“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

John Muir

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ever find any these on the river ?

Bob Laymon - Niangua River Darter Waltz

Niangua River Darter Status: Threatened

Habitat: This fish prefers clear, shallow pools in medium-sized streams. The Niangua darter prefers streams with gravel or rocky bottoms and cannot live in silty water.

Behavior: With its slender snout, the darter probes crevices for aquatic insect larvae, crustaceans and snails. To reproduce, males follow females into shallow riffles and may engage in threat displays with other males before spawning. Males change color during spawning; their bellies become orange-red and their sides develop iridescent blue-green bars.

Why It's Endangered: Dam construction has created barriers in the darter's habitat, fragmenting its range and blocking escape from streams that become polluted or altered. Highway and bridge construction straighten and widen streams, eliminating the small pools in which darters live. Construction and other streamside activities such as clearing brush and gravel dredging has also increased erosion and added silt to the streams, disrupting the fish's habitat.

Other threats include exotic predatory fish such as spotted bass and rock bass, which were introduced before 1940 and have spread throughout the darter's range.

Listen closely you will learn the secret the "Miniature" version of the "Golden Jeddi"

"We all want to be Legends someday."

Cryptobranchus bishopi - In our waters and live more than 30 years

Ever seen one ? Share your story.

The Ozark hellbender is a large, strictly aquatic salamander endemic to streams of the Ozark plateau in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Its dorso-ventrally flattened body form enables movements in the fast-flowing streams it inhabits (Nickerson and Mays 1973a, p. 1). Ozark hellbenders have a large, keeled tail and tiny eyes. An adult may attain a total length of 11.4 to 22.4 inches (in) (29 to 57 centimeters (cm)) (Dundee and Dundee 1965, pp. 369-370; Johnson 2000, p. 41). Numerous fleshy folds along the sides of the body provide surface area for respiration (Nickerson and Mays 1973a, pp. 26-28) and obscure their poorly developed costal grooves (grooves in the inner border of the ribs; Dundee 1971, p. 101.1). Ozark hellbenders are distinguishable from eastern hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) by their smaller body size, dorsal blotches, increased skin mottling, heavily pigmented lower lip, smooth surfaced lateral line system, and reduced spiracular openings (openings where water is expelled out of the body) (Grobman 1943, p. 6; Dundee 1971, p. 101.3; Peterson et al. 1983, pp. 227-231; LaClaire 1993, pp. 1-2). Despite these distinguishing characteristics, the two subspecies are not easily or readily distinguishable absent the presence of both subspecies or when encountered outside of their subspecies’ range.

The Ozark hellbender was originally described as Cryptobranchus bishopi by Grobman (1943, pp. 6-9) from a specimen collected from the Current River in Carter County, Missouri.

Adult Ozark hellbenders are frequently found beneath large rocks in moderate to deep (less than 3 feet (ft) to 9.8 ft (less than 1 meter (m) to 3 m)), rocky, fastflowing streams in the Ozark plateau. In spring-fed streams, Ozark hellbenders will often concentrate downstream of the spring, where there is little water temperature change throughout the year. Adults are nocturnal, remaining beneath cover during the day and emerging to forage at night, primarily on crayfish. Ozark hellbenders are territorial and will defend occupied cover from other hellbenders. This species migrates little throughout its life. For example, one tagging study revealed that 70 percent of marked individuals moved less than 100 ft (30 m) from the site of original capture. Home ranges average 91.9 square (sq) ft (28 sq m) for females and 265.7 sq ft (81 sq m) for males

Hellbenders are habitat specialists that depend on consistent levels of dissolved oxygen, temperature, and flow. The lower dissolved-oxygen levels found in warm or standing water do not provide for the hellbender’s respiratory needs. In fact, hellbenders have been observed rocking or swaying in still, warm water to increase their exposure to oxygen.

Typically, Ozark hellbender populations are dominated by older, large adults. Hellbenders are long-lived, capable of living 25 to 30 years in the wild. Hellbenders may live up to 29 years in captivity.

Breeding generally occurs between mid-September and early October. Males prepare nests beneath large flat rocks or submerged logs. Ozark hellbenders mate via external fertilization, and males will guard the fertilized eggs from predation by other hellbenders. Clutch sizes vary from 138 to 450 eggs per nest, and eggs hatch after approximately 80 days. Hatchlings and larvae are rarely collected during surveys due to low detectability. Larvae and small individuals hide beneath small stones in gravel beds.

