Day 5 Gravel Bar Boil
That morning we rendezvoused at the Visitor Center and took a quick tour as folks gathered. Lots of history, displays and quite a few photos of my hero's work, Dr. Roston, the grandfather of freshwater photography.
The day before Michael and i had come up with a plan to hike a spring run all the way to the river, checking out different pools of clear spring water for unique species. But later that evening several people expressed the desire to tag along on the adventure. That site did not offer conditions for a mass movement of humanity so to be fair we lead the snorkel group back to Indian Creek, the beautiful site from the day before. Convenient, plenty of thrashing feets and elbow room, clear water, spawning fish and good parking for all, eventually becoming a 5 or 7 vehicle caravan. Upon arrival, and again driving through the purple hued tree bracketed entry way Cyan, Michael and i parked and hotfooted upstream to the Bleeding Shiner site and spent the first early morning hour enjoying it. As the others slowly meandered about eventually working their ways upstream i advanced even further scouting for more sites and was pleased to observe several active Rock Bass nests near a log jam. I was almost to the bridge when i saw Josh beelining towards me and upon arrival told me the local Sheriff had evicted our clan of river snorkelers. I didn't fret none too much and slow walked back snorkeling here and there as the time was almost our designated departure time anyway. The color purple is not a nice color in MO land and the 2 bracketing trees were marked with long faded paint. I thought about returning with a fresh coat of blue paint and marking the trees "FREE RIVER PARKING".
Harvest at the weir.
Dr. Roston's nearly famous photo.
Cyan amongst the Shiners and Minnows.
The Bleeders were going strong in the cooler morning hours, Ozark minnows by their sides. As the morning warmed the activity seemed to diminish.
This was a great nest i wish the Sheriff had not pulled me from. Rock Bass i think as opposed to Ozarks. Shadows to my south at home.
After leaving Indian Creek we had enough time to check out the spring run again. Being already wet it was an easy dip and dunk for a few minutes. Much colder than the Indian though.
Orangethroat in the chill.
Southern Redbellies too, and Creek Chubs. Crayfish. It would have been a fun adventure to do that snorkel walkabout.
Our vantage point looking up to the culverts.
Close by were these furnace ruins.
The Gravel Bar Boil was awesome. I have included several pictures of attending folks on the forum under "Fishheads of Missouri" located here...
Getting there via Jet Boat, a high speed, up river run. Hold on!
Cyan and Michael made the float down from upriver. I rested my behind and waited in the cool shade. I heard they made a great team. Thank you Michael.
Iowa Scott caught him a high falutin' Yankee Studfish.
Michigan Bob came with a Meramec.
Gravel bar sprawlers dining on corn, taters, shrimps, sausages, pies, cakes and cookies..
After the feeding i urged Bob to assemble the group for one massive photo as the sun lowered and just before the canoes and boats departed.
What a wonderful day it was!