyone, and my son asked me to bring my fishing gear.
The temp gauge on the dash of my Tacoma said 102 degrees. I know that I have never fished at Beavers Bend, or anywhere else for that matter, in this kind of heat. Once I got into the water, it wasn’t so bad, but it was HOT!
After a few casts with a deena, I thought I was hung up. Then the line started moving across the current, and I could feel the fish doing the head-shake. It made a few strong runs upstream, then it ran right past me and headed downstream.
I had stripped in quite a bit of line as the fish swam past, and I turned him pretty quickly. I was able to turn him and bring him to net in just a couple more minutes.
I tried for several minutes to revive this bruiser, but he wouldn’t stay upright. Every time it tried to swim away, it would just roll over on its side.
There were several hungry people back at the cabin, so we all got to have a decent portion alongside the burgers we fixed for dinner.
This fish had been in the river quite a while. The meat was the color of a sockeye salmon, and the flavor was identical. I also caught a nice walleye that was also enjoyed alongside the burgers. My son said the flavor reminded him of the flounder he catches regularly.
All in all, a very enjoyable time. It was great to spend some time with my son and everyone.
Post by golferjeff on Jul 20, 2023 21:30:50 GMT -6
Most members of this board only fish October thru April/May. The summer crowds, warm-ish water, and extreme heat send us elsewhere. Best advice is to fish early and late, adapt to conditions, and wait for a hatch.
All right, here's a report for you. From past outings on June 19 and July 15.
June 19, I took the day (Monday) off and went for a solo day trip. Got to the river around 8 am and fished Spillway all morning, from Friends' trail to upper Cardiac. The bite was awesome, especially in the upper part. I don't remember if I counted how many fish I brought to the net, but certainly more than 30. All rainbows and most of them small, but a few good ones in the mix. Cardiac was on fire. I think I had 4 or 5 doubles up there. A bunch of little stream born bows too. Around 2 pm, I left Spillway to go down to Z2. It's been several years since I've been there and I wanted to check it out. Well, it did not work out too well... I tried to go back to a spot that I used to like, all the way down. And for a while, I just could not find it. I went way past the end of the trail, because, well, I thought that's where the spot was. But it wasn't. Once I realized that, I bush-walked all the way back along the shore. Not an easy walk and my legs still remember the thorns, but eventually I did find the spot. I had wasted a lot of time and at that point I think it was close 3:30 pm. Water was fairly low. I did not have my thermometer with me, but water felt too warm for trout. But that's fine because I was hopping for a smallmouth anyway, after catching trout all morning. I threw a few casts, and then the horn comes off... Oh well, great times anyway. Being a Monday, it wasn't crowded at all.
A few pics from that trip below.
Oh yeah. This is Oklahoma?
July 15. We came for the weekend on a cabin trip with a group of four families and a lot of kids.
I only fished for a couple of hours Saturday evening, but it was great. Water temperature readings were 61-62F below Cardiac, which was a great surprise with this heat. Caught something around 30 bows from the big pools below fast water at cardiac to mid cardiac. Mostly small stockies, but a few good looking ones as well. I love finding these well-conditioned holdover or stream-born bows that almost look like redband trout, with brilliant red cheeks and that rosy red stripe along the lateral line.
Sunday we had a picnic by the river with the whole group. I tried to fish tankara style with our 3 year-old daughter. Haha, she has absolutely zero patience... But it was good fun just sitting on a rock and watch her whack the water with the rod.
The whole hochatown area was packed that weekend. Traffic lines at the lights along 259. Boat ramp at the lake was totally overflowed. I guess you just gotta take it easy and be on that "hochatime". But the river crowd was not bad. Basically on Saturday evening it was just me and my friend wade fishing, and a few folks fishing from the banks here and there around Cardiac.
Red stripe and cheeks in July:
Our yearly family trip to CO is coming up in August and then some work trips to the East Coast. So probably no upcoming trips to LMF until October for me.
Post by texasflycaster on Sept 4, 2023 7:58:00 GMT -6
So I will admit I read and hear a lot of bad things about this fishery these recent years ... so much in fact that I have written it off. Fall is so close that when the grass fires here in North Texas are put out, I can almost smell FALL. I had some real learning and good fun in the LMF fishery in decades past, but tell me the truth and not the Chamber of Commerce version: How is it? How has it changed since, say, 2016? Why would anyone in the DFW area want to come there (you can spare the anti-Texas rhetoric as well) to fly fish, rather than the Lower Illinois area? If you rated the LMF 1-to-5 and the Lower Illinois 1-to-5, one (1) is worst and five (5) is best for each? Without tanking the number and without Chamber of Commerce self-promotions, what would you give these two?
Post by golferjeff on Sept 24, 2023 22:02:09 GMT -6
November thru March it is a 4 or 5. The crowds and various non-fishing activities make it a 1-2 in summer. The river is 100% different than it was in 2016 - not a single run, rock, or hole is the same. The floods rearranged everything and the stream improvements helped after that. LMF has wild fish, has plenty of browns, and has far more character than the LIR. LIR has it's positives, but I find it hard to compare the two. PLus, you can fish the LMF 24/7/365. YOu have to worry about generation on the LIR. My 2 cents.
Here are some of my rambling thoughts on the river. Below Old Park Dam, can be decent or a complete miss. I do like this area, I hit it a month ago and got enough action to keep my attention. I also went to the same area last Sunday and couldn't touch a fish, so you never know. This summer, I've had consistent success in the slower section of water above the fly shop, fishing out of my old Wenonah fisherman canoe. I love this canoe tracks decently but offers great balance and stability that allows me to stand up in it comfortably, but I digress. This slow water fishing is not for everyone, but there is a consistency for me that I will frequently get good action and some sizable fish through this section. Indicator fishing with a leech pattern is my typical approach. Some say it is as exciting as watching paint dry but the catch rate has been good enough to keep me coming back. And yeah, the kayaks pick up late morning however I can always get a few hours in without too much hassle from the recreational kayakers.
Not sure what possessed me about July 4th I did fish (again early), at the spillway with plenty of fish to be caught. I've also hit the river and it was so crowded in the summer, that walking the spillway area trails along the river was so crowded, I was actually following a long line of people mostly non-fishing folks, so yeah it can get crazy congested.
The traffic on a Friday afternoon leading up to the park is a nightmare. And leaving Sunday midmorning as well.
Fishing below re-reg, not consistent with trout perhaps others have had more luck. But the panfish and other warm water fish can make it fun. That said once 10:00 am hits on the weekend, it is wall-to-wall kayaks and inner tubes.
The cabins and businesses have really boomed out here and there planning to open a large Choctaw Casino next spring that will add to the congestion but I don't think will attract other fishers.
If you haven't been here in a few years, you will be shocked at the amount of building of cabins, shops and restaurants.
Full disclosure, I live in Broken Bow so it is less of a travel commitment if the day is a bust.
I still love the river and learn new things each time I go. Weekdays during the off-season can be less congested. So, I encourage you to make the trip and see for yourself! Message me before you make the trip and I'll see if I can do some pre-scouting before you arrive and get you a report.
I'll agree with Jeff and Hoss. It's a pretty danged good river to fish during the winter months. I don't know anything about the Lower Illinois. The LMF got somewhat messed up during the last flood of 2015, but they've fixed it up and it's come back. Winter's quite good, especially the years when they pull the stop logs (they don't seem to be consistent about that nowadays). In summer the fishing is not as good at the LMF for reasons already cited, but then, it never was.