Jim Anderson of Eminence and I spent a pleasant day last week fishing and floating a stretch of the Jacks Fork River between Bay Creek and Alley Spring.
Jim grew up in Piedmont, earned an ag degree at MU, and worked in agribusiness in Iowa, Kansas and Colorado before buying the Shady Lane Cabins and Motel in Eminence five years ago. He’s a wealth of information about the Current and Jacks Fork.
The night before we fished, we drove out to see some of the wild horse band that roams the Scenic Riverways. As many Traveler readers know, the horses are descended from those turned loose by farmers in the Great Depression of the 1930s and have been the subject of much controversy and publicity over the years.
It was fun to watch the stallion, mares and colts graze and frolic in the dusk. Jim tells me the National Park Service culls the herd to keep the numbers around 40.
So far as the fishing goes, we caught enough to keep things interesting but nothing to brag about. Jim’s an excellent guide and didn’t want me to be skunked. I don’t think he went so far as to put a fish on my hook when I wasn’t looking, but he worked hard to make sure I caught something.
One lesson learned is to be careful about pulling on lures caught in tree limbs. I had one, I think it was a Rooster Tail, come flying back across the river and knock the right lens out of my glasses and cut my cheek. I’m lucky not to have lost an eye. Snipping the line or at least ducking my head would have been the wiser course. Hindsight’s 20/20, even out of one eye.
It was also nice to renew the acquaintance of Shane Van Steenis at Harvey’s
Alley Spring Canoe Rental. Shane hails from Bloomfield, Iowa, near where I worked and lived the past several years. He and Jim both report a good start to the season on the Jacks Fork and Upper Current.
River Hills Traveler
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