Ozark hellbenders are endemic to the White River drainage in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri historically occurring in portions of the Spring, White, Black, Eleven Point, and Current Rivers and their tributaries (North Fork White River, Bryant Creek, and Jacks Fork) (LaClaire 1993, p. 3). Currently, hellbenders are considered extirpated in the mainstem White, Black, and Spring Rivers and Jacks Fork, and their range has been considerably reduced in the remaining rivers and tributaries.

Hellbenders are state endangered and federally protected. Hellbender expert Jeff Briggler states research has been conducted that proves “Between 1971 and 1973,researchers observed more than 1,000 hellbenders in the Niangua River. By the 1990s, however, the population had declined by 80 percent. Hellbender numbers in the Big Piney, Gasconade, Eleven Point and North Fork rivers showed similar decreases.


The Little Finger Does It ! Ever Seen One of These ?

Antique Fly Fishing Reel The Utica Reel... For sale on Ebay found at an estate sale.

Horrocks-Ibbotson Co., Utica, N.Y., made a lot of tackle for a long time, most of it in the low- to mid-priced range. Although a few of their very early automatic fly reels are sought by collectors, their baitcasters have little value.

An automatic fly reel does just what the name suggests - it automatically retrieves all fly line. To retrieve line on this type of reel, an angler does not turn a handle. Indeed, automatic fly reels generally don't even have any handles. Instead, the angler uses a trigger that releases a spring that allows the line to be retrieved. The problem with automatic fly reels is that they are very heavy, not very durable due to the numerous temperamental parts in the reel, do not offer a fine drag setting (to prevent light tippets) and cannot hold as much backing. Changing spools can also be a painful and time-consuming process, too.

In short, automatic fly reels are not popular in the world of fly fishing today simply because they just don't work very well. While automatic fly reels have improved over the years, anyone serious about fly fishing will stay away from these fly reels. Additionally, for saltwater fishing, automatic fly reels are virtually never used. The temperamental parts and lack of backing makes controlling any large fish next to impossible. Oh, well I like the slogan at least.


Iron Eyes Cody

70's PSA Keep America Beautiful (Crying Indian)

On Earth Day 1971, a new campaign was launched with the theme "People Start Pollution. People can stop it." It was a Public Service Announcement featuring the now iconic "Crying Indian" played by Iron Eyes Cody.[5]
In 1975 Keep America Beautiful introduced its "Clean Community System" which encouraged local communities to prevent litter through education efforts, advertising, local research, mapping of litter "hotspots", and clean up activities. During the height of the campaign KAB received over 2000 letters a month from people wanting to join their local programs.[4] The "Clean Community System" evolved into KAB's current network of roughly 580 local "Keep My Town Beautiful" organizations nationwide. By the end of the campaign locals had succeeded to reduce litter by 88%.


You would have to run it off a giant waterfall to sink this machine, according to the description.

Canoe of Canoe's......Listed on Craigslist no joke... Description reads...

This is a 1 off Whitewater River and drift fishing boat. This is truly a one of a kind boat. There are no others because it is my own design and I built it tuff and have tested and used it to know. It is shallow draft with high end inflatable tubes made of hypalon material not cheaper PVC. Tubes are military industrial grade. The toughest inflatable tubes made. Impervious to all chemicals. Made with 3 sections on each tube with superior Halkey Roberts valves. Tubes are 18 inch diameter 12 ft length. Overall boat length approximately 15 ft. load weight approximately 1800 lbs Practically unsinkable !.It is incredibly stable you cannot tip it over; you would have to run it off a giant waterfall to sink this machine. It will float fully loaded in 6 inches deep water. 2 people can lift and carry it. Total boat weight approximate 250 lbs. it row's on top of the water like a dragon fly, you can steady row it at speeds of around 7mph or trolling speed around 6 mph fully loaded it will take on class 5 rapids if you wanted. It has so many unique features you must see to appreciate it. Can accommodate 3 persons of any size and weight with new padded folding seats. You can set in these seats all day in comfort. Center row station has 360 swivel & slide pedestal mount to adjust for rowing position. It has a New Minkota saltwater rated 50 lb thrust electric trolling motor ( sealed controls ) it can be submerged. With built in battery meter along with a new xlarge deep cycle battery. Will run steady for about 20 mile trip. It has new self retrieving anchor set up with anchor holder at rear and controlled at the center seat oarsman station. Push a button & drop anchor, crank it back up just that simple. It has heavy duty stainless steel oarlock stands and heavy duty oars. Has a light weight nose cone with dry storage for punching through high waves that fold out for walk through boarding and latches down and has water tight gasket. Punch through high waves and stay dry. It has 3 fully adjustable rod holders, unique tackle box set up included. Tackle box sits in front of oarsman on row frame with heavy Velcro to hold it in place through rough waters and makes it very convenient yet removable. Everything at your fingertips. Neoprene drink holders at each seat. Water tight dry storage boxes. Special order Cam-lock straps with handles to strap tubes down.1 person can launch and load this boat in minutes. It’s lightweight that towing you barely know its back there. The trailer is not new but is in great shape and very roadworthy with a title. Many more features you would have to see to appreciate. If you were looking for something cheap this isn't it. If you want the best and safest whitewater and all around fishing machine THIS IS IT!!! If you asked me to build this same boat new not including trailer, pure cost alone would be about $6000.oo Inflatable tubes like these cost around $2500.oo a set. Minkota saltwater 50 lb thrust trolling motor over $500
I'm asking $3600.00 or can be negotiated. Pick up or negotiate delivery depending on length of drive
Please be serious if inquiring! You can email me or call


