Monday, August 18, 2014

Floating the Lower James River

Three friends and I set out Saturday to float and fish a five mile section of the James River. Our plan was to put in at the Kerr Access and take out at the Cox access. We planned a late departure from Springfield.  I hoped this would put us behind the crowds, but no such luck.

The fishing was fun, but nothing to brag about. We caught smallmouth, Kentucky bass, bluegills, longear sunfish, creek chub and Lou even landed a soft-shell turtle that was foul hooked.  Sharon was nice enough to unhook it, but says the turtle tried to reward her with a little nipping.  Personally, my biggest fish was the creek chub.  Other than that, I caught several longears.  There were several places were I had hits on just about every cast. I fished poppers almost the entire float and I believe Lou and Sharon did the same.

First stop: Lou, Isabel and Sharon resting and and refreshing.

Sharon playing one of her many fish.  You can see just a few of the other river users behind her.  We often went to the edge of the river to let the crowds pass. Some of the others insisted on forcing everyone on the river to listen to their music.  It was blaring so loud you could hardly hear anything else.  The later the day, the more their alcohol took effect and the more vulgar they got.  But even that didn't ruin a fishing and float trip among friends.
Lou and Isabel pulled over in the shade to let others pass us by.  One of the few times Lou did not have a fly rod in her hands. Isabel didn't fish, just along for the ride. Near the end of the day, when I was fished out, I held on to her canoe and she paddled us down the stream, so I guess I was just along for the ride then.
Sharon tying on a new fly, Isabel relaxing.

Lou making one of her several hundred casts of the day. There is no way I can fish as long as she can.
There were fish all up and down this section of the stream, they seemed to be swimming in the channel here.
The three fly fishers.  The three of us plan on fishing and floating the Big Piney on Wednesday.  Isabel has to work, so just the three of us this time.
Sharon and I up close, I believe that's Lou just behind and then more of the other floaters. The bow of Isabel's canoe in the foreground.

Beaching the kayak's to stretch our legs and do a little fishing from the gravel bar. Thanks to Isabel for taking these last few pictures for us.

We took out about 7 or 7:30. Had a very good day with good friends.  We made a nice day even better with a stop in Nixa when four tired, grubby floaters went into Ruby Tuesday's for a late supper.

Just got this photo of Sharon with the turtle that Lou caught.

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