For the past 10 years or so, on the Fourth of July, I spend the day fly fishing. Every year I go to the same place, Suicide Hill, in the Woodson K. Woods Memorial Conservation Area.
Past years it has been rainy and relatively cold and I couldn’t stay long in the cold temperatures of the Meramec River. This year the weather was perfect. 84 degrees, slightly overcast and only the occasional light wind.
We woke up at 3am to finish packing the car and get ready to leave. By 4am we were on the road. We arrived at the top of Suicide Hill just as the sun began rising at 5:45am and began the decent down Suicide Hill. Suicide Hill gets it’s name from the very steep path that leads down to the river. I’ve never been able to photograph the hill in a way that accurately captures how steep it is but below you’ll find another attempt.
A little before 6:30am we had crossed the river and setup our day camp and I was ready to start fishing. I decided to head up river first where I know there are some fast waters and deep pools. The river was a lot lower than I’d seen it in previous years and making my way up river was extremely easy. In the first section of fast water I came to I caught a 6″ Grass Carp.
I didn’t have any more luck upstream and when I looked at my watch I realized 2.5 hours had passed. So I headed back to camp to have some more coffee and a bite to eat before heading down river.
I don’t usually spend much time down river from the Suicide Hill access point but I’m glad I did today. About half a mile down river from camp there is a nice deep pool that I had never been to before. I spent another 2.5 hours here but only managed to pull in 3 panfish before heading back to camp again.
At this point I was getting pretty tired and we decided to start packing up. We made it back up Suicide Hill, got cleaned up and headed home.
About 15 miles from home traffic on I-44 came to a sudden stop. It took us an hour to go the next 2 miles. Later I found out that a truck had jackknifed and Eastbound I-44 had been closed.
While I didn’t catch anything decent I still had a great day on the river and look forward to the next time I can get away.