Oxbow Fishing outside St. Louis, MO


Got the yak on the water just as a storm was rolling through.  I had to hide in the channel going from the “creek” to the lake while I could hear and see timber coming down all around.  Perfect day for fly fishing…NOT!  The storm blew through but the wind remained 10-30 mph constantly, in other words it was WAF (windy as …).  Needless to say I’m suffering from WIFF, or wind induced fishing frustration.  Its a real condition, I have it!  Actualy I have SWIFF, the more sever form of the condition.  If only 10-20mph in the weather reports meant 10-20, but they insist on consistanly low balling the estimates.  I couldn’t even stay in one spot on the lake without being blown off anchor.  Enough complaining.  Catfish were present…Not in the size or quantity I was looking for but the water is only 70 ish and its early.  I expect that in the next couple of weeks things should be looking up.  I mainly fished Black Ops flies sizes 4 and 6 and a  flesh bunny stabber to start things off.  The way things usually happen for me is I get fish in the shallow back of the lake or around the timbered edges.  Sometimes wind is a critical factor for both stacking food in one area of the lake and in creating faux currents.  Look fot the cats to be sitting in protected water near where wind is forcing water by.  Bites are typically instantaneous or withing 3-4 strips.   I will fish heavy rabbit strip patterns in white and/or not so heavy patterns in brown and black depending on response and fish size.  Play around with it.  A brown or black fly  is a standard go to producer, sometime white is better, depending on what the fish are keyed on.  Today was an OK day with about 10 fish to hand, most under 16 inches.  I have had a 30 fish day on this lake in the past with the majority around 20 inches and hooked into some real pigs that day and on other occasions.  I recall one outing on the lake when i had the follow of a lifetime.  I never saw the fish but i knew it was there by the massive wake it was pushing.  Timing and water level are key factors.  I don’t have it figured out.  If you ever get a chance to fly fish to catfish you won’t believe how hard even the smallest fish can fight.