Did you know Charleton Heston loves floating the Ozarks ?

by Larry Dablemont Branson Living December 1994/January 1995

When the first tourists came to this part of the Ozarks, it was to see the great White River, one of the most beautiful streams in the Midwest, said to be teaming with brown bass as wide as the blade of a sassafras boat paddle. The word soon got out, and before there was even a reliable transportation system, outdoorsmen were flocking to these hills to see the White. The White River Branch of the Missouri Pacific Railway made the industry of tourism possible, and an early account of an Ozarks visit was published in 1914, when a writer by the name of Milt Bangs was the first to tell the nation's sportsmen what the White River had to offer.

"We floated down the James River and into the White traversing one-hundred-and-twenty-five miles of river and ending but twenty-one miles from our starting point," he wrote. "At Galena, our party of four was equipped with two flat-bottomed skiffs, two guides, tent, cots, cooking gear, ice and provisions. Our party wanted bass fishing, and got it. A hundred bass, none under ten inches long, most weighing from one to three pounds and one weighing four, were landed on the five-day trip. All smaller bass were returned uncounted. Frogs and young squirrels were plentiful and added to the variety of our menu. The days were warm but at night on the beautiful gravel beaches, heavy blankets were needed. Bass were eager to strike at a red artificial minnow or a combination of Iris fly and pork-rind, with which we had the best success."

Bangs went on to say that the state fish commissioners had just stocked 60,000 small bass, crappies, and perch in the streams, so the water would not be fished out. When the floaters reached upper Taneycomo Lake, they were met by motor boats which towed them to Branson, and then gear, guides, and guests were taken back to Galena by rail.

In time, White River float fishing would be turned into a big time business by a Branson entrepreneur without equal. His name was Jim Owen, and even today when you talk about guides, johnboats, and float fishing, his name comes up more than anyone else's.

And yet, he didn't grow up here in the hills, didn't know how to build a johnboat, nor how to paddle one. Jim Owen was an advertising manager for a Jefferson City newspaper before he came to the Ozarks in 1933 on a visit to Branson. He never left!

Before he died in 1972, he had owned a drug store, a movie theater, and an auto dealership. He was the mayor of Branson for 12 years, president of a bank, and wrote a fishing column for the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock, AR. In addition, he owned champion fox hounds and bird dogs, produced his own brand of dog food, and owned a large dairy. But Jim Owen became known for his other business venture--he set up the largest and most successful Ozark float fishing operation of that day. His success sparked national attention, giving area tourism a big boost.

It began in the spring of 1935 with six boats, six guides, and a big truck. Owen claimed he could provide 31 days of fishing in his area without ever covering the same water twice. He didn't know all there was to know about the river, but he knew more about promotion and advertising than any other man in the hills. He brought in as his guests the writers and editors who could give him the publicity he needed. They were given free trips with steaks and wine and all the comforts one could accomplish on an Ozark gravel bar. In no time, his float service was being plugged in the pages of Life, Look, Outdoor Life, and Sports Afield, plus dozens of large newspapers.

The late Dan Saults and Townsend Godsey, who passed away last year, were writers who knew Jim Owen, and they left much information and insight concerning his float fishing business. They gave much of the credit for his success to his boat builder, Charlie Barnes, and guides Albert Cornett, Raymond Winch, Little Horse Jennings, Tom Yocum, and Deacon Hembree.

Guide rates started at $2 per day, but during the heyday of the business, they rose to about $10 per day. Usually, Owen's float trips were several-day affairs, with a guide and two fishermen per boat. A large group required a commissary boat, which was a large johnboat carrying all the camping gear and food. The commissary boat went on ahead with the guide, selecting a campsite, setting up the tents, and preparing for the evening meal.

Owen had a warehouse filled with gear. Barnes' johnboats had no middle seats; guests sat in comfortable folding camp chairs. At the peak of his business in the late 1940s, Owen had 40 boats and 35 guides at his disposal. During the 33 years his float service was in operation, he went through 300 wooden johnboats and attended to 10,000 fishermen from all over the country.

With time, his services became something the average sportsman could not afford. It became float fishing for the elite, and a trip of several days was quite expensive. Owen ran his own tackle store, and expected guests to buy gear there. He also had a grocery list of more than 100 items from which fishermen could choose the food they would eat on their trip.

Townsend Godsey quoted one of Owen's top hands, stating, "Jim was the best advertiser that ever lived. If he wasn't busy, he was the best of conversationalists, but if he was busy making a dollar, he didn't have time for anything else."

They say that Owen worked his people uncommonly hard, and many of his guides were not his strong supporters. Portrayed as the White River's champion, Jim Owen opposed the dams that buried the White and ended float fishing on perhaps the greatest of the Ozark rivers. But, it's been said that behind the scenes he was buying lakeshore real estate which would someday bring him 10 times his investment when the dams were completed.

His last float trip was in 1958. A Cotter, AR, trout dock bought his equipment soon afterward. Owen suffered a stroke in 1966 and died in 1972. There's no doubt that he played a great part in making the Branson area the tourist mecca that it is today. But, it may be that the old guides who worked for him, whose souls were a part of the White River, hated to see the change come. About those men, who were a part of the stream and the Ozarks in the purest sense, little was ever written.

It could be that they saw the White River at its best. And, perhaps, they could say that we have lost much in making such gains.


Drift Boat on Class 4 McKenzie River Oregon wait what's that ?

Outdoor adventurer accidentally films Sasquatch

Paul McCartney at Bennett Springs

Sir Paul McCartney has shunned expensive hotels in favour of camping.

The former Beatle was cruising on the infamous Route 66 - which stretches from Chicago to LA - when the couple stopped at a Circle K to get gas and use the restrooms. A car full of local young guys on their way to St Louis for a Cardinals game yelled out "That looks like Paul McCartney!" One yelled "Hey, Paul!" and Paul answered in his distinctive Liverpool accent.

The excited guys got to talk with Paul and he posed for the above photo with them.

The 66-year-old musician is currently on a US road trip with girlfriend Nancy Shevell, and the pair decided to spend a night under the stars when they arrived at Bennett Springs State Park in Missouri last weekend.

"He came in and asked for directions to Bennett Springs (state park)," said secretary Mary Jane Cushing at C & D's Quick Stop. "He was driving an older green car. He gave our employee an autograph on a piece of notebook paper. It says, 'Cheers to Kay, Paul McCartney '08.' She compared it on the Internet and it is his signature."

A fellow camper said: "It was incredible to see one of the world's richest musicians going back to basics.

"They didn't seem to have a care in the world as they laughed and joked with each other." After spending the night in their tent, the couple further amazed onlookers when they set off on a hike in stifling heat. A source explained to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper: "It was nearly 30 degrees but the heat didn't slow them down at all. "They were like two teenagers on a first date - it was really sweet. "They were seen tucking into sandwiches. Paul even had a cheeky bottle of stout which he had packed away."

The Beatles on the 11 Point River 1964 - Did you know ?

In 1964, the Beatles stayed at the Pigman Ranch on the 11 Point River in the Missouri Ozarks for several days making it one of the most well known ranches in America. Reed Pigman, who owned the ranch at the time, had secured a contract with the Beatles as their charter service, shuttled these famous music icons back and forth to concerts on their famous 1964 American tour. The only break Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon had during the entire tour, was a few days before their last concert in New York, ending their American tour. Reed Pigman convinced the group that an old fashioned American ranch lifestyle was the way to relax and spend these few precious days. So, in September of 1964, Reed Pigman flew the group in his little single engine plane, landing on the grass runway at the ranch, for a short country hideaway. The Beatles made the ranch famous worldwide as the Pigman Ran

Derek's Fifty Years Adrift supplies a tragic footnote (page 233): "Sad to say, the American Flyers plane... crashed a year or two later with the loss of everyone on board - more than 100 people, mostly US servicemen. The pilot was Reed Pigman, who had entertained us on his ranch after the Dallas concert."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ever heard of the "Nighthawk Monster" on the NFOW ?

