I think I caught ~20 fish on various little foam flies on my first visit. All little Bluegill, Green Sunfish, and Longear Sunfish, but I was hooked! So much so that I brought Diana back a few days later and made her fish with me! I started visiting the area every chance I had, and I think I pretty much exclusively fished Bonne Femme Creek.
For my final trip, I decided to visit an upstream part of Bonne Femme Creek that I had never been to. I had a feeling my favorite hole had changed greatly in the two years since my previous visit, and I wanted to remember it the way it used to look.
When I got to the 'new' part of the creek I was amazed at how intermittent it was, even with the recent rains. My usual stretch always had pretty decent flow, but this part was pocked with a little hole behind a tree here, a narrow furrow there, a slow run here, tons of gravel there...
I brought a microlite spinning rod, my fly rod (just in case!), and my tenkara rod. It took a surprisingly long time (~20 minutes) to get the spinning rod and tenkara rod ready to go, but it only took one cast to catch a....wait for it....Creek Chub!
|I hope these guys are less abundant in Maryland.|
|I wasn't even mad.|
|This poor fish was used as bait for a Longnose Gar I saw swimming around. The gar never bothered with him though, so he was eventually set free, although I imagine s/he had a sore jaw for the rest of the day.|
|In hindsight, that mouth and 'small' eye should have told me, "No! I'm not an Emerald! Stick with your gut!"|
I went downstream a bit and found a pool that was about 3 feet deep and maybe 4 feet in diameter behind a root wad. I dropped in a hook and pulled out what I think is a Red Shiner:
|There were probably 20-30 of these guys stuck in that tiny pool! They were not too eager to bite, however.|
After spending 10 minutes trying (and failing) to catch another shiner, I decided to try my dipnet and I pulled out something unexpected!
|I think this is a Stoneroller, probably Central.|
|Luckily, if I can say that, it broke near the base so I was still able to fish with most of the rod the rest of the day.|
Then I saw some darters and ended up catching three or four Orangethroats in quick succession. I think I'm finally getting the hang of darter fishing! Or, maybe not. We'll see!
Finally, I spent some time trying to catch some little Northern Hogsuckers in a deeper run with some redworm on a size 18 hook. I never caught one, but I did bring in some Creek Chubs, Red Shiners, Common Shiners, and this very eager Largemouth Bass:
And that wraps up my fishing in Missouri for the foreseeable future! I wish I had started microfishing years before I did, and I really wish I hadn't packed all of my fish-related books back in May.
My note taking became less detailed once I started microfishing, but I know I caught well over 1000 fish in Missouri from 2010-2015, with almost all of them coming in 2010-2013. In fact, I think I only caught 5 or 6 fish in all of 2014! Of the 46 species currently on my life list, only two were caught outside of Missouri: a White Pollack in Dingle, Ireland, and a couple Redbreast Sunfish on the New River in Virginia.
Here's a roundup of all the fish species I remember catching or seeing (*) at Three Creeks CA over the years, in no particular order:
- Largemouth Bass
- Green Sunfish
- Longear Sunfish
- Creek Chub
- Longnose Gar* (had one briefly hooked, but I still haven't caught one anywhere)
- Golden Shiner* (caught by my friend)
- White Bass
- Common Shiner
- Redfin Shiner
- Carmine Shiner
- Central Stoneroller
- Orangethroat Darter
- Flathead Catfish* (I watched it swallow my live bait, then I over-eagerly tried to set the hook and lost it! Still haven't caught one!)
- Red Shiner
- White Crappie
- Bluntnose Minnow* (dipnetted)
- Northern Hogsucker*