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From Missouri Conservationist: Jan 2015


Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and might be edited for length and clarity.

Angler Appreciation

I was amazed by Kevin Richards’ Hooked on Old Wooden Fishing Lures [December]. The article was like one of those old aluminum fishing boxes packed full of fishing lure history, like a stringer full of keepers. The photographs were among the best I’ve seen, and I’ve been writing fishing articles for decades for some of the best fishing magazines in the world. This is the reason I always do a little dance for joy every time I find a new issue of Missouri Conservationist in my mailbox.

John Smelcer, Kirksville

Loved Mark Van Patten’s article Fly-Fishing — It’s Not Just for Trout [November]. Here are a few I target that others might want to know about:

  • Carp: Silver and bighead carp are good fly targets where they congregate. Small wooly boogers, streamers, and wooly worms all work for them. Black carp hit mosquitoes on the surface like trout.
  • Sauger and walleye:Eyed flies like closers and eyed wooly boogers. I catch lots up the smaller creeks in northeast and central Missouri, and below dams.
  • Drum: Smaller white or yellow streamers, zonkers, and on small chenille bugs fished under an indicator. Fish rocks in current. Usually also catch catfish along with them.
  • Skipjack herring:A wide variety of minnow flies, wooly boogers, or sim. White bass are usually caught along with them on the same flies.

Bryce l. Meyer, O’Fallon

I learned how to use a fly rod catching “pumpkin seeds” on the Meramec River near Salem before fly-fishing for trout at Montauk. In the spring, when crappie are “on the banks” at Lake of the Ozarks, I like to roll-cast the banks with a mini jig. The crappie are usually in 2 to 3 feet of water and it’s quite possible to have a 100-fish day. Of course, you can only keep your daily limit for eating. In the summer, when the white bass are surfacing for shad, a fly rod with a white streamer that imitates the shad will get you some real thrills. Have some backing on your fly line as these fish are fired up when they are chasing shad and there may be a hybrid in the school that will give you a run for your money.

Lawrence Schlipp, Lebanon

In the September issue, the article Fish Gigging: An Ozark Tradition brought back many memories from the 1940s. But we had no boats, waders, hip boots, or waterproof gear so we waded all the rivers and creeks in St. Francois and Madison counties.

There were times in October and November that I thought I would never again be warm.

Our dads were miners and the gigs were made in the St. Joe machine shop with “charging sticks” for gig poles. Our lights were carbide miners’ lights that we modified by installing a Model T headlight reflector from Fox Junk Yard. The Model T headlight was larger than the carbide light, and it was brass when polished. Brass would not reflect back into your eyes from the water surface like the silver reflector that came on the light originally.

Ted Henderson, via Internet


  • In the November “News & Events” section, Wild Turkey Brood Survey Shows Continued Progress contained an incorrect Web address. The results of the 2014 wild turkey brood survey, as well as other turkey reports, are available at mdc.mo.gov/node/3624.
  • In the December “Ombudsman” column, the response to the question: “Is winter trout fishing catch and release only?” should have been: It depends upon where you are fishing. We provide a number of different trout fishing opportunities. The Winter Trout Fishing Areas, which begin as catch-and-release, allow harvest after Jan. 31. The trout parks have their own winter catch-and-release season. Check the regulations for the area you are fishing at mdc.mo.gov/node/5603 or call the nearest regional office.

Reader Photo

Snow Beautiful

Ruth Bess, of Bloomfield in Stoddard County, captured this image of snow at Duck Creek Conservation Area. Bess says she visits the area a couple of times a year. “On this day, my husband, brother, sister-in-law, and I were just out looking at the snow; sightseeing,” said Bess. “We were hoping to see things to take pictures of, and this time some were pretty good!” Bess said her family enjoys fishing and deer and turkey hunting, and they visit various natural areas in the area. “It is easy for everyone to dislike a bad winter,” said Bess, “but, if you go out and look around, it can be beautiful.”

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer/Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler