Had a great two days at Timber Hills Lakes near Mapleton, KS with the Kansas Outdoor Writers. These folks really treated us nice and I’m looking forward to going back there as soon as possible.
Lots of lakes and ponds full of bass, crappie, bluegill and even trout. And they have little two-man (or woman) pontoon boats with electric motors you can use. Also you can turkey hunt…and I’m probably leaving something out…like deer hunting. And they have a well-stocked bar! And nice, comfortable cabins.
I stood in one place and caught this big bass, several smaller bass, two rainbow trout and several crappie, all on one fly (a gray & white Clouser).
It doesn’t get any better than this. Check it out at http://www.timberhillslake.com .
I had heard about it long before I was fortunate enough to fish it. Finally in 1999 a Springfield, Missouri DARE cop named Joe Curry and I spent several hours on this beautiful little stream near Springfield. We were accompanied by a local resident of Crane, MO, a fly tier whose name escapes me.
Crane Creek is not stocked and is strictly catch-and-release fly fishing. The trout are stream-bred McCloud rainbows. The fly tier wore a side arm because he said we might run into some “subhuman bait-dunking redneck scum” not observing the catch and release regulations who might become unruly when chastised. Luckily we did not have to shoot our way out of Crane Creek and did manage to catch a few beautiful little McCloud rainbows.
My friend and fellow http://www.heartofamericaflyfishers.com member Terry Robbins recently fished Crane. He did not report any encounters with belligerent bait dunkers but did manage to catch a 22” rainbow, the largest trout I’ve ever heard of to come out of this tiny stream.
When I take Maggie to the farm I throw training dummies in the water for her and she chases the ATV (or I chase her) over most of our 200 acres. When we get home she follows me around the house, room to room, until I take the whistle from around my neck and hang it on the hook in my studio, remove my farm shoes and my old blue work shirt. Only then does she realize the fun is over for another day and she can safely collapse into her road kill imitation without missing out on something.
One pooped pup
My friend Scott Morgan has several trail cams out and he keeps coming up with photos of big eastern Kansas whitetails. The big guy in the background is probably going to drop his rack any day now. Makes me want to get out there and go shed hunting before the rodents get to them.
When I first waded into the swift, cold waters of Colorado’s Rio Grande River in 1958, wearing Ked tennis shoes over borrowed stocking foot waders, I hoped to catch a trout… and not fall down and drown. As I became a more proficient wader and angler I started hoping to catch a limit of trout. As the years rolled by I caught many limits of trout. I ate some and released more. I’m ashamed …but not much… to say I gloried in sometimes being that guy on the stream who caught trout when no one else could. But I was nice about it. I willingly shared my home-tied flies with other anglers. Now that I’m eighty years old I find once again that I hope to catch a trout … and not fall down and drown.
I’ve come full circle.
My friend photographer Jon Blumb bagged this big whitetail buck near Atchison, KS during the Kansas firearms deer season. Just one more example of why Kansas is recognized as one of the best states in the country to shoot a big whitetail.
Hey Jon…maybe next time tuck his tongue in first. OK?
One of the most popular Heart Of America Fly Fishers outings is our annual December trip to Bennett Springs. This year the weather cooperated, fish were caught, hotdogs and hamburgers were eaten and a good time was had by all.
Our second hunt at the Five Guys And A Swamp Duck Club was a little slow for Maggie and me. Or I could say I didn’t miss a shot all morning (because I didn’t take any). This is supposed to be a good year for the duck population so hopefully they’ll show up when we get some cold weather up north to push them south. They don’t migrate because they enjoy flying.
Anyway at least the scenery was pretty.
While Kansas is becoming well known for its big whitetail bucks Missouri’s deer herd seems to be shrinking, at least in the middle and northern parts of the state. My friend Scott Morgan caught this big guy mugging for his trail cam recently.