First a bit of history

Dateline Feb 3, 1937

Authorities say young farmer admits to murder in Ozark thicket, however Robert Kenyon denies he killed the doctor and contends mysterious "Nighthawk" monster actually killed Dr. J.C.B. Davis. J. Edgar Hoover director ot the Federal Bureau of Investigation, scouts idea of second man in Missouri slaying labels Nighthawk monster, a mythical creature of imagination."

Robert Kenyon maintains his story pinning the murder of Dr. J. C. B. Davis on a mysterious "Nighthawk" monster

Did you know the Doctor's bag was actually found by a farmer in the NFOW !!!

What do you think ? Ever seen the "NFOW Nighthawk" ?

Robert Kenyon was executed on 04-28-1939 in the Missouri gas chamber for the crime.

Here are the actual links...

Neil Young - Jimmy Fallon

This is hilarious. I love Neil Young and Jimy Fallon what could be better....oh.... add... Will Smith !!!

Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I liked to take a minute just sit right there
And tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air

In west Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground is where I spent most of my days
Chillin out, maxin, relaxing all cool,
And all shooting some b-ball outside of school
When a couple of guys who were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one lil fight and my mom got scared
And said "You're moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air"

I whistled for a cab and when it came near
The license plate said FRESH and it had dice in the mirror
If anything I can say this cab was rare
But I thought naw forget it yo homes to Bel-Air

I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8
And I yelled to the cabby "Yo homes smell ya later"
I looked at my kingdom I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel Air

For techie trout fishers


Hint it's actually a link back to the blog using a QR scanner. Ok I'm a nerd.

Build your own here.....


Monday, November 15, 2010

What's the weirdest thing you have found in the woods ?

Ok I have to apologize for the following link. Probably my favorite message board postings on the web. Check it out 300 plus posts about weird things found, seen, or heard in the woods.

..I stumbled upon it about two year ago and spent probably three full evenings reading the posts. Enjoy......here are a few samples . There are many more......

I found an airplane wreck While deer hunting in the mountains of Northern California in the 60,s. Not all was there so I figured it was a known site. In a steep canyon & the motor and prop were there. I was a young kid and didn't report it. I wonder?

A couple years ago I was goose hunting by my lake. I decided that I needed to move the decoys a bit. While moving them I was looking at the ground and my eyes picked out some letters. The object that the letters were on blended perfectly with the ground. I picked it up and it said US on the front and had a picture of an eagle. On the back it said United States. It was a US Calvary brass button. There used to be a sign on a road within sight of my house that said a skirmish between the calvary and the indians took place in the area.

Here's the link

Kansas Pheasant Opener - Haviland, Kansas

Kansas Pheasant season opened this past weekend ... Great fun with my friends the Hancock's, Brian, Jeff, Rick, Mike and Austin. Lots of birds, walking and shooting !!! Thanks Butch !!! What a great fall tradition. Here's a shot from our camp.

Did you know.... that the Ringed-necked Pheasant was imported to America from Asia in 1881, when Judge O.N. Denny released some 100 pairs of Chinese ring-necks in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. More were released in South Dakota in 1898.

Haviland, Kansas is also known for something else ...... Meteorites !!!... yes Brenham Meteorites.. these meteorites fell to earth an estimated 20,000 years ago near what is now Haviland. This created the Haviland Meteorite Crater, one of only three craters in the U.S. that is authenticated by the presence of meteorites, and the only one of the three that was created by a rare, stony-iron (pallasite) meteorite.

The crater and meteorite are known worldwide. All major museums of the world have Brenham specimens. The world's largest collection and display of Brenham meteorites lies right in the strewnfield at the Kansas Meteorite Museum. The 1,000 pound meteorite that was on display at the Big Well in Greensburg prior to the tornado that destroyed the town in 2007, was a Brenham meteorite. It is back on display at the Greensburg City Hall (open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.). This meteorite is not just a Kansas treasure but a national and worldwide treasure, sent to us from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

In addition to the stony-iron meteorites, some of the Brenhams are entirely iron-nickel metal, the polished interior looking like a mirror. Their striking size, shapes and internal structures are like nothing else seen on earth, making them truly unique, not only to Kansas but to the world.

The meteorites were identified by Native Americans as being of great interest, though its not known whether they were aware of their celestial origin.They were evidently revered objects, since pieces of the Brenham meteorites were found in the burial mounds of the Hopewell Indians in Little Miami Valley, Ohio.

That must have been what I tripped on chasing down that pheasant.