Barry Turner and Gabe Levin enjoying some creek time _Gabe Levin image
The Ozarks have more to offer than just trout. Brothers and regular shop customers Barry and Emil Turner asked me to show them something different during their two days of guided fishing this week, so we sampled our best local warmwater streams, Crooked Creek and Buffalo River. Slowly carving their way through thick forest, boulders, and limestone bluffs, these streams offer a variety of scrappy bass and panfish, unique river scenery, and often a good deal of solitude. Conditions are highly variable and the fish are wild, native, and moody, so it’s best to approach these streams with wonder and humility.
Crooked Creek fished beautifully, giving up 6 species and a lot of laughs. We had to walk the drift boat through several tight turns and drops, but that’s just the kind of place that keeps the crowds away. Usually the path to wild fish is stacked with obstacles. Buffalo River flows were high and dingy, making the fishing challenging, but an easy row through a spectacular limestone canyon cannot possibly go wrong. The boys had never seen the Buffalo before, so the scenery alone made the day. If you’re wanting to experience an Ozark warmwater adventure yourself, our team has the knowledge and the desire to take you there: Gabe Levin